Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Just another “How to" write up! : Blog # 195

Just another “How to" write up!

        I am sick and tired of the “How to..” and “To do list for..” and “7 Successful…” and the likes. All through our lives, we have been told how to attain greatness in Life be it in terms of money, work or life in itself! No one ever told us (at least me) to how to be a spectacular failure! There should be a way around to attain the destiny of failure also, isn't it? I could think of these pointers. Please feel free to add if you  can come up with more of these. 

 Do not take risks: People always say that one should take risks in life to succeed. Some of them say that we have to take calculated risks! But my concern is who will calculate?? If at all someone is willing to do that work for you, ask them to take that risk. They seem to be really interested for they did all the homework J. You go on the path you are in currently, be it by choice or by chance.
Whine & Complain: Our lives aren’t perfect. But why? We all are entitled to perfect lives. Find out the imperfections, fret about them and indulge yourself with a lot of self-pity. Play this on a forever loop. Also, complain to other about your problems and spread negativity. Suck out the last ounce of optimism from people around you and kill that last ray of hope.

 Do not listen: When people talk, especially those who are rational and sensible; phase out. If you even as much start to believe that they are speaking sense, start thinking of counter arguments. Be it about work or life, do not lend an ear to people who are successful. Be a Mr/Ms. Know-it-all. 

Procrastinate: I think this is the ultimate method. Nothing beats this one. Whatever you plan to do in life, postpone it. You may begin by doing this for a day. Eventually you can scale this up to a week, month and then years together. The only thing that cannot be pushed away is failure J.

Give unsolicited advice: Whether you are aware of the subject or situation shouldn’t concern you. Preach others to death! This especially helps if you haven’t done those deeds which you are asking others to do. Take special care to advise those who are more successful than you are. This really helps in keeping people interested in meeting you.

Pass the buck: Do not ever take responsibility. The attitude we are looking for here is “Responsibility who?” Be it about changing a light bulb or something that has a grave impact on one’s life, do not lift a finger. Just focus on who is available to pass on the blame to or to delegate.

Take things easy: We should think differently, shouldn’t we? These days, everyone’s working hard. So why should we also join the rat race? At the slightest indication of your work making you tire or worse bearing some fruit, drop it! Get some fast food, plunge in to a bean bag and doze off.

p.s. Doing all of the above in the blinding lime light of social media will add to the assurance of attaining a spectacularly stupid persona and achieving failure of the magnitude of a mammoth!
Arun Babu

Thursday, 9 October 2014

A Kart emptied? : Blog # 194

A Kart emptied?

        The first time I heard about the ‘Big Billion’ day was when I opened the newspaper and saw Snap deal’s advertisement in Times of India. Yes you read it right. The reason why I saw Snap deal’s Ad first was because it was on the inner front page. Flip Kart’s Ad was on the left side. I guess getting the wrong side of the first page of the paper in itself was an indication of the things to come.

            What could have become a poster day for Indian e-tailing’s booming growth turned out to be a lack luster event marred with technical glitches and stock outs. The same thing happened way back in 2006 when Big bazaar did a live version of this kind of a sale. The next day, they announced that they were keeping the sale open for 3 more days which was quite an astute saving grace.

Flipkart said a sorry and I think they mean it. They could have followed up the sorry with some too sweet-to-refuse offers in the following days. But I think they might have thought that such an offer would again result in the servers getting overloaded and/or a stock out situation. The reason why I think Flipkart meant it when they said sorry is because they really do not need to make money through such shortcuts. If you have been following the news, any layman would understand that they are flush with cash. Add to this, a startup (yes, they still are quite young an organization in that sense which was started only in 2007) would never want to lose their reputation especially when the founders are from a premier institute (the idea is they wouldn’t resort to such simpleton measures if at all they were trying to dupe us all).

What is interesting is that the episode spoke volumes about us as a society. We were just waiting for something to go wrong and pounce up on them and say “I told ya!” Twitter was flush with messages and taunts against Flipkart. What we forgot was how much we were in love with this brand until the day before. We couldn’t stop singing praises of how good their supply chain is! How fast and efficient they are with their delivery process! How wonderful a business model! It is quite worry some to see that very few of us thought of looking at it as a mistake. Of course, it could have been avoided. But they are a team which doesn’t have a sea of experience to learn from. If at all they had people who are experienced in the business, e-tailing is relatively new. This was the first time something like this was attempted on such a large scale. It might have been attempted in other countries. But we all know how unique India as a country is and how diverse customers from different state are with regard to preferences and choices. And lastly, let us not forget, we are a customer base of about 1/6th of the entire mankind!

If not for anything else, being the world’s most vibrant democracy have taught us to gain forgiveness as a virtue. What else would explain some of our political laeaders coming to power time and again in spite of their not-so-saintly pasts? So let us give the Bansals one more chance, shall we? J

Arun Babu

Saturday, 4 October 2014

An Actor’s Diary : Blog # 193

An Actor’s Diary

        My life as an actor started on a Friday and I know that it will end on a Friday. I am aware of the reality that all I can do is to push my last Friday as further as I can.

            I vividly remember my first release day. I have always heard of people talking about being happy, worried and scared all at the same time. That day, I learned what exactly it felt like. It was strange. I wasn’t sure if people would like me. The first time I saw myself on the silver screen, I cringed. All I could see were the flaws in my appearance and acting. My first film evoked mixed responses. Some people liked me but I knew most were being polite when they said I did well for a debutant.

            By the time my second film released, I had a faint idea about the craft of acting and how things worked in the industry and among the audience. That film was a success or in industry terms, a super hit! More people appreciated my work. I started showing up on Google much to my surprise and my social media presence increased considerably.

            I remember feeling awkward while giving the very first interview. I kept on thinking why would people want to know about my personal life! What interest it is for to them? More strange was the first photo-shoot. Having never been an obviously good looking person ever in my life, I had to tell myself repeatedly that I am in a photo shoot and my face would grace a magazine’s cover which I grew up reading.

            I also remember walking on to a stage once and people screaming my name. All I did was smile in wonder. A senior actor standing next to me was kind enough to tell me that I should acknowledge their love. He asked me to wave at them. I did it reluctantly and saw how much people enjoyed the reciprocation! The brand manager of the product that I endorsed was “Your face sells. You need to understand that and start leveraging it”. My manager, a veteran in the field nudged me and told me later. “This is a make believe industry. An actor needs to believe in oneself first. Only then will you be able to make others believe the parts you play.”

            Although I knew I was becoming popular, the realization of it never sunk in fully. Strangely enough, it was the first minor controversy that hit me made me understand the scale of my popularity and the responsibility that it brought along.

            Now I know why people never want to quit acting. There are very few professions which are as gratifying as this. Even fewer where one gets appreciated for one’s work on such a large platform. Yes, the failures are public but then everything in Life comes with a price. The greatest thing about being an actor is that everyday, one gets to laugh, cry, be angry, be lonely, be hated, be loved; all for reasons of not one’s own. Every day, one gets to be a new person. Every day, one gets to live a new life.

See you at the movies!
Arun Babu