This is the post that got me over one million likes……

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Some people become coal miners. Others are born aristocrats with a silver spoon dangling so from their mouth, if it falls, is replaceable.

Look at the world. We have divided ourselves into nation states. Nation states whose boundaries are formed by the blood of other men, whose territories were annexed or our own which we fight to defend. Others, still are in the midst of fighting, fuelled by the generous doses of capitalist dreams. And finally some …… some still seeking their historic identities.

Do we really like to fight? What do we defend?

Humanity it appears, is on the edge.

Are we living how we intended to live?

With overloads of information and overdoses of media’s sensorial enrapture?

Sense, is a simple word. Sense may mean our human sensory organs. Sense may also mean our understanding in spite of them. Our Sensibility.

Animals also have sensory organs and instincts. We have sensory organs, but also sensibility.

Funny it is, we are slaves to our senses, not to our sensibility.

Each time we see that notification, a “like” we get, or a generous reply, it lifts us with enough dopamine for the minute. The minute over, we again check our status on our various sensory (social) media sites.

At the traffic signal, we take the time to answer our various communications, many of which can wait and many of which are not worthy of our time, but our giving it time, makes it worthy of us. At the same traffic signal, a teenager would pass nonchalantly with eyes fixed on a smart screen and ears tuned to the radio waves emitted by the sound signal on their smart device. Sometimes meeting with an accident mid road. Can we sense our worth now?

We take pictures not to keep memories by as a visual record keeping of our every minute of the lives. Sometimes we pose, and while posing dangerously, many also die. (selfie deaths)Then we exhibit these so called pictures on our sensory media sites and await the feeling of dopamine rush.

We wait. We wait.

The first like and we breathe a sigh of relief!

10 likes and some comments, we feel socially included.

100 likes, we feel socially honored.

1000 likes or more, we feel socially elevated. We revel in our sensory social position like demi – gods.

What have we become? A race of disconnected individuals? Our connection far greater to our devices than even to ourselves.

What does your sensibility say to you?

“Don’t do this…”

Doesn’t it?

That is proof enough of our being highest in the living hierarchy.

But, if it isn’t what you hear in your mind, I have no words left to describe you.

I shall not pose further questions to you, but continue my monologue.

The question itself is the crux. It’s the source of our identity. We base our identities on geographical areas, age, gender, profession, occupation or social and financial position. Our acceptance in those categories are crucial to our existence. Or so, it would seem.

Some time back, we were told that every human on earth has a unique set of fingerprints. Only suspected criminals were tested for fingerprints. Then our monitoring grew and we now have full biometric identities. India is trying to make the largest database of biometric identities of humans on this planet along with also very successfully increasing its real population to the largest in the world. I can’t own a phone connection (communicate) or a bank account (transact my savings for subsistence), if I haven’t shared these details with our nation state governance. Nor can I use an ISP to self-publish this article. (Share ideas)

What every marketer trying to sell us a frozen packaged preservative cocktail or a sugar laden drink, both of which our sensibility tells us isn’t right; revolves around our grouped identities called a “target set” or our forced grouping formed through these sensory inputs.

I go ahead and guzzle litres of fizzy carbonated drinks, thawing the chemical soups packaged for my “convenience” for the rush of mood elevating hormones released and which the “pretty” girl (usually) on TV alluded would make me a socially elevated demi god and a super mom.

We fail as humans and succumb to our senses.

Digital media wins. Over distance. Time. Social space. And us, the Humans.

Then we often make a mistake and offer the excuse,

“I, after all…… am human!”

 

PS: As you can see, I did not get any likes for this post. That was to engage you as an audience.

 

 

 

 

Visual Merchandising “on the go”

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The culture of India is diverse and we seem to thrive in the diversity. Every time you travel to a new state, city, town or even a lane; you would be thronged by a sellers with various wares. In some cases though, the quality could be questionable, but our ingenious sellers find ways to display, present and sell their wares.

Whether its a mobile shop “carried” from compartment to compartment of a local commuter train; or a pavement side display of something that would grab your attention, whether or not you require the products; your journey would be a moving canvas of color and variety.

Major audience? Women, naturally!

India and The Ipman factor

I like Burgers. I also like Mc Donalds, some American Soap operas, use Ms office and some Apple ithings and countless inventions of the western ( American) civilization.

Recently the summer heat has been keeping me mostly indoors and sometimes the modern invention of the television occupies the time. Two movies that I recently saw made me consider the factors that are present both in India and in the far eastern cultures such as HongKong and China, Japan.

Ipman2 was the movie about a martial arts grandmaster who is trying to set up his school in Hongkong. This was based in the mid 40’s when HongKong was under British colonial rule. The second movie was a romantic comedy set in Japan, about an American Girl who wanted to be a Ramen Chef.

I found beyond the characters and the story, some very interesting facts which felt so similar to our Indian values and beliefs.

We respect our culture and traditions at work and at home

There was an overwhelming sense of duty and obligation towards work, treating the workplace with reverence, respecting the employer’s decisions. It strongly resonated with how even a roadside cobbler in India cleans and prepares his workspace early morning. As he would worship his tools on vishvakarma day. Our values in Urban India may be hidden below a layer of western artifacts and clothes, but prod deeper and we have the same sensibilities as with the rest of the eastern region.

We are taught to have unflinching trust and respect for our parents and teachers

I don’t need to say more.

We like to live in families and have dinner together

The television, which the modern India mother uses as a supplementary aid to feed children at dinner time, could definitely never have been invented in India. We’ve always had larger families and plenty of social interaction compared to our counterparts in the frigid western world. Eating/living alone is something brought out of compulsion rather than choice.

We are modest and humble

“Conquer the world” is not something our texts teach us. It teaches us that we should conquer ourselves. We don’t brag about our accomplishments, unless of course our startup needs Silicon Valley funding. Our societies value those who are noble and humble inspite of great achievements.

We welcome other people to our homes

Traditionally we welcome people when they visit us. We let them into our territories and land as guests. We let them into our homes no matter how humble it may be or scare our resources be. We teach what others would like to learn without patenting our traditional techniques. And we never invented the gunpowder.

To think of it, do we really respect the Western culture? We do enjoy (consume) the comfort, perks, privileges, goods and services and variety it had brought. Once our current honeymoon with “wanting” things is over, our strategic partnership with those more attune to our value belief system would grow and that should be the right living for us.

Ironic but as it is, I write in this foreign language on this software designed in a western nation. So maybe, it’s not that bad after all.