SONGSOPTOK: To which generation do you belong? To which generations do the members of your immediate family belong?

ANINDA:  Baby Boomers (ages 46–64)—self, wife Generation X (ages 30–45),
Daughter Generation Z (ages 13–18) just crossing 18the bar

SONGSOPTOK: In your opinion, is generation gap a myth or a reality? How would you define generation gap?

ANINDA:   Last  Saturday  I was attending a  fantastic workshop by a Kannada  mgt guru  from Hubli …  He  was  talking about this aspect  as one of d major  crisis  in families &  apples of discord.  A)  Dress sense of youngsters, their fashion n style B) their English, C) Their food n relaxing / recreation behavior.  I  modestly  told him, sir,  in our family all 3 are  poets ; although my wife disallows / disallowed my daughter to go to an outing with peers , especially during  her Bangalore days, we  make  long visits  including to such places &  the family  matters are dictated / commanded / decided by our daughter .  In fact, many Bengalee families are, like North East, matriarchal, much different from Hindi heartland…   In our family, my wife aged 43 years love  wearing Western n I love  her wearing ultra modern dresses , which she fears venturing not wearing  …..  There is hardly any difference / gen gap between 2 ladies in my family aged 18 n 43.  Some ppl fail to make out my wife’s age… So, gen gap, to me, is a fruit of  crap , regressive mindset   . 

SONGSOPTOK: Have you personally had problems with your previous generations? In which domains specifically? How did you react to it then?

ANINDA:  ---- I surely had it enough…. My parents  did not allow my wife to  wear  even salwar kameez , forget  western, in her 20s … and  their  oppression on me n my wife, both financial n  lifestyle, their impeachment  on our  spending, the part of my earning to rest with me , their  dictatorial behavior on  our  tours  / lack thereof , their  prohibitions on me n especially  on my wife’s  poetry , recitation n functions  induced me with a determination to leave  them for an independent life away in Patna …. In fact, my career at  Jamshedpur got  jeopardized by them , who played with it like a toy  …  my dad  , despite hardly contributing to d coffer, was to be reckoned  as karta , which I refused to buzz..  &  they  wanted a  pet wife for me ,in a way I n my wife  live a  crippled life

SONGSOPTOK: Have you ever heard “You won’t understand” from the next generation? Do you remember the specific situations when you heard it? How do you react? And do you remember saying the same words to your parents / elders? In what context?

ANINDA::  Yaa… n I’ve not tried  to understand… I do not understand half of what my daughter  write n even hear  as music…my wife loves listening  during morning walk, so that  sometime she is able to understand  but I’m a Bengalee n I don’t want  learning so much of  American accent…   And, I had also given such things to my parents … n what’s wrong in that?  Neither we can understand, nor should we so try 100% of another generation—previous / later…. But only thing is, gap should not be much … distance should be respectable n not self-defeating…. Both parties should maintain n honor a safe distance as are unbridgeable..  We  still hear  it especially  wrt   my daughter’s friends related behavior, her  whatsapp  n FB chats n  her  friends’  vocabulary..  her preference n rejection of male partners / friends n vice versa…

SONGSOPTOK: In a globalized world all generations dress alike, eat alike, dream alike – is it still possible for generation gap to exist? Or do the reasons for the famous gap lie elsewhere?

ANINDA:    Whatever similarity dress similarity may throw in, thinking process shall differ; IQ shall differ, as also the EQ. We must appreciate the need for freedom n liberty, not only financial but in d whole of lifestyle…. I like my daughter to smoke n drink with us, in case we do casual smoke / drink sometimes… Unlike  my dad of old days (  he / my dad is  very modern nowadays—adores my wife in western , shared  Taquilla , Fenni n Black Dog with me in Goa ) I  shall  not  ask  my  daughter  to  show  unnecessary overdose of respect…. I prefer no subordinate call me Sir…I prefer them to call me Dada.. and  I have seen my best  friendly elders  sharing  brotherly  behavior with  sons in twenties … I  shall  definitely not like  my wife  to  impose  her  wishes n summons  on her daughter / any likely daughter in law  as she herself suffered  in the hands of her mom in law.

