Titans in Tiny Worlds


There is a world of difference between celebrities in the West and in India. While anyone who is known to a few thousand people is considered a celebrity in the West, the status is reserved for people who have done outstanding feats in India. Video jockeys, sportsmen, politicians, professors and even playboys can become celebrities in the West. But in India, we reserve this status to those who have positive qualities and faculties far in abundance than the ordinary. Film stars and politicians are rich and famous in India, but only a few among them reach the celebrity status. Most of our celebrities are from philosophical, academic, literary or spiritual background. The path to celebrity is much more difficult in India than in the West. But average Indians are as ambitious as any other nationals. Each of the ambitious but undeserving Indian is looking for indigenous ways to attain celebrity status. The case of middle class in Indian cities and the vast Indian Diaspora is a good example of this. In the NRI world we find so many 'lilliputians' struggling to become titans in tiny worlds created with their own money and imagination.

Dreams and Desires

A vast majority of Indians belong to the lower middle or middle class in economic terms. It is the ambitions, desires and even dreams of children in this class that result in the development of their families and ultimately the nation. But very often these children do not go through the conditioning required to take failure and success in the same spirit in their lives. This has been and still remains a serious drawback in our educational system in India. Most of us read Bhagavat Gita after we reach forties. If it was taught in schools (at least to the Hindu students), the stress and strain of unfulfilled desires would not have created so many problems in our society. Each of the 'unsuccessful' children from middle class families is a potential problem in the future. Neither his parents have the money to make-up for his failure nor has he the calibre to succeed in life. It is often found that over ambitious children of under resourceful parents grow up into ace crooks when they grow up. Crookedness of many such office cons finding innocent victims in their vicinity is a common phenomenon in all the major cities and Gulf NRI circles.

For a large number of Indians, the Gulf countries provide a land of opportunities. While Europe and USA are the haven for engineers, doctors (and now the nurses and their parasitic dependents), the Arabian Gulf still remains the favoured and feasible destination for all other aspirants. In a way it is ironically true that Indians in the Gulf countries, who are officially classified under the common terminology of TCNs, are indeed the Third Category Nationals from India. This is because the first category nationals in any country remain within their own lands and second category nationals from India aspire for USA and Europe. Dreams and desires of such a TCN crowd are expectedly high in comparison with their diligence and capabilities. The mesmerizing world of put-ons weaved out of unexpected money amidst unfulfilled childhood desires by the titans in these tiny worlds is something to be seen.

Inferiority to Superiority Complex

Children with a continuity of unfulfilled desires tend to develop inferiority complex unless they get corrected or conditioned. Time provides the best conditioning effect but the residuals remain at the bottom of their minds. These seeds of inferiority will inevitably blossom into airs of superiority in later life. Physically and mentally retarded men engaged in seemingly titanic acts in their own tiny worlds are classic examples of this phenomenon. For those who couldn't make it to an engineering college satisfy their ego by setting up a company that will employ engineers. And non-starters in medicine even go to the extent of setting up medical colleges of their own. Titans wearing three piece suits and accenting speech to mingle (only) with Whites are common sites in the Gulf. All of them are indeed mental pygmies who are struggling to satisfy their bloated egos with the vast resources at their command.

There is a particular period in the growth phase of each titan that is very dangerous for others. In their anxiety to meet their self imposed deadlines these titans turn into wild elephants in a vineyard. They have the money and they are desperately looking for fame. In order to achieve the fame and attain celebrity status, they take to gigantic tasks that inadvertently trash the livelihood of their own fellow Indians. Each big start-up by NRI businessmen that invariably results in the expulsion of thousands of smaller businessmen is a good example of this. Many of those who succeed in their selfish ventures get knighted by the governments in power for having provided employment to a few hundred Indians is the paradox in this. Those in power close their eyes to the simple fact that these hundreds of jobs have been created by destroying the livelihood of thousands of their own brethren.

But there is always a sad ending to the story of all titans in their tiny worlds. In their anxiety to reach the insatiable goals in no time, they very often neglect their own family or fall into terrible companies. Children of titans get confused about the value of hard wok in achieving success in a real world. They often get lost in the make believe world created by their mediocre parents with plenty of money. Success and luck have the uncanny nature of fluctuating between everything and nothing. Neither titans in their old age nor their lotus-eating children will be able to withstand the violent fluctuation of fortunes. And the ultimate result is the old titan realising his real worth in a real land of his own.    


More by :  J. Ajithkumar

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