Contest 5: Tell Your ‘Generation Gap’ Story

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This contest is CLOSED. The winners will be announced on Sunday, 5th October, 2014. If you couldn’t participate in this, don’t worry. The next one will be out shortly.

In Contest 5, we will write about the generation gap.

For the sake of brevity, and to restrict the scope of this contest a little, we will define ‘generation gap’ as a difference between the views of people and those of their parents.

I’m at that age where young kids want to call me ‘Uncle’. I’m not yet thirty, but I’m already conscious of falling behind technology a little bit. I’m more comfortable with computers over portable devices, with emails and blogs over ‘updates’ and ‘tweets’, with plain old text messaging over Whatsapp and Snapchat.

You could say I can feel myself growing old. I can see the generation gap widening each day.

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And I see the gap between my parents and me all the time. Not just with respect to technology, but with financial management, world view, choice of entertainment, food habits, the way they approached romantic love, and just about anything I can think of.

The generation gap is also the main theme of the novel, Operation Mom, by Reenita Malhotra Hora, our guest author for this fortnight. In this book, the main story is that of a young woman striving to set up her single mom with a man.

That’s either shocking, forward-thinking or normal based on which generation you come from.

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The Topic

I think it will be great if we can all write our own ‘generation gap’ stories. By the way of ideas, here are a few:

1. You could write an experience from your own life, where a family member of a different generation just drove you crazy. (Or is a present-tense more appropriate?) Whether you write about your kids or parents, make sure the theme is generation gap.

2. You could write a piece of narrative fiction, showing characters that are struggling to cope with the generation gap.

3. You could write an essay, voicing your thoughts on the phenomenon, and perhaps give ways in which we can overcome it.

4. Write a humorous, anecdotal piece on the theme.

5. Write a poem.

The word limit is 300 words. But of course you can enter longer pieces. We give away an award each time for the longest entries. Yeah, we’re nice like that.

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How do you enter the contest?

It doesn’t get simpler. You leave a comment to this post. If you leave two comments, they will count as two separate entries. The maximum number of entries you can submit is three. If you leave more than three comments, I won’t tell you off (I’m too nice for that) but I will only pick the first three.

How is the winner selected?

Each comment will be rated on three things:

1. Clarity: We should understand what you’re trying to say. Good grammar and punctuation will help. So will a reasonable structure to your entry. Beginning, middle and end.

2. Personal Touch: We’re interested in getting to know you better. So go for depth, specificity and honesty. In narrative pieces, the deeper you take us with you into the scene, the better it is.

3. Beauty of the writing: Make your words sing. Give rich sensory detail. Describe well. Transport us to to your world. Be cogent, crisp and clear.

The above three criteria are ranked in the order of importance. So clarity is more important than personal touch. And personal touch is more important than evocative writing.

A Quick Note

Even if you’re not confident about the ‘quality’ of your writing, please participate. One of the great joys of running a community-style writing group like this is to behold the variety of ideas that come out. So give voice to your thoughts. Tell us your stories. It doesn’t matter how well or badly you (think you) write.

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Form

This is up to you. Do you feel you can put your point across the best way through a poem? Are you more comfortable with an essay? Or do you prefer to write a short story or a narrative piece?

Anything and everything will work, as long as you stay under 300 words and on topic.

Videos and images are not valid entries.

What are the prizes?

We have two prizes this week:

1. A Flipkart e-gift voucher worth 500 rupees to the best entry.

2. A free copy of ‘Operation Mom’ to one lucky entry.

Flipkart-Voucher

Rules/Guidelines/Suggestions

1. The closing date for comments/entries is Wednesday, the 1st of October, 2014. The winner will be announced on Friday, the 3rd of October, 2014.

2. When you enter comments on this blog, you will find a separate text box asking for your email. I recommend that you enter your email into this, so that I will have a way of contacting you in case you win. Rest assured that I will not use your contact information for any other purpose, shady or otherwise.

3. Sexually explicit or offensive material will be deleted at my discretion.

4. Avoid plagiarism. I will check for it, and remove entries that I think are lifted from elsewhere.

And finally…

Have fun! If you think this is the sort of thing your friends would enjoy, share this post with them and invite them to participate. You can share it with just a click on the sharing buttons below.

See you in the comments!

Images Courtesy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


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Comments

  1. The alarm beeps.
    It was an early winter morning, 5:30 a.m. to be precise. Sunita slowly slides out of her blanket, still sitting on her cot, rubs her palms against each other and applies them to her eyes. Slowly opening her eyes and looking at her wrinkled hands she chants “Karagre vaste Lakshmi, Karmadhye Saraswati, Karmoole tu Govinda, Prabhate Kar darshanam”. Getting her cardigan from the side table, trying to keep the body heat intact, she lifts herself from the bed and walks slowly towards the washroom.
    At around 6 she comes back to her room, this time her body is not bent as it was half an hour ago. Now she is stiff, with 2 coffee cups in her hand, she says,”Ji. Get up. It’s Six.”
    Her husband looks at his golden HMT watch, kept next to his pillow. It was a gift from his office on the day of his retirement.
    They sat down together and had a good cup of coffee.

    The alarm beeps.
    Its 8:00 a.m. and it goes to snooze twice before Ananya gets up. The very moment she realizes that she is late and have to rush to the office. She gets up, get ready in 15 minutes and leaves without having breakfast. Grabs a Vada-Pav on the way and reaches office right on time. First thing first, put iPhone on charging. She then check her mails, reply to few of them and then sets up her Facebook status “Monday Rush… #Khooni_Monday”.
    She orders a new scarf online, praising winters to give her a reason to shop. And with a moderately happy mood, starts her day at work.
    Gets a ping from Akash at 11:30, “Coffee at CCD in cafeteria?”
    She replies “Yes”.
    They sat down together and had a good cup of coffee.

    Like

    • Hi Arpit,

      Thanks for your entry. I liked the structure you were going for. Both scenes begin and end the same way, and there are stark parallels in the way the people in the two stories go about their business. Of course, I could relate more to the second scene than the first – especially a version of me who was still working in a corporate environment – but I saw a couple of subtle themes in the first piece that struck home. I liked the image of the HMT watch that the man got for ‘loyal’ service to a company. Contrast that to the ‘jumping jack’ strategies employed by most young employees today. My father-in-law is a long-serving BHEL employee, and he just cannot understand people like us (me and my wife) who want to be self-employed and who insists on getting fulfillment from work.

      But full credit to him that he always supports us for what we’re doing even though he doesn’t understand our motivations.

      Like

  2. Rohit Bhasy says:

    He is a 26 year old working professional. He leaves home early in the morning, comes home late in the night, by when, usually, most of his family members are about to sleep or are fast asleep already. He stays with his parents and a younger sister. His parents have come to accept their son’s erratic work schedules. They are ok with it.
    A few blocks away lives a man, 80 years old. Stooped shoulders, grey hair, yellowing teeth and crinkly skin. He is healthy for his age. The bypaas surgery he had some months back, seems like a minor operation in the hindsight. He is the 26 year old boy’s grandfather.

    As a child, when his parents went away to their native place in kerala, he would be left in the safe custody of his grandfather. He cared for the little boy. He loved the boy. He would put him to sleep, narrating wondrous mythological stories. He never once got bored of repeating the same stories again and again. The boy always enjoyed it, even when he knew its a repeat. The boy slept in his grandfather’s soft embrace.

    The boy would chide his grandfather to accompany him to the toy shop. His grandfather willingly accompanied him and bought whatever the boy wanted. The boy’s cupboard was filled with all the toys his grandfather bought him. He once bought a blue coloured ‘hot wheel’ scale model of a ferrari. The boy treasured it for the longest time.

