How not to date in the 21st Century

Growing up in India, when I was in school I lived with an unsaid rule – Dating was strictly prohibited. It was believed that a heart in love could be a major distraction for the brain preparing for a “bright” future. And since nothing comes before career, I stayed away from boys. Even with the onset of puberty when I was being ravaged by hormones and what seemed like infinite crushes, I kept to myself. But secretly I did harbour a desire to be desired. My crushes would crush me because it seemed to me that no one would ever like me. I had to be more pretty, I had to be more intelligent, I had to be perfect but I was anything but any of that. So I hid deep under the books.

Then came college. Everyone falls in love in college or at least that’s what I had figured from the limited Bollywood movies I had watched. But the problem was I didn’t. I waited for someone else to fall in love with me but that didn’t happen either. I made many friends along the way, some of them were guys. Ek jawan ladki aur ek jawan ladka kabhi acche dost nahi ho sakte (a young man and a young woman can’t ever be good friends) – the famous dialogue from the movie Maine Pyaar kiya would echo in my head but soon I realized that that was utter bullshit. I learnt to love the platonic way. But still having no boyfriend made me feel like I was missing out on something. Everyone needs to have a love story, come on! While I crushed over some out of my league seniors, and rejected some so-called under my league juniors nothing materialized. First year turned into fourth and there I was still without love. But at least I had a few not-so-great stories of unrequited love up my sleeves – seniors dating other seniors, friends falling for other friends while I sat there watching, liking a few of them but clueless about what to do about that. And why would I do anything anyway, it’s not like anyone was going to love me back.

I was not pretty enough, I was not smart enough, I was not confident enough.

At the beginning of my professional life, I downloaded Tinder hoping that it would open new doors for me, that maybe it would revive my pathetic love life, maybe finally I would have some good gossip to share with my diary. This new raging popular app was about anything but love but that didn’t matter. It wasn’t exactly love that I wanted. I was desperate for attention.

And Tinder was perfect for that. I was overjoyed to see that so many people had swiped me right. Maybe I was more attractive than I thought (I realized later that was only partially true, I had an advantage of being a girl). Out of so many matches that I had, certainly I thought, I would find love. The year was 2015 and six years later through all the deep ocean of matches I found only and only disappointments. First, most of the matches are ghost matches. Your conversations would never begin and if by chance they do, they won’t go beyond how do you do. And if at all things go ahead and you go on a date, you’d for some reason never go on a date again with that same person. Something just wouldn’t match with your match and then you would go back to the app. Maybe after a small break or a long one, you’d go on another date. And finally, after a lot of swiping, you’d find someone decent. Someone you find yourself laughing with, someone you find yourself thinking about, someone you find yourself obsessing about. Congratulations, Cupid has finally hit you. You are falling in love. And that’s the precise moment things between you and him would end. Mr. Cupid has led you to another disappointment only through a slightly longer route.

Have you too dated someone who was already dating someone else but he chose to keep you in the dark about it? Blissfully unaware, things between you and him are going well. You have been seeing each other for a while. You have explored every restaurant in town together. You feel comfortable with him. You can be your weirdest self, crack lamest jokes and talk about all the things white and blue. You think about him all the time. “Dude, I like you”, you finally admit and tell him.

“Hmm, but I am already dating someone else.”

Your heart is a bit broken, but you pretend you are cool about it. You are chill, you are indifferent. He is not even worth your anger. But well you are angry. After a couple of imaginary conversations where you tell him how wrong he has been, he realizes his mistake, and he apologizes but it’s too late and you walk away even though you still like him but you know better. That you deserve better. But these confrontations would never actually happen. He would never realize his mistake. And in case you forgive him and give him another chance (which I actually did) he would hurt you again (which he actually did). You wish it wasn’t like this. You wish it was better. You still missed him. His thoughts wouldn’t stop haunting you but slowly and steadily, like that damn tortoise, you would finally heal and come out of it.

Congratulations, now that you are all fit and fine, time to get some bruises again. Feeling bored and lonely? I know just the app you need.

Once I met someone I thought was great. He was a part-time comedian and we really were hitting it off well, especially over the chats making each other laugh over lame jokes. Constantly sending each other texts, our phones were frustrated with 24X7 WhatsApp notifications. Then we decided to meet. It was a good date, there was a connection, I could feel it. “So, when can we meet next?” I texted later. “I have decided to get back to my ex.” He replied.

