Selfish as a nature

I am. Not at all proud of it. Add privileged, small-hearted, insincere to it.

Yesterday, at a friends place for brunch, we indulged in the ‘ intelligent’ debate about the recent suicide of a Dalit student. Some people flat out denied that him being a Dalit had anything to do with his suicide. Most of them had an opinion that being Dalit is not a modern handicap anymore in modern India. These same people had, a couple of months ago, debated furiously with me, husband and a friend about reservations in India. As we three again went on- and an hour later- everyone including us three agreed that this noon shouldn’t be spent getting in fights- but enjoying the food- and went on to discuss a recent celebrity divorce, it struck me for the first time how vehemently self centred my life has become. And then it struck me that not that it ‘has become’, but that it was always that way, leading slowly to the ultimate privileged and small hearted insincerity.

What actually disturbed me was that this sharp realisation, which I had voiced several times before, chiefly to self , husband and brother- didn’t hurt me anymore. A few years ago, I still felt guilty about many things. I reasoned that since I am not in the league of people who refuse the necessity of reservations- this moral conviction must be proof of some small goodness in me. I thought, quite honestly, that I was a liberal, progressive person who cared about social injustice.

But yesterday, I embraced the fact that my life has been and most likely will be small and mediocre even in intent. That the goodness in me was limited to an extremely small circle of my life- most of which has seen little to no challenges to this goodness.

It might sound delusional to a more committed and sincere person- she might point out that I should have realised this long time ago. After all , haven’t I made these choices which have shaped my life?

And she is right. This liberal delusion is nothing, but my own squashed pride at thinking of myself better than others, thinking of myself as more evolved simply because I thought on the right track without ever choosing anything that doesn’t immediately benefit my small world.

What I am unable to figure out, and again this is extremely self-centred and passive- is what am I going to do with this realisation?

I very much doubt that I am going to change. So what is this realisation worth? Yet another pat on the back for self?

I don’t know.

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