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An open letter to the older generation

Dear Parents,

I am not the model girl that your generation hoped for. I am an average- whether it comes to looks, merit, efforts or ambition- I do not stand out in any way. Your colleagues don’t say stuff like “Mr. X has such an extraordinary daughter. I am already envious of her in-laws.” They are more likely to say that “I worry about Mr. X’s daughter. What is gonna happen to that girl?”

You know, in the midst of all this, you tend to forget that instead of an ideal doll born and bred for the sole purpose of marriage, you raised an independent, confident, headstrong girl who does not care much for the social conventions. When in sixth grade every one my age used to watch “Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” you introduced me to Jim Corbett, Joules Vern, Rabindranath Tagore, Sharatchandra Chattyapaddhaya. I remember the thrill of reading Devdas when I was 13. You were nurturing the rebel in me, and you knew it, and you loved me for it. What went wrong? Why did you, the ones who were always trying to get me to participate in different things, the ones who were always behind me, guiding me, encouraging me, turn into people not so supportive anymore?

Oh, right.

The society happened

And it breaks my heart to say that I am not alone.

You see, you don’t really understand my generation. To you, we are these bohemian, clueless generation who have no idea how to settle down, how to build a life, how to be “content”. And you are partly right. We are clueless. Our generation is impatient. We have big dreams, and we don’t always understand reality, and sometimes we can be aggressive and hot-headed and we make mistakes. I get it, you just want to protect us from the hardship that you went through, and it frustrates you when you see us running after some dream that might or might not come true. And your parental instincts kick in, and you try to hold us back. I get it all, I promise you. I do.

But doesn’t your “reality” and mine differ slightly from each other?

You see, we have a different understanding of life compared to you. You have to admit that your access to information was much more limited compared to ours, so you felt a strong urge to belong right where you were. We don’t feel that obligation anymore. The world is such a huge, overwhelming, mesmerizing place. Wouldn’t it be a waste to stay in one place and rot away?
We do understand your enthusiasm for a safe, settled life. And most of us will settle, in our own times. Would it hurt too much to give us a little time before that, so when we make the jump from under your wings, we can be sure that we will fly instead of crashing down to the ground?

And the society. Oh, the society.

We understand why it hurts you when people you barely know point a finger towards your children and mark them as failures. It hurts us as much as it hurts you. However, life, to us, is far bigger than what others are saying. It can be very overwhelming if you take what every single soul out there is saying into account. After all, we are no celebrity. Why does it have to matter what the others are saying?

I know, it is a lot to take in

My generation is so drastically different from yours that it scares you. And change IS scary, I’ll give you that, and you will not completely understand us, and you will not completely understand why we do what we do, just like we will never understand your side of the story. But that’s alright. Leave us be. We will, in our own way, try our hardest to pay you back for that trust. All we’re asking for is a little empathy and a little support. And I swear we will fly.

I hope I wasn’t disrespectful to you in any way. If I was, please forgive me, and my entire generation.

Love

A single lost soul who is trying to find her way back to you.

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