Oh well, that was a joke enough. My phone fell silent again.

But okay, fine, it’s just one date so you move on. Shit happens, you move on. You move to another country in fact. And yet the Tinder stories don’t have any better ending. So you decide to date someone outside the dating apps. The old way. The organic way. Just want a boyfriend for fuck sake! Is that really such a complicated wish? You ask the Universe. Nope, it isn’t, the Universe replies. And voila you have a boyfriend.

But he is nothing like you ever imagined.

Have you ever dated someone who is both absolutely obnoxious and ridiculously sweet at the same time? Someone who is both shallow and deep? Someone who is both smart and dumb? Someone unpredictable? Someone borderline bipolar? Okay, nobody’s perfect. You also have your vices. Weird as he might have been, at least you have a boyfriend. Every time you are with that guy, you question why you are with that guy. Every time you aren’t with that guy, you still want to be with that guy. Even when he is not there, he is there in your head. What will you say if this happens and he says this? What will you do if he does this? The daydreams won’t ever stop. Why do I have to be this obsessed? And why can’t you stop? Like you are trapped in a swamp, you fall in love. At last, you surrender. Love is blind after all. You will figure something out. Maybe you will learn to navigate through the confusing lanes of love. But before that even happens he is already stomping all over your heart.

Damn my heart has been broken so many times it doesn’t even resemble a heart anymore. It’s more of a heart bhurji, heart keema, heart soup, heart kachumbar.

And yet my beloved finds a way to break that into tinier pieces as if on a quest to find my heart atoms, and the subatomic particles, the quarks, and maybe also the sub-quarkic particles.

You break up and after a long process of healing, you are back in the dating arena. And somehow the only option you can come back to are the dating apps. And they throw at you all kinds of weirdos. Like for example, this one:

Do you remember that one kid in your building who would ring your doorbell and run away? We have all been him at some point but then we grew up and stopped doing that. Except for those limited edition premium quality fuckboys who have internalized that game into their psyche.
I met this person, I went on a few dates, I liked him, and it seemed that he liked me too, so I liked him a bit more. But then he started ignoring me. And I was like, huh I see. Another defective piece I guess. I ignored him and I moved on. We weren’t that involved anyway so it was relatively easy. But three months later, he was back. He was replying to my stories, liking my posts, trying to initiate a conversation. I didn’t understand that. “Dude what the fuck?” I asked. “I am sorry,” he replied. To ignore or not to ignore that’s the question. Maybe he meant that apology. Maybe there was a genuine reason for his behaviour. So I gave him the benefit of doubt, and in the process, I also gave him what he wanted – a place in my head absolutely rent-free. As soon as he has my attention he throws it away again. As soon as you ignore him he comes right back in. Some call it the typical “Hot & Cold” behaviour – if someone you are seeing displays it, get the fuck out. Otherwise, welcome to another freshly brewed toxic relationship made out of completely organic bullshit and mind fuckery. Throughout the time you are vested in him, he’d give you mixed signals. So you are constantly busy plucking the petals of a rose wondering if he likes you or not. Does he like you or does he not? Does he like you or does he not? And meanwhile, he is already engaged to someone else, and guess what you don’t have a clue about it.

How can one dare to date in the 21st century? Love is dead. Humanity is dying. Anyway, you don’t want children from someone who’s still a kid ringing people’s doorbells and running away, someone whose gene pool deserves to be stopped ASAP. There is no point in bringing children to a world that is dying, where there is no love, no respect, no kindness, no trust – just an endless game of swiping left and swiping right, scamming left and scamming right. We fear what machines will do if they become conscious like us. Do we fear what humans are doing while we become like machines – disconnected from our conscience treating others like play toys, like yet another commodity?

Stop it Saloni! Don’t be such a cynic, you tell me. There is someone out there in the world for you, you console me. And someday you will find that person, you reassure me. Yes, love in the 21st century can’t be this grim for everyone. And I am glad it isn’t. Surely the pre-wedding shoots tell a completely different story. If they are not a hoax, I guess there is hope. Some of us are lucky to have partners who understand us, who stand by us, who genuinely love us, trust us. While some of us are not that lucky despite having found partners. Because like we observed earlier that not all partners are right partners and sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart. Some of us may never find love. Some of us may never find partners but still find love. And some of us may find none. What category do I fall into?

