I went clubbing last night. I’ve never been before and I wouldn’t dare say it was a bad experience but for someone like me, it was just a weird one. I don’t know if weird is quite the fitting. Maybe different would be the right word. A couple of my friends and a couple of their friends were out for a fun night out before one of them had to go back to her city. It was all well-planned. I’d perfectly mapped out the lies to my parents and it was all good. We went to a rooftop club with a dashing view of my beautiful city.
Maybe I should’ve mentioned this before. Clubs, parties and me – not a good mix. It’s out of my comfort zone. I’m too uncomfortable. Some would say I lack self-esteem and that’s what’s making me stay away from “shaking my booty” on the dance floor. I think there are just times, places and people with whom I’d let go and the middle of the night in a rooftop club with my friends and their friends isn’t it. Sounds stupid, but yeah. I’d stayed sober all night long. My friends tried and dragged me a few times to the dance floor but I just walked back, sat alone and stared. At all the people. And I realized, I’m afraid.
I’m afraid for the future generation. I’m afraid to bring a child into this world. I saw three men who should know better get a young girl completely drunk. I saw her throw herself at each one of them and dirty dance the night away. I watched an old man try to dance around my best friend. I saw a girl make out with two boys. I saw a couple dancing and kissing all night long. I’d be the first to say none of these girls and guys (except the first three men and the old man) would be over 21 years old. As a girl from a conservative Indian family, I was raised to not turn into one of those girls. I was raised to be the exact opposite – thou shall not chill with a man who is not your father, brother or betrothed. I think I’m now stuck somewhere in-between the two extremes and I’m happy.
But as I watched those girls I realized, is this what the world calls westernized culture? Or is this simply just our teenagers and young adults gone wrong? The need to let go and let your hair down, I can understand. I love having a night out once in a while myself. But the need to throw yourself at any man, I don’t understand. I would love to blame the guys but I guess I believe in the saying “boys will be boys.” No girl should have to cover herself up and live in a closed room. But the fun doesn’t have to involve so much sexual activity in such an unconscious state. My friends were able to dance and have fun without having to throw themselves at each other or anyone else around them.
As I sat there and I watched my parents’ biggest fear of what their daughter would turn into, I wondered. If this is the western culture, then why do our parents so encouragingly send us off there and tell us that it’s for us to make a better life for ourselves? I don’t think throwing myself at three men who are probably twice my age, flashing another girl and trying to create attention towards myself by falling on the floor while completely wasted is really a better life.
Or maybe instead of a western culture, has partying become a part of our lives out of peer pressure? The ultimate need to fit in?
I went through a very bad state of mind recently and everywhere I turned, people advised me to start smoking up. Said it helps. Why? Remember when what helped free your mind was a long walk along the beach? With Mother Nature? Reading your favorite books and losing yourself in them? Alcohol and drugs used to be the answers everyone told you NOT to turn to at any point of time in your life.
Reality sucks. I agree. Dysfunctional families. Overly busy parents. Uncaring siblings. My generation has probably seen more of these families than any other. My own family is one of these. Is that what pushes us towards all of this? Are our minds craving the attention we want from that family so much that we’ll take it from anyone who’s willing to give it to us? At any cost?
I’ve lied. I’ve snuck out. With my age and technology, if I can get away with so much with such strict parents, what will my child be able to get away with? If I can get drugs within the snap of my fingers if I choose to, what will it be like in another 20 years? What do you do to keep a child safe? How do you teach them the difference between getting drunk and having fun and getting drunk and making decisions you’ll regret? I’m sure a situation like that looks good in a movie like The Hangover, but in reality is that ok? Is it ok to make decisions that you can never undo in such an unsure state of mind? Is it ok to not know the difference between fun and fucked up? Is it ok to not care about it?