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'Generation gap’ is quite a common term nowadays isn’t it? It’s the difference in opinions or actions between two generations, more specifically between our elders and us. We all are quite aware of this and so am I. Oh right! I forgot to introduce myself, hi I’m Shristi, a 19-year-old girl living a simple life in a rural area where each day starts with “Line nai” (electricity cut).

City life is much better than living in a village where each time you step out of your house you would meet off-the-track people and as I mentioned earlier, electricity cut is a day-to-day thing here, so each time this happens I head out to wander about the fields grabbing a book in my hand.

Well, one such thing happened today also. I was lost in the world of books and was in a peaceful state of mind sitting on a wall swinging my legs. That’s when an old woman with a mixer of golden and silver hair, dressed in a plain white chador mekhela with a wrinkled tanned face, whose backbone almost gave up on her, made her entry. She, being a stranger to me didn’t even hesitate to ask me, “What are you dreaming of?”. Good girls don’t talk to strangers, also good girls respect elders, stuck between these two rules I chose to ignore her. Most people would leave after getting ignored but she was persistent with her questions and chose to not leave. She repeated, “what are you dreaming my child?”, I said “Nothing” in an uninterested way. She stared at me for a few minutes, being not so social, I stood up and was walking my way home when she said, “You cannot become big just by dreaming, my child”. I said nothing and started to walk again, but she continued, “You have to thrive and make yourself a path which can lead you to your dreams my child, otherwise your dreams will be like a soap bubble, beautiful and colourful yet too fragile to handle with a short life.” I acted as if I have no clue what she was talking about but yes, I was dreaming on the wall and I knew exactly what she was talking about.

I was standing still, somehow her words stopped me to take any further steps, but she didn’t stop, “Dreams are heavenly and it’s easy to think about them, but the path is never. You fall and get yourself an injury, you stand up and walk with those scars but don’t stop otherwise mediocrity will swallow you. But my child, don’t take it too seriously, the main purpose of life is to be happy and have fun.”

I looked into her sparkled black eyes and felt a strange aura coming from her. I really need to admit that she has an amazing personality (not to mention that I was literally ignoring her a while ago). She finally made me answer her question, “What is your dream? What is it that you want the most in your life, daughter?” I said, “I want to be happy”.

On hearing this she gave me a bright smile and said, “God bless you, my child. Bless you.” And she walked away. I couldn’t stop myself from calling out to thank her.

Isn’t it strange how we talk about the generation gap and our elders not understanding us? But maybe, they really do, sometimes even better than us. it just needs some efforts from both ends because “taali ek hath se nahi bajhti” and I guess this incident is evidence of that because as a 19-year-old who is diving into her adulthood, I had a lot of unanswered questions, and this old woman showed me a direction to my answers.

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