Through all my dates (and I have only narrated a few here) went wrong and right, I have learnt something. First of all, I have realised that I am pretty enough, smart enough, and confident enough and I don’t need any man to validate that. In between the heartbreaks, there lie memories that are close to my heart and those have really helped me grow as a woman. I am grateful for that. Surely, I have not found romantic love that could last long but I have found love in a spectrum, taking different forms, holding different meanings, and that love still exists in my life in relative abundance. For that again I am grateful. As for romantic love that is supposed to last long, I am clear that I need a man who is not another disappointment and if that can’t happen, then I have been single almost all of my life. I think I can manage it for the rest of my life as well.

Being single in your youth is great but who will take care of you once you grow old? You ask? Well, with the kind of air we breathe, the food we eat, and the health services we have it’s possible that we might never get that old anyway.

So yeah, don’t worry, be happy.

***

Writer’s Block

Days I spent
Thinking
and thinking
and thinking
Finding excuses to procrastinate;
After the lunch
Or Netflix
Or sleep
Or Netflix again
Or read
Or a bit more research
And then ofcourse
Netflix yet again,


So many days I have thought
Passing by the same old roads
Eyes seeing everything new
yet registering every thing same
Time flying by
As I think
more
and more;
Unstructured
random memories
coming from different corners,
How do I weave a story out of them?
Plain and simple
I can understand
and yet can’t translate.


As the clock’s hands tick by
And I think
think harder
sitting by the window
breathing in the air
without mask
listening to the music
without earphones
Memories of green farms and rustling leaves
Blue sky dotted with gray monsoon clouds
As I gaze
And think
I think even more
About the people I have found interesting
The people I want to write about
About the places
About me
About my life
About their lives
About non-lives
About semi-lives
About changing the world
About the changing world
About being immortal in this universe
And yet utterly
Insignificant.

Probably it’s time to stop
And turn all that thinking into prose
I miss the days when the words would just flow
and flow
and won’t stop
pushing me to write
and rewrite
till late into the night
words flowing like music
words moving like dance
words coming straight from the heart
words making an honest art
But now
How do I weave the fabric of my mind?
How do I dye it with the ink of my pen?
How do I?
When there is so much
And when the nib touches the page
The magic disappears.

***

Lockdown days, it’s fine.

Lockdown days,
When from your window you look at other windows, from your balcony you look at other balconies – children dancing, children playing, children doing jumping jacks every single morning, or just sitting with their heads resting on the railing looking bored; mothers teaching their kids, women sweeping, watering the plants, drying the clothes, grandparents offering water to the morning sun, fathers standing by the windows of their rooms talking to their bosses loudly enough to let the entire building know.

Lockdown days,
Pigeons flying, shitting, breeding, eating, plucking your favorite plants while you curse them under your breath, or out loud. They don’t understand English anyway, and in case they do they still don’t give a fuck. Children coming out in the evening, cycling in the society campus while you gaze from above wondering if it’s safe to step outside, men and women walking and jogging wearing N95 masks, the lone girl sitting on the bench reading a book. Same pinch, you say, as you read yours 8 floors above.

Lockdown days,
Rushing to get the groceries before 10 AM, careful not to touch anything or anyone, or if you do, sanitize your hands! Sanitize your hands all the time!
Cars running on the distant streets, swiggy delivery boys delivering your food, big basket delivering your groceries albeit two days late, amazon delivering your other needs or addictions, while you are cooped at home taking an active interest in your neighbourhood. Or jumping from one screen to another, the only travelling you do these days – mobile to laptop to TV and back. Online meetings & Netflix TV series while the plants in your balcony keep growing – do you finally know what it feels like to be us? They ask. To be static, to be still, to be grounded to one place. But not quite, says the purple flower that just grew. And wilted a day after.

Lockdown days,
About outcries on social media; Where’s Remdesivir? Where’s Oxygen? Where are the hospitals? Where are the crematoriums? Where are vaccines? Where is the government? People from across the world reaching out and asking – how are you? I am fine, thank you. Well thank God. Yeah, thank God. Where’s God? Your new hobby is to visit the worldometer website the thousandth time, watch the curve peak and peak, and drop and then peak again. Where’s my life? Coming in a month, or next month or next year. Or never. Mobile on aeroplane mode please.

Wait, there was this meeting you had to attend.

