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Monday, April 9, 2018

#IndiaBrainwashed


"Who's teaching us this...?"
"When was the last time you had a decent conversation from a politician about jobs, about farmers, about demonetization?"
"Who's going to talk about the fact that everyday in our newspaper there is a new story about Banks that are losing money... our money?"
"Governments are supposed to supply us with Education, with Health, with Clean Air, Clean Water and Affordable Food. When are we going to talk about that?"
"We are not individuals to these people. We are not Human Beings. They see you as a vote to be manipulated during each election. And they send you WhatsApp messages telling you how to hate somebody else. Because these people think we are idiots... We need to reject them." 
"My religion is not your business. My caste is not your business. The fact that over a third of this country go to bed without food is your business. The children under the age of five in this country are still dying for avoidable diseases is still your business."   
"We are going to dedicate time and energy and people into busting every single lie. Because we will not bow down and let you sell our democracy for your cheap political gains, all of you, whoever you are, bring it on!
Bring on your lies..."

Friday, March 30, 2018

Monkey Business!


Although the matter of anthropology is in jeopardy with many evolved beings questioning the Darwinian theory of evolution recently, there is no denial that we learned many things from Monkeys, as our ancestors or not! When in School, we used to listen to a peculiar monkey story wherein two Cats would fight over a ball of cream butter and a Monkey would offer his counsel to settle the dispute for free. By trying to divide the ball in exactly equal halves, the Monkey would finish the entire cream ball in the process and the stupid Cats would make fool of themselves by just staring at vanishing cream ball in front of them with every passing moment.

In other story, a trader comes to a village in search of Monkeys and offers a good price in exchange of Monkeys. When the supply of Monkeys diminishes he raises the offer price and many villagers would rush to the jungle on lookout for Monkeys. While those villagers are busy in their Monkey-business, the dealer would hand over to his Assistant and ensure that he will return as soon as he finishes his business in the town. Meanwhile, as the Boss is away, the Assistant offers to sell already purchased Monkeys to the villagers who couldn’t go to jungle to catch Monkeys and lures them that they will get an excellent deal when his boss returns with a bigger demand and higher price for Monkeys. In anticipation, the entire village monetizes everything they have to get hold of maximum Monkeys to have the best deal and wait for the Trader to return. The Assistant leaves for the town to get his Boss and the villagers rushed to the jungle return with all the Monkeys they could catch. After a week when there’s no news from the town, villagers realize that they have been fooled and there are Monkeys everywhere who would do more harm than good to the villagers who are neither their owners nor caretakers!

In the third story, a stray Dog that has wandered to the jungle, realizing that it is approached by a Tiger would act smart by turning the back to the Tiger, picking up a bone lying around and pretend to have eaten a Tiger exclaiming, ‘I never knew the Tiger tastes so good. How wonderful would it be if I can get another Tiger to complete my delicious feast?’ The Tiger hearing this gets scared and thinks, ‘What a beast of an animal this Dog must be, let me get away from it and save my life!’ A Monkey on the tree watching the entire episode from above, rushes to the Tiger and narrates him the whole story. Getting furious for being fooled by a stupid village Dog the Tiger asks the Monkey to sit on his back as he would get back to the Dog and teach him a lesson for life... literally! The Dog being smarter than both the Tiger and the Monkey, senses that something has gone wrong in his trick and realizing the imminent, turns his back once again and immediately improvises a loud self-talk... ‘It’s been almost an hour I sent that Monkey to bring me another Tiger, I am starving with hunger and god knows where that stupid Monkey is lazing around...?'

Now am I trying to prove something here or am I just Monkey(ing) around with these Aesop fables? Well, first of all, all these are not Aesop fables, at least two of these are stories with a real ‘Moral’ that varies from individual to individual depending upon the character in the story he or she identifies with! That’s one thing; secondly, somehow I could see the reflection of recent disturbing headlines, all devastating, making news, in here. Now, if you can look at the blame-game that has erupted between two major political parties over the data leak revelation by ‘whistle-blowerChristopher Wylie – the new Julian Assange – of Cambridge Analytica, match it with the first story and find out who is the Monkey here. A hint – it is not important to identify the Monkey in this story, it’s more important to understand what the ball of cream butter symbolizes? You will be shocked if and when you find out!

