by Dr. Madhav Prabhu
Belagavi the city of joy, the city with endless memories, the city may be the on paper the second capital of Karnataka, but in reality the deprived stepsister of Bengaluru. But this city has its many Cinderella stories and that’s because it is the capital of the mighty middle class, with mighty hearts and lofty tax bills.
Let me clarify first, I don’t have anything against the middle class, I am using it here because I belong to the middle class and unlike some political leader, I would really refrain from committing something about what I don’t know.
Especial the thrills of the other classes which may include loan defaults and scams. We the middle class have little to cheer, we are salaried so taxes are compulsory, we have bosses so getting bullied is compulsory and we have the wife’s so suffering is not alien. We don’t have luxuries to keep us happy, we don’t have space to express our selves and invariably what we survive on for humor, are our cheap thrills.
Cheap thrill is a new terminology but not a new pleasure, it’s not actually cheap in action, it called so by virtue of it giving you a thrill from cheap. Actually, why don’t we call these as small packets of joys we get. Life is entirely about the small joys of life which we sometimes tend to forget running after the bigger ones. Life is like a box of chocolate isn’t it then how does it matter if the chocolates are Cadbury Celebration or Parle Poppin. Each one, however, has his or her own cheap thrills and somebody’s thrill may be sadistic to other. Cheap thrills, however small their effects are, give a short welcome break too many
So what are your cheap thrills, you need to think hard right because life is so complicated that nothing thrills anymore?
Well for the middle class let’s make some suggestion, how about picking the art of bargaining, does it not give you a cheap thrill, I mean what else will you call it. You go out to the market for vegetables and you get a kick in bargaining and bringing the price of tomatoes down by fifty paise, but the thrill is like saving a lakh right.
Cheap thrills however small their effects are so given a lease of life to many. Bargaining is like satisfying your ego, it feels like you have achieved authority over the pricing of the commodity. For poor henpecked husbands, it feels like someone agrees with their point of view, that their assessment means something.
Bargaining at shops for clothes and shoes, bargaining abroad, bargaining at fish markets and yes the thrill is most when you bargain at a fixed priced shop. Bargaining also has an after effect, especially the ladies who love to boast of their success in the war they call bargaining. It’s as if they won a court case, it brings a cheer, a sense of confidence to every Lady in her kitty party. Bargaining is a God-given activity to cheer the voes of price rise.
Cheap thrills need not come from something very adventurous though, and we can experience them in our houses too, let’s take for example control of the remote, isn’t it thrilling.
We middle class invariably have only one television set. Well, you may disagree but ask a housewife, at the end of the day the remote is her estate and nobody can stake claims on it, there is that vindictive pleasure in making your husband see soaps when he wants to see the world cup finale.
I actually have started hating big boss contestants and Indian idol stars because they are what my mom makes me see, when all I want to see is Ronaldo, Messi and so on. Dad gets his revenge by ensuring we take sermons from Arnab Goswami, even my daughter gets thrilled in making me see Chota bheem and doremon, the remote is the asset to have in prime time and one who has the authority to flip the buttons gets cheap thrills out of it, don’t you agree.
Thrills are present on the road too, you don’t agree right, not in these rains, but let me prove my point, we do get thrills on the road. Overtaking someone on the road, does it not thrill, its actually the only time my children cheer at me nowadays. Overtaking a Mercedes in your Maruti is a thrill for us middle class, hai na, its nothing to do with the speed but it’s more of ” dekha mai koun hun “, its not that you need a car for this thrill, you can have a bike and overtake, just look at bikes at signals, they never stop, they slither their ways forward, scratching every vehicle as they do so, why would someone do it if not for cheap thrills.
The police have challans, the cameras, the speedometer, the bribes and the sticks to thrill them, while the municipal authorities ensure we have potholes to damage suspensions and dig well-laid roads again and again to thrill themselves, cheap thrills aren’t it, its fun to make others run.
Gossip is another cheap thrill and I can assure you none can be more satisfying. Gossip is something that a person of any age, gender, caste, religion or any class can do, I think gossip is the only thing that truly is democratic in its nature, you agree right, it’s off the people, by the people and for the pleasure of the people. The best thing about gossip is that it does not need fixed topics, Taimurs nappies, neighbours car, bosses wife you can gossip about anything, and the best part is, no proof is required. Gossip needs no trigger and has scope for imagination, a girl and a boy stand on the street and talk to each other, now look at the gossip that can follow, you need imagination and you can make the best gossip in this story. You don’t need money to gossip, it’s of interest to both the listener and the storyteller, it can be crispy or spicy and it has no definite plots. Which another human activity has such potential, don’t you agree. I rank gossip very high in my list of cheap thrills, it may damage a few reputations here and there but who gives a heck.
Somehow each one of these thrills has the potential to do harm, but you know what, there is truth in one thing, that nothing thrills like thrills. Plucking flowers from somebody else’s garden, getting your mom to make tea at midnight, forwarding messages and over flooding someone else’s mobile are also cheap thrills to some. Every Monday when we get up to face the next grueling week, its the cheap thrills of life which give us comfort don’t you agree. So what’s your cheap thrill?