As India progresses, more and more people shift up the economic ladder. As they do so their hopes and aspirations for the future transform. In particular, the younger people rising from below the poverty line to become the new middle class find themselves lost in the ever changing times. They do not have the stabilizing effects of education, training or sanskar to guide them. Their parents lived a very different life and hence did not equip their children to transform themselves gracefully with these fast changing times. Their economic and social transformation gives them a high that they are often unable to cope with. For the first time in their lives they have pockets full of money to buy some luxuries.
They pick up their role models, mostly film heroes and heroines and work towards becoming like them. They dress like their role models, sport similar hair styles, talk like them, some buy motorcycles o zip around on and since their role models have boy/girl friends in the films, they scout around looking for a friend of the opposite sex with similar dreams. They do not have to search very long as there are many like them.
Today we have a society where, for a teenager, having a boy/girl friend is as essential as having a good mobile phone. It adds to their status in their society besides being useful. Any teen without a boy/girl friend is considered a looser.
I do not have a fight with this generation. My objection starts when such people get carried away and start indulging in exhibitionism. You go with your family for a walk in a park and every single seat has a pair cozying up. The shock / disapproval on the faces of people passing by brings forth teenage defiance from these hormone crazy youngsters - “I will do more, what can you do to me?” This defiance leads to braver acts. It is a mix, defiance directed towards the oldies and show off directed towards the teens accompanying the oldies. Soon one has his/her head in the others lap. Both keenly scrutinize each face passing by for reactions. The more shock / disapproval the oldies show, the greater the thrill.
Recently a friend of mine got bugged. His teenaged maid developed affection for some fellow named Pyare Lal. She would often sigh and say “Humko Pyare Lal chahilye”. Like good employers, my friend and his wife kept their noses out of the maids business. They were only scared that if she flew away with her Pyare Lal suddenly some day what would they tell her parents. The maid, for her part, kept pining for her beloved Pyare Lal. A month passed.
On the first of the month the maid asked for her salary. She said “Didi, paisa jaldi de dijiye Pyare Lal lene jana hai”. My friends wife became cautious. She asked whether her parents knew about it. The maid said she wanted to surprise her parents. The lady of the house was in a dilemma. The maid chirped on asking where she could find a good Pyare Lal. A good Pyare Lal???!!! How many Pyare Lals where there??? On enquiry the maid informed that she wanted one like the Pyare Lal which Hema Malini had in Sita Aur Geeta. “Was there a character by that name in the film?” my friends wife asked. The maid looked heart broken. She clarified that she wanted the yellow Pyare Lal which Hema Malini wore. After some 2+2 the lady of the house understood that her maid had her heart set on parallel pants. She heaved a sigh of relief.
Rajesh Chaubey, Guest Contributor, PatnaDaily.Com