SONGSOPTOK: Given that in this age of connectivity, it is easier for parents or guardians to keep connected with their children or wards (keep track of their activities through Face book, Whatsapp  or whatever) – also make them aware of their own interests and individualities - do you think “generation gap” still exists? If yes, why do you feel so? If no, could you please share with our readers on the ways that you remain connected and how does that help you overcome the gap.

ANINDA:   Groups are  always  different, circles are  different…  we should follow  them , but not  cross that boundary…  being connected  just  gives  seniors  some impetus into  life habits n thought processes of juniors  , their likes –dislikes, penchants, feelings of joys n sorrows,  break ups / heart breaks / rejoices … that’s  all;  thru thick n thin, thru successes n failures we should be with / beside them, without straining them with our imposed  pressures of life that  lead them to commit  suicide… that  overcomes  the precious  n  precise gaps… they  need to accept you as friends… , as also  their  peers / friends’  circles …  we should all be friendly n my dear… otherwise, they  shall  hide  so many n  imagine / internalize n become  more introvert with growing age..

SONGSOPTOK: What do you think – is generation gap a gap between two individuals of different age groups or is it really between two generations? In this context, what role can the parents / elders play to bridge the gap if it exists?

ANINDA:   To understand Krishna, u need  to be a Radha n not a Vaishnav … to   understand  Kali, u need  to be Ramakrishna  n not  a tantric… to  understand Allah, u need  to be a  prophet n not a Muslim,  to understand Christ, u must be a non Christian….  Meaning, u have to love n internalize the sacred feeling  …. Why Communism  n socialism  failed is because  they  imitated  / followed too very mechanically…   all gaps  are in mindsets of individuals …  2 guys  of 50 years  are never equal… my wife n I are younger at heart than many  young  ppl in 30s…  we  need  to think / be  our children  to bridge those gaps …they must accept us n not fear  …must  be able  to take us  as  friend , philosopher n guide … must  realize  our  bliss  always  with them as shadows ,  hands on their shoulders ..

SONGSOPTOK: Do you ever face troubles created by generation gap outside your family? Especially in office, educational institutions, market etc.? How do you react to that?

ANINDA:   Not so much… there have been stubborn… I have been stubborn  in cases  n situations …  but I  have always  tried  to mitigate my demanding status  , like an elder bro… I am quite enviably popular in my deptt…. Across deptts n groups, accepted as a leader… (Not a so called boss)..  they generally always  want me in any gathering n feel, my section is d best  n think,  without me no party can get success …  But  that’s  for Gen y…. for  gen old, yaa, they do not  like me,  as I challenge all old methods  … renew..Rethink.. Metamorphose, overhaul,  like  gen Y  newer incumbents.

SONGSOPTOK: We feel that generation gap starts creeping in as we age – on one side we try to acquire new things from changed times and on the other – we try to cling to our own inheritances. Do you agree? What would be your advice on how one can overcome this contradiction, if at all?

ANINDA:    That should not happen… our minds must  be evergreen…. We must  venture n endeavor  into newer  pastures … with  age… aging  is  a dysfunction of brain …  yaa, most of   us  try to justify  , me too, what  I am doing is right … because  age n experience matters…  but  we must appreciate, newer ppl invent  newer techniques, make  better innovations…  we  must upgrade ourselves with huge knowledge they are coming with   n whatever  better  modern managerial / leadership /  technocratic skills  they are offering… in a competitive world , they go up , who  can  change themselves n accept  Change as a way of life…be a part of change n try to Lead  such change

SONGSOPTOK: Please leave some parting words for the next generation, your generation and the previous generation that reflect your thoughts on this topic.


ANINDA GHOSH: An ACA of 1990, a poet-writer-  strong BJP critic & a staunch believer in HDI based  economic upliftment and wealth creation of nations . Lives in Karnataka ( last 8 yrs)  &  love art films , little mags, group theatres .

We sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen

(Editor: Songsoptok)


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