Sunday, October 22, 2006

A 100 Wishes!

    My cell hasn’t stopped buzzing since this morning. I haven’t written the latest bestseller, neither have I scored a half century at Lords nor have I found out that Bin Laden is still alive. I have still not breached my boundaries of a fairly simplistic existence in any manner and yet my cell has been incessantly buzzing with messages wishing me and my family a prosperous, happy, safe and what-not Diwali.

    Having immersed myself in some of the Freakonomics theories to quite an extent, I found myself asking the question, “Why do people send these mass messages/e-mailers wishing others on festivals like Diwali?” My question is specific to only these “mass dispatches” and not towards people wishing each other on Diwali and the like on a one-on-one basis.

    I even mapped the profile of people who sent me these messages. Who exactly are these people? I didn’t get too far with this one. There were all kinds. Vendors, agencies, bosses and friends. There was no way I could find a common thread in this diverse group of people. My next step was to map these people on demographics. Here too, there was no skew towards any gender or age. So this theory also went for a toss. As a last resort, I shall try to put in my understanding of this phenomenon.

    But before that, a basic truth of our times. Technology has infinitely increased convenience and killed the warmth between people. Earlier, Ms. Arora and family would either meet up or call Ms. Bhandari and family on Diwali day. Today, Ms. Arora finds the click of an SMS to be of immense convenience to make up for that meeting or call or that greeting card. Now this is between friends who’ve been there for each other for some time. There’s another side to it and this is where I think I might be jumping into a controversial net. But let’s see if we can think this through.

    These SMS/Mailers have helped people who hardly know me to wish me. This has enabled these people to cast the net of their acquaintances wide without any incremental cost. The downside being that if I hardly know anyone, receiving a “Happy Diwali” SMS from these people is not exactly my idea of the beginning of an endearing relationship with such people. I’m sure these people are also aware of this fact. If they are, then why do they still do it? More importantly, do these people expect a reply from us? In case of mass e-mailers, am not sure if they do or not but in case of SMS’, I’ve a sneaking suspicion that they are expecting a reply. This means I receive an SMS from someone wishing me “Happy Diwali” which doesn’t excite me at all. As a gesture of simple courtesy, (I make it a point to always respond whenever approached on mail/call/SMS/Orkut) I reply politely wishing the sender as well. Now this is obviously personalized because I’m replying to someone’s message. The sender feels good having received this personalized reply. It is now that the whole exercise of wishing people through mass mailers/SMS’ seems that bit of a farce to me.

    Firstly, you put me in a mass basket.
    Secondly, if I reply, you’re happy about it.
    Thirdly, in this whole exercise, I didn’t feel special at all getting either wished or wishing you. Nevertheless, you’re the one who walked away with the personalized reply.

    It somehow hence seems that the people who actually were sending these mass messages want to be wished themselves. I’d agree that no one consciously sends these dispatches thinking that ‘Since I want to be wished let me send out an SMS/E-mail to the 312 people in my address book.’ But the more I think about it, it appears to me that the singular underlying motive for which people seem to be sending these “mass dispatches” is self-gratification.

    While it might be a coincidence, a majority of my friends, who sent these messages were also single. This also leads me to believe that for such people their need for self-gratification was even more than the average 24 year old who was committed, engaged or married. These were all nice people but probably lacked that constant backing in their life that keeps them informed about how nice or good or great their own existence was. Consequently being wished in return on an occasion like Diwali just happens to be an occasion to feel good about themselves.

    A loophole in my explanation is that why do I feel obliged to reply. I could rant about courtesy but my simple view is every action has a reaction. My reaction is against the stimulus and here I’m trying to pin down the reason for the stimulus.

    Another view that might go against my theory is that these people wished others on a mass basis because they simply thought it’s a nice gesture to wish everyone with least effort. That’s all!

    To which my reply is, if someone is that special enough to deserve this nice gesture, what’s a little extra effort in sending a simple personalized SMS/E-Mailer? And if someone is not that special enough then why even bother?

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A 100 Wishes!

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Declaration

    "You put all of them together , add an extra 10% and if they can do better than me, I'll never... ever... ever give another shot at this in my life! "

    Did Howard Roark ever make such a statement?
    Would I?

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The Declaration

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bend Over and Dont Scream

    Launch. Radio. Vendors. No.No.No.Exciting. Getting fucked. Transmitter.18th Floor.King of Delhi.What am I doing? This is Great! Fuck! Theater.Screw the Virgin! Fantastic.Intellectual.9 am to 9 pm. Calvin and Hobbes.Shirts. Sony Deck.Radio Sets. Bitch! RJ's. HT House. Merchandiser. Jack Daniels. FM104. No Network. Voice Artist. Pyongyang. "Been there myself!". Marketing. Three cubes of Ice. Building. Updates. Music.

    Post launch, shall be coming up with an autobiography on the making of the marketing launch campaign for 104FM titled, "Will Survive, Wont Survive..." :-)

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Bend Over and Dont Scream

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Monday, October 2, 2006

And I am...

    It’s been a long time given my working hours in the last two weeks. Since, in the meantime, I couldn’t find enough time to write a story or think of something worthwhile to write, this post is a random collection of useless trivia. The format of this post is inspired by the column titled “Gleanings” that appears in the Cricinfo magazine.

    I’ve trouble managing my friends because I’ve trouble mailing and calling them and I can never manage to meet all of them

    I find the celebration of birthdays and wishing friends on their birthdays meaningless. There are 364 other days and numerous other ways to make my friends feel special.

    My best friends are those with whom I’ve spent time roaming on bicycles on the streets of a town called Ghaziabad.

    I’ve been in love once. It was beautiful.

    The first time I proposed a girl was in Std. II. I think her name was Bournvita. Or something like that.

    For me, an intelligent and humorous conversation with a lady is as good as making out.

    I always do better than my peers when there’s a lot of uncertainty and chaos around. If I‘m given set pieces and structured guidelines I’m just average.

    I can’t understand why journalists and salespersons are not paid well. They definitely work harder than me.

    I think I’m becoming more conniving with every day I spend at work given that I act like a war General always negotiating budgets and deadlines.

    I’ve a special affection for Jack Daniels.

    I prefer being at home reading comics to things like river-rafting, rappelling and trekking.

    I hate attending social functions and weddings

    I love dogs far more than babies and kids.

    On an average, I’ve about 10 ice-creams very week.

    In my books , if you can’t be punctual, your existence is irrelevant.

    I believe there’s more goodness around than the world credits itself with.

    It’s easy to find morons everywhere. I mean everywhere

    I’ve been told by people that I’m mean and think too highly of myself. I disagree with the latter because if there’s one thing I know for sure are my limitless limitations and mediocre strengths.

    I’m very possessive about my shirts, books, comics, cassettes and CD’s.

    There are only two things I badly want to do in life.
    a. Provide live on-air cricket commentary with Sunil Gavaskar.
    b. Make a movie.
    I came real close to the first. The second, I haven’t started working on.

    I want to do the Tango once with a lovely woman on a cruise a la Al Pacino in a restaurant in Scent of a Woman.

    I used to be a great liar in school. They never caught me except my Dad.

    I always root for the underdog. Most of the times in my life, I’ve been one.

    Someone asked me once what I’m best at, I didn’t have an answer. But if it counts, I think I talk alright.

    There’s nothing in my life that I wouldn’t do all over again.
    I think I’ve been real lucky in my life to say this.

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And I am...

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