22 October, 2020

Temporary Is The New Permanent

For the selfie generation, renting is the new metaphor for a life on the move

‘Why own a world when you can rent it’.
Photograph by Getty Images
Temporary Is The New Permanent

The initial period of Independence were years of nation and character-building, both ancho­red in a middle-class seriousness. The ideal family was a permanent family where the fat­her held a permanent job. One remained married to the same woman and the same job. A man worked hard in one job, built a house at the end of his career, and settled down permanently. Permanence, fixity, stability were symptoms of character in the Nehruvian years where everything was a fixture, a ritual of habit.

One of the great changes coterminous, but not triggered, with the end of socialism is a new sense of mobility in our society. A sense of temporariness and flexibility has pervaded society. In terms of other directedness, society has become a more peer group-oriented, and wisdom is what millennials download from internet.

The change in orientations cut deeper. Ours is a society which is deeply individualistic. Individual mobility and enjoyment have become temporary. Deferred gratification, which is postponement of joy to later years, is now a thing of the past. The sense of...



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