Sunday, January 1, 2012

The sandwiched generation

My sudden interest in family weddings and alumni meets has surprised me more than anybody else.I have been thinking and talking about it a lot lately, as to what has brought about this change in me.The magic figure of forty crept in and suddenly picture became more clear.I realized that post forty we do become more sensitized to our roots,our past,our old friends and relatives.Strange but true.

We are anti establishment when young,both at a personal level and in the society.We are rebellious,brimming with new revolutionary ideas that we sincerely believe will make a difference,we are ready to take on the world head on,'dekha jayega'is the mantra,kya fark padta hai-we say and I care a damn is the attitude.
Toh!!with a raised eyebrow is the answer to any question and we see the elders shrink.They shrink because they know we can .They is just that they feel that small tug at their apron strings.They ruled till then  and now it was the time to hand over the reigns.It is realization time, that suddenly they 'care', worry,get affected and have begun playing safe.

As we cross the all important figure of forty,most of us have achieved at least the basic goals in life and have created our own cozy space in the universe.During the journey,we traveled at a breakneck speed without a care in the world for anything and suddenly one day 'what will Mrs Deshpande think' crosses our mind from nowhere for a fleeting second! Of course we manage to brush it off immediately,we know better than our parents , but the point is..the thought does cross albeit briefly.Also,we no longer argue with our parents and before we know it, we become the sandwiched generation.

The great sandwiched generation has two generations of child-beings to attend to.The grass is not greener on any side of the fence and both generations graze in your comfortable mental space till you go green in the face.The elderly child-beings and the YAs(young adults-your children) are persistent and ziddi to the core.In my opinion,English language has no word that matches up to 'ziddi' because this one word sums it all.Both generations,years apart in their thinking,vie for your attention and are sometimes fiercely competitive in the process.The best part is, these two kid-generations get along like a house on fire.Both can be very demanding when it comes to your attention ,so just when you get ready to settle with a big mug of liquid to sip the pleasures of your labor, your presence is urgently demanded.

My parents call  every evening after I come back from work, to keep in touch with my life.It is sweet of my parents to do that really, since I am definitely more occupied than they are but what do I do with their uncanny ability to catch me precisely when I have shampoo in my hair or some such inopportune moment when it is next to impossible to take the call.I swear mom,I have not instructed Muffin to simply say that I am in the bathroom...I AM IN THE BATHROOM .Kids know it is my parents calling when the mobile rings for a short while , immediately followed by the land line ( they hate the mobile ) which rings incessantly ,till I fall over myself to pick it up ,dropping everything else in hand.Phone call is brief,mainly about me and family,my day at work and health.Dittto queries are thrown back to them by me and its peace and quiet.Hell breaks loose if there is delay in answering the calls and I can not think of not answering ,nope.My evening tea after work is after this routine ,always.

The kids who refuse to answer calls from older generation cite the following :
me-(yanking the glued-in earphones)-The phone was ringing!
them  -Phone rang?When?I did not hear it
         -waise bhi, it is always nanaji/naniji for is never our call
         -I did not want to sound like a liar by saying that you were in the bathroom AGAIN !
         -Why can't you call them first thing after you come back mom,really,how difficult is that?
me (mumbling)-How difficult indeed..
Cookie-Okay ,emergency mom,get ready fast ,we gotta go shop for A's homecoming party,Pink day at college and B's birthday bash and while at it we might as well pick up stuff for the upcoming  Pathology presentation in college.
Muffin-Have you seen my blue-black ab guard?I need that for the Tuesday match at school.
me-What happened to the blue-white ab guard we bought for the last match ?
Muffin -I need the blue-black not the blue-white for this match.

My space is thus encroached in totality,I am sandwiched and my days begin all over again in the evenings !


  1. Been there, done that!
    I realise how you are feeling.
    I just stepped into the next higher layer. I am 63.
    I suppose this is the penultimate layer and I am not sure I will make it to the final layer (80 to 100)

    Life, and the way we think and behave changes with layers.
    I can see the drastic difference in myself.
    20 years ago, I wouldn't be seen dead, hob nobbing with unknown ladies like this! I was busy with my career and family, going through all the inevitable tensions.

    I am now at peace. The children are adults and on their own.
    As long as I enjoy reasonably good heath, this is going to be my best layer.

    Happy new year.

  2. Dear God Sharmila, that sounds the story of my life. My Mom's uncanny ability to call when I am in the middle of something(which is like always). Her sulking.

    I feel like a spinning wheel!

  3. Gvji,I see myself blogging and I see you commenting all through your next layer:)take care..hope your knee is fine.

    Purba,My concern is will we be like our mothers in that regard?God save our girls if it happens decades down the line.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...