So, the movie ‘Wake up Sid’ is a look at today’s Youth and their abhorrence to the 9 to 5 job culture. It is a good portrayal of dreams and winning them and yet, many will see it as critical of the way today’s Generation is leading their lives, waking up late, shunning responsibility and not learning ‘Family values’.

Indeed, it is true that at our ages our parents were more mature, responsible and career-oriented, but allow me to show you a side which the movie only hinted at but did not explore as it devoted time to the Love story enmeshed in it. Does anyone realize that today, the average age of a person to remain a child has gone a lot further! There are many influences towards that- the increasing demands of education being one; it is impossible to get a decent job in today’s scenario with at least two degrees tucked in your belt, proof of that comes from my discovery that the taxi driver, who drove us from Guwahati to Shillong when I first came here, was a Graduate in English Literature and yet not able to secure a good job in Welcome to Shillong. Its amazing how we can proudly jump from one level of Education to another without ever gaining any real Education, vis-a-vis, experience in Life. In that sense we remain Children at least till such ages when our parents we looked at by their parents as Adults who had secured jobs and were starting families. Another influence pushing towards this attitude is the advent of Pleasure. Today, the amount of devices and methods to get sensory pleasures is a huge set. My Father first used a computer in His Masters Degree while I got mine in Class 6th. Obviously this affects our choices and level of enjoyment. Any one with a computer today listens to the latest songs and watches the latest movies at the click of the mouse, while our parents specially took out time and permission from their parents to enjoy such pleasures. Finally, we today have a lot more services which can be accessed via more comfortable means, thereby pushing us away from the real action of getting up and standing in that long queue to book that train ticket. Who is to blame? No One! Society has been consistently pushing these amenities into the hands of its children. Parents will keep loving their children and considering them children as long as they stay in their parental homes and pursue higher standards of education before getting real jobs and learning real values. You will say- “But what of those parents who push their children and make them work hard??” Read on…

The second reason why we are so misunderstood is that today, our Education System is competitive, Our Society, open-minded and pushing our creative talents but our “Traditional” look at a career still points towards a limited set of supposedly “valuable” and good careers such as Engineering, Medical and Accounts. It is this stereotyping of jobs which, at the same time both encourages our creativity and limits it. There are enough Summer camps in school to make students believe that art is a viable career yet enough pressure during exams to cause suicides even in Class 7th students. This ping-pong battle between passions and “consistent source of income” causes a messed up attitude amongst children and shows in their callousness towards life and insistence on living in the world of games and fairy tale love stories. In short, todays Youth is up for many challenges but is not encouraged to take risks. In light of this, I laud Konkona Sen’s role in the Movie, who takes a huge risk at one point of life and is courageous enough to make sure that she’s successful.

This debate and the future of the Indian Child has only two possible outcomes- the parents suddenly realize that the best way to rear children is to give them more responsibility, sooner, so that they learn how to live at nearly the same time as their parents did. This is akin to what happens in many western societies where no job is looked down at and children learn the value of menial labor earlier than their counterparts in India. Alternatively, parents will continue to crib about their children yet keep pushing them towards more books and learning without understanding. That model will only yield a generation which prefers to live in the gaming world and wake up late in the afternoons.

I wonder where India is headed…