“Paise Nahin Hain”: How “Middle-Class Mentality” Builds Character and Makes You Happy

Social Commentary

“Paise Nahin Hain”: How “Middle-Class Mentality” Builds Character and Makes You Happy

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

F

or a while now, one catchphrase has transcended the generation gap: “Paise nahi hain”. It’s a clarion call for shrewd savings; a reminder of reality. “Paise nahi hain,” friends have said to me on a Saturday night, while hesitating to buy more drinks. “Paise nahin hain,” I told friends before cancelling my Uber and hopping onto a bus or metro.    

In a country that thrives on a population which spends most of their waking hours trying to get by, the middle-class (or at least what is erroneously referred to as middle class) isn’t restricted to an income category alone. Or an insult, unlike what Maya Sarabhai (Ratna Pathak Shah) believes. Instead, being middle-class is a necessary armour, a shared language, a value system, and more importantly, a way of life.  

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