Colour television was a marvel, cable television was magic and cordless telephone was sorcery. As a child born in the 80s and growing up in the 90’s, I saw the onset of the future. Be it the aforesaid or email, pager or the mobile phone, the pace and the sheer possibilities emerging technologies left me feeling like I grew up in a world similar to Hogwarts and Harry Potter.
On the other hand- I find myself feeling as irrelevant as my parents and grandparents felt in my world. I can hardly relate to today’s music, lyrics or even cinema and literature for that matter. After having enjoyed the works of Fredrick Forsyth, his retirement from espionage thrillers has left a void in my world that even the best of espionage writers of today haven’t been able to fill. Having found myself moved to tears by the actor of yesteryear, Dr. Rajkumar, I am now offended when some critics remark that he was a little too dramatic for their liking.
I find myself battling irrelevance. It is scary and I feel more conscious of it than I should. As much as I tell myself that I must turn with the world, my sensibilities have been conditioned and stimulated in a certain manner for so long, I am finding it difficult to retune them to accommodate the Justin Lins and Justin Biebers of todays world.
And yet, the future did not bring many of the bounties it was supposed to. Solutions and spirit of inquiry was to substitute prejudices. Boundaries were to disappear to make room for more people to people interaction. Yet today the information age has turned us into zombies and prejudices are becoming more entrenched than they were ever before. Boundaries, far from disappearing, are now emboldened in the hyper nationalist narrative which is stuck on correcting history instead of correcting the present and the future.
I have now made peace with the miniscule and irrelevant nature of my individual existence. I cannot affect what is not mine and that’s just what the future is. I am a victim of the future shock already. All I can now hope to do is to ensure my future generations accept the future and mould it appropriately instead of being shocked by it. I fear its now their battle more than mine.