Life's Like That

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Im horribly depressed. Few days ago my colleagues asked me to come up with some ideas for the launch of a new product . I asked suitably intellegent questions about target market, USP, time of launch etc, and proceeded to say the following: "Haan so Christmas time pe hai na. .so play around the charity angle, associate with some childrens NGO, get some kids over..nice party etc, get them to launch it. That should work with the media".
I cannot believe I could come up with this. Has my job de sentisized me to this extent? Am I so completely caught up with getting media coverage that I am turning into the kind of person I claim to detest? Insensitive cold superbitch?
I saw a story on Star News sometime back, on the launch of Jeh Wadia's Go Air. It seemed like a typical PR idea, get a group of terminally ill children (wonder if the PR brains behind this thought, the smaller the kids the better..sympathy works with the media...coz the children were really young, 1year old, 2 year old...) and take them on Go Air's inaugural flight, showcase Go Air as this sensitive, socially responsible corporate, and of course achieve the end objective...fantastic media coverage. Perfect. Except that things went horribly wrong. Maureen Wadia didnt show up. Go Air made these poor little children and their parents wait outside the terminus...they were not even allowed to go into the more comfortable lounge area...little kids with IV drips on were made to squat on the cold hard floor for hours on end..waiting for Mrs. Wadia to finish applying her makeup and show up. And oh boy!! did Star News play it up!!! A one hour exclusive only on this. Heart wrenching visuals of ill children waiting, crying, harassed anguished parents, and the icing on the cake, Jeh Wadia's UNBELIEVABLY insensitive comment. Something on the lines of these kids have never been on a plane and we propose to give them that opportunity. They are anyways terminally ill and don't have too long to live. What difference does afew hours make to them!!'
I remember being SHOCKED at this!! I remember thinking that not just Go Air and Jeh Wadia, Star News too is exploiting these kids. Noone gives a damn about the children...all they care about is corporate image, media coverage, increased TRP's.How insensitive, I thought. Thank god Im not the kind of PR professional who will come up with such ideas I thought.
Arent I????
MSM plays on human interest stories...sensationalising human tragedies, and human suffering for increased TRP/ readership/circulation etc. And people like me help them do exactly that. It was someone like me who came up with the idea of exploiting those poor little children, it was someone like me who said..fantastic!! media will love this!! and proceeded with the event. .it was someone exactly like me!!! For the first time since I started working I HATE doing what I do for a living. I always hated the exaggerating, begging, pleading, convincing...now I'm ashamed of it all. More than anything else I'm ashamed of myself for letting the system beat me into submission and letting it meddle with my sensibilities. Im ashamed of the fact that I don't have the strength to say I QUIT and try to start afresh. Im ashamed of the fact that I have become a slave to the money. I cannot quit my job, change my profession...I need the money.
The worst thing is, I can't blame my job for everything. As a person I seem to be becoming more and more heartless. Read Rimi's blog and was uncomfortably reminded that when I heard of the blasts in Pakistan, my first thought was "Good. they deserve some of that." The fact that innocent Pakistanis died made no difference to me. My god!! What kind of a creature am I turning into? I can't even distinguish between terrorists and innocent people whose only crime is that they belong to the same country as the terrorist or belong to the same faith? And I have never lost a single person dear to me to terrorist attacks thank god!! If Im capable of thinking on these lines, how can I blame the father who lost his child in the Delhi blasts for thinking like me??
Whats happening to me? How could I have changed so much? I don't like this me.

12 Comments:

  • I think there is an insensitive animal in each one of us that surfaces time to time. But to actually realise that and confessing it is half the battle won. But like they say a battles are fought to be won. SO unless yo win the remaining battle you are back to being a wearwolf in the full moon lit night.

    By Anonymous rahul, at 8:26 PM  

  • some of the firangs here are like what u mentioned. they can leave whatever they have been doing for ages and just do something else! i guess its the sheltered way in which we are brought up, that we value security more. i wish i had that quality!

    By Blogger Abhishek Chatterjee, at 9:06 PM  

  • i came over from rimi's. lol about ali :)

    nice blog. i'll be back.

    By Blogger Prerona, at 12:35 AM  

  • @r: thank u. now that i read whatever i wrote yesterday it does seem a tad extreme (just a tad mind you), but then i was extremely depressed yday, what with the whole bombay thing and this thing and all. but yeah, i guess i will make a conscious effort w.r.t work related ideation from now.

