Demystifying our younger days

Demystifying our younger days

I laughed hilariously little knowing that a few years hence; I too would be guilty of beginning every other sentence with, “When I was your age….”

The other day, I was super excited about an old movie that was to be aired on the Television.  I remarked more than once about the beauty of the film. I watched the same without any disturbance…..and I found myself restless.  No doubt, it was a sweet movie but the slow pace did not entertain me as it had then.  That is when it struck me, “Are we susceptible to romanticising the bygone era or our youth?”

We drone on about our schooling days, about our respect for the elders, about life in general and about how we made to do with whatever was provided to us by our parents. Not a day passes by without a reference to our younger days.  Was our life really as rosy a picture that we are trying to paint?  

I particularly remember the times I spent standing in the queue early mornings for a few packets of milk. I also remember being woken up at many an ungodly hour because it happened to be the ‘water day.’   

I came across a joke of a young boy bringing home his report card and tells his father, “Dad, here is my report card and one of yours I took from the attic.” I made sure that mine was nowhere in the vicinity before lecturing my children about my sterling performance while at school!  Is our memory particularly selective when it comes to recollecting our youth?

Equally worried
Our parents were equally worried about our future, our education, our safety. As a fact of the matter, I would say that they were worse off for not knowing about our whereabouts as the communication system was not as well developed as today. 

Most household did not even have a land line leave alone mobile phones in the hands of every individual. Letters and telegrams were the only means of keeping in touch with your close relatives. We had to go to the PCO with STD facilities that too after 9 pm and wait patiently for your turn in the serpentine queue in order to talk to your loved ones. Such was the life and today we speak of them in glowing terms.

Less competitive world
I agree to the fact that we lived in a less competitive world than the present generation. I also accept that we could sit on the terrace and appreciate the star studded world while listening to music without the mosquitoes joining in the chorus. But honestly were our days completely stress free? The competition was lesser because the awareness was less and we had the added pressure of having too few an avenues to pursue our education and later our career.

We too were punished by our teachers and we too had examinations. We were more dependent on the local transport and their service was woebegone. No wonder half our friendship was formed at the bus stops! I feel that today’s children are better off as they mostly travel by private transport and are smarter due to more exposure.

The programme aired on Television is another bone of contention for the old and the young generation. The other day we were discussing the serials that were aired in the one odd TV channels and naturally compared the same in unflattering terms with the ones that are aired in today’s myriad channels.

No doubt the serials then did not have the risqué humour that is more prevalent in the present day serials. Yet, the fact remains that our views could have stemmed from the fact that we were not spoilt for choice then.

It would profit us more if we remember that change is the only constant in life and teach our children through precept not to lament about the good old times and let them learn the art of living in the present. Most important of all, the young generation would not be reminded of ‘sudden, important meetings’ the minute we enter a room!

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