    Present day
    The boy’s parents have yet again gone to kerala. The boy is grown up now. He can take care of himself. He knows that. But maybe, his grandfather doesn’t…he doesnt want to leave his grandson alone it seems.

    On the first night after his parents leave, he hears the bell ring. Its 10pm. He opens the door to see his grandfather taking off his chappals at the door, looking down. In his heart the boy says, ‘ why can’t he just grow up?
    The boy leaves the door open for his grandfather to walk in. He sees his grandfather locking the door behind him. He ensures that the door is locked to the last bolt, all of them. The boy thinks to himself, ‘ Damn, this is so embarassing!’
    The boy silently goes into his parents’ bedroom, without a word to his grandfather, turns on the lights and the fan and turns ro return to his own room. He sees his grandfather, slowly making his way to the bedroom which has been designated by his grandson for him to sleep. He asks his grandson, ‘Mani vellathinte bottle indo?’ (Precious, do we have a water bottle?) The boy grunts and fills a bottle of water and hands it over to his grandfather rather hastily. They slept in separate bedrooms.

    The boy woke up at 6 the next day. His grandfather wasnt there. He had left at 5, without saying a word… This went on for a week until his parents were back.

    Then one day, as he rummaged through his wardobe, something blue caught his eye deep inside the drawer. It was the blue ‘hot wheel’ ferrari. As he pulled the toy out and held it in his hand…he could feel his fist clench around it and his vision blurring with warm tears…

    And as he types the last lines to this, he has planned to take his grandfather for a long deserved ‘walk’…

    Like

    • Thanks for this, Rohit. Once again I get the feeling that it is autobiographical, but it also appears to come from deep within your heart. Grandparents and grandchildren start off on the best of terms, and somehow the distance between them only grows with time. I remember playing chess and cards with my grandmother as a growing child (not to mention tic-tac-toe with my grandfather), but now we hardly have time for each other. It’s just ‘one of those things’, I guess. Sad but true.

      Like

      • Rohit Bhasy says:

        Yes…this time again…it is autobiographical…i find writing about myself and my observations much easier. Thanks for your comment.

        Like

  3. Bhavesh Jeewani says:

    * Child *

    A child is a blessing – a physical living extension of your being. It is natural to expect him to be like you. He is all that you are, all that you teach him, all that he observes and learns sub-consciously and so much more. He is unbiased and giving and has little expectation from others. Ideally, he ought to grow up this way.

    But, he gets attached – to persons, to things, to dreams, to goals, to recognition. Ideas of a socially acceptable existence are thrust on him. He looks for unconditional love and finds it only in the struggles of his parents – who sacrificed to raise him well. They want him to live the life and do the things which they wanted to do but couldn’t. They have a mental check-list albeit a small one ready for him. Through him, they feel they can live their dream. He is their means to an end.

    He realizes all this, sighs and gets on with life and existence.

    Like

    • Interesting idea, Bhavesh, where children are just ways for people to live their lives all over again. I liked the line: ‘He looks for unconditional love and finds it only in the struggles of his parents’. The saddest part of sacrifices that most parents make for their children is that the child mostly doesn’t want them, certainly doesn’t ask for them, and will probably be just as well off without them.

      But the cycle repeats and repeats.

      Like

  4. Generation gap
    A difference of attitudes between people of different generation, most of the new genre of Indian authors seems to be dealing with it. Why talk about the new authors, right from the time Indian Cinema has been launched the theme of “Nav jawaan” their “umeed” and “aasha” have been the themes as have much touted “sense of revolution.”
    What is new that I can tell about it– let me figure what incidences drove home a generation difference in my life–
    It was summer vacation, and all of us got together with our kids. My younger daughter was about fourteen. We were all discussing some work distribution at the hospital. I happened to mention, ”division of labour is important. ” my fourteen year old daughter and fifteen year old niece giggled the typical teenaged “I am embarrassed giggle.” For them the word labour was associated only with pregnancy and delivery using it in the context of “work” just did not click.
    Another episode was when I was teaching “I said Lalita Nayaka—would roughly translate to a hero you is young and gay” the class sniggered, for their generation gay meant something totally different.
    Talk about writing, people of my generation would use gestures to simulate a pen and the generation today would use gestures that convey typing.
    When my parents generation spoke in hushed tones about “war time” they meant world war, for me it was the indo-Pak war for my daughters it is Kargil.
    Difference of attitudes between people of different generations, does happen and should happen else it means the society is stagnating. The young pity their elders, fearing the day they, too, will join the ranks. The elderly pity the young, knowing well the trials and tribulations that lie ahead of them.— That’s life.

    Like

    • I loved the last lines, Parwati, where generations look at one another in pity. Of the two pities, I guess the elders’ version is wiser, because it is laced with experience if nothing else. On the other hand, the younger people’s pity is driven by embarrassment, and also defiance at being sniffed away as ignorant and naive. There is also some pity for the elderly because of their lack of physical vigour that the young possess. I’ve never thought of this ‘pity’ angle until you mentioned it. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. pradeepthyagaraja says:

    Generations gap – A short story!

    “That’s it, enough now. You will be getting married to the person that we chose. I don’t know why you disliked that boy that we have shown you the other day. He was well educated, well settled and more than that he is sober and intelligent. What more qualities do you expect?” yelled Divya’s mom from the kitchen.

    “Stop it mom. You’re making me go mad. I am already getting late for my work and you started your regular quota for the day. I choose my own partner; please don’t force me to take a bad decision quickly. I must know him before I choose him as my life partner.” “Does this earrings match with my dress??” Questioning herself, Divya told her mom goodbye and left for her work.

    Divya’s mom, not encouraged by her daughter’s remark turned to speak to her mother-in-law, Divya’s grandma. “Mom did you heard her? How she replied to me in such a tone? We are here to make the best match for her and she says she chooses her own?

    To which, the grandma replied in a calm voice… “Listen daughter, she is not from our time. Our time was different. When I got married, I didn’t even have the privilege of seeing my husband till the marriage day. All was fixed by the elders. I was too young to know what a marriage is after all. For me, marriage was just a special day where I was given new clothes, new jewelry and various delicacies to eat. You know, time changes. “Let Divya come home. I shall talk to her.”

    Divya driving to her office was thinking what her mom had told her. “Why mom is behaving like this? Am I not allowed to choose my life partner? What if the boy they chose is a bad person in real life? Why she is pressing me every day? After all, how does mom and dad got married without knowing each other? They are happy after all. Why it is confusing me?”

    Here at home, Divya’s mom was thinking, “What made my daughter to respond in such a horrid manner? I just couldn’t believe that she has made this plan all by herself. Does she love somebody? No, this can’t be happening. I must talk to her and persuade for an arranged marriage”. Let her come home, I will explain it to her in the nicest possible way and make her to accept this proposal. Thinking all these things, Divya’s mom went back to her memory, of her younger days and how her parents have made all the arrangements for her marriage without even asking her. She nodded for everything without even questioning a thing or two. “Am I not happy here? I was married to a person that I have met only once and it was all decided in that moment. And, we both are happily married for 30 years now.”

    Divya came home and saw her brother Kiran was struggling to teach his dad how to operate a smart phone! “This will be total fun” Divya chuckled to herself and sat on the sofa sipping tea that her mom had kept on the table.

    “No dad, stop. That’s not how you tap over the screen. You’re hitting the screen as if it’s a computer keyboard!! You just have to tap it, a gentle touch. See dad, this is how you send an email from smartphone. Dad, I’ll show you how to take a picture from the mobile camera. You have to hold it like this and focus on anything and just tap here, right on the edge of the screen!” See dad, it’s easy to learn smartphone. Now Kiran was lost in smartphone demonstration, he was showing the demo for the entire family. Dad, Mom and even Grandma was looking each other’s face wondering “What happened to this boy? Why he gets this excited every time when he teaches something new to his elders?”

