Tuesday, January 03, 2017

What is true in every Advertisement you see

Is there anything true in the advertisements you see? Doubtful, isn't it? Before you make up your judgement, let me tell you something. There is truth in all sensible advertisements. But only part of it is true. I will show you how.

Most advertisements have three parts. The first part will be true. The second part will be false. The third part will be nonsense.

Example 1:
Part 1: Ad tells you that brushing your teeth is a good habit- truth.
Part 2: Ad tells you brand X has magical powers to attract handsome boys/beautiful girls- false.
Part 3: As shows you that brand X attracts six-pack-men or half naked shapely beautiful girls- nonsense.

Example 2:
Part 1: Ad tells you that wearing a deodorant reduces body order- truth.
Part 2: Ad shows you that brand Y has magical powers to seduce opposite gender- false and nonsense.
Part 3: Ad shows you that someone wearing brand Y deo attracts dozens of people like a magnet- NONSENSE.

Example 3:
Part 1: Ad tells you that a clean toilet is healthy, that it keeps the family's health ok- truth.
Part 2: Ad tells you that brand Z has magical powers to chase spooky germs and funny bacteria from under your WC, and is superior to every other toilet cleaner in the world- false.
Part 3: Ad shows you that brand Z chases spooky germs and funny bacteria from the WC- funny and nonsense.

When we watch an advertisement, we need to lock our intelligence away in a locker. We can't be told everyday that a fairness cream can make an Indian look like a European, or an ordinary person like superman! Aren't the ads indirectly telling you that you are not beautiful, handsome, intelligent, smart and strong? Yes. the ads are telling you on your face that you are a fool. They also tell you that using their product will make you someone else, who you should aspire to become. What farce! Who are these companies to tell me what I should become? What right do they have to tell me on my face that I am not good? No self-respecting individual can stand an ad that tells you that you are not good!

But ads do not tell you that directly. They will make it look like they are saying something sweet, good, for your improvement. But whatever they say, they are bluffing. Otherwise, what does a cricketer know about the quality of batteries? What does an actress know about the quality of a shoe brand? What does a singer know about the benefits of a mobile service provider? They take money, and parrot a script. And we believe! Yes. We are fools. Advertisement industry knows that we are fools. That we can be manipulated. That we can be easily trapped.

What I want to tell you is that we need to be cautious. Tomorrow when an ad tells you that your neighbour is a terrorist, and you need to 'kill your neigbour' with 'ABC' brand ax, you should not rush to buy that ax. The advertiser wants you to listen only to the 'ABC' part, and make you do the 'kill your neighbour' part of the ad. How clever! How ideological! How propagandist!

Next time you listen to an ad, listen to what it tells you. Think if there is truth in it. Never be tricked into doing what a stranger wants you to do.

Monday, January 02, 2017

The man who influenced me the most

Here. This is the man who influenced me the most.

A man of letters who loved to read everyday.
A man who made it a point to celebrate every occasion at home.
A man who loved his wife so much.
A man who made sure that his children had the education they desired.
A man who sent his children to music classes.
A man who put his reputation at risk for his family.
A man who turned poor for the love of his firstborn.
A man who sat silently in a police station for the happiness of his daughter.
A man who paid every bit he owed not by begging, but by selling everything he had.
A man who loved to travel, but stayed put for he had to feed his family.
A man who took the lead in computerizing the organization he worked for.
A man who secretly wrote and read poetry.
A man who romanced, loved and cared always.

My hero. My ideal. My father.
O. M. Mathews (09.09.1948 - 31.12.2013)

What you lose by deactivating your Facebook account?

I was under the impression that Facebook was an integral part of my life. I used to log in to the account every morning before I began my work, and had a peep at it every now and then. I thought it was important to see what goes on around me in terms of people and events. Facebook was the window.

But on a foggy day in 2016, I sat at home without being connected to internet, and reflected about what I gain by being on Facebook. It was then that I realised that I don't gain anything, but lose my time. Without being aware of it, I spend a lot of time on Facebook looking at images, videos and events in strangers' lives. Some inspiration may come my way. But in the end, I don't gain anything from being on those pages.

The artificial feeling of community that Facebook creates is just a facade that hides the business behind it. There is pretense and cheating in it. It was on Facebook that a real-life friend of mine asked me to help him with some money to pay his University fees. Me being of the same predicament, I helped on condition that he returns the amount later. Later when time came, this real-life friend deleted his Facebook account, destroyed his SIM card (phone number), and vanished into thin air. You could do that on Facebook, because there is no genuineness on it. It is a space artificially created for business in the name of friendship. In which world can you 'friend' someone and later 'unfriend' the same person with one click? Its all a farce, it is!

I don't mind others using it. I have decided to take leave. If my life demands my presence on Facebook, I can do it again (sigh)!

So, the first day in the year 2017, I called it quits. Let me see what happens. Let me see if the sky falls down on my head. In short, what do you lose by deactivating your Facebook account? Nothing. The answer is Nothing. In its stead, you gain time. Time for genuine face to face friendship, genuine relationships, and smiles that emanate from real lips, to real eyes. You get time for life. Time to live and love.