Yet another 4th or 5th page newspaper story: “Ashamed of failure, 12-year old in Mumbai hangs himself”.
Sushant Patil is a perfect example of how today’s reality affects and victimizes children and teenagers in particular, denying them the blissful innocence, the carefree laughter, and the state of absolute happiness, which was once synonymous with childhood and youth. According to latest statistics, suicide is one of the three largest causes of death among the youth worldwide.
There are multiple reasons and sources that come together to form a complex network of issues surrounding the youngsters today.
The academic pressure, made worse by dad who wants you to get into IIT, by mom who dreams that you’ll a doctor, by the uncle who boasts about the salary his IIM son has been offered, by the aunt who is worried about what her daughter eats at MIT, and by the neighbor who is looking for an marriage alliance for his NRI son who by the way owns a “bungalow” in NYC.
Unfortunately, it is the bane of the middle class to uphold values of excellent educational background, financial stability, and social propriety coupled with the need to rise up the social ladder. So, in the name of doing the best for their children, your dad will take a bank loan, and your mom will pawn the family jewels so that you can study and finally achieve the dreams they once hoped for. And here is where the problem starts; the kids today have the burden of being successful come what may.
I wouldn’t blame parents alone – switch on the idiot box and every soap and advertisement talks about upward mobility. There’s a world out there to be bought - and there is no place for losers. The social pressure – the hottest pub in town and the coolest hang out zone, the newest car, the world class apartment, the funkiest gadget, the latest movie – all require you have your wallet loaded. Love is an expensive proposition too!
Failing an exam is hardly a failure, psychologists claim! Yes, but try explaining that to the kids and the parents of the kids who have not been able to “pass” the nursery admission interview at the best “international” school in the city!
My heart cringes in fear and hopelessness how problems of population, demand supply imbalance, inflation, media penetration, Internet boom, poverty, consumerism, the rat race to get at the top are compounding our lives. We all are spending our lives working towards a better tomorrow without realizing that tomorrow we will end up again sweating it out for a better day after!
I have met so many friends, colleagues, seniors, juniors, who identify with the following lyrics of a song from the Aamir Khan super hit – 3 Idiots. In the name of progress, we are manufacturing generations of people who are disgruntled, frustrated from within and very unhappy for the good times they lost on and the magical enchantment of childhood that they never experienced…
Give me some sunshine
Give me some rain
Give me another chance
I wanna grow up once again