    After listening and looking all the demonstrations, looks as if Divya’s dad was lost somewhere. He couldn’t comprehend head or tail of it. Divya’s dad told Kiran “Son, this is too much for me. I am happy with my basic mobile. All I want is to talk over the phone and text sometimes. All this smartphone business is for you guys. I am too old to learn all these stuffs. You young kids enjoy all these new technologies”. Perplexed, dad walked into his room thinking “These new generation kids are smarter. These kids learn all by themselves; nice.”

    Mom called her husband to talk about Divya’s marriage. Divya’s started to murmur “Not again mom, stop it.” Dad came from his room and sat in the living room. Mom explained what all had happened since morning that included Divya’s harsh response as well. With a wide smile on his face, dad replied “So be it, my daughter knows what is best for her. She knows what is right and what is wrong. She is old enough to take her own decision.” There stood her mom, surprised and speechless. Divya jumped out of sofa and hugged her dad and told “You’re the best dad in the world”. She looked at her mom and winked at her. Mom gaining back her thoughts, smiled at her daughter. Seeing all this drama, grandma was smiling and telling to herself “generations changes with time”.

    Now everything seems to be normal. Entire house is out of this 10 min drama. Kiran, now realizing, he hadn’t taught his Grandma on how to operate a TV remote. Sitting beside his grandma, Kiran asked her “Grandma, where was I yesterday? Oh yes, I taught you how to change the channels. Today, I am going to teach you, how to control volume. Do you still remember how to change channels?”. With a wide smile Grandma kissed her grandson and told “Son, keep any channel, I just watch that. Don’t make me to learn all these things at this age.” Disappointed, Kiran went back to his room saying to him “This house is full of oldies, except my sister of course!”

    “Dinner time!” mom called out everybody to the dining area.

    THE END

    Like

    • A good slice-of-life piece, though I would have liked a little more drama. At the end it all appeared to become a happy story in which no one gets hurt or sad. Of all the characters, I identified with the father the most because I use a similar old mobile phone and am perfectly happy with it. I’ve been resisting the call of the smartphone so far.

      What would make this story stronger, Pradeep, is if you focus on one character (Divya? Or her mother?). Give us more depth about her inner choices and how they affect her outer life, her relationships etc. Sometimes, telling us a story about many people in a short space can rob it of depth.

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

      • pradeepthyagaraja says:

        Hi Sharath,
        Thanks for the feedback.
        You’re absolutely right, I didn’t give much weight to any characters as such. That’s the exact thing even my friend told me, when I shared with this story to him. 🙂

        Like

  6. The following people are girls. Friends of mine. JT, DD, MD, SD. I’m not obscuring their names in accordance with their wishes to maintain their privacy. They’re all working girls. Employed for around 3 years now, in different industries.

    JT lives alone in Mumbai and got into trouble with her room-mate who eventually kicked her out. She’s from Kuwait. She struggled for a while and went through some hard and dangerous times. DD got mugged a few months ago. MD was physically assaulted by a colleague. SD was also assaulted by a male ‘friend’. All 4 girls, separate lives and fairly diverse family backgrounds. When they were in their times of need, they did all the can to make sure their parents don’t find out. Why?
    These girls were traumatized after these events. Safe to say 3 of them at least have bounced back on their feet. They are all usually cheerful girls, each talented and intelligent in her own way. Each one respected in their respective areas of work. But in the times they need help and support they never turn to the ones who love and ‘protect’ them.
    Each of these 4 girls tell me the same thing. That their parents will put them under lock and key and take away their lives and freedoms. Now, there is no denying that at least 3 sets of parents are very loving. The fourth set, the mother is loving. The father is a ripe bastard, who wants to finish his duty of marrying her off as fast as he can. Of this group, 2 sets of parents are very orthodox. The third are fairly open minded but suffocate their daughter anyways.
    When they transgress the rules, these girls have had grounded, had their allowances reduced, subjected to no end of verbal abuse and emotional blackmail the pursuit of their dreams. This “looking out for their best interests” has taken quite its toll. All four of them have some form of, close to debilitating anxiety in the form of self-doubt, lack of confidence at times, an over-achiever complex often leading to self-loathing and performance anxiety, fear or the tendency to over react to certain very specific situations with no apparent reason. I figured a lot of it could be traced to whatever trauma they faced. When I asked them, all four said the can trace their lack of self-confidence, hair-trigger anger, performance anxiety, and worst memories back to their parents. The trauma they endured they recount as bad luck and scary times. I must admit, I was quite surprised.
    These are the more extreme cases. There are any number of other girls I know who’ve had a rough time and want to keep their parents out of the loop as best as they can. Not only parents, but often other elders in the family and amidst neighbors who could help and support.
    I’ve often found that some parents and elders with plenty of aptitude to be prison wardens, even in the face of clear proof of safety for their wards often don’t permit the girls to do what they wish. I’ve used open minded parents as a control group. The open minded ones tend to be just as protective if you must ask. But what I’ve found is, it’s not fear for safety alone. It’s a question of propriety. And propriety has to do with values which differ between generations. Upon some further examination I realized that we have a very unique problem which has never been encountered before in human history. It is the emergence of the independent, liberated woman.
    Never before in history have women had the chance to be fully self-reliant in the fabric of normal society. Technology has no doubt contributed to this situation. Increased mechanization has displaced the need for men’s physical strength at the work place and also rendered somewhat archaic, some of the traditional gender roles reserved only for men. We simply don’t know how to deal with it. In India, with all our traditions and superstitions (what I call our barbaric hang ups), we’ve only accepted the modern individualistic approach to life in such force, only in the last 20 years. Small wonder our parents act like such idiots. We as a species, follow customs and rituals that are centuries old. Blindly more often than not. Most of our social life is informed from scriptures in museums. We probably never had any literature ever that deals with women in this light. Sure there is protect the girl from harm and all that rot. But this is the “protection” my friends have opted out of, even in the midst of their traumas.
    Now, the friction arising from the generation gaps in some ways are a good thing from an evolutionary perspective. It shows a sign of a clear independent identity in the offspring. But I’ve seen it cause far too much grief than it really should. And to make life easier, I think it would help if we had some parable (ancient preferably) which tells of the ills of parents and elders trying to control too much of their children’s lives. For many reasons, such a tale may not exist in ancient scripture. I think it is high time we had one.

    Like

    • Hi Hemanth,

      Good, thought-provoking comment. The other day at Bangalore Literature Festival, an American diplomat was saying that India has a long cultural memory. That stories and art and history somehow live for longer in India than they do in other cultures. Putting aside whether she’s right or not, it seems to agree with what you’re saying, that we sometimes take our ancient scriptures too seriously and use them as present-day social commentaries.

      About the ills of parents and elders trying to control too much, the eternal debate is of course: how much is too much? And how much is just right? I’m sure all parents that you refer to in your piece are doing the best that they can do, and they’re adopting the best parenting methods that have occurred to them. So a ‘parable for parenting’ may be difficult to write, because your definition of ‘good parenting’ might be completely different to mine.

      About the liberated woman, I have my own thoughts, but voicing them properly will make this comment very long. Maybe we can discuss when me meet. Thanks for sharing this, though 🙂

      Like

  7. Gurucharan Vernekar says:

    A No Nobody.
    by Gurucharan Vernekar

    A lonely house on the outskirts of a metropolitan city, stands witness to the slow transition of culture and its eminent decline. This house, once a soul scape refuge where the whole of the city was invited for a night of music and laughter, now bears a deserted look. The walls look as if they could use a coat of paint, for in as many decades, nothing filled the colors on these walls as have the algae growing by the leaking water outlet from the water tank on the terrace. The owner of the house, Mr. Desai is in his early 80’s. The thought of tending to the urgent needs of house is hushed away with a grin by Mr. Desai every Deepawali season. One wasn’t sure if he was plain stingy or was trying to cling to the fond memories that this otherwise pale looking house, housed for him. Lucky for him, the real estate around this particular house did not pick up. It was surrounded by agricultural fields, not that the brokers of money laundering cared for the poor farmers, but that the land itself couldn’t bear the load of heavy concrete and would give way under its loose soil.

