You need to dress up decently,” comes an instruction before I head for the wedding party of some distant relative -- someone I’ve never seen. I don’t want to go but ‘not going’ is not an option.

I need to learn to socialise, they say. When we reach the wedding venue a grand celebration is on, a live band playing the kind of music that irritates me beyond description, people enjoying political guff-shuff about ‘New Nepal’ that I understand by a hair’s breadth; jolly faces never turn to me, and is cocktail being served around that I’m not supposed to drink. I try my best to get along with the unfamiliar people. But a quick respond to my ‘Namaste’ and people are back into their closed circles. Some way to socialise!

As a typical teen, I am on a lookout for pretty faces. Just one would be enough to make my evening. Nobody appears remotely beautiful though and even if someone does, she is around her parents and obviously wouldn’t appreciate my approach. In other words, it is the forbidding parents themselves (the same ones who advocate it no end) who are preventing me from the kind of ‘socialising’ we teenagers like to indulge in.

I blame it all on the generation gap. I don’t hold the adults completely indifferent to to this lonesome lad responsible either, for I know it is the result of difference in perception between the two generations.

From clothing and hairstyle to social activities and expectations, the lives of parents and children revolve in separate orbits. Fads, fashion and taste of music reflect a generation’s attitude to life.

It can neither be good nor bad, just different. Our parents must have had a particular taste and a specific set of mores as they were growing up. They cannot let go of those long inculcated values just as I can’t let go of mine.

But for the two generations to get along, the parents need to give up the old authoritarian “because I said so” with a “let’s reason”. The seniors should to show a level of tolerance towards the youngsters (aren’t the old folks supposed to be wiser?). After all, socialisation doesn’t mean condemning the acts we don’t like but learning to live with the little quirks in others.