    @abhsihek: oh ive been wishing i could do that for about 3 years now. and i can't. i just can't!totaly agree with you, its got everything to do with the way we were brought up.

    @prerona: welcome and do keep visiting. yeah ali..ki kando bolo toh! my mother can be extremely stressful at times. she does teh craziest things :-)

    By Blogger Ron, at 12:46 AM  

  • Abhishek,u said it man. Thats where we get stuck & regret each passing day.

    By Blogger Seema, at 2:51 AM  

  • I agree with Rahul. There's a dark side in all of us (note the Star Wars geek talking). On a serious note, I feel this attitude definitely needs to be remedied, if there's any good that's going to happen in the world.

    By the way Ron, I am from Frazer Town. Was born and lived there 16 years. Studied in Clarence. Then in Goa for 7 years. Now in Pune/Mumbai working. :)

    By Blogger Soham Pablo, at 4:48 AM  

  • @seema: was going to reply when i realized your comment is directed to abhishek. will let him reply :-)

    @soham pablo: yes i guess so. at least i realized there was a problem, and am trying to remedy it right?
    so your a true blue Bangalorean! although if you visited the city now im sure you would be really shocked at the way its deteriorated.
    PS: u lived in Goa too?? wow!!!!

    By Blogger Ron, at 5:04 AM  

  • Early this morning a colleague and I spoke about the uselessness of news channels. How, on Thursday, most channels headlined an inane story about the race to become the next BJP President. Nothing wrong with it, though I guess no one benefited from the story.

    Vinod Dua, on the other hand, appeared in a programme, going out in a small Bihar railway station speaking to some waiting women; amazing facts tumbled out. And he later put things in perspective by talking about how even having a woman CM in a backward state does not do much for the state of the women.

    The point I’m trying to make is, it’s not just your industry, mine, or even other industries suffer from the same ailment. And, had it not been for Dua, there would be no sponsors for the programme due to its serious nature and lack of glamour.

    The way out? Guess, all we can do is slip in our conscientious capsules in the middle of the s*** as and when we can. Not the best we can do, but as long as it is done regularly, trust me it helps.

    And most importantly, rave, rant, but not give up.

    By Anonymous Deep, at 5:52 AM  

  • I can so understand where you are coming from. Society lays these rules down and expects certain things from us, the way we react to things, what we ought to say or do. It is the environment we live in. And to survive we all play by the rules. I really admire people who can stand up for what they believe in and can go against the tide. I try hard, but more than often fail to stand up for my way. And it saddens me. Makes me depressed. Don't fret. There are a lot of people like you who hate the world for making them what they are becoming.

    By Blogger M (tread softly upon), at 6:41 AM  

  • Ron,
    Came here from rimi's. that was a hillarious comment. i guess the dark side exists in all of us. and violence is something we have become a trifle blase about - there are explosions and blasts almost everyday. Dont blame yourself, i think we all are becoming like this.

    By Blogger Dreamcatcher, at 8:33 AM  

  • @deep: thanks. and yeah you are right, i dunno how far we can change the system, but we can at least try and remain our conscientious selves. siiiiighh. so difficult to do in the middle of all the shit tho.

    @m :hey. thanks for visitng and do come again. you are so right. as i told deep, its upto each one of us to know whats right and whats wrong i guess.

    @dreamcatcher:welcome and do visit again. yeah my family does the most amazing things at times. the ali seeker had taken to calling every 5 minutes and royally threatening my mother. thankfully my dad is visitng and he took charge of the situation :-)

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:28 PM  

  • the other day i ridiculed my professor for actually believing that the media works on ideologies. in retrospect i feel a little bad for doing that but being part of msm and learning its workings, i have truly lost all faith in its 'social responsibilities'. msm today is essentially a marketting venture. it finally boils down to how well you sell your newspaper / magazine / channel. Your blog says you are from bangalore. perhaps if you were here in mumbai, which is witnessing the biggest media overhaul in the history of independant india, you would know how cut throat the competition has become. how it is important to score over your competitor. even as i feel terrible about ridiculing my prof, i cannot but show her this aspect of the media. what i told her, i write here: media does not undertake social causes, it is just another profit-making corporate venture. sorry ron, sorry prof... really really sorry

    By Blogger Scribbler Scribe, at 6:43 AM  

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