    One evening, as Mr Desai was sipping his evening tea listening to the enchanting music of All India Radio, a boy came running into the house. He seemed lost, with a look of astonishment that covered his face, the boy entered this only house that stood in a vast expanse of nothingness. The music of Ustad Bismillah Khan reciting his best works with Shehnai in teen tal had drawn the kid to this house. The kid was breathing heavily, even stumbling and words spoken at random that did not make a clear sentence. Mr Desai, owing to his ripe old age, saw something in this kid, neglecting his confused demeanor, Mr Desai realized the boy was a young prodigy in the making right in front of him, yet unknown to the outside world.

    “What brings you to my humble abode, child?” Asked Mr Desai, in a tone, typical of an aristocrat now neglected by his clan, for lack of usefulness in his old age.

    With uncertainty brewing in his young soul, the kid uttered,
    “I was, hhmmm, playing hide and seek, started running towards music… unknowingly.. i think i bother you, Ok, iam leaving”

    “No! No my child, you don’t bother me, stay, In fact i am glad you like classical music” Said Mr. Desai.

    “Sorry sir, i don’t know what music is this, it just appealed to me”

    “Ok Ok… Music is universal, there is nothing that should restrict one from listening and appreciating any music, if they keep an open heart” said Mr Desai in a nostalgic tone.

    The kid was quick to gage the change of voice in Mr. Desai and asked if everything was alright. Mr. Desai, wiping his tears, that were not more than a drop on each eye, even hardly making to the tip of his cheeks, said that he was once a veteran in playing the Flute. He had started to learn music at a very young age and by the age of 15 was giving reputed musicians a run for their money. As Mr. Desai opened up his memory lane for the young kid to stride on, one thing clearly stood out, and that was Mr. Desai’s loving kind heart. All his life, he gave to anyone who asked anything from him, without ever saying NO. He had helped many musicians find their soul in their music, their own style that later made them distinguished people in the world of art and music. And here at his most vulnerable time, was a man, still strong in his will power and without any help from the outside world, caring for himself, neglected by the very people who once were a nobody, if it were not for Mr. Desai’s ever helpful outwardly extended hand.

    With the evening setting sun in the far distance, turning from a bright orange to an almost soft red and painting an evening that would be remembered by Mr. Desai for a long time to come. Mr Desai asked the child to come and sit next to him. Mr Desai said he would tell him a story and if he liked it, he would have to tell it to 3 more people and if he dint like the story, then he was free to choose what he did with the story.

    So Mr Desai began.

    “A long time ago, in the city of tukutika, where the sun always shone bright and moonlight dressed every night with a sparkling glow, one that resembled the wedding gown of a bride, there lived 3 doves, a coherent loving family one would be compelled to think. The eldest, Mark, was a dove of few words and very disciplined. He woke up every morning, read the newspaper for an hour while sipping his morning coffee and then headed to work. In the evening, he watched news on TV for a while and by 8PM, he wanted his dinner served to him, pipping hot, and by 10 PM Mark went to sleep, every day, day in and day out. The second dove, Marvin, was an easy going dove but very practical in his actions. He did not worry much about being on time or what others thought about him. He dressed the way he wanted to and even ate at roadside joints. He loved going on annual vacations. Mark always complained about Marvin’s lack of discipline, not that Marvin cared about his elder brother objecting, but nevertheless, Marvin would not disobey Mark under his very nose. The youngest was Miku, a very arrogant, spoilt brat. Miku exemplified his generation and was on the fast track to becoming a total wreck. He did not have any cultural values and spoke only one language, English. Miku spent the entire day watching cheap entertainment on TV, with the mind numbing reality shows and comedy nights that not only gave a wrong impression of true reality but glamorized it and made Miku believe that someday he could be in that show and become famous. Miku frequently spent the night at his friends place, as was the culture among his generation. It dint take much effort for anyone to realize that Miku was a below average dove, the moment he opened his mouth. But Mark despite the shortcomings of his brothers, always thought about their well being. He paid for their medical insurance and his life insurance and made them his beneficiaries. Mark did everything to support his brothers, only that he was not good with articulated words or even expressing his emotions. As fate would have it, one day a hunter shot Marvin and left him to die on the fields. Marvin soon succumbed to his wounds and reached heaven. Marvin being the millionth dove reaching heaven, and GOD being in a particularly joyous mood, granted Marvin his life back only on the condition that he would have to barter either of his brother’s life. It was not an easy choice for Marvin, but being the practical dove, he could not suggest Mark’s life, who was paying for his medical insurance. To justify his decision he thought what good would come of Miku when he grew up and soon bartered Mikus life in exchange for his own. Marvin lived again, but when he told Mark what he had done, Mark was disgusted at Marvin and without saying a word, and suppressing the emotional eruption that was raging within him, left the town and went to his native village where he lived a life of seclusion. Marvin started to have nightmares were Miku spoke to him every night in his dreams. Marvin could not even sleep a good nights sleep, all this for a second chance at life. So one morning, Marvin killed himself by flying right into the engine of a boeing 347. Marvin stuck to his carefree attitude and killed himself in style. Mark however, years later died a lonely death of old age.”

    Mr Desai, now looked at the kid who had tears in his eyes and asked, if he were given a chance in his next birth to live as either of the Dove’s, which one would he choose? At which point, the kid stood up, looked Mr. Desai in the eye and said,

    “I like the selfless sacrifices of Mark, and i would live by his ideologies in this life itself, Sir.”

    Mr Desai, smiled at the boy and replied, “So have I boy, So have I”.

    The End.

    Like

    • Thanks for writing this. I think the highlight of your piece is the fable of the three doves, so I would have liked it better if you made that the whole focus of your post, Guru. I am curious to know if you wrote the story yourself or if it appears somewhere in folk-tales. Also, I couldn’t quite understand the point of the story (if it has one). All three doves lived and died in accordance with their values, except I would have liked to know more about Miku, and how he felt about being cannibalized by Marvin.

      So if there is a message to the fable, or if there is a moral or a theme, I would like to know what it is.

      Like

  8. jaideepkhanduja says:

    so you mean smaller posts with bigger value will be having less weightage? A well written haiku could create a high intensity as compared to a 5000 word post. What do you say?

    Like

  9. Generation Gap – Only age-wise

    As a child, the term ‘Generation Gap’ was only that to me – a mere term and nothing more. I grew up in an environment where all my views tallied perfectly well with my parents and grandparents alike. I only ever heard about the so-called gap from my peers and friends. Some faced the dilemma of curfew; some others complained that their folks did not understand the way they thought or dressed, the company they kept and what not.

    However, I was quite lucky to be born into an uber-cool environment where my good friends were even better friends to my grandmother. I guess the basic point was openness and trust. I was open about my goings-on in life and that was accepted by my family.

    What I wore, or wear, does not raise eyebrows at my home. They always treat my attempts at oddness, or fashion as I liked to call it, with quite a lot of enthusiasm. There is also a freedom to share our views with each other. The views we share both ways are highly respected.

    Now I see my younger sisters dress up in a way, I am sure, would raise a hullabaloo in other homes. However, mine tags along to shop for the oddities the malls have to offer today. All this said and done in the small town that I live in, where the slightest thing out of place is not taken too kindly.

