Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
It is said that there is a ‘generational shift’ every 20-25 years. This ‘generational shift’ is manifested by changes in technology, dress, personal styles and habits. These generational changes vary from gradual to drastic.
Earlier, stylish men wore bell bottom trousers and high-heeled shoes; now there are no bell bottoms to be seen. In the olden days, women wore maxi skirts; today women wear hot pants. Big shirt collars were stylish once upon of time; today many shirts do not even have collars! Earlier, there was only one brand of soap, called Lifebouy, which was used commonly for washing one’s body, hair and face, by both males and females; now there are different types of face wash, body shower gels, creams, shampoo and conditioners.
Earlier, we lived in elongated kutcha houses without rooms; now we have RCC houses with many rooms – one room for each member. Earlier, families lived as joint families. Now we live in nuclear families. Earlier, our houses were kept unlocked because there was nothing worthwhile to be stolen; today our houses have high boundary walls, multiple locks, grills and lockers to stash our money and ornaments.
Earlier, we worked by day and slept by night; now many of us sleep till late in the day and stay awake deep into the night. Earlier, we worked hard, walked more and stayed fit; now we sit in offices for hours, drive around in vehicles, and eat fast food.
Earlier, we had more children and no maids; today we have lesser children and more maids. Earlier, there were no TVs, computers and mobiles, so people spent more time with families and friends and played outdoor games; today each member is so busy with TV, computer and mobiles that there is no time left to spend with your loved ones and play outdoor games.
Earlier, cameras, video cameras, VCRs, cassette players, Walkman and alarm clocks were common sights. Today, smart mobiles have rendered cameras, video cameras, alarm clocks, calculators and flashlights almost redundant.
Earlier, the few roads were empty for us to drive and walk freely; today there are so many vehicles that roads are jammed and there are no parking places.
Earlier, we ate organic food. We ate local vegetables, local eggs, local fowls and local fish; today we eat eggs from Andhra and West Bengal, fish from Andhra, broiler chicken from West Bengal. Organic vegetables and meat are rare these days.
Earlier, petty thieves caught in villages stealing fowl, domesticated animals or rare ornaments were outcast from the village; today, persons plundering public money and property are invited as chief guests and guests of honours and garlanded.
Earlier, we were less educated but more mature and wise; today we are more educated and more travelled but intolerant, irrational, impolite, egoistic and more corrupt.
Are we better off today?(The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)