It is not easy being young these days. It never was, and it never will be, I guess. Dr Sekhar Mukherjee, well known psychologist and expert on youth affairs has recently gone on record stating that the biggest problem facing the young these days is their compulsive pursuit of “instant gratification” – desire to have everything, here and now. Point taken, but is it the only thing pushing us against the wall?
What about the L-word? Love, to tide over these difficult years when we are neither kids blindly following the dictates we are subjected to, nor “big” enough to face the world on our own and need someone to relate to, to call our own, someone in flesh and blood to replace the Barbies of yore? Puppy Love, infatuation, teenage crush … call it by whatever name you may wish to, the fact remains. And yes, at times it – love or the lack of it, that is – becomes an all-encompassing obsession, something that is life defining, life bending even.
And then there is the problem of peer-pressures. You just must do “well” in everything – you must be a topper academically, well-behaved, diligent, quick-witted and conform to every norm that society has imposed, unfailingly, religiously and without questioning their justifications. Your parents will try to overcome their own failures in life by goading you beyond the limits of your endurance, your teachers will try to lead you to a chimera the existence of which is not even clear to them, the world will make you prepare lessons that will not help you answer the questions that life will ask – still you have to subject yourself to their dictates. Refusal is not really an option as even if you question, you run the risk of being labelled a “rebel without a cause”, with consequences that may be too heavy a burden for your fragile frame to bear.
I was reading somewhere that the academic institutions are churning out course contents that are so far removed from the needs of the employers – read the industry – that most graduates are literally unemployable. I may not be qualified enough to comment on this, so I guess I’ll leave it at that. Not mentioning it would have been sacrilege, that’s why.
And then there is the menace of drugs. People who fail to cope up and take, what they think, is t6he easy way out. But tell me honestly, what has society done to help these wayward youngsters to address their concerns? Couldn’t we have had counsellors helping them strengthen their fatigued minds before they surrendered to the embrace of intoxicants instead of locking them up in deaddiction centres? Forget about drugs, are we even bothered enough to know what digital-detox means? And we talk about the youth going haywire? Some joke.
And now you guardians of the universe – has it occurred to you that you set a terrible example before us by your conduct? Your hypocrisy, corruption, falsehood, violence, insincerity make all the pious talks about righteousness sound hollow? Do you realise that your morality is as fake as a Chinese import? Do you realise that we know the difference between an elderly caress and a lusty grope? Do you even care to bother, mad as you are in the pursuit of Mammon?
Cheer up elders, we know, and we shall overcome. We shall succeed, not because but despite your help.
(SRINJEETA CHATTOPADHYAY is a student of 3RD year Communicative English in Basantidevi College (CU). She wants to pursue further studies in linguistics. She is an avid painter and is passionate about reading and loves to delve into the intricacies of the human mind.)