Appraisal Festival For Kids

Ho Ho Ho! It’s that time of the year when “good” and “well-behaved” children are rewarded – for being good and well-behaved of course. It is just one of those traditions when elders bribe the children to be good so that they don’t grow up and bribe…erm?

So I am wondering how Santa Claus (SC) discusses with his Human Resource consultant (HR) about the management of the gifts in ratio with the degree of “niceness” of little mortal beings. Let’s explore…

HR: Sir! Sir..SIR!

SC: *wakes up* what is it?

HR: It’s time. We need to evaluate the yearly performance of these naughty brats.

SC: What? Why on earth do I have the most taxing job ever? Whoever fancies sneaking down through chimneys when everyone is chilling in the holiday season! FML.

HR: Eh..the Amazon preview sale is until midnight, let’s go over the list so that we can get great discounts, shall we? What about Donald?

SC: Who? Trump? The same guy who when opens his mouth is only to change whichever foot was previously in there? Have they started selling feet online yet? We may need a couple of hundred for him for the coming year.

xmas1HR: Well, what about Salman Khan?

SC: Oh ya, order a car for him. I know it’s a highly unsafe choice, but he needs to go far before he signs any other movie or Bigg Boss…the sooner he goes, the better. And that way, I guess I am compensating by saving an entire population!

HR: Right. Next is Barkha Dutt?

SC: This young lady has delusions of adequacy. If I had it my way, I would get her off the TV first, but my contract doesn’t allow me to do that. Well, just put her in the list of not-nice children.

HR: Narendra Modi?

SC: He is the same kid tea-seller we had given a pencil a few years ago, right? Well, it certainly takes him no time to make his pointless.  Blade it is then.

HR: Robert Vadra?

SC:   What more do I give him, when I am already paying a toll to pass through his property, be it on ground or in the air!

HR: Kejriwal?

SC: Oh, get this chap removed from the list, and ban him from all future considerations. Since my last report, he has reached rock bottom. Check if he has started digging there yet? Or else there will be no place left for him to go!

HR: *chuckles* Rahul Gandhi?

SC: Aww, finally we are talking about children, is it? It’s the easiest to please someone who would be out of their depth in a roadside puddle – also created by them. Candy it is. Anything that remotely looks like one will also do. Just something else for him to suck up to, you know!

That reminds me, I haven’t done my bit of sucking up to Santa Claus for fulfilling my greed…umm I mean needs. After all, like they say (and I repeat on every Christmas) – Nothing comes easy in life. Even Santa comes with a clause.

Peace Out, Bro.

Do you remember the time when as kids we would shut our ears, stick our tongue out and make weird sounds to signal that we have stopped listening to the other side, when in an argument? Well, blocking people on social media is exactly just that.

I remember the era when internet would take ages to connect with that peculiar voosh-voosh sound, and if and when it did, by the time it would even manage to open my email – which obviously had nothing urgent or important or mail – my time was up. Then with Orkut, it just sort of replaced our slam books and scrap books. With the overwhelming information that Google had to offer, it soon was sought out as more of an educational tool than a recreational one.

Internet had expanded our chance of having discussions, making informed opinions/decisions, but it also has given us the liberty of shutting the screen, switching off/or between tabs, and blocking anything or everything that challenges our views.

Internet was also a potential prospect of meeting with like-minded people. No, I am not talking about Tinder, d’uh! But, we become aware of other people who also are blocking the same things/views/people as us, and suddenly that gives a great power to our thought, ingrains it into us more than ever, and we block other views with renewed zest and enthusiasm. This is sort of leading to a “cult” culture over every opinion that we have.

putting-your-opinion-out-on-the-internet-is-frowned-upon-meme

So today it is very difficult to just say anything you feel like about any issue. Because the moment you open your mouth, you are either a bhakt, or an AAPtard, or just downright stupid. Either you are a feminist or a chauvinist. You become a libtard, right-winger, anti-national, intolerant or Pakistani even before you completely keep your point.  If you are against Trump, you are pro-Hillary. If you are against Hillary, you are pro-Trump. You are racist, body-shammer, islamophobic, or ….and if you aren’t one of these my-way-or-the-highway kind of peeps, then you are just ay!