The second story depicts the lengths humans can go to win, whether it’s a Cricket Match or a deal, and make a complete fool of themselves by losing their hard-earned lifelong earnings and rankings! The Gentleman’s Game was ashamed and lost its shine like a old ball when the most professional and phenomenal players reduced themselves to petty cheaters by doing what was not only completely unnecessary but absolutely awful and disgusting thing, to ‘win’ which should never matter more than the spirit of sportsmanship. The worst thing in this episode is this trio bring disgrace and sheer embarrassment not just to themselves, their family-friends and well-wishers but to their Nation that has a longstanding eminent reputation in the sport. No amount of regret and tears could bring back the lost glory of the game... neither to them, to their nation nor to any earnest cricket lover anywhere in the world, ever again. It’s a permanent loss; way beyond slaging and fixing as it compromised the very purpose of playing – the sporting attitude – that is smeared by the winning (at any cost!) attitude.

Finally the third story which neither is a fable nor a moral story but made rounds of internet some time back as a new management theory – of improvising on the situation to come out clean and safe. I am not going to deliberately link it to some story as there are plenty of those ‘Tigers’, ‘Monkeys’ and Smart ‘Dogs’, all around, on the local, national and Global levels. If you are confused, take a hint from Animal Farm by George Orwell. Every being that believes what is heard without probing into the matter and saves his skin, is that Tiger, everybody who tries to take advantage of the situation with hidden (and devious) motives, is that Monkey and the (other)wise one who knows how to confuse, divert and misguide the furious interrogator with flashy pretension of bloated might and fake intentions, is that over smart Dog. Saying this should suffice and there is no need to elaborate it any further, I guess! My readers are more conscious than I believe them to be, I believe!

So to sum it up, in all the stories above and the incidences around, what is compromised is the belief, the faith, the trust of people in something, somebody, and somewhere. Not a good sign - neither for humanity nor for society or for democracy. If this practice continues to exist, people will fear expressing themselves, even to their intimate ones. If the suspicion starts ruling the world, there would be apprehension all around, just like the monkeys in the second story. If we need a society that is creative, hopeful, loving, caring and sharing; we need to get rid of these tendencies that thrive on manipulating others for their own purpose and we should develop a culture of empowering conscious of every individual... till the last man; sooner the better!

Way to go...!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Prophecy...!


26 years ago, it was a Canadian girl Severn Cullis-Suzuki who spoke to the United Nations at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the year 1992 and left the audience completely silent and speechless for five minutes, when she was twelve years old. After about quarter of a century, once again it’s a 12 year boy Timoci Naulusala from Fiji who spoke at UN Climate Change Conference 2017 in Bonn, Germany with almost the same effect. The audience comprised of leaders of national governments, cities, states, business, investors, NGOs and civil society who gathered to speed up climate action to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

This time, ‘Climate Change’ is not just the hot topic of discussion but Sustainable Development Goal No.13 that calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. It is intrinsically linked to all 16 of the other goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To address climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius. United States of America has already withdrawn from the Paris Agreement arguing that this agreement puts US at a permanent disadvantage and will undermine US economy!

After about 25 years of ‘evolution’ adults of the world, particularly leaders of the world didn’t seem to have answers to the questions and concerns expressed by 12 year olds, on the contrary, have created a situation that generates more concerns and questions every passing day rather than the solutions to the old problems, let alone the new ones. How many more years and how many young kids would it takes us to answer two simple, basic and fundamental questions that I am putting forward for over a decade now at this same place -
Is it all worth it?
And if yes, 
At the cost of what? 

I would like to reiterate one more time a prophecy, as it is generally attributed to, for every conscientious, honest and sensible mind's identification, reflection and action -
   

[A conscious] Way to go...!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Addiction...!


It's not about a thing, a gadget or any utility, it is about construct of the human brain to get used to something to the extent of being addicted t0 it, eventually. Bad habits like smoking or excessive drinking might have some physical ill effects and in some cases might even prove to be fatal and it is not to say that it's okay. However, an individual indulging in any such addiction will do harm to himself or herself and to his/her family, may be. But things like such addictions are the conspiracies to penetrate into the minds, brains and fundamental thinking and behaving mechanism of the society at large and make them slaves of the ideology, philosophy and intents that are not very pure in their very nature.

Human brain is an extremely sophisticated and highly developed form of a processor that receives some information, analyzes and processes it with some pre-loaded applications and generates information for storing and circulation. Consider a case of buying a new PC o Laptop for yourself wherein you decide the 'Configuration' of what you need and that combination of specific Hardware and Software gives you the result you desire. How difficult would it be for you to take full control of your 'machine' and make it behave as you want it to? Not very tough, except for some intruders like malware and viruses that could be taken care of by the Defender or the Security programs, right?

