when it was oh-so perfect…

 

“Oh, in our times, life was so wonderfully simple, without any stress…”,  or so exclaim many of our parents, their grandparents and well, keep going back as long as you feel like – this statement will only show minute nuances of variation! At the other end of the spectrum the situation is no different when the younger generation wants nothing more than to permanently block out such self righteous comments.

Is this endless tussle between ‘back then’ and ‘now’ ever going to cease? Is the continuous tug of war between the virtuous past and the satanic present ever going to leave our minds? I am no Aristotle, but every inch of common sense dangling inside adamantly screams the two letter word, NO! The proverbial ‘generation gap’ is just that. A GAP that was never meant to be filled.

Most of this has got to do with issues of belonging and quintessentially, the basic human need for comprehension. We need to understand what goes on around us, otherwise we end up creating cocoons for ourselves that inevitably give birth to a lot of Alices trapped in their perfect little wonderlands; ranting on about a utopia that once was. It is human nature to want to fit in like the wheels of a machine, to feel part of a rhythmic tic-toc. But then one fine day you are given a rude awakening when you are openly ridiculed because of your archaic school of thought; or you realize that your technical abilities are stuck in the typewriter age when you decide to redo your resume for a post-retirement job; all in turn making you a staunch believer of the great life you once led. All credit goes to the hi-fi world of technology that has no place for these thingamajigs begging us for mercy through those big white eyes. Times change. And if you get left behind, learn to deal with it!

I always thought this was a problem that ensued as a consequence of white hair (that has not been bleached under the sun, as our elders proclaim). I could not have been more wrong. I just turned 30 with white strands egressing as quickly as the number of anti-aging serums attacking the planet , yet I find myself disgusted every time I come across an ill-mannered child, or when I can’t comprehend the latest fashion, or a mind-numbing movie or song the young generation seems to be raving and dancing to (Kolaveridi {indian song} might have been a perfect name for an infectious disease, but a famous song…who would’ve thought.?!). It is not easy living in a time when the media and consequently our minds thrive on conspiracies that could be anything ranging from a madman’s plan to take over the world to a  deliberate plot to kill your best friend’s pet cat. No wonder we are all so stressed and frustrated. Our brains are just not trained for such strong dosages of contradiction, one after another. This is an age of oxymorons (dont worry, plain old morons prevail in each generation). Its about time someone put an end to this confusion about whether or not to eat egg-yolk or if butter is healthier than margarine! And unfortunately as cancer still has no cure, everything we eat or drink at one point or another will probably be marked as a lethal cause for cancer. This age is about knowing the trick to complicate the most simplest of things in life and then making money out of the whole mumbo jumbo. Its actually quite laughable once you get past the superficiality of it all.

Some time back, I came across a clever write-up on the great things you might have experienced because you were lucky to be born in the 70’s or 80’s. When I notice children these days clinging to their cell phones, laptops and ps3’s with as much love as we did with simple variations of games like ‘hide ‘n’ seek and Tag ( Teelo express, ‘baraf paani’, tip top), hopscotch, and the ever famous ‘pitthu garam’ (a game involving two teams and a pile of 7 stones that have to be hit by a ball), I have no choice but to shake my head in disappointment and feel sorry for these children who will never know the beauty of such fun games. I sheepishly admit that I too have become the newest member of ‘those who wonder of times lost’ like a lost lover boohooing over someone who was never really theirs.

There are just so many reasons for each generation to ping pong back and forth grasping for refuge because this whirlpool of advancement (or not) and change is permanent. It’s not even humanly possible to understand everything in one lifetime, and if you realize that, its not all too bad. Still, if nothing else helps, try a high dose of Nostalgia (works better than any anti-depressant I am sure). Hence, if all else fails, there’s always that long stretch of happy memories we have stashed away in some idle corner of the mind. At least that way, we can all go back to a time when it was oh-so-perfect!

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