Monthly Archives: February 2014

Hostel Life: The good, the bad and the not-so-ugly

(This column first appeared in The Goan on Saturday)

By now, through my writing, I’ve established that I live in a hostel. Last week, I shared some stories that are related to the millennials and how the GenY is perceived to be vis-à-vis what we actually are. If given a chance, I could go on and on filling pages with information about my generation and how we aren’t all that appalling. But dear reader, that’s not what I’m planning to share with you today.

This very day, I will give you a sneak-peek into a hostel. Let’s start with the good, followed by the bad and then the not-so-ugly.

The Good
Do you know what happens when you put more than 100 women under the same roof? No! It’s not what you’re thinking. Let me shed some light on that. We try to have our meals together, bond over the latest trends, go out shopping together, keep our Sundays aside to watch a movie or two or even four (which means we’re entering and exiting auditoriums back-to-back), keep aside dinner for each other before the timings are up, bully the warden, watch movies after the lights are turned off at night, and read and exchange books.

We also learn the practice of obeying rules and various codes of behaviour — in short, discipline. Apart from the bubbly social atmosphere, there are certain responsibilities that stay put on our shoulders. Like what? We wash our own clothes, clean our rooms and clean our own plates. At times, we do have some Good Samaritans who help us now and then. For me, it happens all the time. If you have seniors, you’re bound to get pampered. And no, we…no, we don’t practice ragging.

We learn how to be independent. Besides time management, we also learn money management. Hostel like gives us the exposure we’ve always looked forward to, which in turn moulds us for the best or worst.

The Bad
The first thing that comes to my mind is hostel meetings. Why? They’re unending! Meetings can go on for two hours even when we’re yawning, fidgeting with our mobile phones, or murmuring. Actually, there is something worse — limited power sockets. Oh yes! Try asking us about a gift preference on our birthday and we will say it in a chorus that “we want more plug points”. In a time when we’re going through a digital revolution, limited power sockets can be a serious problem.

One evening, I went to a friend’s place and ran out of the bathroom after I spotted two power sockets! My reaction to this just added to the awkwardness and everyone stared at my happy face like I’d just blabbered something in a language the evil ones speak. I wanted to adopt at least one of these plug points, but let’s end it at, I wish…

The not-so-ugly
Timings! We’re so tired of people asking us about our curfew time. No, no, that’s not what we like to call it. If I want to take a night out, I can. If I want to return to the hostel, I need to do it before 10:30pm. It’s that simple. And the various timings within the hostel make life so much easier. Discipline, remember? Who said we don’t party? Hostel parties aren’t all that bad, you know.

Categories: Scribbles | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Column: Generation Y, Millennials or the Trophy Generation

This column first appeared in The Goan on Saturday)


For some strange reason, during the last one month I’ve got a lot of “this is the problem with your generation” or “your generation is a disgrace” and the worst of comments about the generation I belong to — Millennials or Generation Y (GenY), whatever you’d like to call us.

It first began in the hostel when my warden said that we were so glued to our mobile phones that we wouldn’t even notice anyone at our feet until we stumbled and fell over them. A couple of days later I met a group of friends and as we were discussing the upcoming general elections, an older friend said that everyone has given up on this generation. She also said that we’re the generation that takes everything for granted and we care least about anything related to our neighbour. Politics is out of the question.

Most of this sounded like gibberish to me. I didn’t give it much thought, and coincidently last week I was assigned the task of doing a research on millennials across the word. Without saying a word, I took up this assignment and set to do my researching. What I found makes me proud to be a part of this risk-taking generation.

First, who are these millennials? Anyone born from the early 1980s to early 2000s belongs to GenY. It’s the generation that is old enough to remember what life was before high-speed internet mushroomed across the world, and young enough to lead the digital revolution.

Some of the most common traits the millennials possess suggest that this is one passionate bunch who wants to do something that will bring about positive change. They want to make money and are independent and innovative.

At a workplace, they’d rather go up to the CEO rubbishing the traditional hierarchy system on matters that they are unable to solve. It’s not that they don’t value the system; it’s just that they’re not afraid to question authority when backed with good reasoning. Above all, we’re perceived to be expert multi-taskers.

However, what doesn’t work in our favour is that we are known to have multiple personas. My research threw up some information that I’ve been debating with my friends all along. Thanks for social networking platforms, we are known to be different in the online space and the real world.

We are also a gang of narcissists. We love to talk about ourselves (as I’m doing right now). It’s always I, me and myself, and the world revolves around us.

Sometime last week, my hostel warden was scolding all of us for not doing something right in the hostel. Within a couple of minutes, everyone started fidgeting with their mobile phones, including me. What does this suggest? Short attention spans. And yes, we were picked for that too.

For two days, I thought much about this GenY the older generations seem to detest. And one morning, I read a column in the Mint on why entrepreneurship is here to stay. According to the writer, the GenYs are neither scared of taking risks nor failing. They create the freedom of doing what they think is right and adopting the entrepreneurship route. I can’t help but agree with the writer. I have friends who have moved out of gigantic companies to start something of their own. While this is one reason, a lot move out and start something on their own due to dearth of opportunities.

The GenY is here to stay and make an impact. At least that’s what I’d like to believe.

Categories: Open Letters | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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