Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The young, the old and the insensitive lot

The young, the old and the insensitive lot
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Are Bangaloreans going a little off-track? Yes, says the older generation. The cause of concern is the youth. And it is not the dangling boot-cut, or the over-exposed midriff that’s bothering them. It’s the growing insensitivity.

Says the senior citizens, “The young have become materialistic, with an unabashed and blind admiration for the West.” With absolutely nothing to brood over and an on call ATM at home, these teenyboppers, meanwhile, are shooing off these concerns as baseless.

Is there any base in such apprehensions or is it just an antediluvian mode of viewing a progressive society? The senior citizens have lot to complain.

Rama, a housewife has a list of complaints about her neighbour’s son. “Raja’s son grew up in my hands. But now look at him. He would not even bother to greet me,” says Rama.

Not all are in a mood for youth-bashing. Sixty-one-year-old Jayalakshmi sings praises for the younger generation. “Hardworking and open minded,” that is what they are, she says. “When we were young we were scared to be in the presence of our father and uncles.

Children are very smart these days and wouldn’t think twice before voicing their opinion,” she adds.

However she adds “I feel odd watching movies and TV commercials with my family. The new-age men and women would do anything for money. This is not how we want our future generation to be,” she says in disgust.

Chinnappa, who spent his formative years in Canada, partially agrees with Jayalakshmi. “They are very hardworking, ambitious and exposed to a lot of information,” says Chinnappa.

“But it’s sad to see some of them getting carried away by the West. Our culture is very different and this kind of change is very hard to sink in. But it’s also true that this is happening all over the world and there is nothing you can do about it,” says Chinnappa.

Rigo, in her late 60s, brushes these concerns aside. She believes in “swimming with the tide.” “I don’t believe in generation gaps. I am young at heart and would like to be so,” says Rigo untangling her salt and peppered locks.

These worries do not seem to jam the spirits of the teenagers. They swear by their attitude and the outfits they are comfortable in. Preksha has her parents to support her disposition.

“I would wear any kind of dress I am comfortable in. I like to party and I don’t have to seek society’s will to do things I like to. Moreover I have understanding parents to support my attitude,” says Preksha, who, her friends say, would try out any attire that is selling hot in the fashion industry.

Twenty-year-old Pratiksha would not hurt her parents to satisfy her style-equations. She says she has come to a consensus with her parents on these matters. “I would not go to that extend as to offend them and they have agreed upon not restricting me too much,” says she.

But when it comes to late night parties, Pratibha says it’s still a firm ‘no’ from her parents.

Just a handful may think like Pratibha but the majority prefers to send shock waves to a generation that is still stuck in the mud. Like a young hopeful puts it, “It is this ‘do or die’ attitude that gets us going in an aggressive society like this.”


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