Talking with nandita

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

NANDITA: Baby Boomers

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

NANDITA: Generation gap is definitely a reality. It is the difference of perception.

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

NANDITA: Yes, sometimes I do have problems with my previous generations. But again it is from them only that I have learnt to be patient and empathise in order to cope up. It is difficult to specify the domains. One particular instance is regarding my job as a news reader in the All India Radio which was posted in Arunachal Pradesh. I was not allowed to take up the job. Initially it was a setback for me but again I was counselled by my parents. Although I have lost the opportunity, but I have learnt to cope up in difficult situation which is a big lesson.

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?

NANDITA: Yes I have heard many a times"You won't understand" from my next generation. It was an occasion when my son was advised against sleepover in a friend's house. I remember one such occasion when being in school I wanted to see an 'A' marked movie.

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?

NANDITA: As I have already said...the reason for the gap lies in difference in perception. It has not much to do with dress or food. It is the attitude which makes all the difference.

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, Whatsap 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.

NANDITA:  Of course with the advent of technology connectivity has improved and it has become much easier to track a person. But it should be kept in mind that every person is entitled to his/her privacy. Too much tracking does no good to our children. On the contrary they become irritated and lose respect for their elders. It is with love yet with space that our wards should be handled. They are to be respected as individuals. We should rather try to be examples rather than dictators. We need to be flexible and we must update ourselves for a better understanding of our children.

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

NANDITA: According to me it is between two generations. Parents have to take up the role of the counsellors. Talking can ease out all the contradictions. There is always so much to learn from our children. If we become keen learners, in turn we could gain their confidence. This "trust" builds up the relationship thereby bridging the gap.

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?

NANDITA:Yes, being a teacher I always face the difference. Initial reaction is surprise. But again being a teacher is no easy. Therefore, I take up the role of a counsellor again, and try to reach at the root of the problem. If needed I talk to the parents and a continuous monitoring is done.

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?

NANDITA: In my opinion there is no contradiction between the new things and our own inheritance if properly handled. There is no general rule in handling this, but if our approach is positive and rational,  then it becomes easier.

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

NANDITA: The only key word to all the generations is "Empathy". If all of us can empathise with our fellow people and try to understand them from their own perspective,  everything becomes simple. And this is no utopia.

ABOUT YOURSELF: I am a teacher where I work with children rather work as their mentor. It is not only textual education  that  I try to teach them but I want them to grow up as good human beings.

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

(Editor: Songsoptok)


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