“YUSBAGS” – Young Urban Sindhi Boys And Girls
By Arun Babani
They are a unique lot; if their fathers received a Rolex watch at graduation, nothing less than a Scorpio would do for these kids. If their mothers wore pink saris at their wedding reception, these westernized tiny tots would just about settle for a Ritu Beri outfit. Things do seem to have taken a turn, rather a flight, for these Anglicized, fashion conscious, convent school-going Sindhi kids for whom, being a Sindhi is a label that just doesn’t fit.
This generation of young urban Sindhis, like any other young crowd anywhere in the world, is in a better and much more juicier situation than their parents, who grew up in India of the sixties. They have computers, cell phones, credit cards, classy cars, funky outfits, and Indipop, something the earlier generation could have not dreamt of possessing. All this and more. But one thing this jean totting, chewing-gum generation does not have, and does not know that it does not have, is the mother : they are born without a mother, without a mother tongue, without a motherland!
The young urban rich Sindhis have been attending convent schools, dancing to English tunes, and SMSing in Hinglish. They are a fair blue eyed mix of both the worlds. Born in an Indian city and learning in a western lingo, these YUSBAGS have grown up to be rather a confident and competent crossbreed of East and West. Their mommies have told them to drive slowly; their nuns at school have warned them against premarital masti; their grandpas have kept aside a chunk for their twenty first birthday bash; and of course their nanis are on the lookout for the right diamonds for their bahus!
All is set for these Rangeelas except for the fact that they often look at their surnames and wonder “Me, a Sindhi? Isn’t the Sindhi the one who burps aloud in restaurant and has a massive paunch? Who wears a white kurta and a couple of golden rings? YUK!!”
One thing these YUSBAGS expect the older Sindhis to do for them is to change drastically, to smash the image of a Sindhi that smells of groceries and garlic. Bring in the new, the modern, the mast Sindhi back for them. “Give me back my pride” they seem to say, “My confidence, my trust in being a Sindhi. Give me a glimpse of my forgotten language, my lost face, RETURN MY MOTHER TO ME.”
The cry of these innocent, beautiful Sindhis is loud and clear. Bring a Sindhi is an embarrassment for them. It is we the elders who are responsible. They have lost their pride, in fact they were born without it, and we have got to bring it back to them.
No matter if we cannot bring back the motherland, or even the mother tongue, we can certainly give them the trust in their identities, the pride in their ancestors. If we can’t give them the memories of the mother, we can surely offer them the dreams of their roots, returning them to the ultimate mother, the godly roots of a true Sindhi; the dream of being a true human being. Give them the roots that go beyond our motherland in Sindh, beyond our mother tongue in CD ROMs; give them the roots of a true Sindhi. Wherever on earth he happens to be, a true Sindhi is truly global, with a rich heritage behind him.
We Sindhis have already lost a lot; in fact we hardly have anything left. But if our next generation can regain the pride and joy of being a Sindhi, the sacrifices of the seniors will have borne fruit and their struggle will not have been in vain.