Lockdown days,
Children forgetting where the schools are, employees forgetting where the offices are, employers forgetting what the increments are but the joy of not commuting though, of waking up 5 minutes before the class, of multitasking – cooking and meeting simultaneously, with formal shirts at the top and shorts at the bottom – let’s login, let’s keep our camera on (or not), am I audible (or not), is my screen visible (or not), is my Wi-Fi working (or not). Is it still March 2020? Or not. Has the time really passed? Or not. How the fuck did China contain this virus? Or not. Where’s my office? Where’s my home? What’s the time? What’s this place? What’s this day? In the middle of space time continuum – Einstein, I think I’ve reached singularity.

Albert stirs in his grave.

Lockdown days,
Nightmares of stepping outside home without masks, nightmares of not washing your hands enough, nightmares about what does the new variant of virus do? Nightmares about who else died? Do I need to wear one mask or two or three? Fuck it, empty your closet and fill it with PPE suits. Are the vaccines still effective? Or do we need a new one? Who am I? Who are you? Is my mom well? Do people exist out of screens?
My own company is becoming boring. Netflix is boring. Dalgona coffee is out of fashion. I don’t want to build my hobbies anymore. My friend’s grandmother died. Fine. Friend’s father died. Fine. A relative died. Fine. My favourite actor died. Fine. Sometimes, it feels like death is just two steps away. Fine. Sooner or later the virus is coming for you. Fine. You reassure yourself with recovery rates. Good, you should. It’s fine. You are here, in your room, breathing, surviving. Yeah, you are fine. Everything’s fine. Everyone’s fine. The sky is falling. But that’s fine. It will rise up again someday. This is the new normal. This is fine.

***

Melancholy nights

Melancholy nights
Reminding you of
failed love affairs
embarrassing mistakes
futile struggles of life
the meaninglessness
the blues
and the greys
everything that shouldn’t return
coming back –
memories that can’t be made again
people you can’t meet again
roads that cannot be taken
things that you shouldn’t have done
words that you shouldn’t have said
wiser choices that you could have made, but you didn’t.

Melancholy nights
when the moon peeks from the formless clouds
stars blink through the mist and dust
when the streets go quiet
and the crickets come alive
when there’s no one in the room
but you
and just you.
Are your cheeks already wet?
Are you already missing the life that you never really had?
Dreams that were never going to come true?
Through ashes and smoke
Through spirits and songs
The world runs and runs
And in this melancholic night
you are left alone.

To be unlucky in love

To be unlucky in love
to have your heart broken again
and again
and yet again.
To feel as if you have been used
and to a certain degree been willingly abused
To know
that somehow you have known all along
that past can’t be turned into present
that present can’t be turned into future
but yet you gather the pieces again
to assemble something
that resembles a heart again –
a little bit more bulletproof than before
battered
and ridden with holes
still vulnerable anyway
only to be offered
and rejected yet again
back and forth
back and forth
and to be back to square one again.
Is there an end to this?
Or maybe you can expect
everything and anything but love
in this ultra abundant world.
Is there a medicine
to let go
and get right back up?
To accept
but be incapable of feeling love?
Is there a poison that turns heart into a stone?
Is there a way you can move on
unmoved?
How do you find hope in this mess?
How do you find strength to lift this off your chest?
And how do you stop being a fool?
How do you follow the unsaid rules?
Is there a way that memories can be erased?
Is there a way that fresh starts can be made?
And yet nothing changes
You continue to stay who you are.
Is there a way to stop bothering?
Is there a way to stop longing?
Is there a way to accept the abrupt endings?

I know there’s nothing wrong
With being unlucky
Perhaps there’s a latent desire
to be ultimately left alone,
With amicable traces
of now dormant volcano of emotions
exploding now and then
everytime, everytime when
I find you.
But you disappear
terrified
petrified
to become another forbidden name in my history
In late night drunk thoughts;
What if this?
And what if that?
A ghost
An idea
A dream
Now lost forever.



