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

SUMILAK: I belong to the Millenials, having been born in the year 1994. My family members belong to Baby Boomers, according to the classification mentioned here.

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

SUMILAK: Well, I’d say that it’s a plain old myth, because I think every generation has its own needs and necessities and since each generation pervades into another, people change accordingly… well most people……
But then again I’ve seen instances where generation gap really does exist.

Defining generation gap, it is something that really disrupts the culture, or tradition of a generation with the advent of a new generation, thereby causing palpable tension in their approach to certain aspects of life.

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

SUMILAK: Well, personally sometimes I’ve had problems with my previous generation; precisely my parents but I wouldn’t attribute them to generation gap.

I don’t remember the domains specifically but yeah, they were mostly related to my forgetfulness which they mistook as my irresponsibility or recklessness. Anyone from my generation can also form an opinion like that, I figured, so it isn’t generation gap.

I was impatient at first but then I didn’t react much, just tried to make them understand that it wasn’t deliberate.

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?

SUMILAK: Well no.

Yeah, I might have said that to my parents, but then again that’s just an opinion that I might have formed, doesn’t define generation gap anywhere, and most of them were because I wanted to play with expensive toys, and they wouldn’t buy me one.

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?

SUMILAK: When we are talking of a globalized world, maybe there’s no scope of a generation gap, but locally people have different traditions. For instance, cows are said to be holy for Hindus and certain people believe that way, because they have grown up seeing cows being worshipped and all that stuff and thus, they may not be really comfortable with the fact that these animals are being served as delicious delicacies. That’s where generation gap lie, mostly tradition but since tradition encompasses food, attitude, attire, all of these at certain points of time might lead to a generation gap.

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.

SUMILAK: Connectivity bridges generation gap, that’s what I believe. People share jokes, quotes and many other things over the social sites. These provide a free interacting media, where you get to know the likes and dislikes of other people.

Like I said earlier, it’s both a myth and a reality at the same time. It all depends on the way people adapt to social changes.

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?

SUMILAK: I think it’s between individual, age groups aren’t necessarily a factor.

Elders are really instrumental in such cases-understanding the sentiments of their next generation rather than being opinionated, guiding with patience- all these are really very important to bridge the gap and I think nowadays people are actually striving towards that end.

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?

SUMILAK: Educational institutions are a place where generation gap exists mostly, because the teachers would have you do it their way…well of course they are much learned and that’s why hold that place, but sometimes the new generation wants to do it their way, maybe or may not be efficiently but it’s the satisfaction that counts. However certain teachers allow flexibility and are really open to suggestions, so I think that it’s only a few days before most of them do.

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?

SUMILAK: Yeah! This is true. Technology changes over a decade nowadays, we have new ideas pouring in, new theories and what not! So it’s pretty obvious that people find it hard to change and adapt accordingly. Clinging on, really doesn’t help, so I’d advice to get rid of it….but that doesn’t mean I’m suggesting you to discard all traditions and culture you’ve grown up with, that is really what defines you, so never should you forget all that makes you….my suggestion is not to cling on to them so much so that you try to impose it on the next generation. Remember, they have their traditions and those define them.

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

SUMILAK: Well, to the next generation: Live out your way, but live satisfactorily!! I can’t comment on my generation, because I’m a part of it and am still figuring out a lot of stuff. To my previous generations: We are your child, we define you and we need to define ourselves.  So we may be impatient but bear with us.

SUMILAK CHAUDHURY:  Presently a 4th year B.Tech (EC Dept.)  student at Institute of Engineering & Management (IEM), Kolkata and a Research Intern at IIT, Roorkee under Dr. Partha Pratim Roy.  Having interests in books, football, apolitical discussions, etc.

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

(Editor: Songsoptok)


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