Sunday, July 31, 2011

Progress or Retrograde

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.


  1. What you speak of is not only restricted to the uber cool class of metros. It has find its way to the so called upcoming cities of India. When you are out with your family, you sometimes feel ashamed. I felt that many a times when out with my family. A day before, me and my friend went to a coffee shop.. to find a "couple" of 15-20 yrs (its quite difficult to guess ages now) literally sitting intertwined on each other. I don't know who is responsible for this.. movies.. upbringing.. WESTERN influence.. peer pressure.. media.. but surely.. unscrupulous flow of money without the sense of responsibility do play a BIG BIG role.. I feel old and outdated..

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. very well chalked thought....truely appreciate...and am absolutely on the same page with you - on the pace at which youth is parking "Morality" at know what if your blog or these lines of mine somehow find the sight of this Generians...then Riku lets not be surprised at being Mocked off and intimidated badly!!...anyways I somehow beg to disagree on the acquisition of the ultra-tech n trendy gadgets and hand-outs; provided they are affordable complying to the wallets of their Guardians and not forcefully coughed out....Well its their own money and they are okay to spend n carry these.....but I strongly back u and have fierce reservations on the mannequin of these stuffs in institutions which has students from numerous quarters of the society. A Blooming technocrat would be in his Teens afterall (honestly at this age also if I see u carrying a nice high-end cellphone definitely my desires to own it will start growing, even though it might not be my necessity nor my economy wud be allowing it. Then how can we expect teens to be spared of being allured), so the unfulfilled wish of possessing these articles is quite why to display n hurt even though it's unintentional!!...the 2nd strata that I back u is being least concerned about the presence of elderly people in the vicinity and showering clusters of Language that somehow makes them feel more Masculine and Robust also Energises them (still keeps me guessing how??)....lets hope few, if not many find time to just have a glance at this.... and amidst scores of abuses for both of us, if they find at least an ounce of something good...then we should feel that your so lively experience and my thoughts have worked out to some extent...Thanks to you Sambit for illuminating this topic that is always remaining ignored and spared under the alms of - "Generation Gap"...!!

  4. Many people's anguish..very well expressed. No progress is real progress unless accompanied by due responsibility.

  5. @Malathy K: thats what is gradually disappearing it appears mam.
    @Baibhav: agree very much
    @Sambit: all the factors u mentioned play a role at some point or the other.

  6. this is one of those things that completely baffle me. i came across this statement by a girl in my college a few days back (she was talking to her friend and i ended up overhearing the conversation): "Do you know whats the difference between Like and Love?? i Like my Puma bag, but i LOOVVEE my Prada shades "...i come across such things almost every single day,and i end up giving a deep thought to the increasing superficiality of this generation.. and it is surprising that the 'generation gap' we're talking about is hardly of 3-4 yrs,unlike the conventional 10-12 years difference. i often remember how i was 3-4 years back, and to my great relief i was different, very much rooted.and things haven't changed much even today. probably i'll never be able to understand the upcoming generations , and to that matter even my own generation, the way people think, the way they prefer making friends according to the way people dress up, or carry handbags of certain brands, or how they make sense out of things that are always have been a matter of ridicule to any sensible human being .i guess i'll always remain baffled.


Feel free to write in...