    Only yesterday, my 19-year old cousin dressed up for a get-together in a way that made my jaws drop. Now THAT could be a generation gap. But the next moment I was all agog with her looks and even gave a flattering comment or two which boys in her friends circle might fall short of making. : P

    All in all, now I see that even though there is an age gap between my people, they do not let it become a reason for creating a barrier in our relationships. And that is the best thing about being born into this family.

    Like

    • Hi Varsha,

      Welcome to the blog, and thanks for leaving a comment. From your description, you’re quite lucky to be part of an open-minded family that supports you in your choice of friends and clothing. But generation gap runs deeper than that, and maybe it will become more apparent as life goes on and more serious choices come into view. I hope the conflicts are not too harsh, though, and your family sails through them. And you’re right, frankness and an open communication path generally eases things like these, though it doesn’t make them go away.

      Like

  10. Asha aunty uploaded a picture on Facebook from her recent trip to Simla.I ‘liked’ it. I am one of those rare existing ones who do not use Whatsapp.
    Grandma -“Why don’t you comment on it? How is her family? Tell her that I met her mother’s aunt last week.”
    Me- “Oh grandma! We are in touch. Why to say all that on her profile picture? You will anyways be calling her soon.”
    Grandma- “Children these days! You should interact with relatives. Only then will there be closeness.”
    Me- “Calling one aunt and speaking to her for hours and then calling another relative only to hear the same story, is that what closeness means?
    Ofcourse I didn’t say that to her because I was certain that it wouldn’t help to calm the rising steam.
    Talking about generation gap, three generations co-exist in my house. It is reason enough for my hairfall (pulling off hair in times of distress, you see!)
    Well few jokes apart, it is an achievement to pass a day without having a clash of opinion for things like a book kept on a bookshelf in a certain way ,a broken pen thrown into a garbage bin – Oh we could use it as a funnel, says grandma. Recycling is one thing and storing old, useless things for years is another.
    Even though things have improved to a certain extent, I have given up on explaining to my comparatively forward thinking grandma that Facebook is a platform to keep in touch with friends and family without being too intrusive.
    I sometimes wonder what kind of a grandma would I be one day after having been a part of the social media world. But then when the young girl next door asks me to atleast make an appearance on WeChat or Hike if not Whatsapp, I already feel old.
    Maybe a ‘Facebomb’ and Whose’aap’ await me in future!

    Like

    • Hi Divya,

      Welcome to the blog, and thanks for sharing stories about your home with us. And yes, in today’s world, a ‘generation’ means maybe five years. I’m not yet thirty and I’m yet to be an active Whatsapp user, let alone Wechat and Hike. Hell, even my Facebook and Twitter usage is so sporadic. For all intents and purposes, I’m a social media grandfather, still comfortable with email and blogging.

      Like you, I also wonder with worry about whether I will keep up with whatever awaits us in the future. But I’m sure we’ll get by, one way or the other 🙂

      Like

  11. The death of a grandfather clock:

    It was a Sunday morning, Anantha Murthy had just finished his morning prayers and was now sitting and enjoying his cup of morning coffee. Ever since his wife passed away, a couple of years ago, he had a set routine of praying, reading, exercising, and writing. The best routine a retired person could have. His daughter-in-law took care of his dietary requirements, and he was a contended man.
    Anand, Anantha Murthy’s college going grandson had just finished his morning run, he had ran close to 15 km’s in preparation for an upcoming marathon. He plonked himself in front of his grandfather, and started sucking Gatorade from his water bottle. Anantha Murthy looked at the boy and smiled, Anand smiled back.
    The great grandfather clock which was ticking away since time immemorial in the background, chose this special moment to say good bye to this world. It just crumbled with a loud crash into a big heap of wood and glass. Anantha Murthy spilled his coffee on to his spotless white dhoti whereas his grandson had managed to spit out the orange colored Gatorade over the table on to his grandfather’s spotless white shirt.
    Seeing the carnage in front of him, a tear popped out from Anantha Murthy’s right eye. The great clock, which his father had installed in the house when he was a mere kid, was almost a part of Anantha Murthy. The hourly gongs brought thousands of memories of the bygone hours of his long life. Many a times, during intense fights with his wife, the gong had been the referee breaking off the bitter battle with its ear shattering boom. Kids stopped crying when it boomed and slept soundly swinging along with its loud ticks. Hours together he had passed his time, staring at the swinging pendulum. He let out a loud sigh.
    Anand went closer and examined the wood, termites had happily chewed it out over the years. A smile bloomed on his face, but he checked himself quickly. How, he had prayed for the clock to stop swinging. Every night, the booming gong woke him up at unearthly hours. His girlfriend made fun of him as the gong would usually find an opportune intimate moment during his telephonic conversations, to interrupt. The loud clicks irritated him, no end. He too let out a loud sigh, of relief.

    Like

    • Most of all, I liked the image of the grandfather clock crumbling and crashing to the ground, Mithun. I think that if you were to look for props to communicate the theme of generational change, you could do a lot worse than a grandfather clock. I also like the point where you imply that one object in the house can carry different meanings for different people, especially if they come from different age groups and generations. I would have liked the moment at which the clock broke to be more emotionally charged, rather than just a tranquil morning where grandfather and grandson are having a quiet time together. Maybe if you could craft a scene in which the breaking of the clock comes across as (either) ironic or re-affirming, that will have more of an effect on the reader.

      Thanks for writing in 🙂

      Like

  12. The sure tell tale sign of generation gap widening into a chasm is when parents prefix their sentences with ‘ in our times’ . Say these words and rest assured the progeny has already quit the game of communication .
    When Parents talk down to them , think for them , micro manage them , advice them with a hope that they are showing their offspring a torch of experience , what in fact they are most often doing is, burning the bridge of communication with that same torch, and what is left between the two generations is the generation gap .
    The sticky word here is ‘OUR’ experience, which is most often different from everyone else’s. It can not be the universal handbook for the children. The parental expectation that kids use all their experiences and be saved from the glitches in life and ditches on the road is like expecting that all the potholes will erupt where you had anticipated them. When the simple Potholes do not obey anyone , expecting kids to obey is too much. They want to have their own road maps, their own pot holes and deal with them their way. Making the kids road worthy rather than road being worthy of them makes more sense.
    After certain age, kids expect the hierarchy to go and communication to happen at equal level while some parents know only one communication ,to talk down to kids ,and if they do not listen then raise voice. If GG starts building in while kids are adolescent it is likely to be there for a long haul. Sometimes the hurts of childhood remain raw for a long time and even if parents are bridging the gap , children are nursing their wounded selves. It is so much natural for kids to hold parents responsible for their own failures because they being young they always thought that parents would guide them even if they hated the guidance.
    The spectrum from over protective to careless parenting is a very wide band and GG makes even everything in between that band a challenge to seamless communication with one side being high on hormones, naïve confidence and a developing logical mind or having found a financial freedom and on another side having lack of resource and training to deal with raw energy , poor role models of last generation and a huge lack in awareness about the situation.
    I read it somewhere that raising the adolescents is like feeding the crocodiles .If you go closer to them you are caught, and if you stay away the crocodiles remain hungry.

    Like

    • Totally agree with the ‘in our times’ prefix. The only thing I would add to that is I find myself using that prefix now and then, when I’m talking to people younger than myself. They say that you understand how a parent feels only after you become a parent yourself. I can’t argue for or against that theory because I’m not yet a parent, but do you agree with that, Kirti? Many people I know who had strained relationships with their parents mend their bonds after they become parents themselves.

      Also liked the crocodile analogy. Just how close do you get to them? And just how much do you feed them? Is there one answer that fits all?

