The reports have just come in.
We apologise for delivering such ominous news, but here goes...
The Millennial Flu will afflict you for roughly ten years.
But it is no cause for alarm. Just a necessary rite of passage before the 30s hit you.
The Indian millennial is an Alok Nath skyping with a Beyonce, while connected to painfully slow Wifi. She is the QWERTY to an ABC keyboard and the botched face pressed up against a glass wall.
Crammed between what’s ‘tradition’ and what’s not, our judgement is mostly left to fend for itself. Imagine a crucifix flanked on either side by cultural tombstones made of Western liberalism and Indian traditionalism.
That’s you and me.
Caught in between. Left in the lurch. Suffering from a classic case of millennial flu.
Look Out for the Symptoms
The symptoms are a dime a dozen.
A hankering for your bed, of which you tire very soon; a sudden, inordinate desire to disengage with those around (never virtually, though); a bout of manic uncertainty followed by a fleeting laugh; and a tired gaze... the angsty cards keep playing themselves with child-like glee.
If a sense of uneasiness takes over when faced with the need to commit, the need to not procrastinate, I would stick my neck out and say that is the clearest symptom that you are sufficiently under the millennial weather.
Caution doesn’t occur to you. You are dwelling in the present and the present brings with it the here-and-now. And what is the here-and-now, if not pervaded by the middling selfies, belfies (selfie of one’s buttocks) and helfies (selfie of one’s hair)?
We are the ringside seat to the crossroads that lead to jobs, friends, flings, travel, rented places and infrequent responsibilities. Life is, for the most part, a tempting mason jar peopled with uncertainties.
Today there is love to occupy you, tomorrow there’s the new job and day after... there is always the thrill of apprehensions — of not knowing what the future holds. You are unabashedly chasing something you can't articulate. That’s okay. That will tell you that it is time for medication.
The symptoms will lead to a lot of perceptions. You need to know which ones to heed.
Every once in a while, you will chance upon a puzzled look that will shoot you a curious, somewhat sympathetic smile. It is almost as if you were expected to be pushed out at birth with golden-rimmed spectacles and a Chicken Soup for The Soul in hand.
You are bad with money, time, relatives... freedom. You might even be blamed for being a part of the greasy, over-privileged ‘urban poor’, the hot-headed pucks trying to weasel out of a straight-jacket.
Is There a Cure?
Now, what is the cure?
Well, there is no cure, only control.
The medication mostly involves a search for reliability, a desire to connect with your brethren over matters of lifestyle, schools of thought, and mannerisms. Sadly, the meds always do less than more.
A 10 Reasons/Things piece here and a meme there will provide temporary relief, but the side-effects will invariably include long stretches of listlessness and inactivity. You can try the Peeping Tom’s delight, spend a few hours on Instagram, but then you are likely to tire yourself out soon enough to get back to sleeping and binge-watching.
If you are a reader, the pain gets alleviated. The stories and characters stay with you. Only to a certain extent.
But I’d say don’t sweat the small stuff. This shall blow over.
The Millenial Flu cleans up good.
It will wear you out, it will make you feel like the weather-beaten skin on a book that has cracked its tired spine, but that’s okay.
Age is not just a number.