NEW DELHI: A few years ago on one of those magical March Delhi nights when the weather is perfect for sitting on a terrace and getting stoned, a friend and I were talking about “Degenerate Delhi” and chanced upon the term P.o.P, while trying to define a lot of the people we know. P.o.P, standing for “Products of Privilege”, holds true for a lot of people in Delhi, if not the rest of the metros. I, like most of my peers, grew up as a product of privilege, with no expenses spared for my education or upbringing and having the freedom and safety net that my parents had built up to go and do whatever I wanted to. This subconsciously helped me take risks with career choices and life decisions and led me to what I ended up doing.
What deeply saddens me, is how safe most of us play it today. This is not about saving the world or doing amazing things for humanity and the like. Most of my friends/acquaintances that I’ve grown up with in Delhi, come from privileged backgrounds. There is an unsaid (?) classism that exists in Delhi and most of this country, and somehow we end up with a social circle of people from similar economic backgrounds.
These P.o.P’s, as I like to call us, are mostly from one of the top private schools in Delhi (Modern School/Vasant Valley/D.P.S/Springdales/TSRS or the likes), have mostly studied abroad for their undergraduate or masters or both, and are now back to the homeland trying to do something here, mostly but not limited to “working with dad/uncle” in the case of the boys or “baking/interior decoration” in the case of the girls. We’re all P.o.P’s, and while being born with resources and privilege is not something we can be blamed for (even though the vast inequality on this planet is terrifying), it is something we should not take for granted, and here is where my problem begins and ends.
Most of the people around me are completely oblivious of the privilege they’re born into and take no advantage of it, except perhaps making use of daddy’s car/driver/credit card. We make the safest choices, go down the beaten path and end up living a life of no significance in my humble opinion. This is by no means a call for people to go change the world, but what bothers me is the fact that none of us even try to challenge ourselves. I see kids who have the resources and the power to change the world, going to the family business that doesn’t excite them and sitting on the managers desk and getting through the day with a hangover trying to half assed-ly run the company their family built. I see people living under the illusion of “#thestartuplife” wake up late, smoke pot through “strategy meetings” and play video games all day.
I see women indulging in deep/meaningful/passionate conversations about equal rights and feminism when most of them aim to get married to a well off family and live under the patriarchal control that comes with not having any financial independence. Some will start some part time venture such as a home bakery or interior design (usually after baking cupcakes for a bake sale or decorating their own home after marriage) but will quit the minute their husbands/family tells them to or when their “duties at home” become too much. My question to all of you is, why? Why, when you have the resources of the world at your fingertips, would you not try to do something, anything?
Mind you, great here does not mean that you need to be extremely ambitious about money or fame. Why won’t you invest yourself in something completely and using your private school education, your fancy foreign school degree and the resources at your disposal, make it absolutely amazing? It doesn’t have to be a business, it could be something as simple as painting. Whatever your kick may be, just do it.
Take advantage of what you have to do something better than sitting and watching T.V or gossiping all day and partying all night. I mean, at the end of it you can do what you want, but maybe your wealth and connections should go to that guy who really does want to make a difference and has everything but your resources. Shouldn’t we, having been born with all that we need and more, be morally obligated to make use of what we have and do great things? We owe it to ourselves and the world we live in. Be a P.o.P, and take full advantage of it.