Times have changed. People no longer work for money, they work for a social status. People with a
lifestyle that is quantified by the kind of clothes you wear, the places you go
to eat, the kind of pictures you upload on social media – I present you the
They aren’t poor at all. They just have the bad luck of living in a time where keeping up
appearances is given more importance than actually ‘living’. They are hungry
and broke…a lot. But in their defense, it’s not entirely their fault.
Succumbing to peer pressure is their only choice more often than not. Because
the alternative is being labeled as cheap. ‘I don’t care about what people
think of me’ is a nice Facebook status, in the real world though, sometimes
you have to keep up appearances.
Why? Because this is what the world has come to, sadly. You can’t have a meeting
with a client in a Sai Sagar now, can you? You’ll go to Starbucks for that.
You won’t post a picture of Rs 70 thali on Instagram. You’ll need a Rs 400 pint
of beer for that. These are the things that these urban poor go through, and
while it may not sound that big of an issue, it is to them, and to the people
I have seen people skipping lunch just to have a beer at a high-end place in the evening.
People walking for 5 KMS just to save money. People refusing to eat and still
end up paying when the bill is split so as to not look cheap. These are small
things sure, but these things happen. This is a lifestyle which was forced upon
us. Advertising shows us to how to live, what to eat, what to wear. Whether we
can afford it or not is irrelevant – it’s what all the cool kids do, so to
speak. And that’s exactly what an Urban Poor is.
What we should remember is that while it is important to keep up appearances to a
certain extent because let’s face it, we can’t completely avoid it. But succumbing
to pressure to the point where it starts making your life miserable is not
how you should live. You deserve to be happy, you work hard for it.