I still remember the day when I was first introduced with the expression/feeling of being superior or inferior from the other human beings. I was just 9 years old at that time. A Sunday morning when I came out of my room; my mother introduced me with a woman who was wearing a shabby dress. My mother said, “she is our maid from today and that is her daughter who would help her mother in dusting, washing and cooking food for us”, she pointed towards a girl of about my age with her finger who was standing at the other corner of our sitting room.
‘Is this girl of my age going to help her mother in cooking and washing….’, I was really shocked. Why her mother does not let her play or go to school like me or my class fellows and other friends. I was really very much curious to know the answer of this question. I asked this question to my mother and was shocked again when my soft-hearted mother replied in a bit harsh tone, “She is a maid’s daughter. Look at her dress. How can she play with you as her dress is so untidy? She has not even gone to school and does not know how to behave with others. You should just concentrate at your studies”.
My mother’s response was very clear. In other words she was saying, “Mind your own business”. So, in order to avoid my mother’s anger again; I thought it better to mind my own business and not to ask any other question in this regard again. But at that time, I felt a strange feeling in my mind. “Am I better than this girl…..my father is an engineer while her mother is our maid….., just a maid. My mom is right why should I play or share my toys with this poor girl”. I felt myself superior to that little girl who was not responsible for her poverty. I still remember that sometimes, she wanted to touch my dolls and wanted to play with me but that so-called superiority complex did not let me allow her for that.
Now as I am grown-up and well-educated, I can understand that the superiority or inferiority complexes are nothing in reality. These are just evil of our minds. I condemn myself, “why did I become so cruel that I hurt that innocent little girl a lot……Why these so-called norms of our society sometimes erase humanity from our hearts and minds…..is this called civilization or so-called modernism…?” This question is still unanswered. Perhaps we want a social change in the mindsets of the people but it will take time…….