Monday, July 29, 2013

Mea Culpa

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa... I am Guilty. Guilty of turning my back on a society that has given me life and liberty, and the aspiration to believe that I can change the circumstances of my own life, if not the lives of other people. Guilty of disregarding countless millions of poverty-stricken lives in cities, towns and villages across the country whose misery has been compounded by my geometrically progressive consumption of products and services over the three decades since I was born. Guilty of imagining a world where my daughter doesn't have to excuse herself for thoughts, feelings and/or practicing a lifestyle that are at odds with culturally accepted norms. Guilty of being ashamed of representative local municipal councils or state legislatures or national parliaments that are constituted of members who celebrate having hit the jackpot, both figuratively and literally, upon being elected. Guilty of worrying about disease when unintentionally touched or handling cash or using a public toilet or looking at the garbage piling up at the side of the road to which I have made my own personal inarguable contribution. Guilty of being continually and unconsciously class and caste conscious when dealing with everyone from teachers to public servants to blue collar workers to waiters to the domestic help at home. Guilty of believing that I could escape this life along with my family to a chimeric state of geographic and psychological well-being where equal-opportunity, fairness and dignity are not just hollow jokes being lasciviously perpetrated on you by an idol or symbol resident in a holy place whose pedantic tenets are so far removed from your experience of life that it becomes incumbent upon you to lose your faith lest you insult your own intelligence.

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