A 33-year old man. Dressed in baggy denims, ripped at the knee on one side. Torn at the leg opening on the other. Linen shirt that needs ironing. Almost bald and a disheveled mop of hair on the crown of the head. An unkempt salt and pepper beard.
The guy tries to walk in to a swank building that has security guards from G4S. The building houses corporate offices of a few leading banks and other such businesses. And like any other "corporate park" the building also has a few fancy restaurants.
While the man attempts to walk in the building to meet a friend for lunch at the restaurant, he is singled out and is asked by the security guard about his intentions. And while this is happening, a few hundred characters, dressed in clothes ranging from three-piece suits in the muggy Mumbai weather to a dress that barely covered the woman's modesty to a worker who probably was engaged as a window-cleaner to everything in between walked past by. Without raising anyone's eyes or suspicions.
Back to the man. He calmly tells that he intends to goto one of the restaurants and the guards give him an incredulous look and want to frisk him.
A resident of a not-so-posh building is walking in to the lift lobby to go up to his home. The security guard at the entrance asks him to make an entry into the visitor's logbook. When the resident tells the guard that he lives in the building and he is not supposed to make an entry into the logbook, the guard frowns at him, scans him from top to bottom and asks him, how could he own / rent a place in the not-so-posh building.
A not-so-young man has matched with a very attractive lady on a dating app and he is all excited about meeting her. They meet up but the moment the lady sees him and his tattered clothes and his hair, she abruptly cuts the visit short and escapes by making an excuse.
There are more such scenes that I can recount. And the dude in all these three scenes is me. And all these things have happened to me in the course of last
My impressionable heart and mind refuses to come out of the shock. That the world I live in judges people on the basis of how they look. I mean I've always known that great looks can get you ahead in life, career and all that. But this is blatant discrimination. And its not nice to be on the receiving end. I now know the reason for all the anger and frustration of people who've faced discrimination on the basis of their color, race, skin, thoughts and so on and so forth.
While we talk of (in)tolerance and openness and all such things, I dont get that that the world treats me like an anomaly and I cant function like a normal human being! I mean we are nothing in the large scheme of things. No one knows the reason of life and all that. We will all die someday, leaving behind I dont know what and I dont know for whom. Whatever time we have here, why cant we be and let others be? Live and let live? There is just so much to do, so much to enjoy. There are so many miracles that we ought to enjoy, rather than staring at people who are different.
Dont believe me? Go get caught in the rain and tell me if it matters how someone is dressed!
|Andy from Shawshank, in the rain.|