This would be the case with the 'Humans' who would fall prey to this trap of 'Advocacy' - it could be easily predefined what such Dumb species with Smart gadgets should see, read, watch and interact with. Specially customized content for a specific purpose could be made available 24x7 and almost free as it is the investment of those conspirators to develop their audience to act in a programmed manner on their orders, as and when required!

It's not too late though, Wake up NOW and understand the game. Let us not surrender to Dopamine but learn about it and make well-informed decisions. Our Brain is not gifted to us, we have earned it with evolution of hundreds of thousands of years. It would not be worth to put it to service of a plotter who makes a puppet of you. You are Your-SELF that has taken birth and grown as 'YOU' and its being should not get affected by a lousy WA message or a like on FB or a cheap comment on IG, it is much bigger and deeper than that.

Explore your-SELF, be kind with YOU, give your-SELF that s-p-a-c-e and RESPECT because you are UNIQUE. Everybody can be Anybody but not YOU! Never ever lose the identity - your individuality to stand apart, have an opinion and voice it loud. Get rid of those useless time-lags of aimlessly and helplessly lingering on your screens; get a life...!

(Awaken) Way to go...

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Idol...?


Whenever I make some money, the first thing I make sure is that I have enough groceries and kitchen supplies for my home to be fed with for a period till I could find another opportunity to make some more money. Second thing I take care of is of my laundry as I would need good, presentable, if not very lavish or exclusive, clothing in case I am supposed to attend any professional meeting or social event. Third priority place is taken up by house-related liabilities including payment of all the services my household requires. This is what is simplified and generalized as basic necessities or fundamental needs for a civilized individual – Roti, Kapada aur Makan – Food, Clothing and Shelter, as they have termed it.

Once these needs are taken care of, I assume myself worthy of considering items that go under ‘luxury’ that includes grooming myself with all those Personal Care products For Men the market keeps flooding with and the TV commercials with female(?) models keep flaunting incessantly. Once I am done from my head – with the Hair Gel that makes me look sexy (really? Now I believe that Princess and the Frog story!) to my toes – with those pointed Shoes that would make me feel like walking in heaven (is that the reason they cost a fortune?), I graduate myself to a higher step on the social structure. However I understand that I would need some more accessories to make my stay longer and comfortable at that level of society and then I consider upgrading my Infotainment – TV, Smartphone, Laptop and Tab.

When I finish raising bars of all my personal standards, I look around and find some domestic things that need to be fixed for other people’s sake as they also deserve some comfort being my home-mates, let alone relatives, some even blood-ones! With a benevolent attitude of a philanthropist, I approve all those petty tasks to be carried out and ensure their reimbursement against a detailed, transparent report of the work done even for fixing of a blocked kitchen sink. The point I am trying to make here is, even a generous and big-hearted person like me puts my own personal luxuries before the needs of other households who are doing everything to make my life easy, if not meaningful, and even provide a purpose for my ‘Being Human’ – a though that I would like you to hold and ponder upon for a while!

Up-to-date from tip-to-toe and armed with all the state-of-the-art infotainment gadgets, I step out of the house to find my old car waiting to be warmed up for the day in the parking and I make a mental note to change it on the first opportunity of affording a new one. Now, as I am not as fortunate as my neighbor to enjoy a luxury sedan with plush seats, roomy beige interiors and powerful torque, I prefer a long route to my destination that has a smooth, wide road with minimum obstacles including traffic signals. My GPS say it has tolls, but that’s okay if I could save on time, after all time is money, you know!

On the wide, less-populated, relatively quite road, listening to classic music on my way, I remember that I need to put a new frame to my Grandfather’s Portrait and hang it high on the wall of my living room. Just the memory of my Grandfather lightens up my mood and I get into my favorite act of playing with memories of my childhood with my Grandfather. As my heart feels with proud about my Grandfather and our glorious past, I decide to embellish his portrait with the biggest, most exclusive frame available in the town and make all visitors to my house look high and admire my Grandfather’s deeds and my aesthetic sense and rich taste to spend a fortune on a single frame that upholds my ‘Great’ Grandfather’s memory.

Till this point I am doing well by following the theory of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and have almost reached the Self-actualization state with self-esteem, if not self-transcendence with my grandfather and wondering – if I am a civilized individual (Huh?) and this is true with me, it must be for others. Together all of us make a Society and societies make Nations, do same principles apply to the nation at large?

