Whenever people have mentioned differences between the youth of 70s and the youth of today, I have maintained a smug cheerfulness as I have never faced a problem understanding their view point or relating to them as a friend. I have often wondered if they are so mature as to relate at my level or whether I stopped growing at somelevel after my 20s. The first time I felt a basic difference was yesterday.

I went out for lunch with a group of friends in their 20s and 30s and after lunch they were planning some other activity while I was getting ready to go back home. So one of them asked me why was I rushing back home and if there was a particular reason. For a minute I did not understand the question at all because for me staying out of the house needs a reason and being home is a natural state.One went out for a purpose and stayed home when there was no need to be out. I think that applies to most people in my generation. When I saw the puzzled look on their faces, I realised that perhaps they would rather be out exploring all that is happening or meeting people when they had no pressing compulsions to be home!No wonder they manage to accomplish so much in a day. Is it also because their working week is so packed and leaves them little time to catch up on their hobbies and socialising and so the weekend is too precious to be wasted at home?

Now that is a huge difference in thinking and a different way of living - when did all this happen? Felt like Rip Van Winkle for a moment!
24 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    :) No one I know is as "our generation" as you are, U! So, there. Was good fun seeing you yesterday (as always).

    ~ Shibs.

  2. Usha Says:

    hehehhe....I try to catch up but you people seem to have gone far far ahead for these old feet to catch up shibs!
    The pleasure was entirely mine - I have never laughed so much in all my life, and that is quite a long one so!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I really enjoyed your comparison:)

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Interesting! Here's my take on this "generation gap":

    There may be a weak gender bias here. I was not much of a home-bird in my 20's in 70's.

    Girls and women face far fewer restrictions today than 30/40 years ago.

    Youngsters today are more energetic than those in the 70's, and it may have a lot to do with the richer diet. Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are the unfortunate side effects!

    There are more youth centered cultural options today.

    Geez! Why must I be so surgical always ;(

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I or many of my friends prefer getting back home and having fun at home.Maybe it depends more on interests?


  6. did you also point out that you felt the same way about staying home when you were in your 20's ?

  7. passerby55 Says:

    Interesting USha,

    This seems to have happened with me too.

    Either we had many restrictions or maybe we were the obedient ones or is it that we feel at home only in our given own space, we never knew how to socialise?

    i am confused.We were told that this is discipline(being at home when you have nothing to do out)

    BUt today the same discipline appears as if you are deprived of your freedom.

  8. Paavai Says:

    I experienced it last week, when an eight year old in my class told me - 'u think you are champion in reading, u cant even read my name right' and I had to explain how adults have problems with reading sometimes, how they get scared, how they have problems and that their world is equally interesting and confusing as theirs. Angry young men in grade 4 - definite sign of generation gap. I was thinking if I wud have dared say these words to my teachers at any stage :)-

  9. GuNs Says:

    Your analysis is absolutely correct, Usha. I mean, whenever I went out for a walk or to a restaurant or to play football with friends on a Sunday evening, I HATED to return home. I mean, I wished the Sunday would never end and Monday would never come.

    Since I've started working, its been worse. Most of my friends have scattered all over India and even the world, of those who are still in Pune, everyone comes late, most are too tired after coming home to do anything...its really sad and disappointing.

    So whenever we meet, we make the most of the evening. We all go home as late as it is humnanely possible and since none of us drinks, we are able to spend most of our time having fun ansd in our perfect senses.


  10. Hahaa... Looks like I am like you in this! Totally home-bird, I will go out on weekends only if there is a really strong reason! :)

  11. Usha Says:

    The lone beader: Thanks.

    The RF:Yes, I remember my older brother who was in his 20s in the 70s used to have many extra curricular activities. i too was a debator and quizzer and played badminton for the college but stayed out only for these reasons. Socialising was mostly visiting them in their houses or having them over to my house.
    I agree that young women face lesser restrictions these days and they rebel if they are curbed _ "I am informing you not asking permission" is what i heard one of them say.
    Like you say, we did not have so many youth centred cultural options and i might have been excommunicated if I had mentioned a PUB! ( Now I remember there were no pubs those days! and only "villains" in films and "Bad" people drank alcohol...LOL!)

    Alapana: I find the number of youngsters associating home with fun is on the decrease among my acquaintances.
    Sure it depends on the interests and the availability of options.

    Orchid: Absolutely. And that explains why I am the way I am today - I cannot go out just like that ( chill out, hang out), I need a reason.

    Passerby:Times have changed. My grandmom had not seen beyond her street, my mom had not seen beyond her city and I could actually travel by myself everyday to college and wherever.
    it is ok for them to be extroverted as long as they know to be safe.