      Like

  13. Whenever he talks about my love life, he makes me recall “Love Aaj Kal”. His lecture starts like Rishi Kapoor’s and he say, “Son, You guys miss that intensity, that feeling the word LOVE carries.” My dad proposed my mom in a very filmy way.
    “Back then, things were different. I actually fought. I mean like really a fist fight. You can only imagine how it would have been, right? Back then, waiting hours to just get a look of her on the streets, making silliest of excuses to get close to her, attending fairs (mela) just to see her smile and being a responsible bodyguard whenever she got out of her house, marking the territory and showing concern” he said. His words not mine.
    Whatever I have learnt in my life, this is stalking. I may just get an order from court for doing that. Love on my side of the table is very different. I saw her in a party. Got an intro, became friends on facebook, started chatting, met a couple of times in café, then a movie and a dinner and then I said her the magical words.
    “I don’t understand where it lacks intensity or feelings per say. I am pretty much busy with my job, she is busy with her. We meet at least twice a week. We talk about every necessary stuff whenever we find time. I also give her gifts to compensate if I am unable to make it for that dinner.” I said.
    He told me,” Son, I don’t say you don’t love her, but I really wish you would have been in my times. This generation gap at times makes me feel that you guys take many things for granted just because you did not work THAT hard for it.”

    Arpit Khandelwal
    twitter: @karpit3
    wordpress: http://www.rightfromleftside.wordpress.com
    #rightfromleft

    Like

    • My dad likes to say we’re the entitlement generation of India. They were the accumulators who got an education, held down a job, had a long career with one company, bought a house, started a family, paid for their children’s education on their own without taking a loan etc. And here we are, often assuming that life comes with pre-packaged college degrees and jobs. And of course we don’t appreciate them as much as they did. They don’t mean much to us. We worry about different things. We appreciate different things. It’s neither wrong nor right. It’s just the way it goes. Tomorrow, I’m certain that what matters to me won’t matter to my children, and much less to my grandchildren.

      Isn’t it?

      Like

  14. SCENE 1
    Ganapati was walking up and down, frustration fomenting inside him ,in the hall of the humble abode of his parents at the Kailash mountain . He held in one hand a small rosary and another hand rested on his well rotund waist . Mother had asked him to stay until his father returned from his daily morning ritual of having a chilam and meeting with his odd cronies. Ganapati had got up early today and was all set to go to earth on his annual visit.
    A sweet aroma of Laddoos was wafting in the air and Ganapati started contemplating having another round of breakfast of a plate full of laddoos which mother had made so lovingly for him .It would probably make the wait for father less frustrating. He as such had no inclination to have father see him off or say a bye before leaving. Father has always been unpredictable ,there was no time for him to come and go .He has always been a man of impulse and nobody knows how much time he will have to wait for his return. But, breaking mother’s heart was a tough thing which he did not want to do just before leaving for a long journey and he had decided to oblige. His mouse was parked outside and it was ready too ,eagerly waiting for the master’s orders.
    Ganapati begrudgingly started a self talk “ In the first place he did not let my mother hire a personal maid to keep a vigil and later in a knee jerk reaction after beheading me, he chose of all the animals an elephant’s head to replace it . And ,why can’t he wear a proper dress and be presentable like Brahma Uncle and Vishu Uncle? I hate those snakes in his neck, make me squirm in front of my friends.
    He exasperated my mother with his temper tantrums and just see ! not a single word of praise from him on my scripting entire Mahabharat in one go. While I was slogging and taking the inscription from Ved Vyas , all he was doing was either dancing tandava or granting wishes to stupid mortals at the drop of a crown. Cheap publicity , what else?”
    SCENE 2
    All the Ganas of Lord Shiva were surprised to hear the rhythmic jingle of small bells getting louder as they noticed the figure of Lord Shiva emerging clearer as he approached them against the early morning mist at Kailash.He was walking nimbly with his trident decorated with bells in his hand .He looked a bit subdued today.
    All the ganas greeted him cheerfully and offered him a fresh Chilam which he accepted expressionlessly. Nandi, one of his old buddies said“ We were not expecting you here today. Isn’t your son Ganapati leaving for a long journey today morning? Ma parvati was here yesterday and said that you had invited kartikey and ganapati’s other friends for the morning pooja ”
    Lord Shiva said with a resigned tone “ oh ! they all are fine without me. What use saying a perfunctory good bye. Once the kids grow up ,they have a mind of their own. Let them be cheerful and unrestrained without me around” .
    In his mind he revisited the conversation he had last night with his wife .He was lamenting to Mother Parvati that these days Ganapati was eating only junk , not being frugal and spending a lot of fortune in maintaining his nano technology driven mouse. He complained “ all he does is visits the Earth every year on his mouse, waste of money ! I say .He eats whatever is offered to him and keeps no distance with people. Nobody fears him on Earth. They keep inviting him for every occasion and keep immersing him in water every year and this son of yours , without any self respect keeps going there every year . You say anything to him , he just waves his trunk carelessly and walks off. No respect ,I say ,for the parents”
    His wife knowing very well what other complains were going to be without even the change in punctuations said “ He is an adult and let him do what he likes. Just as you are self made ,let him be…….and now tomorrow he is leaving ,I don’t want any argument just before he leaves for a journey. Be calm. Don’t give him instructions, give only blessings”.
    What baffled lord Shiva was that even his wife could not understand his love and concern for the son. But, mother being mother knew very well that both the guys were reacting disproportionately. The scenario was neutral. It was the reaction of these two which was different depending upon the pre conceived notion they had about each other. If only they could make peace with the fact that they were two different individuals and had the freedom to choose what they wanted to do with their lives and could see the goodwill for each other at heart, life would have been much easier for everyone .

    Like

    • I liked certain parts of this very much, Kirti. If you’ve read parts of my blog you will know that I have a love for mythology, so the setting of your piece instantly drew me in. I also liked the passing references to the nanotech mouse, and the view that Ganesh is without self-respect for coming to Earth every year in spite of being immersed without mercy. With Ganesh Chaturthi just finished, it was a nice touch. I would have liked it better if the last paragraph was done away with, because it breaks the narrative style of the stuff that comes before it, but I won’t crib too much about that.

      I think we should have one more mythology-themed contest. Thanks for writing, Kirti 🙂

      Like

      • Thanks a lot Sharath for your valuable feedback. Of course I know about your affinity for mythology and somehow I just landed with this plot ,probably accidently when I was trying to trace back the roots of GG.
        you are so right in pointing out that last part was completely superfluous and broke the rhythm of the narrative. I shall keep this in mind .
        mailing my address and phone number soon.

        Like

  15. The Ministry of Parental Affairs

    Unfortunately India is one of the countries where lots of different kinds of work are terribly devalued whereas some categories of work hold an astonishingly high level of respect. One of most underestimated ones is parenting, especially of the Indian teenagers. Not just the west but even people here often undermine the effort it takes to be an authentic Indian parent (not the fake ones shown in Bollywood movies who easily succumb to the love marriage pleas of their offspring).

    Being an authentic Indian parent is a full day job. You sure may take a break but then would you ever forgive yourselves if your child strayed into the uncensored dark world while you were slacking off. Believe me when I say, most of the percentage of the brain activity of an Indian parent remains devoted to protecting their children from the evil all around us, be it in the form of an untimely advertisement of contraceptives or the trailer of a Mahesh Bhatt movie. They have to remain on their toes. Always. And this is getting tougher and tougher and has now even reached a point when you may start feeling sorry for the impossible task these guys have at hand.

    For ones who are not yet convinced, try stepping in their shoes for once. Ok let me try to fit your feet into them so that you realize how it feels to buy discounted bad fit shoes. Let me take you back a few years, before we had this abomination called Internet. The world was so much simpler for an Indian parent. Apart from the mystery longevity guaranteeing oil/drug ads and the spicy telephonic chat ads in the newspaper, the only other biggest enemy was the television. But if you had your own system to tackle them, these enemies hardly registered a fight. For example inducing a sleep time rule of 9 pm to ward off any chance encounters with unwarranted content on television or smartly handing over the kids section of newspaper to them to read were few of the popular established methodologies. Everything seemed to be under control. No living under fear of your child watching sleazy American music videos on Youtube now and then. It was so simple.

