“Old is Gold”…Or Is It?
In the developing and progressing world of today where people pursue their goals and aims at neck breaking speed, skyscrapers have conquered the skies and countries struggle with each other to attain global dominance, very many sentimental and conservative people can be heard give a world weary sigh, repeat this age old maxim and reminisce fondly of the ‘good ole days’.
Yet as is required to survive, one must be practical. What amount of truth if any does this statement hold? Are the worries and superstitions of the previous generation justified? Have we really allowed ourselves to progress towards regression? Well, let us evaluate this by considering different areas where a definite change has been noted from the prior generation to the present one.
The first complaint which Grandma would make when asked about her grandchildren would be that they have become insolent, and have let go of all their traditions and values. The most common point raised is after all the social change which has taken place. But what I ask is, is this change indeed for the worst? Remember the time when a child cannot talk to its parents about whatever was troubling it as it was considered inappropriate and disrespectful? Or when the girls of the family were told to sit at home and were not allowed to study any further than primary school in the fear that they may get broad minded and rebellious? Is it that age of ignorance and darkness that we want to return to where your own parents and brothers were strangers to you and where you had no say in anything concerning your own life? No, indeed not. Where it is advisable to keep ones traditions alive in one’s heart, it is as necessary to embrace change and evolution, especially if it is so evidently for the best.
Let us leave alone the cultural evolution which our society has undergone and consider other fields. Technological advancement, for instance. It is an undisputed fact that technology has travelled a long way in the past decade itself. While we happily indulge in forgetting ourselves in the past I am sure none of us would like to return to the age when people died from common colds and the only means of communication was the letter. While sentimental value is quite important it is kind of helpful to find out that your dying mother wants to meet you when she is alive rather than getting the letter saying so three months after she has already passed away. While sitting beside the fireplace and twiddling the radio dial to catch a snippet of the news and find out when the storm raging outside would subside would certainly paint the picture of a cozy and warm scene, the convenience of having the internet on your mobile phone and all the world literally beneath your fingertips is not a matter to be laughed at either. Advances in medical science have made life longer while advances in engineering and technology have made it easier to live and actually worth living. Then why do we still harbor the wish to return to the past?
Faced with all these arguments, the final objection which grandma would come up with would be: “oh my child, you can’t imagine how lovely the forms of entertainment were back then: Soul soothing music, heartwarming dramas and movies and amazing artists!”
Well grandma you got us there. How can the entertainment of today compare to that of your “golden age”? Why our songs are horrendous when compared with the ones of the 80’s! Where is the five minutes of pure, soul wrenching melodious music which signifies the beginning of the song? What modern days actor can compare with the anticipation and the excitement which surrounded the theatre back then when the people sitting in the audience would stare at Talat Hussein’s expressive face during the 15 minutes “dramatic pause” which accompanied every single dialogue he delivered? Where is the emotion, the sensational feeling in movies when there is no Amitabh Bachan screaming “Maa!” and crying buckets for half an hour onscreen?
Truth is grandma, the world has changed. Where competition dominates existence, where ones aims and expectations reach new heights every passing second, we just don’t have the time to sit back and relax. Entertainment has become the only luxury which money can’t buy because it requires time. And that is why to compensate we have evolved. We have introduced rock and pop music which moves at our pace, we now prefer to watch action flicks and comedies instead of the dramatic films of your days. If we stand accused of trying to keep up with our time then yes, we do stand guilty.
Thus to conclude, the world has indeed developed for the best. Today children are intellectually more mature, technology ten times more advanced and the world a hundred times more fast paced than it was just a couple of decades ago. So the choice which we as the older generation now face is whether to evolve with the world and experience a new life through our children or to sit back and complain about our own days and get left behind and forgotten. If we can’t bring back our past, we can at least live in the present and see a new future, right?
(Mrs. Lubna Ishtiaq)