The Great Learning but Exasperated Generation

I belong to peoples group born in the 50’s-60’s. We are a big number in society at present in India. Our generation has a unique place in history of India and around the world. Our generation will be remembered as those who gave their life to live. Our generation has gone through all the forced changes and apathy to keep pace with changes that took place and even taking rapidly now. Decades followed by decades, we were kept on our toes, our mind stretched to the limits, all when we din’t invited this change and neither that we were unhappy with small increment changes suiting us. What could be more grueling exasperation for a person that he had to change his ways in Toilet! And what was our crime for all the change we have to adopt? Just that our loving and dedicating parents decided to bring us in 1950’s-60’s, leaving us in lurk of changes and they left heavenly abode?

When we were toddler, we wore angocha which could be prepared from any piece of damn cloth from handkerchief to towel. It was so comfortable while easy manageable for our parents. Now we deal with so called advanced form of angocha, The Nappies that we are given by our children for their children. Forget about the nappies, even opening up the nappy packs are complicated and horrendous. But brave species on universe we are, we learned how to wrap it around our grandchildren after being scolded by our child on numerous occasions on nappy tying. When we suggest use of angocha, our own child snubs us, insults us saying angochas were for primitive age people. How come we become obvious primitive when we came to earth since 1950’s-60’s?

We had our good slow yet interesting life when we grew up. It is only when we were in our teens when hell broke in. Our parents brought commode in the process of being civilized. Our luxury of sitting on knees and doing with rituals was merciliously taken away from us. We were forced to adopt ‘chair-type’ sitting commode depriving us our earlier natural ‘stomach pressuring’ posture. We initially had problems on rituals done easily prompting many of us to climb upon the commode and assuming our early knee-sitting divine posture. However our vigilant parents noticed this and demanded we follow ‘commode’ ethics and sit properly. Shit lost in sit, outcome lost in new ethics on use. To make matter worse, in recent times our water facilities for such important rituals were taken off and tissue-papers handed over as an alternative. To keep pace and partially to save face, we gradually adopted with world never noticing the fun-fare we lost in the earlier posture. That fun-fare is now part of our distinct memory which we often narrate to our grandchildren for laughter. Not to mention we don’t tell them it was us who did that but some ‘un-civilized’ neighbor thereby not letting our grandchildren go into depression thinking how ‘un-civilized’ their ancestors were.

During our young days, we courted with opposite sex by ‘chasing’ them for weeks and weeks depending on ‘response’ we predicted. Most of chases were aborted with either responses died down, complaint lodges against you to parents or being bashed up by father/brothers (no guesses whose). However courageous and patient we were that we left no stone unturned to demonstrate our emotions. With the adept use of ‘prem-patr’, with diligence and delicacy, we ‘expressed’ on to our ‘interest’. Even success rate of 1 in 1000 didn’t dissuade us to go for with ‘other interest’. Such was the chivalry, divine urge and follow-up unparalleled in recent times among new generation. Now in current times, we struggle to even flirt. Our well cultured and nourished skill of ‘prem-patr’, ‘chasing’ is universally not recognized and declared long back as non-productive. Now for flirting with our ‘interest’, we are forced to learn new trends, new means, and use new weapons in the game. We are forced to use mobile phone to send messages, and coaxed to use ‘ I m fne, bcos I c u 2day’ type of degenerated English putting in drain all our effort and our parent’s money we spent for learning English language and grammar. Sometimes responses we receive are beyond our mature understanding, willful thinking and farthest imagination. Being left no-where, we have to call on our 15 yr old children/grandchildren to crack the message. Progressive that we are, we overcame that too and today are leaders on flirting over phone messages even beating our children/grandchildren in such endeavors.

