Right from the day you are born till after you start working, there is always a Sharma ji ka beta in your life. Now who is Sharma ji ka beta? The one who scored better than you in all the exams. The one who got into a better college. The one who got a prettier looking girlfriend. The one who earns more than you. The one who bought a house when you are still scraping for your house rental. That one person who somehow, inevitably, without fail does better than you in every stage of life is Sharma ji ka beta.
For some, it’s a distant cousin. Always working abroad. Driving a fancy car. Oh and don’t forget the accent just so that it’s apparent he doesn’t know his mother tongue as fluent because c’mon people! Living abroad for like 2 years makes you forget the language you have spoken for over 20 years! He brings gifts for everyone. Your parents ‘insist’ you visit him when he is in town which you absolutely hate doing because, well, no one wants to feel like shit when your parents rub it in your face how they are “better” than you in all the aspects. Mind you, Mr. Firang might just flip his hair and he HAS to have done it a thousand times better than you.
Remember that time when you wanted to spend the weekend with your friends and since we Indian kids have to ask for permission for such things, instead of getting a straight “NO”, you had to listen to a 10 minute monologue of how you should be sitting at home and studying and be a good kid instead of spending the night with friends having fun? How your friends always waste your time when you should be studying and so that you score less and they score better? No kidding, I’m sure everyone has heard this atleast once in their life. “Uska kya hai, woh padh leta hai. Tu hi fail ho jaega.” As if your friends spend hours and hours plotting and planning about how to waste your time.
Now we are all working and doing good for ourselves. Making your own life a success in your own way. Cheering and celebrating your own little victories. And just as when you are happy and content with yourself, Sharma ji ka beta pops his head again! He is getting married. Now he getting married isn’t the issue. He getting married “before” you do is. This my dear people is a never ending vicious cycle. You’ll never be as good as them. Never achieve as much as them. Never be Sanskari enough as them. Never be successful enough as them.
I don’t know how to end this because I still don’t know where this ends. For me, for you, for us common lot. But I do have one question for this oh so Sanskari overachiever beta, do you have a Sharma ji ka beta in your life?
PS. Secretly hoping we are the Sharma ji ka beta in someone else’s life. Atleast, thus we get to be heroes even if it’s in someone else’s story.