#2. Twenty first century kids- where is the “childhood”?

 “I cannot go to school today”
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry.
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox.

-Shel Silverstein

Remember those days? Pretending to be ill, trying to be canny, yet oh so innocent, all for the sake of escaping school. Gosh I was a pain in the ass (all of us were)!

With demands, the twentieth century children, the “90s kids” as we are known, we had little imagination. The biggest thing we could dream of was a hero cycle or a maxima watch. We were promised that if we topped or got certain distinction in certain subject (read maths and english), our dreams would come true and we might own a bicycle. Our demands were wittingly turned into prizes by our parents. We can’t complain if we see how many A+ we got thanks to those little greeds of ours.

These days, all the kids are high maintenance. They throw feats if they can’t get the latest smartphone. They don’t care if the economy is marred by inflation or if father has to save for something important, more important than their gadgets (maybe grandpa’s prostate surgery?).

Funny part is, they have theories and arguments ready if a parent asks them to just stick their asses into the chair and study. They talk about how “irrelevant” study has become, how liberal arts has “taken over” the world and academia doesn’t matter at all. Globalisation has given the poor parents a reason to take Ambien (sleeping pills).

Agreed, we had fewer resources. Internet was not really a thing then. Smartphones? Even a dumb phone (read Nokia 1600, which had cricket game) was a luxury. Technology, gadgets and time, all have changed. But shouldn’t there be an age for everything? And a few rightful limits? Shouldn’t a kid get his smart phone when he goes to high school, you know, just to make it a big deal?

Even the computer games these days are so complicated. I see my brother playing them and yes, that needs some serious talent and patience. One can say I am an old guard in that sense, still savoring the greatness of my beloved Age of Empires, FIFA and NFS. I wonder how introducing “rape sequence” and “first person sex with prostitutes” in the latest version of GTA will help the younger generation becoming better humans.

Everything is so casual today. Everything a touch away. Every child knows everything, wants everything, sees everything. I talk about a demographic who finds United State of America “wonderful”, because the sitcoms and tv series show how cool adultery is, how casual it is to switch partner of sex every once in a week and many other things. Kids half my age (I am just 22, mind you) are reading “50 shades of grey” and Rohit Sharma is scoring double centuries in ODIs. Apocalypse is near, I am afraid.

I don’t blame anybody. I am not envious of this generation either. The child in me just misses the childhood these days.

I see the 21st century childhood, engrossed in a tablet or a laptop, tearing through an army of zombies; drowned into costly marvel comics; chomping popcorn in a multiplex every month;  celebrating birthdays at dominos and KFC; posing for selfies; led by Jaden and Willow smith; too ignorant yet too pompous in its false pride.

I miss the 20th century childhood; the childhood that was spent eloping from home to play gully cricket and kabaddi; the childhood that dripped in rain and mud while running behind a soccer ball; the childhood that was innocent and naive; that fell and got up and grew gradually.

Yes, the times change. Yes the way of living changes. But innocence was born with the first child. Children today are becoming self-centred adults. “Childhood” seems like a cliché, innocence a lost art.

Outdoor games are only visible on TV sets and of course in the EA world. Do these kids even know how it feels to grip a real bat or kick a real football? Have they ever tried gazing at the stars or just submitting themselves to the mud and grass of playground and got themselves dirty?

I was devastated when I read the interview of Smith siblings with New York Times. Entire world is in shock with their intellect( I wonder what Will Smith might be thinking!). Perhaps reading it would give you a little perspective into what this generation is becoming. It is not pretty or encouraging.

those eyes are scary, but those eyes are so generic in today's kids.
those eyes are scary, but those eyes are so generic in today’s kids. I wish I could see some innocence or sanity in them.

My younger brother is a proud member of this demographic. When I asked him these questions, he yelled at me like kids these days do at everybody, like a sad soul, with eyes glued to his “call of duty”,

“What do you know? You are a dolt!”


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