The ‘Smoking’ Generation is here….
Those who were wondering where I was, no blog, no video’s past fortnight, let me tell you, I was fighting a very different kind of battle in my life. Nothing serious though! My parents moved away in a swanky apartment just 10 minutes away from where we used to live together and I guess that’s what has been playing in my head. Don’t worry (my every waiting to pounce relatives), don’t have that twinkle in your eyes as of yet, we haven’t fought and got separated, I have given my father and mother their ‘dream home’. They are above 60 and I want the best for them and why not? After all, as Director Karan Johar says, it’s all about loving your parents.
Having these mood swings, wife Sampada and a few close friends thought of boosting me up by taking me out clubbing. Friday night was set. DJ Chetas was playing and our names were in the guest list. We entered around 10 pm and straight away were ‘escorted’ to the VIP section of the club that was on the mezzanine floor. Being a Friday night and a celebrity DJ playing, the club was packed beyond capacity. So much so that we had to literally shove others by our elbows to visit the washrooms that were located in one corner on the ground floor. Now to tell you, this frequent walk from the mezzanine floor to the washroom on ground, friends was done on purpose, let me explain- I was in complete shock, my heart sank, my eyes were moist with what I saw. Make no amends, but I will write what I saw.
One, every ‘young girl’ had a boyfriend or best friend clinging to her from the back with his arm around her waist; and the hands of the boys moved as they grooved to the music. The girls were wearing clothes which would put any super model of international level to shame. There were bottles of alcohol on the tables with glasses filled in one hand while on the other hand, of both the girls and the boys, 90% of them had a cigarette or a vaping machine (Juul, a device which has liquid nicotine ). Now let me tell you something more shocking. Barring a few, most of the crowd was below 20 for sure! Many of them might be from high schools too (grade 10, 11 or 12th). They all were drinking as if there was no tomorrow and dancing to their favourite tunes. Smoking? Don’t ask, the floor I walked on was full of smoked buds and ashtrays were being replaced at a brisk rate!
The clothes these young girls were wearing, I asked Sampada what it was called. She said it is called a Tank top or Tube top; they matched it with a very short mini-skirt or haute pants. Google this if you want to see how it looks. Also, I asked my wife as to how come ‘at times conservative’ parents allow young girls to step out of the house in such clothes especially when no family member is around? She said Vikrant, have a look at those designer bags that are lying on their tables. There are jackets and Hoodie T-shirts inside their bags. What these girls do, when they leave the house for ‘studying at night with friends or just going out, these girls are fully covered. The minute their friends pick them up, it is the car or in the washroom where this ‘avatar’ comes to life.
What troubled me the most you know? Not the tiny clothes young girls wore, the temporary boyfriends, or the drinking, it was the smoking and the frequency of it, that put me off. As said most of them were under 20. How come they are allowed inside night clubs? Since when was smoking allowed at nightclubs? Many parents who are hearing these days of young children from grade 9 and grade 10 vaping or smoking, it is high time you divert all your energy and concentrate on your child NOW!
Curious me began an investigation-how come kids are allowed at places meant for adults i.e. night clubs, casinos, pubs and many of them are driving tools. I am told it is the parents who are to be blamed here. I have heard cases wherein parents have gone ahead and made bogus ‘aadhar cards’ for their kids so that they can drink, drive and enjoy their lives.
What to do now as this is a concern which no parent will share but only talk behind until it’s their kids who are caught. I want all schools to have random checking of school bags on a regular basis now. Any vaping instrument caught, the child has to be punished! I want clubs to not allow any person inside their club even if they have 0.1% of doubt on the age of the patron. Government and the Police should immediately have random checks inside clubs, outside school premises, pan shops and on individuals selling Juul and cigarettes. Parents check what does your child watch on instagram and what he or she googles on YouTubes. A silent check point for parents on every corner of the room and at times scanning their phones is the need of the hour. And if you belong to the club, ‘try everything with your dad’, please make sure that your child does not boast about it to children whose parents are not that liberal.
I have 2 young boys aged 15 & 11. At the cost of not disturbing their freedom, I have put a few check-points. I have provided them with a car and a driver who will be with them, come anything. He is my Khabri. He makes sure they are inside the gate of the school, tuition building and he is the one outside before time when they are about to come out from school & tuitions. Try this technique of taking your driver in confidence, it works. You can’t stop your young child from going out, but we need to have someone to watch over them, secretly! Smelling them when they come home by giving them a warm hug at the doorstep will also help. And God forbid, if they have picked up the habit, consult a doctor or a therapist for children immediately. It helps at this age! As today it is vaping, drinking, and with free flow of everything in our society these days parents, DRUGS are next!! And mind you, all this is happening right under your nose. Imagine, they will be going abroad too for studying, right?
Vikrant Hemant Joshi.