This bad habit of asking disquieting questions when everything is going well is another thing I have inherited from my Grandfather who was a School Teacher!

While I am lost in trance of a journey from down-memory-lane to dream-of-future days-to-come, a thought strikes my mind just like a lightening – would my School Teacher Grandfather have ever approved of such extravaganza to glorify his picture for public appeasement? And does that make even a bit of a difference to Him, to me or to what I have inherited from him? Besides, wouldn’t this wasteful act of mine put my claim of inheritance of his values in jeopardy? If not, is this squandering worth it and at the cost of what? Won’t it be more sensible of me to preserve, digitize and publicize all His Social, Cultural, Spiritual, Literary and other works? Wouldn’t He be happier if I could do that instead and uphold His emblematic image high by leaving alone His corporeal picture in modesty?             
   
My Grandfather always does this. Whenever He appears He will always awaken the soul, shake the conscience and ask disturbing questions unnecessarily. Why He cannot just sit quietly in the most expensive ornamental frame I am buying to put him in? Why he need to probe into the farmer’s plight and the buyer’s remorse and the consumerism trap and the time-saving light-speed vehicles and the pro bono policies and their Idols, Statues and Memorials… and what not?

My life would have been easier haven’t I inherited that keeping conscience attitude of His, isn’t it…? Alas, I am descendant of a (Old) School Teacher who retired as ‘Head Master’ but never stopped being one!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Chi NA…?

Not every Chinese thing needs to be banned or looked down upon. Nothing is perfect and nothing is completely hopeless, the optimist says. It’s up to the vision and perception of the ‘Seer’ who looks at it.

Recently this animated movie ‘Joy’ is making rounds on Social Media that is being wrongly credited to the Pixar studios – makers of Oscar Winning ‘Piper’, some are even calling this ‘Piper’ itself, what a pity!

With over 266 million customers, JD.com is the largest online retailer in China. To celebrate the coming year of the DOG, JD.com has released an animation starring its mascot, JOY – "A Joy Story: Joy and Heron".


No doubt this purely is an advertisement with absolute commercial intents and interests by the trader from a country that believes in mass-production at any cost; the story and message is too cute to be ignored!

Am I promoting a hard-core capitalist Chinese trader through this post or have I switched my beliefs and principles? Any conclusion in haste would do injustice to my position if the post is not read till the end.

I have been writing on CSR, HR, PR and integration of all these elements in a manner that would be not only acceptable but adorable. Branding-Communication, CSR-Consultancy and Project-Presentation are the disciplines that are my professional passions and I recommend anything that elaborates any of it.

If we can leave aside the Management jargons like AIDA, BANT, Churn or Footfall for a while and look at it from a simplistic perspective – A returning Satisfied Customer that pays you more with pleasure without any obligation is - Brand Equity.

On the other hand, taking from the ‘haves’ to fulfill the survival needs of ‘have-nots’ out of pure compassion brings back the ‘profit’ to the ‘haves’ in multiple units which could have never been achieved with the same amount of resources plus efforts applied by the ‘haves’ themselves is - CSR!

So now it should be very clear why I intend to share ‘Joy’ with you here; it makes my job easy!

By the way ‘Chi’ means Soul, Inner-self, Life-force or Essence; so I don’t think there’s any reason to reject every ‘Chi’-nese thing as long as it delivers ‘Value’! More about ‘Value’ and its dimensions in another post…

Till then, Do your job, Don’t Rob, Enjoy and Be Joy!

Way to go…

Thursday, March 1, 2018

#BuraNaManoHoliHai

At a point of time when humans started settling with the advent of farming, society started taking a form to replace the previous groups and troops of hunters and gathers. As Society matured being more articulate and civilized, various ethnicities from different parts of world emerged as the identity of population of those territories. This ‘sense of belonging’ to a certain fraternity paved way for some customs, traditions and cultures that proved instrumental in the evolved form of society at large.