Death Anniversary

I wish you could see me growing into an adult,
And I wish I could see you growing old,
I wish we had more photos together
I wish we could go on that trip we dreamed of,
finally when the schools were over
finally when the exams were done
Even for the youngest one.
Delayed gratification
now delayed forever
Will I see you in another life?
And will you see me?
I wish I could ask for your forgiveness
I wish I could forgive you
I wish, I wish you were there
with all your glaring imperfections
that bothered me so much so long ago
But who’s perfect anyway?
Maybe we could learn together
maybe we could understand each other
maybe we could grow together.
I have borrowed so much from you
your genes
your nose
your nature
your passion
your love for words
I wish I could pay you back.
Possible that I am not the person you wished me to be
I wish I could know for sure
I wish we could argue
I wish I could know you
I wish I could know the stories that I was too young to hear
I wish I was curious
I wish I had asked
But it’s too late now
It was too late nine years ago
The void you have left
Is deeper and darker
Time doesn’t heal
Time makes it tolerable at best
And now here I am
wishing to hear your voice
to see your face
to have one last hug
one last time
once again
before I forget forever.
But none of this will ever come true.

Yes, fuck that.

Because of course you gotta have
skin that’s fair, smooth and glowing
better teeth, better nose,
hair that’s long, dense, shiny,
body that’s not fat, that’s not thin-
that’s just perfect
like your flawless heart
for you as a woman can repress that tempting voice
for you by default know what’s the right choice,
and your love and love alone
can heal the entire world
how virgin!
so pure
so beautiful
when you walk in, the winds blow
when you walk in, animals talk
pumpkins turn into carriages-
people fall in love with you
over one glass shoe
oh but you must run
before midnight to do all the chores
which they’ll ensure that you always have more
be pretty,
be smart,
be rich,
and finally, be a mother of four
and oh be soft-spoken
and oh be tolerant
yes, some sacrifices and compromises would deem necessary;
the cost you bear to be able to bear a child
how you bleed
to hold a life
inside you
safe and secure
now you gotta stay safe and secure
under the protection
that you don’t necessarily require
but they will ensure
that you do.

Yes, fuck that.

The Evening blues

Lately,
words have been failing me.
Lately,
it doesn’t seem like there
was
or is
or will be
any point
in anything that
I have ever done
or would like to do.
Lately,
the world has been failing me.
And even when it wasn’t
I feel like it always was –
more lost than ever before
because even the dream’s
been temporary lived and gone.
And there isn’t a new one that could replace and stay.
And the old one doesn’t go away,
like a ghost haunting an old house
wanting something
and yet it’s just too late;
Echoes of a dying wish,
the life is gone brother!
And you don’t matter,
you don’t have any matter in the first place.
Lately,
I can’t speak.
Because I don’t really think I have anything to say.
I feel old in my youth
as if I have already lived way beyond I was supposed to.
Lately,
I have discovered a bit of joy
in being
at an utter unease with everything perfect
or could have been perfect.
Here I am with the evening breeze
romanticizing the distant chaos again.
Lately,
I have been feeling weak –
A familiar face,
hanging around with a dictionary definition
ensuring that any sort of hope doesn’t escape
and corrupts me all over again.
Caution:
Don’t fly.
Because you are not a bird.
Hues of the autumn
amber, orange, brown
like leaves you fall to the ground.
Dissolving,
take away this pen
take away my immortality
I don’t want to be remembered.
I don’t even know what I am.
So why should you?

I give up

Yes #blacklivesmatter, and brown lives matter too. All shades of it. All languages of it. All religions. Women matter, equality matter, migrants matter, farmers matter, healthcare matters, hygiene matters, air quality matters, drinkable water matters, education matters, elephants matter, animals matter, sparrows matter, birds matter, trees matter, forests matter, rivers matter, oceans matter.

But what doesn’t matter and end up mattering a lot?
Caste, class, ranks and mindless consumption
False promises, and poor execution
Plastic character, and useless designations
Violence, hatred and discrimination,
Greed, stupidity, and chaotic administration,
Fake news & misinterpreted data,
Endless blame game and misleading media.

I dream of a better world. And when I look back, I do see progress – it’s more of a zigzag curve than a linear graph. But it gives me hope that people have stood up against injustice in the past and changed the world. For the better. Yes, often the world requires a brutal wake-up call. Often that means millions die for no reason. Is it necessary that we repeat that pattern yet again?

But who am I? I don’t have the voice that can influence people with power. Sometimes and these days more often, I don’t even have the energy or the motivation to speak. I am not alone, I know that. I know people who care, I know people who care much more than I do. I know who are taking actions believing that even small ones matter. I was a believer too.

But the mess is too huge, this mess is too complex.

