Globally, a really cool transformation is taking place. Millennials like you and me are slowly but surely changing the world order. They’re shattering traditions and reinterpreting realities. They don’t care about things that their parents found important. They’re not in a rat race and neither are they bothered about what’s considered to be ‘right’. They’re making their own rules and talking their own mind. (I found a really helpful article about millennials here)
But here in India, in our eagerness to emulate what the ‘west’ is doing, most of us are getting it all wrong. It’s like, we’re dressing the part but speaking the same old language. The Indian Millennials are busy proving a point that wasn’t theirs to begin with.
So for the greater good (and because I am tired of fakes), here is my bit on ‘How (and how not) to be a Millennial’-
- Don’t talk about gender equality when all you expect from your wife is to do her nails, stay ‘fit’ (read unnaturally tiny) and be your arm candy.
- Stalking people on Facebook doesn’t mean you’re social media savvy.
- Don’t say that social status doesn’t make a difference when you have separate chairs, dishes and glasses for your servants (I wrote about the repercussions of this attitude here)
- Don’t be afraid to lose the comforts of your family’s business to explore the endless possibilities of your destiny. And if you do join papa’s firm, respect the head start you got and be humble about the wealth you had no role in creating.
- Take genuine interest in someone else’s well being. Don’t feel bad for yourself when you see someone else flourish.
- Teach yourself and your kids that fair is not necessarily beautiful. Calling fair skinned people pretty is incredibly colonial and discriminatory. Don’t sell ideas that propagate this notion too.
- Don’t be afraid to share your secret. If you’ve done something right, be a mentor and encourage others to try the same too.
- Don’t drive the BMW that your father bought you and then pretend to be the ‘monk who sold his Ferrari’. It was never yours to begin with.
- Don’t use money as a yardstick to judge a person. In fact, don’t judge, period. Respect people who have enriched themselves by reading, experiencing, listening and learning.
- Come to terms with the fact that in the coming years nobody is going to give a f**k to what or who you’re wearing. Narcissism is finally going out of fashion.
- Have the courage to sustain your own self. Pay for your higher education. Foot the bill of your own wedding.
- Value meaningful conversation. Learn to really listen.
- Don’t stay at boutique resorts and luxury hotels and claim that you love ‘traveling’. What you really love is spoiling yourself, not opening up to new experiences.
- Detox your mind from the need to hoard and own. Amassing stuff adds to life’s miseries.
- Under the guise of your ‘Indian’ values and ‘sanskaari’ upbringing don’t be pathetically double faced. And don’t confuse being religious with being someone with principles.
- Don’t say you stand for women’s rights because you ‘allow’ your wife to work or pursue her ambition.
- Cooking, cleaning and laundry are life skills. They’re not the prerogative of a specific gender. It’s important that you learn to survive without being served by your mother or your wife or your Raju.
- Curiosity is good. Questioning something is not rebellion. Don’t accept something just because ‘that’s how it’s always been’.
- Be original. Don’t be in the pressure of being accepted. Also, I have to break it ; letting your brands do the talking for you is just sad.
I have seen much too many friends and family trying so hard to belong to what they believe is the ‘hip’ crowd. Ladies who talk about little else than where they partied last night and men who discuss the fortunes and assets of others. Heartfelt conversations have given way to superficial banter. Social camaraderie has replaced genuine bonds.
In our vehement resolve of complacency, we’re ignoring the fact that we can be game changers. That these are our glory days. That we’re the generation that’s shaping the future. That we can be more than just gullible victims of commercial consumption. That this could be our only chance to make a difference.
(Cover Image : SBT4NOW)