    Paavai:Yes, Today's children are not afraid to question or point out our inconsitencies and it is good for us too.

    Guns: So what happens to all this when you guys get married? Do you spend more time together at home or outside? What happens after children? - Just cuious about your lifestyle. Not critical.

    SG: Ah, ok. But can you do that for extended periods? does it bother you when you have not socialised for, say, a fortnight?

  12. Anonymous Says:

    y're right Usha...when y're busy working all week,..weekends are the only time you get to devote time to yourself and lest i forget...errands too :(

    I keeping missing out on meeting you. really wanted to come for the lunch...saw the pics and must say the place is lovely...very old bangalore-ish...or what we think is old bangalore :)

    anyway...hope to meet you soon!

  13. Barani Says:

    Hi Usha,

    First time here.liked your comparision . I don't think this has to got to do with the way different generations think. 'coz I know many of them in our generation who want to spend their weekends at home watching TV and reading books.

    I'm sure even in the 1970's there would would have also had a lot people in their 20's who were not the "Stay at home " type.

    But then these days the people in 20's have more options to hangout that they had 20 years back.


  14. Mahadevan Says:

    I tend to agree with rationalfool. During my twenties I used to hang out with friends quite often, may be because I took my mother for granted. I also used to spend hours in British Council Library. After marriage, during my leisure times, I remain at home and go out when I must particularly for my long walks. Girls had lots of restrictions and today these restrictions are relaxed.

    With more than 65% of the population being below 35 and 54% of the people having been born after 1980, the world outside today, is oriented towards them. The elder generation, find themselves a little out of place. Among elders, those who cannot identify themselves with religious or political groups, have to find solace in books, music, internet or a few chosen friends.

  15. GuNs Says:

    Good question. I have no answer though. I guess you can know the answer only after the experience.

    Maybe the wife and kids can JOIN IN the activities, cant they? This seems like an utopian suggestion but the family could go to a badminton court where the guys (and the girls too, if they want) play badminton and the rest spend time chatting with each other and socializing.


  16. rads Says:

    hehe, noticed tons of "youngsters" hanging around aimlessly - that's fun and that's the de facto standrad I guess. :-)

    Never was the case when I was a teenager back home, times are a changing. It's all fun :)

  17. Usha Says:

    Aqua:OK, for a beginning we broke the jinx by waving across the basement. That was a nice salsa wave, I must say! Soon, let us hope...
    In fact our mutual friend , the lovely A, was the one who made the comment in the post when we were waiting for you and I said I better leave as it was already 3:45!

    Barani: We had our own kind of options - but accessibility was limited even to what was available and the disposable income for entertainment was very limited among the middle class.

    Mahadevan:I agree with you and the RF but as i was just telling barani, if we were from middle class we did not have the kind of funds to access much of the available entertainment too..(Pocket money was a concept just beginning to be heard of in the upper middle class families) I remember indulging ina chocolate fudge once in a way in the canteen using the bus fare ( a princely sum of Re.1) and walking back all the way from cathedral road to my house in Tnagar.

  18. Usha Says:

    Guns: I guess life changes when you get married and you accept it.

    Rads: Yes, I hear the kids in my neighbourhood saying they walked around J4 ( jayanagar 4th block) for "time pass" and they were "window shopping"!

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Well.. I can surely do it for extended weekends, but then not meeting anyone at all might depress me a little... :)

  20. Artnavy Says:

    This is like my mom and me- no gen gap but the diff is in attitude - i love to go out and she loves to stay in

  21. Anonymous Says:

    this reminds me of the way my mum thinks! she can't exactly understand why i don't spend much time at home. and i keep asking her', 'what is this deal about staying at home?!!' it's like an obsession for her.

    like when i finally spend my weekends at home doing absolutely nothing all her dreams will come true :)

    anyway, to be a little more serious, i think for me it's a case of trying to pack everything into the weekend.

    after working the whole week (5 days) on sat and sun i need to:
    a) run errands
    b) fix things that got broken during the week
    c) catch up with friends
    d) attend french class
    e) go on a shoot
    f) catch up on a movie
    g) shopping, groceries

    see? i can't go home!

    but i think it's more to do with how our perceptions have changed over the years. for mom, it's incomprensible to wander around. for me, i don't give it a second thought. i have too many things to do and 2 days to finish it all. but i wouldn't have it any other way either!

  22. Usha Says:


    Artnavy:Guess with most moms and youth of this gen, it is the case.

    Anita: Sure young lady, go ahead while you still have the chance and the motivation! Thanks for the inspiration!

  23. A.R.Malik Says:

    Isn't it more of a personality thing than a generational thing?

  24. Usha Says:

    a.r.malik:Yes, it is a personality thing but today the opportunities and the affordability has improved pulling more people outdoors.