    But it seemed god had other plans and thanks to some group of hippie American college dropouts of the 90s, life for an Indian parent went from being simple to an unmanageable hell. From the times when just knowing how to lock a TV channel was sufficient it has come to a situation where even learning to track the browsing history of your children’s computer is also not full proof. The parents who earlier were alarmed only when TV advertisements featured actresses bathing in a tub promoting a new rejuvenating anti-ageing soap now only have one question in mind whenever they see a new marvel in the field of technology.

    “Does this have parental controls?”

    And to make matters worse, someone invented the social network. Some of the innocent ones couldn’t even fathom the need of Facebook or any such thing when we had our own indigenous versions i.e JeevanSaathi.com or Shaadi.com.
    Didn’t Bapu teach us all to back Indian products?
    The worst problem with social networks is that they promote friendship amongst a boy and a girl even when they are not of a marriageable age. This itself is a huge dent and a threat to the centuries old dearly held tradition of caste based arranged marriages. Moreover when you add friends on any of these portals, they don’t care about the horoscopes at all.

    Even if you forget about the Internet scene for a while and the evil google search (which has to somehow answer every question even if its an inappropriate one) the television scene has gone from bad to worse. The old Lux bathing commercials look like teletubbies in comparison to the raunchy deodorant ads which come with an insurance to attract girls. What is this obsession to attract girls? And why a deodorant, why not study hard and get into IIT and then just wait and watch how many marriage proposals you attract. These are some questions, which are constantly troubling the Indian parent community, and sadly none have come to their rescue so far.

    But amongst all this sadness there is a glimmer of hope. There are those small victories where the Indian government has undertaken the responsibility of helping the poor Indian parents like adding content filtering in the Internet or skipping kiss sequences in Hollywood movies. But lot of work is yet to be done and we are far behind countries like Iran in this field. Hopefully we will get there in some time but the Indian parents are still apprehensive about the way technology is sweeping us of our feet and soon being Iran may just not be enough.

    If in the near future the matter gets worse it may not be too surprising to see an industry mushrooming in this sector to cater to the demands of the Indian parents. Poor Indian parents, how they wish Internet in India would still work with the beeping BSNL modems which would have eventually eradicated the urge to go online.

    So finally if you do realize how tough it is to fit into these awkwardly fitting shoes of responsibility I hope you would learn to see the Indian parenting community in a new light of respect and appreciation and join them in their fight against high-speed broadband and ridiculous Axe commercials.

    Like

    • Ha, this is quite funny, Jayesh. I had a good time reading it, and now I’m going back to read it again. Even though you were being sarcastic, I totally understand the dilemma of the parent here. How does one control what your kids look at on the internet? While most of us subscribe to the idea of freedom, we all want to draw the line SOMEPLACE. For some of us the line is a scantily clad woman, for others it’s pornography. For some it may be violence, whereas for others it is drugs. The internet has just made everything free for all, which is worrying for sure.

      I cannot say the internet is a bad thing. I learn so much from it on an hourly basis. But I can see how it can be used for ‘less than suitable’ things by young people who don’t know better. I wonder what the answer to this is.

      Like

  16. Krb Saurabh says:

    “Generation gap” is a stuff talked in past. The gap of ages is now replaced by decades. After every four or five years a new generation is breeding with new thoughts. They don’t believe in conventional methods of living. Albeit sporadic research works, I concluded that our current generation is far better than our previous ones. By previous ones, I mean my generation, elder brother gen, my father, grandfather and every generation of past. I am not going through it randomly; I’ve strong evidence in support.

    A friend of mine who keep the first two words of his name constant, but replaces third one regularly with a decent title. Every single time I go through his Facebook account I remain flabbergasted after finding a new name of him, named after superheroes, ace footballers, and hardcore singers.
    A smart kid who studies in 7th standard but his world well-being is hard to compete. Apart from a lucrative name he has command over three different languages English, German and French. The way in which he converses in English made me felt pathetic and lame.

    At this tender age he has three girlfriends and when I asked him “Really you have three?”
    His answer was shocking: not exactly three but two, the third one is for killing the time, when other two are not around me. After listening to him I was in mute mode, I am still waiting for my debut match. In our time, there were enough girls in our classroom but due to lack of communication we never converse to each other. Single reason is our boyish ego of not indulging in a conversation. This ego added fuel, widen the gap, and further live up with a single status on our Facebook account and in life too.
    When I was in 7th standard, four hairstyles which were in vogue are Dhoni Style, Tere Nam style, John Abraham style and last one is geek style. Among all geek was most common, in which guy’s parents pour too much hair oil on their kids head and comb them side to side (personal experience). Boys having rest three hair style were considered as Awara, lunatic. They became easy prey of teachers and principal and were scolded badly. And now the boy I am talking about has a new decent hairstyle every fortnight, a hairstyle that we only see in men’s magazines.
    Once he asked me what you do.
    “Study” ….I answered without wasting a second.
    “Everybody does but what you do apart from that dancing painting, singing. Or something else” he asked again.
    ‘Boxing’…. I lied in reply to his genuine and more serious question contrary to his age.
    “So my problem is solved. Now you will help me” he reacted in an excited way and further said ‘I am in an ambush with some guys of 12th standard over fraternity of soccer ground, and I have challenged them in ground day after tomorrow’.
    “Challenged them, but for what…a football match” I asked surprisingly.
    “For a fight and you must have to join me’ he said gladly.
    After he gave a pause to his fight description, I lied “sorry buddy, I’m badly webbed in exams”. My only motto was to save from any obscene happening. Even before I pause, he started again.
    “No need to feel bad. Just concentrate on papers, I have links with some engineering students of our colony who have physique of bouncers, and even promised me to fuck those guys in seconds.”
    Soon I realized that he had used the word “fuck”, which we used with stars “F**k” and decided to drop the conversation
    Now I have nothing to say about this kid who is miles ahead of me. Till now, during every chit-chat he had given me linty shocks. He has cool hairstyle, hot bunch of girlfriends, hobbies for spare time and a gang named Rowdies. And, I have none of them at the age of 23.Whenever I felt low I just switch myself in a conversation with this hero. His cool attitude and bizarre thoughts restrains every obscure problem of mine.
    Likely his next generation will be a step ahead of him; and must hope it will be.

    Like

    • Saurabh, I am sure that if you and I were to have a chat, I will feel similarly about you as well. I’m sure that I will feel like I’m a few decades older than you are even though I’m still in my thirtieth year. You’re right. A ‘generation’ is not that long any more in the internet world. Every five years the world changes, it seems.

