Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Curse of Plenty & Today's Generation!

“One of the greatest titles in the world is parent, and one of the biggest blessings in the world is to have parents to call mom and dad”… Jim DeMint.

James Warren DeMint is an American politician who was a United States Senator from South Carolina; he is a member of the Republican Party and a leading figure in the Tea Party movement. No wonder adhering to most US politicians he too thrives on family values & his above quote speaks about the same aspect of life which most families in the most sought after country are missing! And yes on the background of some recent incidences in our very own country rather in my own backyard made me use this quote about parents. The social media as well print media was abuzz rather with suicide of one young Manmath Mhaiskar who happened to be only son of high level govt official couple. With due respect to his parents who are my family friends, off late whatever little reputation I have got being a writer, many friends asked me to write something about this incidence. Actually the sudden ending of own life by Manmath has come as shock to many mid age parents whom I too represent. As well on the same time there was news of a young NDA cadet named Jaiswal ending his life in form of suicide & he too was from middle class family. Imagine a young NDA cadet ending his life so early, an institute which supposedly makes its students tough by mind as well by body, what could have made him so desperate to end his life! Here when I say a middle class family then what I meant is a family where culture still is alive, where good & bad definitions are simple & clear, where parents have got decent education background & a family which is doing good on financial basis too i.e. it may not be necessarily earning millions but for them day to day survival is not an issue. So what makes the youngsters, who have been brought up in such comfortable environment to take decision of killing their life so early? Being a writer makes people think about you that you can write on any subject which is not true actually. But this was such a topic which not just as writer or engineer or wild lifer or builder but very close to me as a father, courtesy my two growing sons, who are in nearly same age of Manmath! But instead of writing down my feelings, first I made a self talk video; a medium which I felt can connect with the youngsters in better way. But then the writer father also popped up & so this sharing, especially for the youngsters who still believes in reading (there are many with due respect but lesser than our younger days) as well this is for parents of the teens who are in their late forties as this suicide topic is becoming a nightmare for most of the well to do parents!

Here many will say what’s big deal in it, as every day we read such suicide news & that of youngsters too; so what made Manmath as well the NDA cadet special? Well, agreed  we do read many such news but when someone from a well settled family with parents like he has got or the Jaiswal has got then thousands like us get shaken off deep inside thinking even we can be the next such unfortunate parents! As when every possible materialistic thing was available which a teen age boy can think of &  loving parents along, then what would have went so terribly wrong that these boys decided to end their life, this question haunts me! And then on the other hand is news paper Maharashtra Times initiative where they help via society to the young kids who have passed SSC exam wit above 90% marks. And these kids are from opposite background that of the most suicide cases kids are form. Here these kids are with either of parent has been passed away or disable to earn & in extreme poor conditions, many of them are living in slums. Life has taken away everything from these kids but one thing & that is their fighting spirit. All these poor kids want to live, they want to have everything which they have been deprived off & they want to achieve something which our elite society calls success!

Now when we define success, our generation was lucky as things were very simple; all you have to choose for career was science, commerce, arts, and engineering or medical that’s it! What most of the teens wanted is a secured job, having a small four wheeler & a 2 bhk flat, is all which used to be definition of successful life. And agreed we didn’t have much of money at hand but that was good because it saved us from comparing with others as most of the kids were on same platform speaking financially. Eating out was a term unheard of & most important there was no internet or smart phones so we could spend time in reading or with friends. Even today I am personally not sure what we call social media is boon or curse for us. As on one side if it helps in keeping people connected crossing miles of distance but on other side it takes you away from the people who are just around you. Actually generation of ours has seen maximum changes of life style i.e. from antenna radio when we were kids to today’s latest I Phone 7, all gadgets we got exposed to. Speaking about family culture, we have been grown up with the term “saat chya aat gharat” i.e. we have to return inside of our house before 7pm; in short no “night life” in today’s language. And today this very same generation of ours has to spent sleepless nights waiting for our kids to return home till past midnight. As this genre don’t pick up their parents calls, don’t reply to even harmless messages of caring mom or dad who are just asking if all is well & when their son or daughter is coming back to home who is chilling out with his or her friends. And then this younger lot gets offended even by smallest of things like asking them where are you going & when you will be back? And if you ask them about studies or tell them to curtail time on internet then you had it; this is the scene in most so called successful families around. On this background I remember my childhood or even college days & right from choosing civil branch for diploma to which movie I should watch, on all fronts my father’s words were like order of Supreme Court & I am not comparing my generation with today’s as that’s something this genre doesn’t approve. The biggest difference is we believed in our parents & had respect not just fear for them. This respect has come from the trust that whatever my parents will think for me, they may not be right but they will always think of something better for me, with their limited knowledge. This is respect & trust is missing from the minds of today’s genre about their parents as these kids think they know everything. 

