I have this remarkable young friend who keeps stumping me with singular insights and terminology that sometimes zaps me. We were discussing some personalities yesterday and he came up with a description of two people I know as Checked Out Characters. In my opinion, very apt but, perhaps for my readers a little explanation is necessary.
The two personalities that I was discussing yesterday are from a sub group of Indians who due to education and with the help of some assistance from providence, have moved out of their base group and moved into the so called elite of our society. Somewhat akin to the nouveau rich or the upwardly mobile in the social sense of the term.
Let us take some examples. I have cousins who went to schools that taught little English language and so condemned them to a life of lower middle class. On the other hand, I have cousins who went to schools which taught in the English medium which enabled them to go on to study Engineering or Medicine or to get into the Civil Services etc. Both sets of cousins come from the same stock and background in terms of religion, caste, economy etc, but one set simply due to the accident of one type of education took of on a tangent different from the other.
So far so good. The problem with the latter group of cousins is that they look down upon the former as being somehow inferior and avoid socialising with them to the extent possible. The former on the other hand having seen this phenomenon, struggle to put their children through the English medium schools and at considerable sacrifice succeed. Both sets of cousins now have their children qualified and very likely working in the Silicon Valley as computer coolies but sending money back home.
The divergent cousins now converge and strut around in relative prosperity and look down on the less fortunate ones.
My young friend called these characters as Checked Out characters implying that they have checked out of their roots and pretend to be something other than what they are.
I can come up with people from all walks of life who fit into this description. I love it. I intend not only using it to describe people but also to take some people down a few pegs.