What’s Wrong with Baby Boomers?

8 Jan

It was 3:45 AM and I was waiting for the arrival of my spiritually-average and almost-retiring parents who were midway through their all-india pilgrimage tour. The one month epic tour had started 8 days back from Chandigarh and they were on their way to Srisailam, AP (and then further south). We had planned a quick meetup at Hyderabad, the place I earn my butter, bread and biryani at. It was already two hours later than what I thought it would take them to reach at the spot we had decided to meet at. I rang my mother for the 3rd time but the muffled sound of her legacy Nokia 3310 kind of confirmed that it was still choking somewhere in her bag. Dad did not bring his phone in order to avoid carrying two phones (and we rarely challenged his rationales).

To my delight, bus arrived after few minutes. The bus that boldly claimed to be ultra-super-deluxe (category of buses on our roads is a discussion for another day) was packed with middle class baby boomers. The first thing that my logo conscious mind spotted was the fake Volvo written on the side panel of the bus, which I am sure none of the passengers would have paid attention to during last 8 days. It was definitely not bad but deep reclining seats would not have hurt the old bones especially when most of them could afford real Volvo multi-axle journey. May be it is the sheer pleasure of the company of their friends & colleagues that mattered more, I thought. Moms get to chat about their kids/neighbors while dads get opportunity to put forward their version of lokpal bill.

They started getting down one by one as I stood by the bus door waiting for my folks to come down. I greeted the few I knew. They all looked so fresh at those wee hours of the morning as if they had slept in luxurious suites the whole night. There were no sign of fatigue even though their butts had already logged 3000 kms and had nearly same more to go before they hit Kanyakumari (and head back north). For sure most of them carried their pouch of medicines (for diabetes, BP, body-aches etc) but at that moment they looked excitedly ready to take the day by its horns. Sitting in the last bench is our family thing, so my parents got down last from the bus. After performing our usual parents-son-meet-rituals (intensity of which varies based on when we last met), we walked towards a close-by teashop. We along with others sipped our morning tea and chatted about their trip experience so far, for a while.

It was hardly 15 minutes since their arrival and their Gen-X bus driver had started to display signs of impatience. It appeared if left to him, he would have shown the whole country in one day. Even passengers seemed to have made peace with bus-staff’s idea of Bharat Darshan. Other than planned temple visits, there were no beaches, resorts and all other cool stuff in anybody’s to-see list, and were content with being at driver’s mercy. Seriously!!!

Such short meets are definitely not enough for mothers. Sensing that she would soon reach her emotional threshold which had potential to make me join their trip, I diverted the attention and asked Mr. Stranger to take our family picture. I requested dad to pass on his gifted digicam,which I had observed him carrying securely in his handbag. It didn’t surprise me when he explained why he couldn’t buy the batteries yet. “Are you kidding me?”, I thought of shouting but didn’t. How can camera be non-essential item in a journey that spanned from Kashmir to Kanyakumari? Fortunately, smart phone come handy when your technology challenged parents fail you. I quickly clicked few pics of them from my iPhone 4s, while Mr. Stranger waited for his turn.

They swiftly got on to the bus, waving me bye. The bus zoomed away and left me comparing my restless two hours of wait and their one month of relaxed journey. It was a comparison larger than time, a comparison of two generations where I found myself at the losing end.

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One Response to “What’s Wrong with Baby Boomers?”

  1. pardeep January 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    first of all…congratulations for writing this piece of writing. It is entertaining as well as intriguing. It has the desired quality of merging the reader’s imagination with the writer’s narration of the events. Its free flowing and possess the charisma of originality, reader can so easily co-relate himself with the happenings of events as a mute spectator.

    notwithstanding the above comments… improvement can be expected in the use of varied lexicon, asking audience some questions… and its only a matter of time and a little more practice.thats it…. really enjoyed reading this…

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