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Wednesday June 29, 2022

A Past is Present in the Future

generation gap shakha proshakha
As many as four generations were shown in the feature film 'Shakha Proshakha'

What happens to the great banyan tree, lying in a vacant spot in our garden? Don’t we look up to it in awe and derive inspiration from it? I am greatly peeved when people talk about the ‘generation gap’. Yes, gaps do exist, quite logically, between one generation and another. But what people, mostly young minds, mean by using this phrase is probably the lack or the difficulty in communication faced by people belonging to two disparate generations. Today, when nuclear families have become the order of the day, children hardly get the love and affection of their grandparents. But, as always, exceptions do exist to this general rule. 

I am reminded of Ray’s film Sakha Prosakha. As many as four generations were shown in the feature film. Co-produced by Gerard Depardieu, this film was also the penultimate one that Ray made. Here, the youngest member belonging to the fourth generation, goes and reveals to his grandfather that he’s learnt about ascending numerical figures, prevailing in the world. The latter, a strict adherent to Puritanism, is shocked by the degrading scale in moral values running rampant in his own clan. Indeed, generations can be likened to the branches of a tree whose roots go deep inside the soil, so as to make them rock solid. Old age is a truth and unavoidable. But when the young of today, mock the young of yesteryears, it becomes gross injustice. No court of law has any scope for appeal in this regard. Any dispute whatsoever has to be settled on a mutually amicable podium.

Jeffrey Archer composed his immensely popular Clifton Chronicles, based on the life and travails of his protagonist, Harry Clifton, the first book of which was called Only Time Will Tell. The others in this series are The Sins of The Father, Best Kept Secret, Be Careful What You Wish For, Mightier Than The Sword, Cometh The Hour and This Was A Man. Daphne Du Maurier of Rebecca, fame, also dealt with generations in her very first novel The Loving Spirit. Janet Coombe of Cornwall passes on this spirit, much like a genie, to her great granddaughter Jennifer. The same waif-like characteristics are thereby passed on through generations. Where Maurier treated three generations in a single book, Archer wrote about the same in and through a series. We are all here living, breathing and writing, because our ancestors had been doing the same in their time.

Wisdom comes with age. The gray-haired ones are the people who are as wise as owls. When the young and the brash mock the aged and the infirm, the former ought to take time off to realise that a day will soon arrive when they’d also extend an arm to seek support. When we were toddlers, we held the fingers of our parents who enabled us to walk and stand on our own feet. Now it’s our turn to lend them a hand of support and, more importantly, of love.

Where do we get our genes from, if not our forefathers? ‘Generation Gap’ does exist. But the gap between generations should not be interpreted as the inability to communicate. Time and its change, is perhaps the only constant in this world, to borrow an oft-repeated cliché. Social customs and mores change with the passage of time. The old pave way for the new. But there indeed have been times when the opposite also held true; when the new paved way for the old. In eastern and technologically advanced countries like China, the young people of today are going back and preferring their old and traditional family structure, with parents and grandparents. 

Gaps are bound to be there. But these should be of physical natures. It is the duty of the young minds of today, to bridge this psychological gap that divides and separates them from those who love them the most!

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