Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sleazy Seven Star Lives

Getting a chance to stay in a five-star hotel is not one of my most memorable moments but comes handy while I try to make a feeble attempt at understanding life of people who checks in quite so frequently in a seven-star hotel. Here, everything is within your arm’s reach, just stretch your hand and get it or sometimes you don’t have to stretch even, just push a button and people will bring it themselves. It feels as if every arrangement has been made here keeping in view of the requirements of an invalid. However, more often than not, invalids are out of bounds until they have their pockets full. Things in these extra starry hotels are lustrous to the extent of appearing more a decorative item than those of utility, be it glitter of crockery or twinkling of the commode. I had a tough time deciding whether I should take a shit or not, lest I would be accused of sacrilege. But rest assured, affairs at these places are often far from being sacrosanct. One never knows in which elevator lurks a molester who never gets tired of pontificating over feminism and ways of creating utopia. One cannot guess that someone has died or (have been murdered!) in the adjoining room just few hours back. Or worse, a bollywood hero has beaten a senior citizen black and blue in one of the restaurant of these fancy hotels. Such Incidents are not few and far between but the influence and money of the concerned makes them so.

Slums are notorious for their trigger happy depraved life style but may be because slums are so open that they cannot hide everything in their underbelly. Behind grand closed doors of these hotels, machinations are hatched and scheming are executed. No doubt, they are our modern palaces with old day intrigues and plotting. Now we understand what they mean if they advertise in those glossy magazines- “feel like a king in our hospitality” and “tryst with royalty”.

I won’t agree with those old age movie depicting poverty as virtue and rich people as evil incarnated. However, recently it can be observed that trend has changed and prosperity has replaced poverty as a sign of virtue which is equally misleading. Popular culture has shown the life of the ultra rich in a way that we often start aspiring to be like them never realizing the flip side of such lives. After all, they are also human beings with same mortal frailties. Putting them on high pedestal puts unjustified pressure on them to project a larger than life persona.

Our society is in dire need of a role model. Role models who are not assessed by their net worth and fashion sense but by their contribution to the efforts of holding up our time tested ideals. Ideals for which our ancestors did not hesitate to sacrifice their lives.  Ideals which enriches our life in ways that material wealth cannot ever do. Ideals which inspire us to shun the luxuries of starry hotels and keep us contented with bare minimum amenities.

I want to envisage a time - however much impossible a dream it may seem- when one checks in a seven star hotel not because he can afford it but because he is so incapacitated that he really deserves that much assistance and assurance irrespective of his wealth and influence.