This is why I say, today’s young genre is cursed with plenty & this plenty comes on all fronts; right from choice of career to having pairs of shoes these kids has access to all the luxuries of life, which actually is outcome of their parents’ hard work. To start with they have career opportunities right from catering to tourism to photography & the list is endless.  Medical & engineering still has got its luster but at the same time options like finance or marketing management are picking up. Though not related to our topic yet pure sciences are not on agenda of most youngsters is sad thing for not just science but entire nation. Then most of the well to do families can afford to send their kids to countries like UK or USA for higher studies so that’s one more popular avenue open. When I look at all the options life is offering to this young genre, then I don’t understand whether to consider them lucky or unlucky, as with all such avenues anybody will get confused & do mind a confused mind is most easy target for insecurity which leads to depression. And that’s exact reason why this genre gets succumbed to games like Blue Whale which is much in talks right now, in this game the player is asked to perform few tasks at each level & final task is ending own life! Weird it may seem but a confused mind is easy prey for such games as recently there have been incidences of teens attempting suicides because of such online games.

The problem with parents of my generation is often when a youngster ends his or her life then all blame goes to parents only,  as if they only have pushed the kid to such tragic end, is what entire media & even close ones also start preaching them. The grief of losing loved child on one side & on other side guilt of not being able to prevent such tragic end & on top of it you only get tagged as guilty for your child’s suicide, just imagine to stand such pressure or pain is the proper word. It’s often said by all the psychologists or so called philosophical guru’s on media that have a dialogue with your child, don’t burden him or her with the pressure of expectations to such level that he or she will end up his life. But tell me which parent will like to see his child ending his or her life for so called success, I am sure none. It’s not just parents but entire system which we call society is responsible to push any kid to suicide is what I feel. As look around & what you see, everybody is  busy in comparison of their life with others on every front, may it be job or pair of shoes or bike or home or cell phone, most of us keeps doing things just to outnumber others. That’s what this generation has been grown up seeing around & this rat race is not just restricted to their parents but at school, in friend’s homes, everywhere it’s there & no wonder these kids also become part of this comparison race even without knowing it. And then with the curse of plenty along they are not used to being deprived for having something neither they are mentally tough to accept a defeat or rejection. Here is where importance of hobbies like playing any sport along with reading like things comes in picture. As when you play any sport it’s not just if you come first in any competition is what makes you master of that game but if you learn to accept a loss in any game with smile & at the same time if some win is not going in your head then I will say you have mastered the game. As it’s not just playing some sport but understanding spirit of the sport is what makes you a better person! And it’s this spirit of the sport which helps you being stable or balanced in your life out of the sports arena. So as a parent do understand these small things as just your dialogue isn’t going to make your child understand what you feel form him but it’s the activities & entire surrounding he is bought up is going to make him understand importance of living. Our mind carries both types of emotions negative & positive & I am sure each of us even my genre  too have our share of negative thoughts & some time or other many of us has gone through the situation that all is lost & lets end this life. But then real fun is to rise from this situation & hit away the negativity of our own mind. And to make the young genre understand this fact is responsibility of every one of us who considers himself or herself as grown up & not of just some parents who has teen age kids.

Agreed sharing comes in many forms along with sports for e.g. as a father write your kid on every possible occasion as well take him out for a general drive. Not necessary each time when you have time at hand you should take him to some mall & buy him goodies as remember however rich you may be but you can’t ever buy values of life to your kid. They has to be cultivated in him by your acts as well let him learn to acquire those values just like you  can push him in water but he only has to swim if he wants to be afloat in water. At the same time the youngsters also should understand this fact that today whatever their parents are it’s not just by some good luck but they have fought hard to reach here & success is creating your own achievements, however small it may be but do it by yourself & see how beautiful life is. All I will share with the younger lot (my sons included) that life is responsibility too & a precious gift & you are lucky to have it via your parents. Remember when you decide to end your life over smallest of the things like breakup with girlfriend or fear of failure then you are leaving three dead bodies behind, one is your own & two are your parents. Long back when I was kid there was dialogue in the most famous movie of Bollywood "Sholay", when A K Hangal has to carry body of his son Sachin & he says, “janate ho duniyaka subse bada bozz kya hai? Budhe baap ke khande pe jawan beteki arthy” means biggest burden for any old father is to carry dead body of his young son on his shoulder! Guys some day you are supposed to pass on legacy your parents have gifted to you to next genre & some day you also will be father or mother to some fine young boy or girl but for that you need to live first.

So, dear youngsters remember your marks, your career, your success of having top position in job,  all these things are immaterial for your parents as nothing of it is that pricy which can be exchanged with your life. And if you think you are not getting enough support from your parents or teachers,  in fighting your fears then create your own support; play, read, dance, laugh, cry, run, make friends, speak out yourself, be part of nature as its best guru,  do anything but suicide is all I will say! It’s said, the young age is best time in your life but to experience it you need to grow up old & for that you have to live. And do mind growing old is the best return gift for this best time you had, which you can ever give to this society of which your parents too are part of!

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

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