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Monday, March 16, 2009


I mentioned something about juvenile people “15 or 55 years old” in an earlier blogpost, and someone wanted to know what I meant by juvenile. Well, in my book, you are juvenile if:

· You think you can (or should try to) please everybody,
· You imagine that money-making is all-important,
· You have no ideas of your own about what to do with your money but blindly follow your local herd,
· You obsess over marks in school, and looks, and what your neighbours and relatives will say,
· You go starry-eyed over celebrities, and they are all of the non-cerebral types,
· You have no concern or appreciation for good books, music, art or philosophy,
· You act and talk as if you will be young and healthy forever, and never die,
· You think using abuse and slang makes you smart,
· You think you will be respected and admired (rather than envied and reviled behind your back) for being rich and famous,
· You rely on your job designation and calling card and car and house to give you an identity, rather than the nature and quality of your work,
· You think your credit card and mobile make you smart,
· You believe you can ignore the doctor and eat like a pig and live without a routine and still stay healthy forever,
· You think you can do well in examinations by studying for just a fortnight before they start,
· You believe in keeping children ignorant, silly and dependent till their mid-twenties,
· You grow up into your mid-twenties thinking that parents who kept you dependent like that are wonderful rather than disgusting,
· You are sure that engineering and law and accounts and medical texts teach you more important things than Aesop’s Fables and the Panchatantra and the Jataka Tales and suchlike,
· You cannot imagine relying on your own resources and keeping your own counsel and avoiding crowds, and you think that quiet people are merely being arrogant,
· You don’t think you need to learn a lot and become a better person before you can even start becoming a good parent, worker, neighbour and friend,
· You call yourself ‘busy’, yet spend most of your time in malls and pubs and parties, or before the TV or playing games on the computer or chatting for hours on the phone or sleeping till almost mid-day,
· You are confused about whether it would be better for your daughter to become a fashion model than a scientist,
· You expect respect from people merely because you are older than they, without ever having done anything to earn that respect.

Think of that list, and then look around you. By these yardsticks, how many mature people can we see around us? It is no wonder that Sri Ramakrishna used to say to his flock of disciples again and again ‘tomaader chaitanya hok’, which, loosely translated, means ‘get some sense into your heads’!


Tanmoy said...

Dear Suvroda, This is quite a detailed definition. I must say, most people I have met exhibit either one or more characteristics that you have listed down. That does not mean though I have not come across people who do not fall in this category. I somehow think most people who belonged to the generation of our grandmothers were ‘not juvenile’. Somehow they had less than we ever did but they bestowed extreme importance on whatever little they had. How can we then explain that most of our grandmothers knew folklores and were good storytellers? They knew how to react in times of a sudden household medical crisis? They were always busy with physically challenging household work but never forgot to read “pujabarshiki”? I can go on listing many such things but would restrict myself at this moment. However, I seriously believe the more we have the more we don’t know how to deal with that. In a way our possessions are challenging our mind and we are unable to cope with that challenge. That is why, unless we sacrifice certain things we shall continue to fail. Most human mind is not customized to retain their senses in the current environment that a city life provides. We have dug this mess for ourselves.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

I have just received a couple of comments on this post from people which make it evident that their writers

a) cannot read (in the sense of being able to pass the comprehension tests that I routinely give my pupils),
b) cannot write coherently (they keep contradicting themselves),
c) they cannot distinguish between the commonplace and the profound,
d) they get angry because they feel criticised (rather than make resolutions to rectify their faults, as mature people do when their faults are pointed out),
e) predictably, such people never fully identify themselves (giving full names as well as email i.d.s) when posting their comments.

This is just to tell them that their comments are not likely to get published here.

Shilpi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
debasish said...

Hello Suvro-da and readers,
I have this link from CNN which is what one of the most advanced countries in the world Japan is struggling with; "suicide" :


It shows that the will power is not what comes essentially money can buy.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Oh, they were just trying to justify being juvenile.

