I just had this feeling sinking in when in my final year of my Bachelor's programme, and that was way back in 2003. The incoming batch really had me in a complex, what with heavy put on accent and jazzy gadgets accompanying them always. They had a perpetual tilt with their head resting on one of their shoulders. Obviously, it is no easy task to talk all the time on mobile phones, what with terrific mobile plans in the offing. If Airtel and Hutch was trying to popularize something, SPICE used to be one notch above. Having a mobile was no longer a status quo - and we were really thrown into the oblivion. All of us were a bunch of jokers, carrying ourselves with utmost ease without a care in the world. Virtually, all of them had migrated from the good old bike days. There was a constraint of space due to the increasing number of four wheelers. By the way, Maruti was out of vogue. People had jumped to WagonR, Santro and the other new sleazy vehicles. Of course, cars had backseats!!!! Almost everyone hung out in pairs. The idea of being single was looked upon as a joke. My mind was whizzing thanks to the transition. Everything seemed out of place. The way the new set of kids carried themselves around left us in a state of ancient time frame.
Things did not quite change much when I started to work. Atleast, I felt I was still the same. I really had to look upto things. One year into my work, and in front of my office emerged a glossy mall. It was one of its kind and the first in Bangalore. Forum Mall had hit the headlines in Teenage Times. It had everything. Once you entered the place, you needn't come out for anything. Movies, Restaurants, Clothes, Music, Books and almost everything found its way into Forum. The concept of Multiplex found a new meaning with the launch of this sophisticated building. PVR hit the right chord with the movie goers. It is right in front of my office and how could I miss it. I loved to go to Forum just because of Landmark. The range of books that adorned Landmark was truly amazing. It was a reader's paradise. During my visits to Forum, I just used to get amazed at the purchasing ability of the public. Go to any movie, and all you could see was a house full board. By the way, tickets in PVR is not all that economical. You had two range of tickets - one costing 100 rupees and the other an exhorbitant (that's what I thought) 500 rupees. Almost all the software sector, and the college youth found their way to the PVR cinemas. Every individual had a supporting individual! Yes, it worked only in pairs. On one hand was a mobile, and the other hand rested on his girlfriend, and the shopping spree continued to impress the better half. I mean, the better half for that day. Things change in life and so do these things. Imagine us from the office, going in a big group to Forum, and getting involved in nothing more than window shopping. After all, what more can we do? In order to maintain our stability, we stopped our visits to Forum over a period of time and decided to move on with time. Life @ Forum was too fast for us!
Today, all of us have a hearty laugh(with concern too) looking at the cultural change that is gripping Bangalore. Money is pouring in abundance, and with the booming economy, one can get almost anything he wants. It is not all that surprising to see people flaunt their wealth on anything that is trivial. Everything seems so ethereal, unrealistic and unsure. Pubs, Booze and Party have all become trite. Social drinkers have emerged from nowhere, and everything seems to be alright under the current scheme of things. Discos and dance parties are the order of the day (rather night). The young kids want a good nightlife, and they complain if the pubs close at 11 pm in the night, as if that is the most outrageous thing in the world right now. A teetotaller is met with a response You don't drink? with aghast. Looks like I am out of place with a serious generation gap!