Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Generation Gap

I was born in a middle class family and sent to a boarding school for my secondary education. We had a separate dormitory for class sixth entrants. I was a shy guy. I rarely talked to strangers and so I my initial days interactions were limited.

The very next day, I landed in the school, I was told to run 2 kilometers as my morning physical training exercise. I had no options, but to run. After that tiring 45 minutes exercise, we all returned to our dormitory. I felt too much tired, frustrated and home sick. While I was planning to frame some medical excuse for the next day, my hostel kids were challenging each other for the next race. I was shocked to see jubilation at their faces. These were all merely ten to eleven years old kid.

Boarding schools had their own ecosystem, their own social structures, their own universes. We used to wake up 4 am in the morning, clean their canvass shoes and compete each others in the ground. We hogged like pigs in the morning breakfasts, shouted our heart in the morning assemblies, strove to stay best in the class,  hogged like pigs in the lunch, exhausted ourselves in the playground, studied in the evening, hogged again in the nights.

I didn't have the luxury of playing games on computer until I joined the engineering college. Our school games never included digital interfaces. Most of my batch mates came from Hindi medium schools of villages in Bihar. Some of them had never seen something like color TV, cable connections, computers in their villages. Therefore, our seniors suggested us to carry pocket dictionaries all the time. We carried them most of the times. Infact, over the time, vocabulary competitions flourished as the best show-off technique for us.

We bloomed altogether to different personalities by the time we reached class 9th. Some of my friends were representing nation in NCC, sports, republic day parades and some of my friends were solving mathematics and physics of class 11th on their own. While some of those Hindi medium class 6th entrants were ready with their own English novels, some other had research papers in Hindi and History. Importantly, I was no more a shy kid :)

These were not all geeks or extraordinary kids. They just struggled a lot to strengthen their roots. They studied in the morning, but never left a chance to cross the boundary and pluck mangoes from principle's residence. They represented state in sophisticated events, but teamed up to build small canals and bridges in nearby villages.

Of my batch of 120 students, 40-45 joined Indian defense organizations (army, navy, air force), 30-40 joined IITs, NITs, IIMs and other premiere institutes, rest others are excelling in art, economics, cinema, etc.

Fifteen years down the line, I see a new generation. The kids are given better education, better facilities and better guidance. The parents are much more conscious about day to day activities of their kids. Every one is given laptops, ipads, and mobile to facilitate their grooming. They have access to facebook, gmail, computer apps, computer games, etc. These kids are given best possible exposure to English from their child hood.

I feel surprised when I read vowel less English, grammar less Hindi, baseless historical arguments, 'fuck offs', omg, rofls, etc.

May be I am yet to accept the generation gap!


लोहा, लक्कड़, ताला, चक्कर घिच-पिच कर के बैठा है बाहर से चमचम करता है दिल अंदर से ugly है मौसम, पानी, सात समंदर गलियों गलियों घूमा है...