The Winds of Change: A Reflection on the Pervasion of Yuppie Culture

The Winds of Change: A Reflection on the Pervasion of Yuppie Culture

Much like a subtle drug, the yuppie culture has stealthily insinuated itself into the very veins of our society. Regardless of the reluctance with which foreigners guard their coveted Green Cards, we, on the other hand, have generously and unreservedly extended them a Permanent Residence permit in our homes, our lives, our thoughts, and every facet of our existence. This cultural infiltration has left enduring and indelible imprints on the fabric of our lives.

The graceful bow and humble Namaste have yielded ground to the perfunctory handshake and casual hug. From the depths of our memory, we recall teaching our toddlers phrases like “Jai Hind” and “Jai Jai.” However, the breezy “Hi!” and “Bye!” and the exchange of flying kisses have infiltrated our lives along with the Western winds, marking our toddlers’ initial forays into the world of communication.

The art of penning our thoughts on paper has, for ages, been forsaken at the altar of the computer revolution. While letter writing undoubtedly constitutes a skill, we cannot ignore the charm of folding paper, sealing letters with a touch of index finger and saliva when no one was watching, affixing postage stamps, and the pilgrimage to the post office or mailbox. What about the anticipation of a reply and the exhilaration upon receiving one? All these activities have been condensed into a mere click of the mouse on the “Send” button.

I ponder whether the diminishing weight of the postman’s bag is directly proportional to the increasing heaviness in his heart as he encounters fewer opportunities for the warm human interactions he was accustomed to during mail deliveries.

The romance of a train journey has now been relegated to the annals of history. The sight of racing trees and lingering landscapes, the aroma of burning coal, and waking up to the cacophony of “Chai! Chai! Sandwich! Kapi!” have all been replaced by the hermetic comfort of air-conditioned cabins or the drone of jet engines.

A leisurely morning or evening stroll that once facilitated spirited conversations or at least friendly greetings with fellow pedestrians, including elderly gentlemen out for a slow walk, has, thanks to—well, we can’t pinpoint exactly whom—transformed into a rhythm dictated by rubber soles, with our reflections in the mirrored surfaces of storefronts being our sole companions.

The gentle aroma of incense emanating from a corner of one’s home once served as a soothing reminder of the divine presence within. The act of pouring ghee into the lamp, rolling the wick, striking a match, and witnessing the glow has been condensed into a single flick of a switch. Behold, we have a perpetually unflinching flame and an incense stick that never turns to ash!

I am not a torchbearer for the old guard, nor am I a crusader for antiquity. However, I cannot help but feel that we are shedding our uniqueness. We are severing the ties that bind us together. We are relinquishing the sublime for the superficial.

We fear the tsunamis that unleash waves and winds, swallowing lives and devouring coastlines. Equally, we should fear these Winds of Change that erode our psyche. While we do require winds to sail and reach our destinations, an excess of wind may veer us off course and, heaven forbid, even capsize our boat. One day, we may gaze at the map of our existence only to discover that our boundaries have long since been redrawn.

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