This is now not only the story of the internet, but also in the outside-social-media life. The recent elections in America or Brexit has proved that we all are living a (judgmental) bubble of our own. But we forget that a bubble doesn’t even need something as sharp as a needle to burst, you know! And well, it has.

This change has been quite drastic, and rather too rapid for my liking. Of course, “change” has various connotations today, and I am not talking about the new prevalent – Do you have a change for 1000? – Kind of change. But, change must be such that it does not eliminate people or their ideas. Because this majoritarian attitude will only reduce our way of life to an idiot mechanism. As Shiv Visvanathan puts it – The change we need is a change in the idea of change itself.

Well, I am going to begin with not thinking that Indians who celebrated Thanksgiving have less IQ than the stuffed turkey on the table. Peace.

It’s A M’ad World

WARNING- Do not try this at home. It’s written under professional supervision. Oops, vision. Oops again, promotion.

'Great ad campaign. Now all we need is a product.'

It knows what makes you shop. It shapes your desires. It invades your dreams. It classifies class. It makes you realise the importance of 30 seconds, while waiting for your video to load. It distracts you on the app. It is everywhere! It is the ad world that makes our world tick. It is a mad-ad world at that. We make this mad world.

Do you ever see a commercial and feel like tearing out your hair? Well, bald men are exempt from answering this question. Unless, you were able to grow all that hair back, all thanks to the 2 a.m. ads. This night binge watching of ads is a trap.

I know a gazillion people who can actually have just one air-filled-air-tight chip. Yes, they stop at the first one! APOCALYPSE! (Well no. They are on a diet, and shouldn’t have essentially eaten that one as well).

I know no one – NO ONE – who because of their super white clothes, or even fair-er skin landed them THE dream job. I mean of course Will Smith and Nelson Mandela aren’t famous. Or loved. We are all just jackasses.

Obviously, one doesn’t see many scantily clad women on the street charging at a man just because he smells nice. Actually, one doesn’t see scantily clad women on the streets, period. And just for the record, most of your faces are stronger repellent. The women in commercials aren’t crazy either. I mean, money talks, honey!

Don’t you think the soap brand took it too far when after Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, they claimed their soap has done wonders to Shah Rukh Khan’s skin as well. SRK! Really now?!

And I, for one, can vouch for how using a certain network is one of the worst “ideas” of my life- though it did give me the idea to write this column. Don’t judge me, now! – I am not from IIN. *cries tears of blood*

The point is how dumb do you think your target-audience is. Well, the companies that pay millions of dollars to professionals for all those fancy surveys don’t always get it that wrong. I mean they must be doing something right if they are willing to spend so much on these bizarre commercials. What this mumbo-jumbo essentially means is these companies consider most of us dumb. Well, you do buy the product? Yes? Then you’re dumb. The truth is out there and it’s bitter.

Having said that, some ads are creative geniuses. From utterly butterly creative ads to pa parara pa rara, I think a few ads go a long way!

All said and done, you like them, you love them, you enjoy them, you detest them, but you cannot avoid them. Just like no one can read this one without the tune:

Washing powder Nirma, washing powder Nirma.

Doodh si safedi nirma se aayi,

Rangeen kapda bhi…..Caught you!

One Year Of Writing!

Today, it was a great surprise for me when the website wished me a happy one year anniversary! It has been a year! OMG. Not completely believing it, I cross-checked with the date when I first clicked on ‘publish’ – 15 April, 2014!

Woot!!!

A lot can happen in a year. A few things you plan for, while others just unfold!  One thing I have realised is there is a great pleasure in doing something you love, but the thrill of doing something that makes you uncomfortable , and you successfully overcoming you inhibitions, is incomparable. And keep doing it till it becomes a part of you,  that you actually start another blog ( yeah, blatant marketing – upluscollective.wordpress.com), are always thinking of what next should I write about, are looking around for inspiration, and are always learning.

In addition to that, I also have realised that I use ‘absolutely’ a lot. And also, ‘also’ and ‘and’.

For me, just like I had hoped in my first post,  it was quite an experience. But I don’t think I have been able to really “improve” in my writing skills, or even to “untangle” my thoughts – I may just have ended up tangling them even further, in fact. But I am totally enjoying this journey, and that is what really matters!

Cheers to one year and more! 😀

#Note to self – Think about the next thing you never thought you would do, and jump (into it, of course)! 😉