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SANGEETA BRAJABASI

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 7/15/2016 |



By My grandmother or mother would scorn with affected anger if the term 'generation gap' would be discussed in their presence. For them these were borrowed ideas of the West. Any daughter or son doing things differently in their time was looked upon with suspicion, and was followed by rejection. I wonder though, has our core thought process changed much or have we learnt to disguise it better? Every generation’s thwarted dreams, desires, aspirations take wings in the next generation. Requited wishes, leading to a mild cynicism from the senior generation is quite understandable. What we have perceived as generation gap over the years is just a little more dare being added to life as time progresses. A few more dreams coming true, new avenues opening up and people jumping to grab newer opportunities- this is the new generation. The dare factor diminishes with age, fear creeps in, prejudices acts as road blocks. When the younger people defy these very notions and move ahead knocking off all obstacles, the old mind fears the fall. To a great extent it is the fear of the unknown. The desire of the old to protect the young to the best of their ability. Yet the young march ahead and the gap between generations widen. It widens from difference in ideologies to a play of idiosyncrasies.


Something new happened with globalization. The effect of globalization silently narrowed down the gaping gap between generations. The fear of the unknown shifted, the dark gave away with the call of ' let there be light '. The grandparents awoke with a jerk and realized it was no more about being cynical, no more about the younger generation walking ahead of us or without us. Globalization brought a new concept, of walking together. Globalization in many ways made the world as small as the globe. Words like distance, unknown, unexplored soon started vanishing. The foreign land lost the awe struck novelty of Alice in Wonderland. Every individual realized that he could be the traveller on the magic carpet. Connectivity brought the world closer. Markets opened up on a global platform. The nations of the world felt a hope of being equal shareholders of the globe. Knowledge broadened horizons of individuals. Globalization in many ways melted the icy walls of generation gap. Globalization brought generations closer than ever before. The senior generation realized that if they do not update their thought process and learning style, then they will become strangers in their own world. A few hiccups do exist. The younger people of today can still shock the older generation with their choices, good or bad. But what is it to live on the ever shifting earth surface and not feel a few tremors. The seniors adapted well to the tremors and the juniors accepted well. Today a grandmother, mother and daughter can all sit together with laptop in hand discussing business expansion with equal ease and élan as they would be cooking up their favourite family recipe. Technology has brought easy accessibility to knowledge and empowered the ordinary with the edge of extraordinaire.


The social structure of each generation has seen slight changes. The times of our grandparents had seen parents as Demigods- to be feared and obeyed. But the impact of globalization changed this thought process quite a lot. Not so long ago the father figures were meant to be revered or feared. The strict military disciplinarian father from the movie 'Sound of Music' amuses us today. But the truth was much closer home for our parents’ or grandparents’ generation. Time moved, society changed, our movies changed too. Art in any form has always been a reflection of the times we live in. Movies like 'Father of the Bride' is but a reflection of changing society. Fathers realized their disadvantageous point at the pedestal. They were more willing to come down on the floor and dirty their hands in play with their children. Globalization strangely had this sweet side effect on generations where parents and children became friends. Today families want to live together, holiday together, and enjoy together like friends. It is not about aping the other world. It is more about making slight changes in the way we live and think. It is about coming out of the rigid, frozen, social structures and making life more comfortable and compatible between the two generations. When the globe is shrinking the family ties need to hold on strong.


Tennyson had written 'Old order changeth yielding place to new', this still holds true but with a twist. The old and young hold hands yielding place to a new world called, globalization. As global citizens the endeavour should be to learn more and bridge differences to enrich each other. Years back when Shakespeare wrote " The world is a stage", he perhaps made a prophecy for times to come. This famous line has never been more true than today. The whole world is performing on one global stage, we are all performers and the young and old alike are vying for the centre stage.


[SANGEETA BRAJABASI]

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