On Angry Young Men and Women of Our Generation

One generation bids adieu to another. This is but the norm of life that is being followed ever since those primitive days. Well, the changing time, trend and tradition have collectively given birth to a brand new generation. And this generation is mostly represented by a new breed of young men and women who have so much angst on their minds. They are impatient, aggressive and very reactive to any kind of situation. They do carry venoms in their hearts about wrong-doers in the society. However, what’s the most endearing trait of this particular generation is that they do not take any shit from anyone. They react and speak out through many ways more than one. They stand up for a cause, fight back, and resort to protests. Sometimes they hoarsely whine and let their voices be loudly heard. Through poems or proses or through songs or sonnets, they speak out their grievances and make sure that they don’t do any injustice at least to themselves and their own self-respect.

Angry though they sound, they are the promising lots, who are ardently inspired by Bob Marley’s songs and yet love to hum ‘Nangbu Adum Ningsingduna Leire’ whenever they get really quixotic. There is something very promising about this generation though most of the torchbearers sound like angry young men and women who are prone to act and react on various socio-political issues happening around in the State, country and the world at large.

They look so fumed yet they keep cool at their workplaces or institutes and make adjustments with all and sundry with an acquired art of relationship management. Frustrated though they look, they are down to earth when it comes to mingling with people from other communities. They represent the spirit of Manipur politely with a 1,000-watt smile.

Music and Art are their best friends. They love music and anything which is articulate. Sometimes, it’s simply startling to listen to a few of their songs that tug the heart and make us tearful. ‘Ahaangba chakhaodi haangkhini humaangdi humaang oina leiri’ (courtesy Imphal Talkies) is one of the moving numbers that satirically talks about an impoverished son of a helpless poor mother. So much angst has been expressed through most of the contemporary Manipuri bands especially that of Phung-Ga and Imphal Talkies N the Howlers. They represent the overall voice of the hoi polloi who have unwillingly succumbed to a hell lot of social and political injustice prevailing in the society. Listening to them is but a way of consoling ourselves—or should I define it as an ideal dose of sanity-saving drug?

Yet another interesting trend is the Keyboard Revolution that these young men and women have been heralding all along. They love to spend quality time on social networking sites to connect with friends and fellow Manipuris to talk, discuss and share ideas amongst one another. Virtual addicts though they sound, they always fasten their reality belts on time. There is no such annoying record of anyone bunking office or college as a side-effect of this kind of connection. It’s a sweet addiction for them, with an accompanying emotional belongingness to their own people, though they are equally pestered by the stupid gesticulations of the same hoi polloi.

Coming to the musical theme again, if Music was Money they would have been multi-millionaires. As mentioned above, the taste of music for these young men and women is sans any comparison. However, it’s not ‘Listen only to western music’ kind of thing. They listen to heavy metal like crazy breeds yet know how to appreciate ‘Pena’—a musical instrument that is so closely related to our culture and tradition. Rock music is their favourite, yet they most often become nostalgic listening to ‘Tha tha thabungton nacha moirangbi pobige’.

They are angry but they make sense of everything. No matter where they reside, no matter how filthy rich they become, they cherish in their hearts a sense of belongingness to their home State. Some of them even stay in foreign countries and become highly influenced by Western culture but they still address to their moms as ‘Ema’ not Momma and address a friend ‘etao’ not dude/buddy. They make sense of what they speak out. They do not talk blah blah on social issues. It is just the angst on their minds that has been forcibly instilled on a fallacious ground under unwanted circumstances. So, they are not at all responsible for what and how they are.

Sans any difference of age, caste, creed or gender, if you think you belong to this generation of angry young men and women, you are a blessed being.

PS - I would love to show a proud badge to introduce myself as another angry young woman who is betrothed to this league. Cheers!

This article was published on 17 Sep 2011
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