Monday, December 26, 2011

It's complicated

A long time ago, in our father’s generation, when an average guy finished his education, secured a job, his parents would help him find a match. He would settle down and have children. If he grew up to be rich and successful; that is if he owned a large house, a nice car and wore a good suit, he’d be looked upon as a complete man, a Raymond’s man.
This was a generation bereft of mobile phones, emails, web chats and Facebook. Most guys then had little independence in matters of fashion, lifestyle, disposable income, travel and relationships and were confined to convention. Yet, they became men molded by experience, culture and tradition.
Somehow as time drew, narrow minds broadened, foreign programming streamed through TV screens, food got instantly heated in microwaves, travelling abroad became frequent, clicking on internet for information became faster than holding a thought — the identity of the young guy got lost in the deluge of change. He became the complicated man.
You saw his first avatar in a cold drink ad, which featured a face-off between Shah Rukh Khan and a youth with hunched shoulders, gelled hair and an attitude problem over a can. Today, that dude is everywhere: he’s in the malls, on the streets and even chilling on your sofa. This is who he is.
He is self-indulgent and vain; extremely conscious of his status, influence and affluence. Most of all, he cares for his looks and what clothes he wears. He takes most people for granted. Most of all his parents, who let him do whatever he pleases and with a generous allowance to suffice for their absence.
He has servants for every whim, who have raised him, but he doesn’t know where they come from. He doesn’t like to read books and has friends who haven’t touched one since school. He sports an ‘out of bed’ hairstyle, a designer trimmed beard, waxed chest, owns the latest iPhone, drives a flashy car and has an opinion on all things money can buy. He’s usually fun to hangout with; that is if you like going to clubs, drinking vodka, snorting cocaine and that too on weekday afternoons. His only problem is that he doesn’t know how to talk to girls. Not the ones in Thailand; the ones he meets in cocktail parties.
He wears a lot of perfume and wants to sleep with girls. Has only made out in his car. Sometimes he’ll pick up a eunuch for a blow job. His ideas on sex are summed by years of watching porn. He feels all white women are easy to sleep with. He doesn’t wish to marry, but is sure his wife will be a virgin and indulge in him the way his mother does.
His image of self is usually split into two, a virtual one — like his Facebook profile with a cool picture — and the real one that works overtime to cast this much desired image. In his mind he plays a lead role for a situation comedy show that demands recorded laughter at every punchline and a dramatic twist for every emotional outburst. And when he doesn’t find life to be so, he feels different, misunderstood and disconnected. He also feels cut out for acting.
He likes to fill boring details of his time lost in the glare of an iPod, iPad, BlackBerry and X-Box for constant stimulation, instant gratification. He wants to constantly stay connected with friends, to stay in on this private party where only those with a net connection are invited. He doesn’t care about politics, but will wave the national flag at India Gate for Anna Hazare. He lives for his friends who live for his indulgences. He is unfortunately a grim picture of the youth today. The future of tomorrow. He is the very subject of coolness that Bollywood apes, reality TV shows create, ad-men invent and village boys from across the northern country aspire to be.


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