I like the twenty-somethings that come and go in my life. A lot of them are permanent; I have a horde of nieces and nephews riding the twenties wave and a kid brother to boot!
I also deal/have dealt with a number of them in my professional life! Though they can be noisy, irritating and exasperating at times, I like them for what they are. And those are:
# Their enthusiasm is infectious. While enthusiasm is good at any age, J I sometimes like their sense of gay abandon. Like they say khalli valli (coarsely translated into WTH!) in Arabic… yeah, their ability to say khalli valli and get away with it impresses me!
# I like their super-confidence status! ‘I can do anything I want to’ may seem a little too unrealistic for others, but the very thought that the sky is the limit is good. Even if you are way down, at the bottom rung of the ladder!
# I like the fact that they know what they want to do… despite making mistakes, they learn to take life in their stride. Yeah, even after doing chemical engineering and going for MBA Finance and then working in a public sector bank! Or giving up a lucrative post-M.Tech at IIT career to appear for the Civil Services examination. Or giving up a job to join hands with another 22-year-old to begin a start-up. At that age, I did not even know what a start-up was!!
# Passion – they have loads of it! Like my friend Malc who taught me everything there is about cars and took me on some amazing rides. And showed me that gaming was fun. He does not even flinch when I ask the ‘stupidest’ of questions. Or the kid bro who tries to educate me on ‘open source solutions’ all the time! Or the friend who loves trains with a passion that is indescribable!
# They are not overtly-formal in any way! A nephew I recently met after 15 years told me straightaway, “I am not going to call you aunt or akka! Rekha it will be!” The respect is there, the love is there and I am glad that he did not feel the need to show it by being formal. And I finally did not have to tell someone, ‘Aunty mat kaho na!”
# At work, twenty-somethings bring a youthful wave of energy that makes you feel young again! Yeah, one of them has even done up my hair and advised me on my dressing sense or the lack of it! While in return, I have hopefully taught her what responsibility and level-headedness at work entails! Even if it came with some harsh reprimands! I’d like to think that the little gal now at college will still think of me and smile at times.
Yeah, there will be a lot of people who will disagree with me!
But for me, this post was an exercise in optimism, of learning from those younger than me… of appreciating a generation for whom life is much more stressful, competitive and harsh than it was for us at that age!