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Brats like businessman Sanjeev Nanda, who was convicted for running over and killing six people, or actor Salman Khan, who is said to have run his Land Cruiser over some pavement dwellers in Mumbai have tough competition. Recently, when news flashed that a speeding car killed two and injured several others along Mumbai's Marine Drive, people were shocked to discover a woman behind the wheels, an allegedly drunk 27-year-old Nooria Haveliwala. Those in the know describe her as a 'rich, spoilt brat'.
Psychologists reveal that women flaunting their wealth and abusing drugs are on a steady rise. In another case, according to eyewitnesses, two drunk women walked in around midnight into a high-profile discotheque of a five-star hotel in Juhu, Mumbai, blowing rings of smoke in the air. In a drunken stupor, they fell on the floor, removed their sandals, and threw them high up in the air, as they abused and hit out at whoever stepped onto the dance floor. That done, one of them 'picked up' a guy and walked out.
Some girls can lose control, turning to alcohol or drugs in moments of depression, like 17-year-old Rita, who had cars, expensive clothes, and daily access to a huge amount of pocket money. She splurged on her friends, getting an ego boost from the popularity it earned her. It doesn't stop them from being rude and arrogant, says 27-year-old Naina's counsellor. The girl caused two minor accidents for which she had to compensate the victim with Rs 20,000, besides incurring Rs 50,000 for car repair expenses.
Ruchita, an only child, gets together with her busy parents once a week for about half an hour. If her father, a CEO and her mother, a fashion designer, refuse her demands, she threatens to jump off the balcony. A rash driver, she believes in blowing up money on pubs regularly.

Dr Rajesh Parikh, director, psychiatry research, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, says it's parents' who are often responsible for churning out brats. He explains, "At times, working or single parents fulfill transitory demands with lavish gifts, but can't provide love, affection and appreciation. Children's sense of self-esteem depends largely on something as fragile as their possessions rather than on character and values."

Today girls are upfront in demanding their rights. Nothing can come in their way. Comments Dr Shayama Chona, an educationist for 44 years, "They expect society to respect their equality with boys. They are bright, bold, beautiful, and want to drink, smoke, go for late night parties, but don't know how to handle it when trouble arises."

Too much emphasis on individual rights can come in the way of nurturing good relationships. Says senior psychiatrist Dr Rajiv Anand, "'I, me, myself' and to hell with others! This attitude is leading to emotional instability among girls." Add to this, the easy access to illegal substances, birth control methods, etc, which make these female brats believe they know it all.

Things appeared to be coming full circle when Bollywood's famous brat Salman Khan was reportedly slapped by a 'super spoilt' daughter of a rich industrialist, who gatecrashed his private party in an inebriated state in Delhi a few months ago. The actor politely asked the girl to leave. While we are still dealing with males riding high on testosterone, it can be said that the girl brat-pack has arrived. Not for the better, though!


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