There are so many classes that make up and define society, and especially Indian society in large metropolises such as Mumbai and Delhi.
There's the ruling class, that ostensibly rotates in- and out of power every few years or so, but even when out of power and in jail manages to wield considerable influence.
There's the incredibly wealthy class, the types that can crack their heads thinking about the six months of celebrations required to lead up to a wedding, including as I was told today the 'what shall we put on the gold plated wedding invitations celebration'.
The upper & within striking distance of wealthy class is increasingly seen in- and around the large Indian cities. These men and women with manicured nails can afford to wear pink polo shirts with upturned collars and shoes with no socks, look like complete twats in the process, but have no one tell them that because they just have a little too much money and therefore influence.
The 'boring old' upper class with their inherited wealth and manners, but without the hunger, drive and psychological need to get to the truly wealthy echelons content themselves with trying to maintain civility, both for themselves and for a piece of society. In cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and Chennai they keep the arts going and wax eloquent about the latest Schubert recital.
The raw rambunctious Indian middle class, oozing out of the pores and crevices of this nation is as harried as it's impatient. Ill served by a creaking infrastructure, collapsing Foot Overhead Bridges and derailed trains it's impatient to get ahead in every way possible, which includes airline queues at six in the morning. It may not have as much money as it would like, and suddenly having to pay taxes may be an unpleasant surprise, but it's able to define what it wants.
The working class, the heroes of society, who literally give us our daily bread (and milk and vegetables and newspapers) and who clean our cars and our apartments and our streets where we have dumped our styrofoam cups, I suspect only entertain the thought of hope. I'm amazed at the stories of young boys and girls who sitting in the near darkness of a 50 square foot slum dwelling study for their 10th and 12th grade exams and score in the mid to high nineties.
The criminal class cuts across all classes, the true democratizers and equalizers of society. They may look and smell differently from each other, but they are a brother- and sisterhood in their own right. From the sweat soaked boy who snatches mobile phones from the hands of travelers in a moving train, to Cousin Dawood across the border in Pakistan and to to the dwarf - sized diamond trader who ran a $2 billion loan roll over scheme with an Indian public sector bank, and then just ran and ran and ran until he was out of reach of Indian justice, this class manages to keep our money out of our own reach.
The class that some people love, others hate and I love to hate is the idiot class, the purveyors of mindless entertainment for India's masses when they're not cutting queues or mugging up for exams or falling from Foot Over Bridges. They who fill the pages of the Bimbo Times on a daily basis. The undisputed leader of the idiot class has in the past two days once again been let into- and out of jail for one of his alleged crimes, this time for shooting (not movie shooting, real shooting) a Bambi look - alike in Rajasthan twenty years ago while on a hunting trip with fellow members of the idiot class.
Let us never forget the class that supersedes all classes, the classless class, the heartless class, the fat overfed class with eyes neither at the front or at the back of their heads, the class that will throw their plastic plates on the street so that the working class may sweep them up, the class that manages to gorge on street food at 11 p.m. while an emaciated pre-teen girl standing three feet away stares at them blankly, not even entertaining the hope that she may eat that night.
Btw, the banner photo was taken from our holiday home outside of San Gimignano at 6.20 am. What light! It lasted all of five minutes.