21st-century millennials in India live their lives reconciling polarities. They seek space but they crowd screens online; they seek intimacy but swipe well into the night; they seek solitude in the hills but only for the weekend; they want to save the environment but there is always a new pair of shoes to buy. Predicament of a 21st Century Millennial, a collection of 20 essays, is a tribute to and a celebration of the mess of existence for the generation that moved from Limewire to Spotify, libraries to kindles, monogamy to free love, small towns to IT hubs. Written by an insider with the objectivity of a critical gazer, Predicament of a 21st Century Millennial delves into the personal experiences of coming of age in an era of change and adjusting to the imposed malleability.
Each essay leads into the next while standing on its own to develop a meta narrative of the experience of being a millenial – alone in a crowd, lonely in a crowded local, voiceless amongst the voices online – a conundrum of authenticity and visibility where Che Guevara has been reduced to T-shirts and mugs and the hippie revolution is sold in travel packages.
The essays suggest that the attribution of the word confused is a disservice to a generation that is functioning as a social experiment for ideologies, revolutions and counterculture. The collection is an attempt to return some dignity to the staggering milieu with a word ornamented in fancier etymology and literary acceptance – a predicament.
Through essays on relationships, home, displacement, fetishes, hustle culture, technology, FOMO, identity and more, the collection tries to make Gen Y a tad bit more relatable to its close inhabitants.
The author – Pia Bakshi