Although ‘Group Cohesiveness’ has always remained the backbone of cultural celebration, the fundamental elements that provided the occasion for festivals in early period could be largely traced to change in seasons – to bid farewell to an ending season and welcoming the new season at their cusp. India, owing to its geographical location, environmental conditions and culture, enjoys maximum (6) seasons and therefore has maximum number of festivals in a year. India’s cultural, communal, geographical and historical diversity adds to the total and India takes the cake as the most celebrated nation of the planet when it comes to festivals – another reason to feel proud as an Indian!
However, it has become imperative to understand the spirit of the festivals and the intent of our forefathers who initiated them with a common purpose – Cohesiveness with a heightened sense of belonging, teamwork, interpersonal and group-level interaction. No doubt Festivals are meant to be celebrated and Festival without Celebration would be like School without Education, just another ritual! But at the same time, with evolution of millions of years and the condition of the only liveable planet known to Humans for which only Humans are to be blamed, we should look at it in a different context and more consciousness. And when I say ‘we’, I mean Homo sapiens, without any classification of even color of skin - let alone caste, creed, cult, region or religion.

Today is Holi and I am sure every Indian on the planet is enthused with the thought of playing Holi and is already imagining the rainbow of colors he or she would look from head to toe tomorrow. I not only understand but even reciprocate the fervor of the festival and would surely love to soak myself in all available colors; I would make sure that I do not use any Chemical Colors that can harm any being or the environment and secondly, would use minimum, if not ZERO, water for the celebration. Why I insist on not wasting the water is because I don’t think that Cape Town is far away and I am not at all concerned with water crisis happening on the farthest point from where I live. I cannot say that because we all humans are connected in more than one way, we are children of Mother Earth. Watch the video and try to empathize with the situation. Don’t say that you are not bothered, because if we say that now nobody will come to our rescue if we, god forbid, find ourselves in such a situation.


If you think that is quite a heavy stuff for such a festival of light mood, another interesting and little naughty tradition of this festival is saying whatever comes to your mind for anybody without hurting the sentiments as it will be accompanied by a modest request, 'Bura Na Mano Holi Hai' - Don't mind, its on the occasion of Holi I am saying this without any ill-intent!

In the digital era where it is taken as unsophisticated, impolite and uncivilized to physically meet a person, let alone touching and hugging unless you are a foreign diplomat, I thought it would be interesting to imagine how some happening entities would think about their situation and Tweet it with a Hashtag – a mandatory thing one should do to prove its existence [in fact, both AADHAR and Certificate of life for pensioners would be replaced by a person’s Tweets as proof of his/her survival, it seems] – this is how it would look, I guess!

By the way, do I need to add a disclaimer here that this is absolute fictional work of creative imagination and any relation with anybody living or dead is a pure coincidence? (A little Pun intended!) So here we go with #BuraNaManoHoliHai –

#SwacchaBharat – @rallyforrivers, @CBIINdia, I am not sure about my banks but Indian Banks are being cleaned for sure! – Maa Ganga.

#IndianMedia – @Sridevi, Thank you Sri Devi ji! – Your highly obliged fan! – Nirav Now NRI.

#IndiaPolitics - @PrashantKishor, Send me your proposal with estimate - RaGa.

#CBIINdia @NiMo, Hi Bro, come back soon man, feeling little lonely ‘in’ here – Karti Chidambaram.

#IndianMedia – @NiMo, @Sridevi, We regret our profession and trivial contribution vis-à-vis yours! – Yash Pal [Renowned Indian Scientist] and T.S.R. Subramanian [Former Cabinet Secretary].

#IndiaPolitics - @KamalHassan, क्या 'आप'भी राजनिती बदलने आये है जी? एक बात पहेलेसे समझ लीजिये, किसीपेभी 'विश्वास' मत करिये गा ! - आम आदमी.

#ManKiBaat - @PM_MODI, Sir, when would you do OUR Man ki baat, let alone our Kam ki baat? – Indian Farmer.

#Interview - @SharadPawar, काका मला वाचवा – AP [or RT?] @PMO, Can we have the script? - Republic [of India?]

#IndiaPolitics - @NitishKumar - हम पहलेसेही जानते थे इ ससुरा मांजी हमराही मौंटन म्यान है गुड्बघ! - लालू.

#Cryptocurrency - @BitCoin, I understand you are the new kid on the block, but can you be minted? - New 10 Rupee Coin.

#CSRIndia - @Corporate, If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts! - MCA.

#ToI @RKLaxman, You muted me for years and made me an innocent bystander witnessing everything helplessly, now when they are taking me for a ride, where are you and what would you do? - Common Man.

And yes, please feel free to add your imaginations in the comments if you are also inspired by reading these 'intimate secrets', nothing here would be charged nor trolled (who said 'not even read or noticed?'), I believe! After all it’s Holi, Don’t mind Bro, you know!

May the Wise Colors of Rainbow Peacefully Glitter Your Life!

Way to go...