I know way too many people who don’t and won’t, for some reason or the other, beyond or in their control, knowingly or unknowingly, won’t give a fuck. And there are some people, like me, with their deep but more often superficial understanding of the problem may continue to learn and be better and someday hopefully be powerful enough to be heard. But today I am not one of those people.

Today, I give up.

How (not) to be an Engineer

To become an Engineer
you become a rat first
then you become a hard drive
you try to learn from the great minds of the past
Newton, Einstein, Maxwell, Heisenberg
you try to learn all the fancy concepts
chemical Bonds, optics, mechanics, electricity
theories after theories,
equations after equations,
if you are lucky,
if you are the selected few,
who instinctively knew,
you may dream of being a human again.

Two years of struggle;
They will lie it’s the hardest you will ever go through
no TV, no cable, no internet
your friends – your books, your pens,
your daily practice sheets
then the D day comes
with its gigantic stamp
You, to score 130 are smart
you, to score 129 are dumb
unless you have a quota,
in that case, you will do just fine.

Congratulations, you’ve somehow made it.
You have officially entered the paradise.

Really?
No.

The two years you spent preparing for a “good ” engineering college,
they forgot to tell you what an engineer is
four years you are going to learn engineering
they will again forget to tell you what an engineer is.

Semesters after semesters,
as you get introduced to new theories, new formulae, and new ways of life
there is Laplace transformation,
and there is your transformation too-
a drastic one
red eyes, and long hair,
you listen to Pink Floyd now
they will blame you for your “wrong” habits,
for you slipping grades,
for your lack of respect,
for everything that is wrong with your life,
and everything that is wrong with their lives too.
But they can’t be blamed for the most important thing they forgot to teach
the most important thing that the internet and books can’t teach you
Character, motivation, inspiration, a dream.

No, No, No,
too easy to blame it on the system
so blame it on yourself
convince yourself you are not worth it-
there’s always that one student,
who kills himself or definitely tries to,
there is still nothing wrong with our education of course.
You continue mugging up theories
that you vomit later on the answer sheets,
After all those grades tell you if you are an engineer or not.
They mostly tell you how well you cheated.
Or in case, you are one of those good ones,
they tell you how well you licked a book.
Was it not about understanding how nature works?
Was it not about building cool creative stuff?
Was it not about being an artist of machines?
We were supposed to help humanity
and all we learnt was
to make money the fastest way.
at best.
Chasing numbers after numbers.
Chasing meaningless milestones after another.
Where was love?
I only saw desperation
I only saw insecurity.

And next thing you know
is that there are some lame ass people
from some lame ass companies judging you
whether you are good enough to be exploited.

Two results:
some people see through your bullshit and tell you to fuck off right away
some people see through your bullshit and tell you to fuck off after you are hired.

It’s a cause for celebration
Welcome to paradise.

Really?
No, welcome to corporate slavery.

I am not an engineer anymore,
just a degree holder
(for which I didn’t even get any graduation)
They say
‘God! you are such a cliche.’
The best you can do with your degree now is
to cut them into small pieces
and make roaches out of them.
Actually that’s not the best thing I can do,
the best thing I can do is it roll the whole thing and kill cockroaches
and say that I use my degree to kill cockroaches.
‘Is that a metaphor?’ you ask. ‘You obviously mean the cockroaches of the society, right?’
No, cockroaches. Actual cockroaches.
I like to crush them with my degree.
Just like my degree crushed me,
my confidence, my esteem, my self-worth.

‘But hey,
By the way,
Why did you want to be an Engineer anyway?’
I don’t know my friends thought it was cool,
my parents thought that it was cool too,
it wasn’t though
it was their convenience
and mine too.
I became an engineer
because there was nothing else I could do
too smart to be an artist
too impatient to be a doctor
too ignorant to be a lawyer
And then I failed.
They tell me it’s because I didn’t study
I agree.
But it’s not the exams I am talking about.
All my milestones were mirages.
My ego-centric survival technique, a sham
Maybe I will move on.
Maybe I won’t.
Maybe all the stupid conditioning will wear off.
Maybe it won’t.
And maybe they will realise-
that they are educators, mentors, role models,
not mere lecturers
or a malfunctioning judgmental Google.
Maybe someday they will ask
What the fuck are we teaching our youth anyway?

Or maybe, most probably, they won’t.
But will you?

*