The other day I was driving my car with my uncle in the passenger seat. As the drive got a bit long, he insisted on turning on the music. I put on one of my favourite artistes. My uncle is not a fan of the 'latest' music. He only likes old-school melodies and dismisses any song that belongs to this century as a "cacophony of loud drums and shrieks".
I didn't interrupt as he started off again about the superior quality of music and songs back in the good old days when he was young, I could feel my grip on the steering wheel tighten and took a long breath.
This was familiar talk and it's happened with most of my friends. We've been told by our parents, uncles and aunts about how everything has gone downhill in the past few decades. Be it movies, music, politics or life in general, according to them, each aspect has deteriorated when we stepped in to actively participate in the working of this world. Our generation just can't bring back those good times of the '70s and '80s. But why should we"
It is unfair to label any generation's culture and way of living superior or inferior to others. No doubt that the last half of the 20th century gave the world pioneers in different fields, and there had been immense progress on all fronts, but it is not like we have hit a creative block now. Society is still as vibrant as it ever was. A particular time period cannot have all the good things happening in it, and neither all the bad things going on. It can't be black and white.
Yes, there's been a vast change since the time my uncle appreciated any music artiste. And change is not bad. It only means that things are different now. Different, not inferior. My peers and I were born in this new world, so we this is what we have experienced.
Hence, this is what we are habitual of. We like the cities with their fast-paced life and comforts. We have our share of good, bad and almost-classic movies. We don't mind listening to songs that we know will be off the charts next month. We do a greater part of our job by tapping and squinting over our mobiles. But it is just the way it all works right now. This doesn't make us lazy, materialistic, workaholic or impatient as we are often described. Most importantly, we don't live in our own little cocoon. Wherever it matters, we stand up, raise our voice and set things right.
Every generation comes with its own set of preferences and approach. If only we try and broaden our perspective a bit, we can get the best of both worlds.