Let’s take a brown girl, let’s call her Priya because of course brown= Indian/ Hindu. Now let’s make Priya, a millennial. Priya is 17 in 2016. She is going to turn 18 somewhere mid-2017. Let’s give Priya the right amount of parents, both of which are brown of course, (pure desi blood, no foreign contamination such as vulgarity detected). Let’s give her a cellphone that she’s always using, let’s give her a laptop. Let’s give her a mom whose standing in front of her right now yelling at her because she’s always using her phone and getting bad grades.
“I just picked up the phone.” She murmurs putting it down
Let’s take a pop star, Zayn Malik why not right? OK so of course Priya likes him, typical girl who always like “bad” boys, and of course she likes, Bernie sanders, she likes Lily Singh and she is filled with these dreaded thoughts of equality. Her mom calls it “liberalism” and “westernization”, it’s the phone of course. The dreaded phone, the portal to all things haram, the portal to sins. After all we wouldn’t want children to think all humans are equal.
Now one day some reporter sees her with her friends taking a selfie. The reporter who is apparently also a Harvard graduate in Psychology and the science of being God decides to write an article on how self-obsessed she is. How dare she have fun? What? Pictures with your friends? HAPPY MEMORIES? Oh wow, what a disaster. What will these millennials think of next? Laughter and peace?
Of course, Priya comes across the article online but she doesn’t know it’s about her it’s a general vaguely worded non-scientific piece of literature, on millennials. “Such wow. Much wow.” She says out-loud only to see her mom wondering what has happened to “language” these days. (Hamarai zamanai main to only pure Hindi boli jati thi. What’s up with these bachays these day?) “Fuck.” She mutters under her breath her mom always comes at the wrong time, but she doesn’t say so out-loud. Her mom would kill her for cursing. Girls need to control their anger, men don’t like it. You need to follow what men say because obviously women aren’t human.
Downstairs a group of these disheveled pubescent boys are playing cricket- it’s only a matter of time before there’s some commotion again. The batsboy is distracted by Priya who has come onto the balcony to pick up the dry clothes. The ball hits his middle-stump by mistake, or so the bowler claimed later. The batsboy and the bowler are now having an argument which results in the batsboy opening up his full dictionary on bad words and other abuses that he can say because of his (albeit injured) reproductive organs, and decides to use a select very well thought off and oft-used words. Priya wants them to stop but her mother who has joined her can’t be bothered.
“Why do they curse so much?” Priya asks
“Boys will be boys.” Her mother a non-millennial, who has grown up before the hazardous exploding Nokia (or was it Samsung. Who knows these technological intricacies? Except those delusional millennials) cellphone says. Isn’t the answer obvious? They curse because boys have this gene of being perverted dickheads and they can’t control it. It’s only biology.
Priya goes inside her apartment to her room, angry but afraid of getting another lecture on these liberal ideas that will get her divorced, or as she calls it prevent rape and abuse. In her anger, she messages her best friend, Zara, who is the token Muslim in this modern story about modern India, even though I’m not Indian.
“You know that weird Ram guy that stares at me always?” She messages
“Yeah, what about him?”
Quickly Priya narrates the whole story sending both of them into fits of laughter.
“Brown men are so disgustingly stupid. He deserved it.”
Both are ugly man-hating feminists because we all know feminism is about men. Feminism- another millennial meme.
“Man I need help with Biology. What is this crap? So much rote learning.” Zara complains changing the subject.
Zara is also a stupid dumb millennial. She is horrible at Biology, her dad reminded her today that because of her incompetency, that is she doesn’t work hard enough she isn’t going to get anywhere in life. Of course Zara is a talented writer but what does writing get you except an addiction to feeling good about yourself.
“Math kar lo.” Priya says.
Math is one of Zara’s favorite subjects. Is she good at it? No. Is it fun? Yes.
“I’ve done it already.”
“You study so much.”
“So do you.”
One studies subjects she’s not good at, one studies subjects she’s never going to be able to pursue because her parents are going to marry her off anyways. Senseless millennials, why can’t they just do what they were born to do. Study arts, get married, have kids. Study medicine, get married, have kids. It’s that simple. How hard is giving birth anyways.
Let’s say Zara is interested in psychology, (what passions do these kids have these days? Psychology? What an atrocious concept, we don’t need psychologists says a dad whose son wants to hang himself from the ceiling fan) she comes across this article which has the following quote:
This excerpt from Morley Safer’s aforementioned piece on millennials (forebodingly titled “The Millennials are Coming”) sums up this sentiment best:
“They were raised by doting parents who told them they are special, played in little leagues with no winners or losers, or all winners. They are laden with trophies just for participating and they think your business-as-usual ethic is for the birds. … They multi-task, talk, walk, listen, type, and text. And their priorities are simple: they come first.”
While rest of the article refutes this claim, these particular words still continue to menace Zara’s brain. Growing up in a congested country, where everything is a competition, your friends rarely help you out, your parents are the first to pounce on you when you get bad grades and of course you grow up hating yourself for not being the robot everyone has been so efficiently raised to be this world looks like a dream. And because this is so far away from the reality that her, Priya and even that obnoxious guy Ram live in she decides to classify this type of behavior to the white people.
Zara has a box of traits in her head that she associates with whiteness. Anything positive or hopeful or optimistic is carefully placed within the bounds of this box. Only chauvinism and racism is allowed to filter out to her brown mind, which is in constant disapproval of the society she’s born in- because god damn it why do these millennials think. White people with their ideals and optimistic approaches to life. White people who believe passion is off any importance, that everyone has potential. Idiotic white people whose parents support you when you come home tired after failing math despite working so hard.
Zara is tired. She’s always tired. She feels empty and useless, she decides to lie down.
“Why are you always sleeping?” Her mom yells.
Zara doesn’t know what to tell her. I was studying all night. Some nights I can’t do anything mom. My body is paralyzed. Something is wrong mom.
“I don’t know I feel tired.” She manages to say.
“Tired? TIRED? What have you done to feel tired? Kids these days are so ungrateful…”
While Zara listens to this Priya is being yelled at because Ram followed her upstairs.
“Who was that boy flirting with you?”
“Mom how would I know?”
“Oh look this is what the internet has taught you? To talk back to me? This is why I’m marrying you off.”
“WHAT? I don-”
“Oh, shut up.”
Priya’s mom slaps her. Who does she think she is? She can’t decide who she wants to marry. She’s a kid.
“I’m too young to get married.” Priya sobs
“No you’re not.”
How stupid is she? A perfectly grown woman turning 18 saying she’s a kid. These idiotic millennials.
Zara finds Priya dead in her room, a day later. Her best friend has left the world, and she can’t even bring herself to cry. Priya messaged her before, but her mom had taken way her phone on pretext that it was that Satanic phone that made her tired. A surge of guilt unleashes in her body, which makes her wonder- is Priya better of?
Yes. Yes, she is.