Today’s “advanced youth” sign up for everything from bourbon tastings to cigar clubs. They buy expensive second (or third or fourth) pads in communities with names like Renaissance, Bliss, Celebrate and Xanadu. They are the biggest customers for Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki whiskies from Japan which are seen to be more “in” than single malts Aberlour, Balvenie or Laphroaig which are considered passé. They prefer Royce chocolates, or those that come from Neuhaus, Michel Cluizel and Jacques Torres. Why? Well, many were amongst the first to join the IITs or go to the IIMs. They have worked at multinationals, travelled the world, imbibed good tastes and have enough money in the bank to last them to their end.
The “seenagers” are no longer subject to school tests … but they are still taking tests. Only now they’re called screenings, procedures and examinations, and the results decide whether they need a cataract procedure or laser surgery. A stent, a pacemaker? Or a colonoscopy? So, these are big customers for good health services. They are also active in the gym, take zumba classes, and are not even afraid of signing up for pilates. Of course, there is always golf, and golfing holidays with old buddies and ex-colleagues to look forward to at St. Andrews or Shinnecock Hills.
Old they may be in numerical age, but most are not daunted by technology. In the lockdown, many were active conducting webinars (and of course attending a dozen a week), joining Old Boys’ alumni Zoom calls … they have little or no fear of net-banking or travel e-bookings or hailing an Uber cab.
Traditionally, seniors in Indian society were seen through a stereotypical lens: Retired folks joining “laughing clubs”, “Baghban) and TV serials where sanskari Alok Nath invariably played the suffering, pitiable and broke retiree father, constantly at the mercy of thankless offsprings. “Seenagers” are obliterating that portraiture. They are living up life. Not just the men-folk. But the wives too. They are not stinging on the good things of life: As affluent couples they are dressing well, eating well, travelling well, socialising well and are not getting stymied by any “age appropriate” norms.
To “seenagers”, age is but a number: Totally irrelevant unless, of course, it happens to be a bottle of wine!
The writer is an advertising and media veteran