18 August, 2007

The dying spirit.....

Every day I meet people, and greet them with a customary ‘Hi’, and enquire about what they have been upto. And every time I get a customary ‘Nothing much’. It’s almost as if, people are afraid to talk about or worse, they have nothing to talk about, other than watching a movie over the weekend, or going shopping, or just talking about work. And it’s the same everywhere. Can our lives be really this boring?

Ok, so what’s the last time we did anything that had an impact on a person or a situation? When was the last time, that we stopped when we thought someone was not right, and decide to set it right? Either, I’ve been meeting the wrong set of people, or for most of us, the answer would be ‘a long time ago’ or ‘never’. And, the justification is that we are just normal people (and would in all probability remain so). In a country like ours, there are ample opportunities to make an impact. And yet, we would find the least percentage of people who are involved in the society or community around us. Why do we have this sense of apathy? I guess we’ve just become comfortable being ‘nobody’s. We’ve developed a very narrow perception and so all we crave for is respect at office or a good standing among our friends and relatives - we’ve just lost our sense of identity.

I’m sure a lot of us have wanted to do something at different times. And then, we just look around and decide to follow the crowd. Probably we must all just think of the things that we always wanted to change. And instead of blaming the system, we should try to be the change. It’s not that tough really. When we talk of the quota system being unjust, do we join the protests that happen all around us, or do we find out about and approach the civic body when the road in our locality has been ‘Under Construction’ for a long time? Simple things and small initiatives from each one of us can really make a huge impact and only when we start believing that, can there be a change.

So, are you a 'somebody' or a 'nobody'?

06 August, 2007

A new low in newspaper advertising...

I was traveling down Adyar bridge recently and happened to notice a huge billboard of a scantily clad female wearing a bit-n-pieces T-shirt. The writing on the T-Shirt said ‘Institute reveals vital statistics’ printed across the shirt. And for a while I couldn’t find what this brand being advertised was. Cosmopolitan? Stardust? And then, I noticed it… A small print revealing the name of the brand – Deccan Chronicle. Surprise, surprise!! I never really had a very high opinion of this newspaper, but never considered it that cheap either.

Why would a newspaper advertise itself in such a manner? And what were they trying to position themselves as? A newspaper, that provides enough eye-candy for the bored teenagers? Or a magazine, which provides some daily news? Either way, I don’t see how it made sense. Majority of the people subscribing for newspapers and reading them are the middle-aged people. A younger guy might either just check the news on the net or Google whatever takes his fancy at the moment. And in any case there are a lot many avenues for eye-candy other than the daily newspaper. And a more serious youngster would actually prefer a more serious newspaper.

Luckily, better sense prevailed and the next time I passed the bridge, the advertisement had been replaced by a surprisingly witty one. One, in which the letters A.D. were in the first line and B.C. were in the line below. And so if you read vertically, you’d have D.C. And with the caption, ‘Sometimes two letters can denote a generation’. Very smart advertising, but not before they touched a new low in newspaper advertising.