Young An­glo In­di­ans stump elders

FREE­WHEEL­ING Pro­pos­als such as hav­ing more par­ties dur­ing the meet­ings, urg­ing par­ents to be more broad-minded in var­i­ous mat­ters, hav­ing less ex­pec­ta­tions from their chil­dren - the Gen Next was not short of ad­vice to the se­niors

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - METRO - Ruchir Ku­mar ht­plet­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

PATNA: Few mem­bers of any community are known to be as free with chil­dren as the An­glo In­di­ans. So, when the An­glo In­dian el­derly gave their young ones a chance to speak out pub­licly what the Gen Next expected of them, a vol­ley of sug­ges­tions came fly­ing thick and fast.

From pro­pos­als like hav­ing more par­ties in meet­ings, to urg­ing par­ents to be more broad­minded, to less­en­ing ex­pec­ta­tion from chil­dren - the Gen Next was not short of ad­vice, as some 58 youths par­tic­i­pated in a lively panel dis­cus­sion on ‘Peers, ca­reers and cheers’, or­gan­ised on the fi­nal day of the an­nual gen­eral meet­ing (AGM) of the All-In­dia An­glo In­dian As­so­ci­a­tion (AIAIA), at a posh ho­tel here on Sun­day.

How­ever, Barry O’Brien, one of the coun­try’s lead­ing quiz­mas­ters, who an­chored the panel dis­cus­sion along with mod­er­a­tors Shayne McPher­son, Michael D’Cruize and Ralph Craven, was not one to give in eas­ily to the sug­ges­tions. “So, you want your par­ents to al­low you to bring boyfriends home and not look at their watch when you re­turn,” he re­torted, much to gig­gles and cheers from the au­di­ence.

With youth blend­ing per­fectly with elders of the community, the bon­homie and ca­ma­raderie had to be seen to be be­lieved. Shed­ding all in­hi­bi­tions, the youth sport­ingly an­swered any­thing the mod­er­a­tors threw at them. Right from talk­ing about boyfriends and new-found girl­friends, to in­hi­bi­tion of mar­ry­ing - ei­ther within or out­side the community, to in-laws forc­ing one to wear con­ser­va­tive at­tire or turn­ing a veg­gie, host­ing the spouse’s par­ents in one’s home for good, the good and bad of nu­clear fam­ily, to whether par­ents en­cour­aged chil­dren to have more An­glo-In­dian friends, good and bad influence of peers, to talk­ing about var­i­ous dance forms like the Fox­trot, Walls and Jive, to mak­ing the young ones speak re­gional lan­guages like Ben­gali and even the lo­cal Bho­jpuri di­alect - it was a free­wheel­ing dis­cus­sion, en­joyed by all and sundry.

They also spoke about how ‘lan­guage was fly­ing at home’ - its influence on chil­dren, and how smok­ing, drink­ing, drugs in col­lege had be­come fash­ion state­ments. Some even shared their night­mare of work­ing at call cen­tres, et al.

Given the fact that the three­day AGM was a run­away suc­cess, the youth wanted the sched­ule to be ex­tended to a week-and-a-half. Some even sug­gested hav­ing sep­a­rate two­day ses­sion for youths. Barry O’Brien was one up on this as well, as he told the youth, “When we were your age, we wouldn’t get the op­por­tu­nity to sit on the dais and share our views like this with elders.”

Among the young ones who made a mark with their can­did com­ments were Merissa Cow­ell, a stu­dent of Notre Dame Academy and Tr­ish Knight - both as­pire to be jour­nal­ists; bud­ding dancer Natasha S Cow­ell, Daniella D’Cruize, Gayle Gal­staun, who dreams of be­com­ing an IAS of­fi­cer, karate prac­ti­tioner El­iz­a­beth Smith, Tanya Re­becca Sahu - a stu­dent of Notre Dame who wants to pur­sue law, Georgina Gal­staun, Milur Flem­ing, De­siree Gam­ble, Des­sidre Flem­ming, Ryan Mawer, Vi­vian Reeves, Lysander White, Ritesh Les­lie Al­berts, Rus­sel Floyd Knight, Floyd Peters, Paul Godfrey, Tri­moty David, Bernard Schowner and Lyson White.

Mod­er­a­tor Michael D’Cruize aptly summed up the event, when he said, “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, their dreams be­come van­ity. Young peo­ple who dream by the day with open eyes and act ac­cord­ingly stand the best chance of re­al­is­ing their dreams. May all your dreams be­come re­al­ity.”

Here one will do well to rec­ol­lect Abba’s fa­mous num­ber - “I have a dream, a song to sing To help me cope with any­thing If you see the won­der of a fairy tale

You can take the fu­ture even if you fail I be­lieve in an­gels Some­thing good in ev­ery­thing I see I be­lieve in an­gels When I know the time is right for me

I’ll cross the stream - I have a dream…”

Young mem­bers en­grossed in the goings on at the AIAIA con­fer­ence in Patna on Sun­day.

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