June 07, 2006

The Other Life

On the surface, the Mahajan saga (including both junior and senior) seems to be yet another tale from the rich and the powerful crypt gone wrong, but there is a darker and often untold story in the happenings that won't find much mention in the numerous analyses being played out endlessly in the media these days. The untold story is not of the pressure (when has pressure not been there in any social set up?), peer or otherwise, but that gradually we are leaving ourselves very little space or acceptance for people who are not as good or successful as the cream that shows up on top.

It is no longer acceptable to be just good enough; you have to be excellent these days. Failures or the ones who don't make the cut are ostracized and are left with nowhere to go. If you are not wildly successful these days (with or without the backing of your family or a fabulous legacy to lean back on), chances are that nobody will like you or want to be with you. Minus a high-flying/paying job, expensive car, fancy gym membership and an ability to eat out at the choicest of joints every other night, you don't stand much of a chance in today's society. Strangely, if you look around, most people you know would display the same qualities.

Most of us live by the "work hard and play harder" mantra. Once upon a time, going out and having fun would have meant a simple dinner or a couple of drinks at your favourite joint. That has now been replaced by a trip to the latest swanky pub/club, looking sharp and showing off the latest moves you have picked up at the twice a week salsa classes. What if there is not enough time? We can always make up for it by sleeping lesser, partying even later into the night, gymming and jogging at the most unearthly of hours. I am not suggesting, not even for a second, that it does not feel good. It feels awesome, it is quite a high. But it is a ride that is so highly strung that at some point something has to give. And more often than not, some does, eventually.

If you ignore the circumstances that Rahul found himself in, you can probably empathise with him for a moment. It must not be easy to have a father who was as charming and wildly successful (once again ignoring the 'how' part of it) as the Late Pramod Mahajan. From the reports, it is evident that he was not as successful or as good as some of the other famous politico kids like Pilots, Abdullahs or the Scindias and something did give in his case. The only difference is that he fell in full public view, under the glare of the media lights, unlike so many others who fall off the wagon, away from the flashlights, with only smiles and success plastered all over them.