The Growing Generation Gap

Posted on May 24, 2010 in Society

Supratim Chakraborty:

Just like our multifaceted country, our society is also diversified when it comes to our life style, our thoughts and over the decades the prevailing gap between any two different generations springs up new dimensions to the way we live and to the way we think. The other day my dad was telling how things were completely different during his olden golden childhood days. Things have really changed. We do feel lucky and glad about all the advancements which we have made over the decades which are of far reaching significance and which has made our lives so comfortable that we don’t really realize how would it be if we had to ride miles on a bicycle to go to school, if we had to watch the same age old and only one channel Doordarshan for our entertainment, if there were no Pizza Huts and CCDs, no multiplexes and no Volvos and so many zillion other things. Parents might not relate well with their children when they see them going out for night outs, hanging out for late in the night in pubs, when they see their children surrounded with all electronic gadgets, when they see a dragon tattoo on the back of their daughter’s shoulder. Sometimes they might not understand our thought process and a lot of times they might not get the answers for a lot of whys and whats. It is generally observed that the old behave like a frog in the well. They are fully convinced that the ideas they have had throughout their lives are the ultimate and ideal. They ignore certain vital factors that are no longer valid in the case of the modernity. There always has been generation gap since the dawn of civilization. The young have always deviated from the older standards and it was well that they did or there wouldn’t have been any progress today.

Although the generation gap between our parents and us has been existing since ages, there is one more new and upcoming generation gap which is advanced with respect to everything. And this generation gap is between us and today’s smart and intelligent school going kids. Kids belonging to the age group 10 to 12 years…. they are just so different in every aspects of life. Recently I had a very baffling experience when I was travelling by the Volvo bus on the roads of Bangalore.

Two kids got into the Volvo. To start with they were carrying those trolley school bags, which they can just drag. For one moment I thought, maybe they were going somewhere, so they were carrying their baggage and all …but they were school bags. Gone are the days of the backpacks… As they came closer… I started observing them… one kid had full spiked hair and other had a hairdo similar to what Amir Khan had in the movie Gajni had but he did not have those crosses. Both of them sat in front of me. The bus conductor came. The spiked hair guy took out a five hundred rupee note from his wallet. And I kept seeing that five hundred rupee note and the wallet and the ID card hanging around the neck of the spiked hair dude which said “Avishek Sinha Class VI A, Bishop Cotton Boys Schools.”

Hmmm… their bus conversation started with how the spiked hair guy spent his winter vacation in Singapore and then the boy with the Gajni hairdo shows some pics on his phone and it was some high fundu phone… I couldn’t really make out which phone he was carrying. Then they started talking about some girl called Anjali and the Gajni dude was telling how he managed to get a box of ferror rocher for Anjali for Valentine’s day… I was wondering if there was someone called Rahul Khanna in the love story. All of a sudden the spiked hair dude changed the topic to bunking classes on staurdays.

Every sentence they uttered had the “F word” and the very unwanted yet popular “MC, BC” lingo. They shared their frustration on the delayed and never ending metro rail construction because of which they are not able to hang out at CMH Road with their friends. I wish I could listen to their whole conversation, but had to get down as my bus stop had come.

Though the duration spent listening to their conversation was less, but it was long enough to make me realize one more reality of recent times. That things are changing and have changed in fact. My father speaks about a generation gap that exists between me and him… between two people whose ages differ by some 35 years. And there is one more generation gap which I see between these kids and me whose ages differ by some 10 or 12 years only. There is nothing wrong or right in this generation gap. It’s just that with time we need to adapt ourselves to the changing trends. It’s just that things change with time and so do we. There is one and only one solution for this issue and its to have a certain sense of mutual understanding between any two generations. The old have to leave early after having lived their lives. They would be wise not to interfere in the pace of development of the new. It was high time they stopped complaining. The young should see this predicament of the old and be tolerant and reverential towards them. It will ensure harmony in the society and add joy and peace to the daily life.

But every rose has a thorn. The younger generation should also be on their guard against the evils coming in train with the fast life. Stress, depression, frustration as a result of a race for ascendancy shouldn’t be ignored or they can rob them of the fruit of their labour and their dreams. The young are our future, the future of humanity, of the human race on mother earth.

Only they can save themselves by heeding early warning of the evils of the modern world and life based on their own assessment. The old can still tell them that they in their time faced these travails of transition and suffered now and then. They young should listen to the old but must take their own decisions with discretion and a balanced perspective.

The coming generation will be better than each preceding one.