Saturday, August 20, 2011

Middle Common Denominator

The jargon we commonly use in advertising and marketing are Lowest Common Denominator  or LCM to work out something that can be comprehended and is relevant to the lowest demographic or psychographic cut.

This  blog on middle class values is  based on my observations and anecdotes. So here goes.

There are uncanny similarities between the Economically Deprived( ED) section of society and the Economically Abundantly  ( EA) Endowed.

For instance,
Marriages are often an "arrangement" with financial implications knotted in

Well defined and quite different passion points for men and women

The men earn for the family but splurge on themselves as well- on all kinds of indulgences. Wives do not question because their needs are satisfied.Men hang out with "boys", share jokes , talk about financial aquisitions- whether it is a new goat or a new jet, dabble in Sunday hangouts, sports and hobbies. Wives have their women friends, share jokes, talk about financial management at home- whether it is a new pair of gold earrings she managed to squeeze out of her monthly scrappings and will pay the local jeweller a small amount every month or  Cruises on the  Mediterranean, depending on whether  you are ED or EA.

Children are given ample freedom- no displinarian mom spending nights before exams and expecting star grades everytime. There is understanding that the children will grow up and take over the financial management, eitherways.

Minimalism is the mantra- from wardrobe to home decor.

Sensuality is more overt- whether navels in fields or well waxed page 3 legs.

Regular food habits are skewed towards greens and health- no oily evening snacks rule the roost
Future is today. Now is everything.

Compare this to the now defined in various ways but what we used to define as the Great Indian Middle Class.

Marriages are arranged love bondings- with couples reliving romances together in temple gardens, now malls, parks and beaches.
Husband and wife have shared passions and interests- they cannot afford to splurge on individual ones. As a result, most free time, weekends are spent together as one family unit. There is happiness in a bhelpuri snack by the beach or a Mc Donald's icecream and Aloo Tikki burger meal on a Sunday evening.
Husbands and wives, if working, put in their earnings in a joint kitty- no question on  spending on themselves. 
Children are disciplned, groomed,  coached, grilled- academics is paramount.
Future is Tomorrow. Now is temporary.

Yes there is a mix and mingle of values across all sections and demographies.

Some of us have lived out all three definitions at some point in life.
Most of my blog readers will maybe be in the EA category.

Yet sometimes I wonder... are we giving up quite a few "good values" ( for want of another term) that defined us and our parents, as we cross the line to greater heights? Do we unconsciously put "family" second stage at times and justify that it's all right- we have earned this, or this is important for my business and career?

Maybe we do, maybe we don't.
The answer lies deep within each of us.

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