Fatafat & not being Fatafati.
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
I often feel I have been born in the wrong era. Or, simply put, growing up in an age where people seem to be simply sprinting too fast, that I am unable to even see the skid marks of the run. The world around us has succumbed to this rat race, without paying much heed to today. We are seeking a future that is not in our hands and not focusing on the sand that slips through our fingers.
Just like the unfamiliar beats of hard rock music we keep banging our heads to, we are caged in a world where there is no surety of a tomorrow, at yet we strive for it. Our internet is full of lists, wish-lists and upcoming lists. We are a generation cursed with choices. Choices so abundant that we no longer know what we want.
Our generation began as someone who was constantly compared to bring better marks, take science and become the next IIT alumnus. However, in our growing years, we began seeing the truth of the push. We began to see Engineers taking control of their lives earlier, seeking opportunities on YouTube and the then famous Facebook. Instagram was an application people hardly used but curated beautiful feeds with.
The larger portion of our life has been spent in electricity cut off when it poured cats and dogs, engaging ourselves with a game of posham-pa, the original ludo and snakes and ladders. Cold, icy concoctions of tang or ice-tea, rationed as the powder drink was difficult to purchase. We have seen long letters, post cards and emails turned into 140 characters on twitter or long captions on Instagram.
Overwhelmed with choices, we are simply unable to choose our track. Where on one side the older generations call us privileged, the younger ones look at us in disbelief as we dance to the tunes of tradition. A hocus-pocus mix of Harry Potter and Hari Puttar, this generation is a calamitic mix of Motorola flip phones and Apple iPhones.
We push our dreams seen in tender ages, looking at the ill-fitting clothes of the then actors, to the more body-conscious actors wearing tight clothes. We still dance to the frantic beats of Daler Mehndi and often just can’t enjoy the remixes of Guru Randhawa.
It may not be from our era, but we grew up listening to the Ghazals of Mirza, beautifully crooned by maestros like Jagjit Singh, finding whatever little sense we could in the beautiful poetry. Our love stories were imagined in saffron fields and with white horses but our self love was stronger than our Instagram followers.
The race changed its course, it deteriorated. What began as to who could be more happy offline transmuted to who could have more followers online. In our board exam days, being off the internet was considered cool, no matter what the outcome. And today, using our social media at the same time is the norm.
Fast paced decisions may not be for the late 90s kids. We still demand for the yummy asafoetida balls fatafat or the tattoos we got with boomer chewing gums. We are put into an age where boomer has a negative connotation.
Meanings of intimacy have changed.
We belong to a generation where we spend hours and hours making decorations and cards for our friends' birthdays. We would put countdowns on our alarm clocks and ask that one friend who had a fancier phone at home to organise the con-call. We waited as the seconds ticked away, our fingers dancing in excitement as we waited for the clock to turn 12 in the night and we called that friend.
We would gossip for hours, knowing very well that the early morning school the next day meant receiving chocolates. We would click pictures from our camera, upload it on the computer and send it on Facebook, to get suggestions. Or if the friend was close, we would end up at their house and help them pick their outfit. The next morning would mean bringing a homemade cake, a couple of chocolates and a gift, usually worth not more than a 100 Rs (but priceless in terms of the emotion). We would carefully pack it but feel proud when the friend would hastily tear the paper, wanting to see the contents.
We didn’t even realise when it changed to a text.
The warm hug in return can never be replaced, even if we decide to deliver a gift to our friend. Delivery apps cannot replace the fun of carefully picking items for our friend, cursing through the price tags with glued eyes, dipping on one foot as we wait for the item to be charged, albeit to your parents.
Once we used to memorise our friends' phone numbers on our tips and now we need to save our passwords to log in.
There's a clutter in this world. Many options have shadowed over the simplicity of choices. And most often, I find myself thinking, maybe less was better.