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Special Mention | Rich or Rogue? Exposing the Hidden Thieves Among Us

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"Rich or Rogue? Exposing the Hidden Thieves Among Us" uncovers the insensitivity of the affluent, who justify exclusionary architecture as 'knowing best' for the less privileged, masking their elitism and environmental neglect. The essay is one of the special mention entries for the essay writing contest, February 2024.
Special Mention | Rich or Rogue? Exposing the Hidden Thieves Among Us 1

Let’s play the exclusive card and prevent any rickshaws from entering because obviously, we’re the elite members of the RWA. There might be an office, and heaven forbid, the ‘less rich’ might show up— not in their fancy cars, but in autos. Oh, the horror! But hey, autos are fine; it’s just those dreadful cycle rickshaws that we absolutely can’t have near our precious Fortuners and Mercedes.


Then, let’s make the street the epitome of danger by building a boundary wall so high it might need clearance from air traffic control. We’ll cut and snap any visual connection because what we’re doing is earth-shattering.

Special Mention | Rich or Rogue? Exposing the Hidden Thieves Among Us 3

In our tireless pursuit of wealth, we’ll insist on conditioned air, even during a power outage. So, we’ll fire up the generator and crank up the AC to ensure that absolutely no connection with the outside world remains. It’s totally cool for the outdoor unit to belch hot air; as long as it doesn’t harm my precious green plants, right? Because, you see, we’re the paragons of eco-friendliness and sustainability. We’re so green that our family of five happily resides in a 10-storey mansion, cheerfully consuming more energy than half the town combined. We luxuriate in marathon showers because cleanliness, fairness, and the illusion of wealth are non-negotiable. Living in a city that flaunts an ‘east, breezy, and casual’ vibe requires significant effort, you know.


And that’s not the end of our grandeur! We generously buy up public spaces with bustling bazaars and ingeniously transform them into malls. Why not? And of course, we need to keep the riff-raff out.


Comments from Mentors

“Brilliant provocation! Very well-written piece. Using the power of the rhetorical genre of writing to its fullest.” – Arpita Das, Mentor, Urban Imprints

“Excellent title and opening, provocative, good imagery, engaging writing.” – Peeyush Sekhsaria, Mentor, Urban Imprints

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