Middle Class + Baniya = A crazy breed!

4/5 (10)

If you were the kid, who wore their elder brother’s/sister’s clothes when he/she outgrew them, and the legacy continued for generations until they reduced to the size of a hanky, give me an ‘M’!

If you were that poor little kid whose mother pushed you into that public bus’ seat until your ribs came out just to get a half ticket, give me a ‘C’!

If you were that pitied little child who was dragged to fashion exhibitions and came empty-handed just because your mother stored all the latest designs in her head only to get them recreated by her local tailor, give me a ‘B’!

MCB! – Middle Class Baniya, an unappreciated indigenous species. Hey there, friend. (sympathizes)

If no bags or boxes or tissues or any cutlery whatsoever delivered/stolen from restaurants is ever thrown in the dustbin at your home, you know what I’m talking about. We’re Middle Class Baniyas. We’re not rare, we’re found almost everywhere. In today’s article, I’m gonna give you an inside view of our miserable life. Toh chaliye, dard ka ye silsila shuru karte hain!

The biggest pain in an MCB’s life is that everyone you meet thinks you’re dead-ass rich, but you’re just poor. The moment they hear your surname – Bansal, Jindal, Agarwal, Singhal, Mittal, Pattal, Shakkar – they assume your trunks are filled with gold, but they’re just overflowing with rags your mother won’t throw. Your other relatives might be qualified for that rich baniya status, but unfortunately, for some sad reason, your family, in particular, wasn’t so blessed by Laxmi Ji. Blasphemy!

However, if you’re a baniya, rich or poor, people also automatically assume that you’re kanjoos (ironic, right?). I don’t have a clue where it all started from but rich baniyas or not-so-rich baniyas, let me clear this once and for all (holds the loudspeaker) – Baniyas are not kanjoos, they value their money and spend only what’s worth. PERIOD. They’re not like those people who try to make money fly in baraats just for showoff, ew!. But, but, but, bete ki shaadi mein sab chalta hai. (puts the loudspeaker aside)

We baniyas are very funny. If we’re poor, we’ll openly say we’re poor. No lying. Whether people believe it or don’t believe it. BUT if we’re rich, then too we’ll say we’re poor (say what?). And those are the baniyas MCBs hate. Although MCBs are all the time strategizing how to push their kids to do the same business, the rich baniyas are doing, but they still hate them. A sweet love-hate relationship.

The funniest of all is Baniya weddings. It’s like both the groom’s and the bride’s side had saved all their money just for this day. There’s so much money flying and money talks going around. Relatives discussing which side put in how much money for the venue and decoration and everything else, ladies low-key discussing how much the bride’s lehenga and makeup costed, men discussing how much is being spent per plate (and so everyone’s eating like they haven’t ever before), bride’s mother telling everyone to see her before leaving so she could give them 1 mithai ka dabba ONLY if you offer shagun or ashirwaad first, bride’s mother calling relatives who might’ve forgotten to write their name on the shagun envelope after the whole affair only to ask “Hahah, I remember you gave me the envelope behenji but couldn’t find it, hahah. Can you please tell me how much was there inside, hahah?” Except for the bride, groom and their parents, all 3000 others are happy.

Though there’s a lot of drama around the Baniya tag (not to forget rumors about changing ‘Agra’ to ‘Agrawal’ first and now to ‘Agravan’), Baniyas are simple people with a big heart. The world might think we’re misers big time, but those who have a baniya friend know that they’re the most helpful and caring out of the lot. Allow me to list down some perks of having a middle-class baniya friend:

  1. They’ll know where to get the best things for the best prices!
  2. They’ll be happy bargaining for you ALWAYS!
  3. They’ll come up with innovative ways of recycling and reusing almost everything!
  4. They’ll genuinely understand financial problems if you’re dealing with one and never push you to spend at parties if you cannot. Nor would they pay themselves. So frequent house parties, yay!
  5. They encourage DIY!
  6. They introduce you to a very important concept of nazar lagna.

OK. This is serious. You need to hear this. Nazar lagna is a real thing, guys. I’ll tell you. According to my mom, everything bad that can or did or does occur to me is a function of the number of eyes looking at me when we go out in family functions, and that’s clearly a lot. Baniyas almost solve all their problems with simple methods like the rotation of a leather shoe 7 times around you from top to bottom followed by hitting it on the floor with full force so that the evil’s dead and the other, doing the same with a lit wick and see the evil dripping from it like flames. Absolutely spooky as it sounds. A must try!

Now that you know all about MCBs, you must visit one if you happen to know one. You know that chair that’s forced with laundry all week. You must have it at your home too, right? In an MCB’s house, every chair is that chair with gande kapde so do not forget to give a call before making your plans! They’ll clean it up for you, and thank you for making them clean it. Generous beings!

In a world full of mockery and humiliation, it takes no less than an army man’s bravery and courage to proudly say, “Yes, I am a Baniya!”. Agarwal, Agrawal, Aggarwal, Agerwal – if you know any, go hug them and say, “Let’s go have some golgappas. I’ll pay!” and you’ll see them crying tears of joy (sobs a little myself).

Featured Image modified based on an original image on Canva

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