Witerati | Barsaat Ki Baat brigade meets bubble-wrap gen - Hindustan Times
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Witerati | Barsaat Ki Baat brigade meets bubble-wrap gen

ByChetna Keer
Jul 08, 2023 10:54 PM IST

Gone are those childhood days when the charm of legging it back from school lay in scrambling up to pluck jamuns off boulevards along bylanes or scooping up paper bags full of jamuns spiced with rock salt and chaat masala from roadside vendors, writes Chetna Keer

It’s pouring. In every which way.

Ah, but what would the present generation of post-millennials know of childhood’s little monsoon thrills. Say, the joys of jamuns. (HT File)
Ah, but what would the present generation of post-millennials know of childhood’s little monsoon thrills. Say, the joys of jamuns. (HT File)

It’s pouring laurels, SAFF style. What with Sunil Chhetri steering India to a win in the SAFF championship.

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It’s pouring jewels, for a gem of a cause. What with a Surat-styled 7.5 carat green gem travelling to the White House for US First Lady Jill Biden, courtesy Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diamond diplomacy.

It’s pouring pilgrims. What with the pilgrims’ progress made by the sea of Kanwar Yatras so synonymous with Sawan.

Sawan season signals not just an endless flow of kanwariyas, but also overflowing monsoon flora full with fleshy fruits. The monsoons herald luscious litchis to cherries to jamuns.

Gen Jalapenos vs Gen Jamuns

Ah, but what would the present generation of post-millennials know of childhood’s little monsoon thrills. Say, the joys of jamuns.

Gen Z is more the generation of jalapenos, less a generation for jamuns.

Gone are those childhood days when the charm of legging it back from school lay in scrambling up to pluck jamuns off boulevards along bylanes or scooping up paper bags full of jamuns spiced with rock salt and chaat masala from roadside vendors.

Gone are the days when the little thrills of childhood lay in eyeing lustily the luscious litchis sprouting on the neighbours’ trees. With litchis not sharing the jamuns’ propensity to simply dart and drop to the ground in advanced stages of their pregnancy, our litchi lusting entailed a long wait. One had to bide time for the boughs bowing on to our side of the dividing wall to become laden with the lusciousness. And then, we’d crawl up in the cover of dusk or darkness to pluck what now looked legitimately ours since it had infiltrated into this side of the neighbourly line of control.

Gone is the age when childhood tucked into the dripping juiciness of jamuns and other fleshy fruits with nary a care for the ‘ziddi daag’ that were getting imprinted on clothes, unmindful of future battles with Surfs and Ariels. Monsoon imprints that were an insignia of innocent childhood. An indelible logo of non-digitalised carefree childhood.

Childhood now comes bubble-wrapped in the neatly zipped bags from Blinkit and BB. Now to Zepto and Zomato, bearing carton-caged litchis to jamuns that Gen Z nibbles at with swag, but scarcely plucks at.

Childhood now comes dressed at the doorstep as digitally delivered, minimalist memories that may barely trickle down, that age or the ages.

As one was recently tempted to put out a status update with a selfie of the first date of this season with freshly arrived litchis to jamuns, it struck that status update-ism may, in fact, now bear uncanny resemblance to these fleshy fruits of the monsoons.

Jamun juiciness

Some status updates are like trickly, juicy jamuns, flaunting Tweeple’s lifestyles in all the juiciest details. The accompanying selfies are flush, or fleshy, with latest sushi spreads to solitaires to Scandinavian cruises.

They trigger a trickle-down effect, as other Tweeple are tempted to follow suit, with selfies of a new Scottish beau or Swiss suite.

This status update leaves a bitter-sweet taste in the mouth. Thoda khatta, thoda meetha.

Litchi syndrome

This type of status update is more about the juice being on the other side of the wall, with nary a chance for a border crossing into one’s own life.

A much-coveted Ferrari or firang chalet that’ll belong always to gentry on the “greener” side of the boundary wall. Like those luscious litchis of childhood that one could ogle but nary pluck at.

Very cherry status updates

These are the status posts that smack of lifestyles of the crème de la crème. Beyond the reach of much of middle-class India, pretty much like those pricier cherries on Zepto or Zomato, good only to go on the cake. The curious case of Barsaat ki Baat belongs to Blinkit.

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