Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Then and Now

A shorter version of this article, titled Nuances of Now and Then, appeared in Today (24 Feb. 2003) the afternoon paper of the India Today Group. A column called My Space was started with this article.


Then: A ‘tallish’ girl stooped and wore Kolhapuri chappals. Her parents wrung their hands in despair.
Now: A tall girl stands up straighter and wears at least four-inch high stiletto heels. Guys around her wish they were six-footers.

Then: A girl went from frocks to lehengas to half-sarees to sarees. Even then, she tripped, clutched her pallu and relied heavily on safety pins. Georgettes? No-no!
Now: Sweet-sixteens go from jeans to sarees overnight (for Teachers Day, or the farewell party). They carry themselves with grace and élan. Backless blouses? Sure!

Then: ‘Real’ men didn’t know where the kitchen was. They were stern fathers. They didn’t show their emotions.
Now: The ‘complete’ man wields a mean skillet. He changes diapers with the same ease as he changes gears. And sometimes, he sheds tears.

Then: Padding.
Now: Liposuction.

Then: The vamp wore sheer clothes, sang a ‘cabaret’ number and temporarily stole the hero away from the heroine.
Now: The vamp is extinct. The heroine gets her clothes and songs.

Then: Our parents left us at home when they went to watch an “A” movie.
Now: Our kids change the channel when they foresee a ‘scene’.

Then: We spoke to our grandparents in the vernacular and looked forward to grandma’s laddoos.
Now: Our parents speak to our kids in English and take them out for pizza.

Then: The maid gratefully accepted whatever food and clothes you gave her.
Now: She criticizes your culinary skills and your fashion-sense with equal disdain.

Then: Shopping with a jute bag was the equivalent of ‘dorky’.
Now: We flaunt eco-friendly jute shoppers with bamboo handles.

Then: “Sorry for the interruption.” “Rukawat ke liye khed hai”
Now: “We’ll be right back--- after the break!”

Then: “Frogs and snails and puppy dogs’ tails, that’s what little boys are made of.”
Now: My son has seen a frog once, and a snail, never.

Then: We paid attention in class and scrupulously noted down the homework to be done.
Now: They go to the phone as soon as they get back from school and ask, “What was the HW, yaar? Can you fax me the diagrams?” or, “My notebook has gone into your bag, can you courier it to me, please?” or, “Chill and go on that trip, you can photocopy my notes later.”

Then: We spent hours in the library.
Now: They spend hours on the Net.

Then: I swore I would never say, “When we were kids……”
Now: I swear and say it!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:57 PM   
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3:59 PM   
Blogger Sachin said...

Hey Lak, not fair!!! You asked me to check out all your articles and post even negative comments....Frankly, am not finding much opportunity to write anything negative...your writing rocks!

3:42 AM   

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