Sang an American band, beautifully portraying the confusions and doubts of the youth. Cross the carefree 2 & 0 line and it’s like crossing certain kind of a Laxman rekha. You need to get one monkey off the back after another. Traditionally in India, the ideal life cycle is college, job, marriage, having kids, living happily or otherwise. If this was not enough, all these benchmarks have time limits which decide the success of a person.
However, India too is witnessing winds of change. Youngsters spend a lot more years shifting between the job market and higher education. Delay in marriage and children are also growing trends.
One is still expected to be all figured out by 25, expected to have found the calling in a career that will pay bills. Anirudh Daga, 24, from Surat was interested in design, but forced to do engineering. “Still in love with designing after graduation, I opted for a design job over engineering one. For reasons such as salary, my parents cannot fathom this drastic step,” shares Daga. This is the classical confusion in the 20 something phase that the experts have termed as odyssey years which has been described as the decade of wandering that frequently occurs between adolescence and adulthood.
According to the information shared, during this decade, 20-somethings go to school and take breaks from school. They live with friends and they live at home. They fall in and out of love. They try one career and then try another. Finding complete resonance, Ahmedabad based Mayank Singh, 29, worked with a production house and then tried his hands with an NGO. Not satisfied enough, he then called it quits on professional life and has been a freelancer ever since. “I realised living independently was difficult after I moved out. I sold it all and have shifted back with my parents,” states Mayank. In his own words, “expected to own a car, house, permanent employment and other such material possessions by 30, I am supposedly wasting it all by taking trips, buying cruiser bikes and other frivolous stuff.” What was captured in the cult sitcom Friends has Indian counterparts like Lakshya where Hritik Roshan was not sure what he wanted to do with life, and now it seems, Wake Up Sid operates around the same lines.
Debarpita Chatterjee from Vadodara knows what it is like to be in the middle of odyssey years. She says, “During college days, I considered dancing as a serious career. Later, I figured that I might not be able to support myself by dancing alone.” She then pursued a career in communication and has changed four jobs until now. “I’m 28 now and still not sure if I want to get married or start another job,” says Debarpita.
Increasingly, structured environments are giving way to fluidity. There is no stigma if you veer from the script. Amit Kapoor did a course in financial accounting but is now considering the option to start his own venture. “I always have dreamt of owning a restaurant and I am working towards it,” asserts Amit.
As they say anyways, youth is a malady of which one becomes cured a little everyday.