      So us old fogies have to make way for the new brash people with cool hairstyles and hot girlfriends. That’s just the way of the world 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Seventies the new in-generation.
    Vimala is just back from Rwandan Mountains, she had climbed the mountains just to view them. She flung her hands “Tarzan like chest pounding” her only regret, that she did not have camera to film it.
    Sheila and Kasturi, did the Sikh trail, the Buddha trail and then went by road from Egypt to Jerusalem,
    Roma and her friends went on their trail elsewhere. Philomena somehow did not want to join; of course she was happier with her dance class like Vijay was with her painting.
    So what’s new do you ask? Every one of these women is in the age group of 65- 75yrs. Old.
    When you think of women, that too over 70 what is the image that it conjures… those white sari clad, trouble shooters the hurdles of teenage lives does it?
    Just shift the paradigm what we have here is a new generation of grandmothers, excuse me some of them are great-grandmothers. My mother used to say forget the era of working moms, it’s the era of working grandmas,
    It’s never too late to start over! Is their belief. Most of these women are widows, their children would be happy if they moved in with them.
    So what makes these women tick? Aren’t they lonely?
    As they like to say it, they like their space and independence. Moving in with the kids would mean changing the rhythm for everyone. Moving to new place would mean finding new friends, new grocer, and new doctor. While being where they are, they Tuesday Rotary, Thursday temple and Saturday mahila samaj is in place. Not to mention the picnics and outings, the extended family outings.
    Even when they visit the doctor it is just another form of socializing all of which will be disrupted and they would rather not do it unless they have it.
    Kasturi aunty was mentioning about life in general, “don’t you find it odd,” that when you are a kid everyone, all the world encourages you to follow your dreams, but when you’re older somehow they act offended if you even try.
    “All these years we had things to do and responsibilities to honour, it’s our time now.”
    Actually there is a folk ritual among the tribal women of Mongolia, when a woman has been married for about 20yrs she there is an evening of singing and dancing after which the woman is symbolically released from the kitchen so than she can take her place in the society.
    Next time you are tempted to believe Ekta Kapoor and her version of “Dadi/Naani” take a walk to BigBazar Kachigudha where my 70yr. Old aunt and my 17yr. Old daughter are shopping .

    Like

    • Yes, there is social pressure on everyone to behave a certain way. If you’re a young person, you must obey the rules, depend on your parents for support, get good grades, get a good job and so on. If you’re an elderly, retired person, the ‘archetype’ is to move back in with your kids and live out the rest of your life listening to devotional hymns. People that don’t bend to this stereotype often get stares, and is part of the whole inter-generational gap-bridging that we must constantly do.

      Retirement ages are going up. People are staying healthier for longer. They’re living longer. Why shouldn’t they stay independent for longer too? It makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing, Parwati 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Falguni Srikanth says:

    Eversince I saw the topic of generation gap I thought that this is the topic for all ages.
    I have experienced generaton gap all the time in my life. Grandparents parents and then children.
    I have enjoyed every moment.
    The secret is to adopt and accept best of all the times.
    Enjoyed scriptures and songs of my grandparents time. Enjoyed gramophone records and radio in my parents time. Enjoyed TV and movies in our time and currently enjoying smartphone iPad and Internet.
    It’s much easier to understand that all of us experience this generation gap all the time. So let’s not be judgemental about our children and critics of our elders.
    This is a cycle which goes on and if we go with it it’s so easy to move on. If we resist we will only suffer.
    So waiting for the future generation with open arms and eager to go forward with them.
    Cheers. Have a smooth and happy ride of all generations.

    Like

    • I love the spirit here, Aunty. As someone who is struggling to move on from physical books to Kindle, I’ve always wondered how you’ve made that transition – and apparently so smoothly. You’re right, of course. The faster we let go and learn to deal with it with good humour, the better it is. The only trouble is that it’s so hard to let go of people whom you love, because love also means a sense of possession, and possessive thoughts bring with them a temptation to wield a certain amount of control.

      So I’m glad you’re able to put this ‘letting go’ thing into practice. I hope I’m able to as well. I know I’m working on it. Thanks for writing 🙂

      Like

  19. lanu barua says:

    The mouse was hiding behind the door
    Who really got him there?
    I was working on my computer
    My mother was shooing it away.

    It was chewing up the paper
    Making the place untidy
    It was helping me with the words
    My book was getting ready

    I keep playing with my mouse all day
    How can you play with a mouse?
    Its my best friend when I’m alone
    In throwing it out of my house.

    Years ago the mouse was only a pest
    Today the world it reaches
    But to each his own generation
    To accept and change it teaches

    Like

    • Welcome to the blog, Lanu, and thanks for participating in the contest. I liked your poem for two things: first, the view of the mouse as a pest by one generation and by a knowledge tool by another (though we’re speaking of a different mouse); and second, the overall theme that technology and information is bringing the generations closer together by teaching us all to change and accept. I liked the last stanza, but I also liked the last two lines of the second: It was helping me with the words, My book was getting ready.

      I could relate to that, of course, because I write for a living 🙂

      Like

  20. Generation Gap

    “Cool…..Take a chill pill, Mom.”

    I am of the opinion that if I had chilled each time, my children had told me to…I would be frozen by now!

    This suggestion is made a dozen times a day and it ranges from searching for a book to preparing for an examination; from fetching something from a nearby supermarket to filling up of college form. They ask you to take a ‘chill pill’ even when we are frantic getting ready to leave outstation. I am sure that I would receive the same advice if I were having a heart attack or having the house on fire. I hope I would face neither of them till they have become parents.

    Despite educating them in the best of schools and colleges, I feel their vocabulary is very limited. They have about half a dozen words with which they describe all emotions ranging from sheer despair to delirious happiness. Any negative scenario is described as ‘shit’ and anything constituting happiness is ‘awesome’.

    “How was your test?”

    “Crap!”

    “How was your game?”

    “Awesome!”

    Any question of how was your day has never fetched more than a ‘yup’ from them. Reticence is thy name! I always wonder at their perspicacity of such ‘syntax & vocabulary- challenged individuals’ to be constantly on the phone with their peers. I always wonder, how many nuances of ‘yup’ can be re-produced by an individual in a given hour?

    Patience is another aspect that they consider a vice. I read somewhere, ‘The trouble with being punctual is that no one is there to appreciate it,’ and this is something the young believe in totally
    .
    But then, I remember my own youth and smile thinking that the ‘generation gap’ is the one constant factor that is at play across generations.

    Like

    • Hi Chandrika! Nice to see you here 🙂

      I remember my dad commenting on this ‘take a chill pill’ thing when I was a late teenager. I think it’s a lot easier being carefree when you don’t have any cares to speak of, like when we’re in college without having to earn a living or bring up a child or any of those nice things. That is probably why young people don’t ever understand why the ‘oldies’ are always worried about something or the other. Now, about ten years later, I say ‘don’t worry’ or ‘take the chill pill’ a lot less. Now it’s more of: ‘All right, this is a problem, let’s talk about it and fix it.’

      You make good points about patience and vocabulary too. Also about punctuality. Thanks for writing in 🙂

      Like

  21. STEAMY SEEMA

    Steamy Seema was leaving for a trip,
    Bye granny! Cya Soon, said she
    Call me as soon you reach dear,
    Coz your safety I do fear!
    Oh!Oh! granny my dear, as soon I land,
    FB Check-In I’ll surely do, with just a tap of my hand!
    FB and Check-in???, wondered granny, scratching her head!
    A phone call is all I said!

    Steamy Seema was now in a huddle,
    Get a government job dear,
    Said granny, with a bright smile on her face!
    An IT job is no trouble my lass!
    Coz we are modern, said her dad with air of class!
    But neither is what I wanna do, declared Seema,
    I wanna travel, discover many a marvel!
    And become a chef perhaps?

    Steamy Seema was now in a rage,
    Coz her mom proposed marriage!
    I must know the guy for least a year or two,
    How can I marry out of blue, fumed Seema!
    Drop this now, now and forever,
    I alone will choose my hubby, clear?
    Saying so, stormed out she!
    In cowboy jeans, and head held high,
    Leaving elders gaping
    What’s wrong with my child??!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Aparna, last entry this time. Hope you’re doing well 🙂

      Loved the poem, of course. Yours is probably the only piece in this fortnight’s contest that deals with all three generations. Most other entries write about two. You have the granny who likes a government job, the father who likes the IT job, and Seema who prefers to travel, see the world, and become a chef.

      There are a few places where the rhymes don’t come when the reader expects them, but overall, this is a very good effort. And as an aside, I love to watch Masterchef, and sometimes I do wonder if I will make a good chef or not.

      Thanks for sharing this with us!

      Like

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