Yes, I did recognise the trend of reminiscent and nostalgic posts that preceded this one, but for some peculiar reason, I cannot help myself. Tsk tsk. Nonetheless, this post was – I would not use the word “inspired” as the moment was not entirely praiseworthy – decided upon after having come to India after Summer. To some extent I do believe that this one was a long time coming, but this instance I believe was the ultimatum.
In the context of the United Nations those falling between the ages of 10-24 have been declared youth and according to Wikipedia those between infancy and puberty as children. For those of whom who know me, you maybe familiar with my use of term, “Child”. I say it with neither the intention of patronising nor overly humble * as if that made any sense* Point being is that I use the word, maybe a little too much for the liking of certain individuals. Leaving the use of terminology aside, in my context I describe children as all those below the age of approximately eighteen. Or rather, those still living custody of their parents. I know my Mother still considers me to be her “child”, a) because I’m the youngest in the family and b) hence, I will never “grow up” regardless of the increase in chronological age.
Drawing myself back to the triggered instance, it was the very night Pavani and I got back from home. Driving to the hostel at 9-10pm in the night, I told the cab driver to make shop-stop. I did not tell him that I needed Sprite to beat the indigestion but merely asked to stop, in my broken Hindi. In response to my request, the first thing the cab driver – good soul, Bless him – asks me was as to whether I wanted to buy cigarettes?
I do not smoke, I do not drink and that does not mean that I’ll see you in Heaven. However, the question he asked me did surprise me, a lot – hence the blog! I maybe in my twenties but having been rejecting food for an entire week, I sincerely may have looked so. Thus, having looked a teenager or young adult, I did not expect to be asked by an adult or someone older than I, as to whether I wanted to buy cigarettes.
Having come to India, one thing I realised the most was that “children” who smoked and the availability to birth control and safe sex measures – with the latter being a relatively positive thing, I think – is high. At least it is in comparison to Sri Lanka. Or like I keep saying, “Maybe we don’t move around with the “right” circles back home.” Nevertheless, I love my little circles, squares and triangles.
Coming back to country with a populace of nearly one billion, it maybe a natural thing for the simultaneously increasing number of children, adolescents, youth or whatever they are called to become fixated to a vices and adopt a change in their lifestyles.
As a student of American Literature, I learnt that certain vices ironically draw communities together. Passing of the pipe during Tribal days among the Native Americans was a mark of fraternity and oneness.
However, my conscience fails to accept the fact that this “passing of the pipe” among Indian kids as thus. In that context, I maybe going one step beyond the boundaries given to me by stating this but, from what is observable to me, those whom we consider to be elders may not always offer the best of advice. Instead, they may even be the catalyst of such vices among youth, like the cab driver.
As previously stated, he was a cab driver, and I’m not Indian. Now all you Indians who surround my present dwellings may throw your chappals in disagreement. I am purely exercising my freedom of expression.