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       Volume 11 |Issue 03| January 20, 2012 |


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Wisdom of the Young

Aasha Mehreen Amin

One of the biggest fears of aging is not the nearness of death but the distance between you and the world around you. It translates to simple things like texting, facebooking, twitting and Skyping. If you do not know at least three of these terms, you are definitely out of touch. Obviously to know these things you need to be at least a little familiar with certain gadgets -the smart phones, tablets, i Pads Kindles and so on. Even if you can't quite get the hang of using the gadget, just try to bribe a teenager pre-teens will do the job for less) with some video game of her choice and she will show you the basics. You could even turn her into a low-paid secretary sending off your emails, downloading pictures, songs, books and texting your friends using proper sms language: r u 2 bz to tlk?

This brings us to a crucial point. The Kolaveri Di phenomenon. This is a catchy Tamil song composed by Anirudh Ravichander that has taken the world by storm. You will find practically everyone humming the tune or nodding their heads when it is playing. From toddlers to granpas, the Kolaveri fever is on whether in Lalbagh or London.

Some of you may be arching your eyebrows sardonically and thinking: What the...? I haven't heard of this. Well then, dude, you are way out of touch. If you haven't heard this song you are certainly close to that scary borderline where the 'land of the dinosaurs' begins. It means you are not in sync with the young and hence with life itself.

Many of you may scoff at the apparently exaggerated importance given to a song meant for 'soup boys' (lads who fail in lau, sorry love). But the song that means 'Why this killer rage against me?' is, for the time being, the pulse of the youth, the rhythm of youthfulness and the angst of the new generation. The melody is very infectious and contains elements of old tunes along with the hip hop notes, hence its universal appeal. The lyrics, which are a mixture of Tamil and English with definite Tamil intonations, add humour to the song of unrequited, hopeless love.

Of course, now that most of you are educated about the latest musical mania, you may apply the 'kolaveri di' notion to many things that plague you and find solace in the empathy it provides. When your boss blasts you for writing gobment for government in an English daily, when a crow decides to drop its legacy on your head just as you are about to go to a job interview, when the cop catches you the one time you forgot to put on the safety belt, when your mother finds out after forty years of blissful oblivion, that you smoke, when you bang your head on a pole while thinking of life's true meaning - this is when you ask that question: why this killer rage against me? This is the moment when you must remember the song and sing it with gusto, in your head if necessary. Funnily enough, the very tune and quirky lyrics will actually lift up your spirits and make you forget that sense of victimisation and injustice that seems to befall you so frequently.

Which brings us to that idea of being in touch with the young and hence with the world as it morphs so rapidly, making us feel more and more like earthlings on Mars. We may think we have a lot of wisdom to give to the next generation which, to an extent, is true. But never underestimate the enlightenment attained from your juniors. They are the ones who will tell you what an emoticon (the smiley or sad faces you add in texts) is and how to download a Manna Dey song or find your school chum from fifty years ago on Facebook.

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