A thorough Indian, born and raised in the 90’s is the most entertaining experience. I am a true 90’s kid. To my luck, I did not travel outside India till I turned 21 which gave me enough time and opportunity to explore my country first. Thankfully, my father’s vocation gave us access to immense travel across India growing up.
It’s almost two decades since the 90’s and it’s a constant reminder that I am OLDer. The reason behind writing like someone with a lot of experience with age and journeying was this very fact! Somehow I thought, now is the time to move on.
Back then, when a child was born, most of the family would know about it a few days later. In our case, first 13 years of my life went backpacking across India. any news would come our way atleast a week later. By then the new born had adjusted to the surroundings outside mother’s womb and was a pro at surviving. Family would gather around and the mother would strictly follow orders by the elders. In most cases, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Now, when a kid is born, most of the family knows within the first 10 minutes. Sometimes with pictures. The excitement of seeing the new parents and the baby is lost. In most cases, either there are no elders in the family or the existing ones are distanced. The baby’s existence is first confirmed on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
With all the cross country travel, I moved schools atleast half a dozen times, maybe more. Every time I would start at a new school, adjusting to the school, classmates and teachers would not take more than a week. There were no distractions. People did not know about you before you spoke to them in person and that helped. There were lesser assumptions and less complications in building relationships. Now, when a kid moves schools, the first thing classmates and (maybe teachers as well) do is check for the kids social media coverage, sometimes they check for their parents social media as well and then decide what kind of a relationship they want with this kid.
I remember all my childhood birthday celebrations vividly. There would be not so fancy cake baked by my mother and my favorite meals would be cooked at home. I would wear new or my favorite casual outfit to school and distribute toffees to my classmates. It was plain, simple and economical. I don’t remember demanding my parents to invite magician or an event planner ever (this includes my wedding as well). A cousin was celebrating his son’s fourth birthday recently and that was an event to remember. There was a theme with a bunch of games and prizes for kids and adults. There were numerous delicacies to hog and the cake was classiest ever. It was a sudden realization that I was a dumb kid NEVER to demand anything extraordinary for myself on this one day only for me.
I am married, have financial stability, physical & mental fitness as well and every time I meet any family member or friend’s family members, the only question I am asked is ‘ when are you becoming a parent?’. I don’t think there is anything wrong in people rooting for a pregnancy but is it really all one should hope for? My parents got married young and had become parents before either of them turned 30. That was the 90’s trend I guess. Have your kids marry before they turn 25 and have them become parents before they turn 30. I guess since it was that era, most children being obedient managed to complete the checklist on time if not before. Today, most people (I know of) marry in their late 20s or early 30s. They spend a few years with each other before wanting to have a crying pooping cooing cute little bundle of joy join them. Sometimes the couple decide not to opt for a baby.
In each of my experiences laid here, I end up finding a cultural shift within our dynamic society. The framework is changing and we are unsure if it is for the good or otherwise. Then and Now will always be a topic of discussion in every generation and I am sure, each discussion will end up encounter something new and challenging.