Anamika * has six cellphones, all the latest smartphone models. Bharat * has a refrigerator and a television set in his bedroom. So what, you wonder. Many of us already do.
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Anamika is barely six. Bharat is nine.
And no they do not have famous or celeb parents. They are not on YouTube (yet), they do not have Instagram accounts dedicated to their lives (just wait a couple of years). They are simply highly privileged children living in your neighbourhood.
These two children are what we call the new normal. They are being brought up in enormous wealth and affluence. They go to posh schools, they have maids/nannies to do their every bidding. You could say, they were born this way. Actually, they have had no chance to be anything else.
Anamika has six cellphones because her father gives them to her. He likes to change his phone every couple of months. And giving the ‘old’ ones to his only child makes perfect sense to him. He and his wife have highly paid jobs and they do not really have time for their child. So they have a nanny (a child herself who just wrote her class 10 examinations, incidentally), for their daughter. Their little girl has her every wish granted. Tutors come to her, she doesn’t go to them. Naturally the child is growing up thinking that the world revolves around her.
The little boy has obviously wealthy parents too. They ensure that the fridge in his bedroom is stocked, with colas, soft drinks and everything he might need or feel like consuming. And that the television provides all the entertainment he wants.
Already the children are changing, becoming more and more self-centred, rude to others, disrespectful of people not as privileged as them. The little girl orders her nanny about. And expects the latter to do her every whim. The boy is growing into a teenager soon. Will we find him racing on our roads? Probably.
The tragedy is, these children are not exceptions. They are part of a growing number of children with incredibly privileged lifestyles. Their parents are the nouveau riche–middle to senior level corporate honchos and techies for the most part. The parents believe in providing their children every comfort. Even though they themselves did not grow up this way.
But by doing so, they are robbing their children of normal childhoods.
By doing so, they are creating a new generation of superbrats.
* names changed