Oh for the days of Vimto and Rummy!​
By Chandroo D.

Dear Dad and Mum we miss you!  Your life seemed so perfect with your friendly games of rummy, pakora snacks and the iced Vimto drinks with the family on the verandah in the evening.   Today’s teenager no longer associates with their parents nor plays in the gardens or social clubs over lemonade.  They are either partying or throwing up at 3 am, texting their parents to collect them from the gutters.

Today’s mothers aren’t taking off their aprons for a pre-dinner red wine at 6pm nor are the fathers ready to party after a hard day’s work.  They are too busy reading their individual email while helping with their children homework, booking a flight to Bali and ordering gadgets on line.

Those were the days when we met and exchanged gossip with the milkman and the vegetable vendor at the door every morning.  The teacakes, bread, papars and pickles were home-made.  The doctor used to gladly come around to our house.  For a couple, holding hands was the most romantic feeling one could encounter.  Homes were affordable and families ate together.  It was so orderly.

Today’s women are not happy about household chores and want equality with men by pursuing their career.  Surely it must have been easier when the men looked after the finances while women took over the household affairs.

But it was never really like that.  For many women it was about hard work and boredom.  They were endlessly in the kitchen preparing spicy dishes; polishing cutlery; scraping the greasy masala off the table cloth and cleaning up every crevices in the pantry.  Then they had to knit sweaters, mend socks, queue up at the rationing stores to stock up on weekly rice and sugar before coming home to a tin of soup.  The afternoons were spent cleaning the floor and bathing and putting the children to bed.  They needed to have the dinner ready by 7pm when their husband returned from work.  There was no question of leaving him to cook his own keema and chapattis, while she went off to do some Bikram Yoga.  During 50’s many could not afford foreign domestic helpers nor could they take advantage of cheap local aayas (maids).  Yet they were still expected to run the household combining the role of cook, scullery maid, nanny and a devoted wife.

These days we have forgotten how restricted and predictable many lives once were.  Ours now seem so chaotic and complicated and we have so many choices that we think we are worse off.  We have become so exhausted by doing everything especially being a slave to our Black Berry, we crave boredom again.

Many women are giving up on work, they forgotten the point of it.  They do not need to prove themselves to anyone.  It’s more relaxing to go for a skinny latte on the way home from dropping off the kids before contemplating a quick trip to the gym and logging on to the web to share a joke.  There is little financial incentive to continue a career and women are constantly being told by their psychiatrist that their children will suffer without them.

Gone is the memorable simple life we led in the 50’s when we were in bed by 10pm and awake by 5am.  Teenagers respected their parents and looked up to them for advice.  Today they consider themselves smarter than the parents and feel embarrassed to walk or associate with them when with their friends.  They consider friends as more important than their own parents.  They totally forget that without their parents endless nurturing they would not be on this beautiful earth!  But as the world turns, today’s teenager will face the same issues one day and perhaps remember the good old ‘Rummy and Vimto’ days of their parents.

"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself". Lois McMaster Bujold