1990s-2000s were very tough for us. Believe me, no generation in human mankind on earth must have felt that way collectively as we did. We developed the skills those days how to hold the desk phone and dial phone numbers with fingers on a circular dial. The thrill of ‘trin-trin’ when desk phone rang and the quaky noise of ‘ker-ket’ while dialing was synonym to our achievement and resonating everywhere. This skill gave us a privilege to ‘parenting’ our parents on use of these phones who never liked it and believed that conversation to person, just staying 2 miles away, can be achieved by running and reaching them. They even hated for the fact that when we talk they could only know what we were talking and never able to hear the other end talk. Not surprise that a generation used to hear both sides of people having conversation suddenly subjected to ‘truncated end’ talks. My father always called such telephonic conversion as ‘half stupid’ conversation. But never ever did we thought that, in our life time, we will need ‘life time parenting’ from our own children/grandchildren in matter of few decades. All of a sudden from nowhere, this new little, difficult to handle, mobile phone came. Initially we thought it is toy for children but soon released that this was another thing we have to learn soon. These phones were small that you can hold in your hand and even put in your pocket! Jesus what’s going wrong with the world? When ‘trin-trin’ is doing well, why this little devil introduced which made more than 100 noises besides ‘trin-trin’. It immediately deprived us of our high social status we had maintained with our prized possession-‘trin-trin’. Now with abundant mobiles everywhere we were made to look like dark-ages stooges. We were not even given chance to sell our possession as second-hand by this little devil. Once a dear darling and close to heart to us, “trin-trin” was reduced to a toy for our growing child who happily kicked it around. With no alternative we adopted ourselves to this new little, highly intrusive, intelligent yet very divisive devil. It took us all the blood and sweat to first ‘open’ it for use. With all patience we learned how to use it. But this little devil had so many species/dynasties that it kept on changing rapidly. At each change they left us sweating while learning their use. Add to the injury, the ‘intelligent generation’ phones came later which really knocked us all flat. Having satisfied that we have conquered their cousin devils with their buttons and display, these ‘intelligent’ mobiles came with touch screen and intelligent apps. It exhumed all our residual intelligence to further learn it. We were even subjected to insult. In one such incidence, when this phone was just introduced, I went with my button equipped mobile phone to a mobile selling shop to install me ‘Whattsapp’ to be connected to my daughters. He saw the phone and said-“Sorry! We need intelligent phone for that”. I said –“My phone is good and as far as intelligence is concern, I, as a user, am intelligent enough”. What he said next really made me cry. “Sir user can be dumb but the phone has to be intelligent to install such programmes”. What the hell is going around? How come a phone can challenge my intelligence? Is mankind going to be subjected to tyranny by new gadgets that one day they will make the entire mankind dormant?

I know most of you won’t believe the kind of hardship and tyranny we underwent and still going through. None would recognize the herculean and resilient effort we made to overcome it. To those who still don’t believe, following are the sea-changes we faced and successfully conquered:

Our Time Later
Deal with stove, cigari, etc. Deal with gas burner, ovens, etc
Memorable postcards, inland cover, telegram Deal with emails, chats
Used means of ‘prem-patrs’, ‘messengers’, etc Deal with emails, whattsapp, selfies, etc
Used ‘trin-trin’ for conversation Deal with devilish mobile phones not so “intelligent”
Celebrated Diwali, Holi, etc Forced to celebrate valentine day, mother’s day, father’s day, monkey’s day, etc.
We ate only Parle biscuits and golas Now pay to our children for 100 varieties of biscuits, cakes, pastries, etc.
Ate fresh vegetables, roti, chaval, daal, bhaat, dhokala, bhajiyas, etc. Forced to eat Pizzas, burgers, sushi, chow Mein, etc

The list is very elaborate but truncated deliberately to hide our anguish and exasperation. I know most of the young generation would tend to laugh at us completely ignoring our effort, dedication and resilience we maintained to keep pace with them. But take my words, a century from now, when history is recorded, our generation will be hailed as torch bearer of the New World, New Technologies, New Beginning phenomena and people will salute us with deep gratitude for our valuable ‘contribution’ to ourselves and the society. Long live my generation.


More by :  Varun Dhyani

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