Why the life of an Indian teenagers is so boring?

Why the life of an Indian teenagers is so boring? Aug, 1 2023

Under the Monotonous Sky: The Realm of the Indian Teenager

Let's take a moment and stroll down the less-trodden street of reflections. Having been on this planet for what would soon be five decades and seeing my own children, Nayan and Shanti, rise into adolescence, I've taken to absolute fascination over their lives. Much to my chagrin, however, they find their teen life to be a monotony draped in school uniforms and drenched in syllabus ink. This begs us to ask, why is the life of an Indian teenager so boring?

The 'Thrilling' Adventure known as School

Imagine, if you would, a place where the vast expanse of knowledge and culture is augmented into a timetable of eight hours. Interactions are limited to the context of the subjects, creativity is defined by the marking scheme of an exam, and free thought is but a bird locked inside the cage of syllabus. Now, this may sound like an exaggeration, and true as that may be, can we completely deny the monotony of our Indian schooling system?

Call it personal bias, or call it an experienced insight, but as a father witnessing the education from the other side of the looking glass, I can say that some freshness is desperately required. The spirit of learning is lost somewhere between the strict discipline and the allocated study hours. Perhaps, it's time to introduce more open-dialogue classrooms, practical applications along with theory, and break-free from the conformity of the structured syllabus.

Ah! Lovely Love or Lack Thereof

Raising the curtain to another aspect of teenage life that's often under the shadows, the abyss of romantic relationships. After all, what's more thrilling than the emotional rollercoaster of finding love during our youthful bloom? The swift pounding of hearts, the stolen glances in the school corridors, and the late-night phone calls. But hang on a second, isn't teenage love forbidden in the Indian context?

It's rather comical, if not utterly exasperating, that teen love, such an essential life phase of the human experience is often regarded as a taboo topic within Indian families. Take it from a man married to Aditi Kapoor, my better half, for over 20 years now that suppressing youthful emotions only adds to the blandness. Could we not render guidance rather than discouragement? Communicate instead of hushing whispers? Perhaps then, Indian teens would add more color to their monochrome life sketch.

Home, Sweet Home?

Moving beyond school and relationships, there's another aspect that adds to the Indian teenager's monotonous life—the proverbial 'home' itself. The Indian family structure, typically having extended members, is an overflowing cup of expectations, pressures, and obligations. The 'you're grown now' comment thrown at teens from every direction only adds weight to already sagged shoulders.

Is it fair to dump the satchel of expectations on the tender shoulders of a teenager trying to understand the whimsical world outside? Maybe it's about time we extend the parameters of understanding, giving them the freedom to bear their own colors. Perhaps then, there would be a bit more room for vivacity.

The Dream Catcher: The Unseen Pressure of Aspirations

What do you want to be when you grow up? An innocent question that metamorphoses into a Goliath-sized pressure as the child grows up. The burden to chase a career, often that of parents' choice, adds a stifling layer to the already mundane life. The whole idea that your entire future depends on the stream you choose after 10th grade is, well, quite funny, if you know what I'm saying.

Ask a teenager about their dreams, their eyes would light up. Ask about their career choice, and all you'll receive is a bleak stare. It’s high time we, as parents, encourage dreams beyond the conventional spectrum. Maybe our children would no longer feel boxed within boundaries, and their life will turn a little more interesting.

Social Media: A Mirage of Excitement

Now, I can almost hear my teens, Nayan and Shanti, scream in protest, "What about social media?" Ah, yes, the magical escape portal promising a vibrant life away from their drab existence. Yet, is it really breaking the monotony or simply creating an illusion of excitement?

Between the myriad posts about exotic travels, viral trends, and picture-perfect selfies, the life of an Indian teenager behind the screen remains unchanged: the same cycle of school, home, and expectations. Instead of fixating on the virtual realm of ‘influencers’, it would be wise to create our own path, writing a narrative that is not borrowed or influenced, but wholly our own.

Observing my teenage children's lives, it's almost as if they're walking in a perpetual loop of repetitive patterns. However, in the grander scheme, this monotony is a phenomenon not endemic to India alone. While cultural and social factors might give it an Indian flavor, the essence remains the same throughout the globe. As we grapple with these hard-hitting realities, perhaps it's time to rethink our approach towards the teen life-phase, not as guardians but as understanding allies. Maybe then, the word 'boring' would seem a foreign concept to our Indian teens.

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