The curse of the 20’s

So you’re now in your 20’s. The teens are over, so according to your social learning, you should now turn into a responsible person overnight. “Bade ho gaye ho beta, zimmedari ko samjho” – becomes your daily music. Friends, parties and most importantly selfies begin to take a backseat, while your career starts crawling to the forefront. There are options to be explored, potential ROI of your chosen field to be discussed and very importantly, wedding planning to start.

Each year that passes by without you having achieved any of the subsets of the above, your forebodings and fears increase. What if I’m a failure? What if I never get anywhere in life? What if I’ll always be financially dependent on my parents? What if I never get married? What if I’m impotent? Unless you’re a rich dude from a rich family, these thoughts will plague your mind like the Ebola virus. Having entered the 20’s club myself a couple years ago, I deal with these thoughts every single day of my life. I try to imagine my life 5 years from now, and can’t seem to see anything but a couch and a pillow.

For a long time, I was under the impression that I was born to do something great, that I was different. But now that I’m letting the years pass me by, I’m beginning to wonder whether all I was suffering from was delusions of grandeur. I have ideas that I want to explore and pursue, places that I want to visit, different fields that I want to experiment with; but none of that ever materializes. It’s all just in my head. Like everyone else in my age group, I too am shackled by the ‘karna hi hai’ thought process.

What makes everything seem worse is when I see people around me doing well for themselves. FB feed has officially shoved me into depression. I see people getting new jobs or getting married every single day. It’s a harsh reminder of my own imperfection. I’m surfing reddit, twitter and instagram while people are out there doing something worthwhile.

We’re living in a century that has spoilt us for choices beyond imagination. Every single time you go out to do something, you have hundreds of options glaring at you from every direction. Which one to pick? Which one will offer maximum utility? The truth is, no matter what you choose, you will always feel buyer’s remorse. If you choose to do MBA, you may spend years thinking about how it would been if you chose MA. If you choose to become a driver, thoughts of becoming a waiter will torture you forever. And on and on it goes. In the end, despite having a plethora of choices at your feet, you choose to not take a step in any direction at all.

I want to be a writer, a dancer, a psychologist, a cook and a driver. But I don’t know which way to go first; which opportunity is worth giving up for something else. And it just seems as though I’m letting this confusion rule my life instead of working towards something. Can’t I get a mysterious signal from gravity so that I can find my way towards a high-functioning facility that will transport me to another planet via a worm hole or something?

The Y Generation – Cookies without butter, sugar and eggs.

The three main ingredients in baking cookies are – butter, sugar and eggs. They hold the cookie together and give it substance and personality. Without these three ingredients, the cookie would fall apart like a victim impaled by iron rods in Final Destination. It seems as though the Y generation, which is to say, the current generation, is a batch of cookies without any substance.

We are a faceless crowd. A crowd has no meaning, no purpose and no ambition. Apparently this generation was supposed to be the ‘future of India’. I’d rather have the old people living in old-age homes run our country, they would probably have more backbone. Youth is supposed to live by a certain sense of idealism, or at least, a drive to achieve something – even if it’s being the best goddamn grass mower in the country. But instead we have cynical laze-balls who think they do the world a favour by sitting in 5 star pubs and bitching about the state of traffic in the city.

In my opinion, it’s alright to be aimless for a while, when you are searching for you true purpose and calling. It’s okay to try out new things and gain different experiences. It’ not written in the bible that one must do only one thing for his/her entire life. You may choose to do as many different things as you want. No dream is too far-fetched if only you have the courage to go after it. It takes a lot of patience, guts and the ability to take risks to do things that you want. However, the Y generation wants things easier and quicker than a vending machine chucking out coke bottles. If they had it their way, they would sit at home while watching TV and money would rain down upon them from the heavens. “Struggle” is a concept limited to staying awake during the boards of class 12th.

They want everything to come to them, rather than it being the other way round. Even degrees are on sale now. They want a lucrative job right after graduation (and by lucrative I mean an annual package of 6 Lacs, added perks and free food) and want ample social time as well. The next generation will probably be aiming to get elected Prime Minister right after class 12th. No one is interested in working hard, committing to their work or displaying any loyalty. They want a job, and they want it on their terms. It doesn’t matter that their output is zero or next to it. The fact that they showed up in their newly bought Raymond suits is enough to make them eligible for a paycheck.

Not a single person has any idea of where they’re going or where they want to land up. It’s all about money, money and more money. How can I earn more? How can I get a promotion? Will I get more if I change jobs? Will I get a better package in a different industry? Should I ask for an appraisal? And about shortcuts. I should speak to my Uncle about getting me into that MNC. I should request my best friend to slip in my recommendation to his boss so that I don’t have to interview. I should approach that distant MLA to get me a government job. I should hang out with that rich relative much more, maybe they can employ me in their business.

From the above, it looks like a bunch of ants running here and there for no apparent reason.

As far as their depth is concerned, well I think the fact that the youth tries to outdo each other by having competitions of vodka shots pretty much explains how much depth there is in their lives. No, by depth I don’t mean being a Jane Austen or Shakespeare fan. By depth I mean, having principles and beliefs that run deeper than alcohol, sex and drugs. Affairs, drugs and facebook friends seem to have become a benchmark for social popularity and success. It seems as though our happiness depends upon getting those hundred likes on our new profile picture. If we don’t, then it probably means that we’re ugly and deserve to die. 15 year old kids seem to think that getting a picture clicked while blowing out hukka smoke makes them look mature and cool. Girls think that by getting their noses, navel, tongue and whatnot pierced in school makes them hip and ‘different’. Tastelessly and pointlessly abusing is a fashion and trend that supposedly makes one look ‘stronger’.

If these are the benchmarks for ‘personality’ then I’d rather have the entire generation schooled once again in the school of common sense and have them put on dialysis to flush out all their stupidity, fakeness and paper-thin beliefs. Sometimes when I look around and see girls intensely discussing the latest sale in Zara as that one sale will change their lives, or boys talking crudely about women’s private parts and laughing, I wonder whether we have been educated at all, if we have learnt anything in our entire existence. What a waste.