I could hear the voice but not see them. I could listen to the conversation even though i did not want to, as it was happening right over my shoulders, literally. It was in a bus. And they were sitting in a cramped space behind me. It was a conversation of two 17-18 year olds. I had to/heard it for about an hour and a half.
For the mundane part of the information, they have joined for engineering course, the guy hails from chennai and the girl from delhi (role reversal as in '2 states' by Chetan Bhagat?). Even prior to orientation day, they had ventured to Mangalore to shop and have a nice time. I-pods, suave mobile phones, branded carry bags stuffed with goods, all pointing towards a well off background (you dont expect 18 years to earn that much in India, do you?).
From what i could listen to, the guy and the girl were trying to find their compatibility. The guy using the f word at the drop of a hat, oblivious to the fact that middle aged and aged men and women were travellin in the same air conditioned bus(i mention this because in an otherwise bus the voice drowns). All through the journey he tried to impress upon the girl how 'filthy rich' he is as told by some 'future reader'. That he is going to shine in 'research', to which the girl shot back (i liked that part) 'what research are you going to do?', to which he mumbled a reply doing something with MTech and so on (to remind the readers that he is yet to begin his first Engg class).
The girl on the other hand was trying to express how unknown guys have gotten her number and someone texted asking about some detail of the curriculum, and that she 'usually' doesnt reply back asking 'who is it', but today she did so and someone is kind of troubling her. As they flipped part some pictures (possibly on their phones), all expressions of 'i look fat in this'. 'the angle of the pic isnt good in this', 'this is so awesome' and all emanated from behind. There was no topic of discussion that she was uncomfortable with it appeared.
I could not help but ponder upon some questions. Is this what the young generation today really is? Are the boundaries of morality fast disappearing? How advisable or desirable is it to give children expensive gadgets, give children leeway, give children freedom without responsibility? Have movies made a deep impact today which legitimises foul language? Has children of today accepted that what matters at the end of the day is aiming for the sky, it doesn not matter how you reach there?Are gravity in personality, soberness in attitude and brevity in talks all attributed to the bygone era? Is recognition and acceptance today restricted to the brand they wear? Is this a case in point or the generalisation? Is this what we are calling as progress or is it actually retrograde?
I shuttled in feelings of anger, astonishment, curiosity, reflection and many others. I dont know why but i wanted to see the faces of the voices which filled me with all these thoughts, all these questions for nearly an hour and half. Bu just before i could do that, and on hindsight i feel it happened for the better, they got down, ironically, at a wrong bus stop.