In other words, getting older.
I have just one problem with this - the older I grow the more the percentage of younger people amongst those around me increases.
A few years ago, when I was working in a regional sales office, I failed to appreciate one of its biggest advantages – it was staffed (or stuffed) with lots of old people, whose average age was 45. Compared to them, I felt like a young, sprightly spring chicken - with time, youth, energy and enthusiasm all on my side. Now I work for a company where many of my colleagues are younger than 30 (younger than me, sigh !), and some are even as young as 22 - 23 !
Who let this gaggle of kids enter office ? They should all be in college practising advanced calculus, or microeconomics, or analysing W.H.Auden’s poetry through a Freudian lens, or whatever it is that they study - and practising tying their diapers symmetrically in their spare time. They should not be in office making respectably middle aged people like me feel like dinosaurs, so not-with-it, so behind-the-times.
Much as I like being around them, I have to admit that being in an environment made up of younger folks is not for the intolerant, impatient, under-confident or faint-hearted. Communication can sometimes be a challenge – especially if one is prone to giving analogies from an earlier era while speaking. I once cracked a joke about a stilted conversation between two people of the opposite gender sounding like it was part of the dialogue of a Saigalsaab film; the blank faces I saw totally killed my enthusiasm to illustrate my point by breaking into ‘main ban ki panchhi ban kar ban ban doloon re’. (Which might not be an entirely bad thing, we were seated in a lounge at the time, my rendition of ‘main ban ki panchhi’ might not have been received with the applause it deserves).
Another time, at a disco, I was thoroughly enjoying the music as it was retro night and I recognised all the songs – something which doesn’t happen very often. However, the kids cribbed because they recognised very few of the songs. (An aside : You know you are old when the songs they pay on ‘retro’ night in discs are the ones you used to enjoy in college; or when the videos on Channel V ‘Classics’ feature guys you mooned over in school / college – e.g. George Michael.)
And let me not forget my young friend who during a conversation authoritatively informed me that once people are about 35 years old, they lose all interest in sex because they are too old for it ! When I accused him of ageist discrimination, his only excuse was to explain that 35 was an age too old for him to comprehend !
Do you remember the comics you read as a kid ? Archies, Superman, Batman, Tinkle, Phantom etc. One time we were discussing the recent spate of super-hero movies when I mentioned that I really liked Phantom when I was a kid. Thankfully, this time I didn’t get the blank zombie-like stares as everyone recognised Phantom. However, some of them knew Phantom only from a videogame and had never read the comics !
Yegads ! Kids have stopped reading comics !!
The very nature of childhood has changed ! They don’t read comics, they don’t recognise ABBA numbers, they don’t know Saigal and Guru Dutt, they don’t like reading books, they are very tech savvy, they wear branded apparel and they know the exact difference between a bar, a pub, a lounge, a disco and a night-club.
I need a guidebook to be able to make interesting conversation with this generation.
Zenobia D. Driver