Among the many things that these people forget (being very young, I suppose) is that I am an oldie myself. My oldest pupil is now 46, and her daughter passed ICSE four years ago. That should be kept in mind when little boys presume to lecture me. Also, I can tolerate a juvenile teenager, but not one who is in his late 20s, 30s or even 40s!

Anshu Singh said...

For me the most important "quality" of a juvenile is to wear the garb of an intellectual,philosopher and religious people, and then do whatever you feel like.

After all in the end of the day, you can always sit and hide behind all the wrong philosophical, religious and social reasons.

There are people who say that they believe in the power of "thinking" , "creating" and lastly, "applying" but when they get a chance to really doing something they shirk away and shrink themselves to their own comfortable size.

I would like to comment on the juveniles, who are currently swarming the "corporate world". Juveniles who have passed out from prestigious institutes like IIM's and IIT's.

They are the ones who are the worst of all of the juveniles. After all they have been given the license of earning respect without doing anything. But what they do not realize is that a lot of responsibility comes at the price of the position they secure in the society.

If they are the ones who keep on running after the superficial world of money, mundane life of making oneself comfortable with the "everybody is doing it so why shouldn't I",hiding behind all the wrong reasons which their "intellect" aids them with, then why should anybody blame those who have not even come close to enjoying the facilities that creme Dela creme has enjoyed.

Why one earth, do not they accept that what they are doing is "Copying, pasting and delivering". Creation is no joke, let alone thinking. How can they keep on lying to themselves, i cannot fathom ? Maybe because they are all juveniles (Having all the qualities specified by Sir).

There is one such person who has all the attributes of a corporate intellectual.
Let us for now say that he is a HE not a She for easy description. He smokes within the office premises. No, he smokes standing right below the board carrying the sign of the No Smoking. After doing it, he thinks himself to be above law. Law is meant to be broken. Then he goes out on a hunting mission. Out there is his victim, who runs a pan shop. Recently he has concluded the wedding of his eldest son. Our intellectual goes to him and starts questioning him of his son's age. 20, comes the reply. There is this look of defeat in our heroes eyes as if has been robbed of his power of exercising moral lessons. Had the age been a single day below the legal one, he would have launched himself into a tirade of self righteousness. Fortunately the pan shop owner is spared. The intellectual takes another cigarette and goes to that same very place to smoke another one.

The person above is a She in reality and her work is to design the course content of primary section of a school run by another set of branded intellectuals from IIT and IIM.

I would have preferred this ending.

The pan shop owner asking her to swap places and have her managing the shop (and the collaterals) for one day ( just for the start ) and then agreeing to have a discussion on the ramifications of Legal issues.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

One thing I would very much like to note here: I can clearly see that the more the world around us fills up with juvenile people with fancy degrees, money in their pockets and virtually nothing in their heads, the more crude and brash human intercourse is becoming by the day. It's only to be expected: such people have very bloated and fragile egos, and the only way they can constantly satisfy those egos is to rub other people's noses in the dust - hence all the stories about teachers tyrannising students, parents abusing children, bosses harassing and belittling subordinates, spouses fighting like cats and dogs night and day over trifles, customers in shopping malls talking to attendants as though they were slaves...! I wonder that so few people can yet see the connection.

ginger candy said...

Dear Sir,

All the points you have listed in this post are absolutely true. In addition, I would like to mention another one of those juvenile attributes that apply specially to Indian folks. In my dictionary, you are juvenile if-

- you have no knowledge and respect for your own cultural roots, but salivate over utterly insignificant Western cultures (I have stuff such as hip-hop dancing and death metal rock music in mind).

It goes without saying that this observation was made following the huge hype in media about Metallica performing in India. The band is way past its prime (you will have to twist the definition of 'prime' over here a little), and millions of Indians regarding the event as the best that can happen to Indian music sickened me to my guts.

For the record, I don't have anything against rock music. I listen to that sort of music a lot. But neither do I consider it as a high form of art, and nor am I proud of it. Indian classical music(and even Western classical music for that matter) is far more evolved, engaging and superior than that.