Monday, July 16, 2007

Approaching Antiquity

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


Speck said...

I blame MTV, of course. If you recall, we were in 11th grade, too busy studying for 12th grade/IIT or the like when MTV was introduced. All these whipper-snappers who wouldn't know a PG Wodehouse book if it hit them in the head were in 8th grade or earlier, slurping up the joys of Sophia Haque, Danny whatzizname, and Nonie Tao (are they still alive?) presenting videos filled with musical debauchery from the 80s and 90s. (If I were younger then ... sigh.)

Anyhoo, that's what setup this generation-gap within a generation. These younger people have far too much fun for my good.

Entropy said...

Hi Speck,
Good to hear from you.

SrgntPepper said...

well said speck, this generation knows how to have fun. a friend once remarked we should have been 15 in the 60s. but now, being 15 in the 21st century doesn't look too bad either. frankly any generation that recognises ABBA as being crap deserves respect.

Entropy said...


You pig. I don't like you. Go away. ABBA music is nice.

Also, one other thing I forgot to mention. All the kids are addicted to a different set of soaps; they watch 'Entourage' and 'Heroes', while we still love 'Friends' and 'Seinfeld'.


venky said...

If growing up watching MTV in its infancy makes one ancient, what would you call folk like us who grew up listening to the Saturday Night Special on the radio? Antediluvian?

Does today's idiot generation even know the meaning of that word?

Frankly, if a generation has to 'learn' its patriotism by watching a 'Rang de Basanti', I'm glad I'm not part of it!!!! And I also wonder how many of these modern morons even know the complete lyrics of the 'rap' songs that they hop around to, like hop-heads!

And that's my good deed for the day!!

Entropy said...

Hi Venky,
Antediluvian ?! Reminds me of mugging word-lists for exams. Antediluvian, quotidian, etc etc. Words I never really use. :-) So I do have something in common with what you call the 'idiot' generation.

Though isn't 'idiot generation' a bit extreme ?

If you think of them that way, think you should write a post on it. Would be most entertaining to read.

Also, I quite liked RDB.


venky said...

Entertaining, did you say? Beware, or your request may be fulfilled! Who was it said, 'The only thing worse than our dreams failing, are their coming true', or words to that effect? Must've been either Oscar or George Bernard. Between them, they said almost everything worth saying

Entropy said...

Stop giving empty threats.
Write something and we will judge whether it is entertaining or worse.

Nafisa said...

Just read this post . And now 'they' are alienating us with their spelling.
wOts tat aL aBt?