Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Being an 'unsocial' generation

This was what my grandmother used to tell us about their times. They hailed from a small village where there were just a few families. All of them knew each other in and out. Nothing would happen nor move without the knowledge of the whole village. Evenings meant the families sitting together on the portico outside and chatting. Neighbors passing by would join in. Almost all the children of the street would play together. Games would be played using materials available. So a wooden plank would turn into a bat, rolled rags would become the ball, stones found lying would be used to play four corners or eight houses. Seeds of trees would be used to play snake and ladder.

If there was a function in a family then it would not just be a function of only that family but the whole village would chip in. All women folks would get together and prepare sweets. Men folk would be busy getting materials and decorating the venue while children would play and have fun eating all that was prepared. When I think back on the lifestyle led by people like my grandmother I feel life was so very uncomplicated and simple.

Compared to those days, the life we are leading now generally is so stressful. Family size has shrunk. People stick to their homes and the sense of belonging in a neighborhood seems very limited. All of us live cooped up without bothering about others. Best friends and playmates of present day children are gadgets that they use day in and day out. In fact the situation is so bad that they hardly know who their cousins, uncles and aunts are. Indigenous toys are out. Branded toys are in.

Family functions are rare. Getting the whole family together to attend the function itself is a big question mark. I feel further down the generation will lose that wonderful human bonding. Will empathy, harmony, friendship, sharing, humaneness and other wonderful qualities that are required for us human beings to function in this society vanish? Looking at the speed at which the world is changing, will we live through this situation during our life time itself?


Anonymous said...

What you've described is an idealistic view of village life. In reality, girls after say, 10, would not have been allowed to join those games, and in some parts of India been married by 13. Women often did not step out of the house and options for education were limited.
As for family get-togethers, rather than waiting for weddings which are now far fewer, suggest you look at doing your own occasions like Diwali, Christmas or birthdays...

Shobhana Shenoy said...

What you say is true. As you mentioned we try and meet up with people during festive occasions.