Friday, December 26, 2008

Social Initiative or Marketing Ploy?

I got this email today.

I am
(name removed) from (company name).

We have initiated a movement to donate Rs. 1 Lakh to the National Defense Fund, a fund for the welfare of the security personnel and their dependents on 26th January 2009. We want to contribute as a community and hence we are inviting people to join the movement. We want to contribute the money with 1 lakh names on the list.

In this endeavor I seek your help. You can help us reach more people by simply writing something about the movement or by adding the widget on (URL) on you blog.

Hope to get your support in bringing together as many concerned individuals as possible.

When I went to the website, I learned that they pledge to donate one rupee for every registration on their website. It is a website that provides information about service providers such as florists, bookstores and restaurants. When I register, it asks me for my preferences for updates about such items as computers and accessories, media and entertainment, and shoes. And then it asks me to "invite people I know to be a part of the movement". The site doesn't even mention anything about Rs 1 lakh. (That much? Really? Not only are they trying to emotionally manipulate us, they're being so cheap about it.)

I'm a marketer myself, but such "marketing" does our profession no favours.

Happy Holidays!

Sorry I'm late with my Christmas greetings, people! In my defense, my internet had conked out again - it appears a cable was cut off and it wasn't fixed till sometime Christmas day.

We had the most awesome Christmas lunch. The Guy, my mom and I went to Yellow Chillies and gorged on the buffet. The food was good, the service outstanding, and at a buffet! I told the Guy I felt like hugging someone at the restaurant and telling them what a great time I had had. He promptly offered himself.

I also took my mom to the Aga Khan Palace this week. There were nice lawns, and the building looked pretty and recently painted from outside, but was rather disappointing inside. The - umm, what do you call them? They were not paintings, rather like large pages of a scrapbook put up on boards, complete with old pictures, news clippings, and bits of writing. Anyway, the boards were filthy, with what looked like birdshit on them. The rooms were ill-lit, and then the power went off and we could view little since.

Continuing with my historical education, we are visiting Ajanta and Ellora this weekend. We only decided this morning, and I haven't had time to read up on them as I would have liked to. I'm much looking forward to it.

I'll be back to wish you all a Happy New Year. Happy weekending!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Phone Conversation of the Day - IV

Thanks to all your good wishes, the Guy at least seems to be recovering to his usual mean self.

The Guy's phone rang while we were at lunch today. I could hear a female voice at the other end deliver a long automated-sounding monologue. Apparently she was calling from a bank/financial institution and saying something on the lines of "humne aapke liye ek naya pension scheme nikala hai" ("We have created a new pension scheme for you").

The Guy asked, "So how much money are you giving me?"

A wide grin on my face. Some understandable hesitation on the other side. Then the conversation continues.

"Okay, you're giving me twelve thousand rupees?"

I look incredulous. Surely they must have realised their mistake by now?

After a few more seconds, the Guy calmly says, "Okay, I'll expect the cheque tomorrow," and hangs up.

"But you haven't retired yet," I object. "You can hardly expect them to give you money under a pension scheme right away."

"But unless they start soon, how can I have a comfortable retirement?" he counters reasonably.

I secretly think he's opened himself up to a lot of calling by that organisation who think they have got themselves an 'interested' subject. We'll see.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

How You Get Here - IV

As I'm still too sick to put down my thoughts coherently, let me entertain you with some search queries through which people have got here recently.
  • chateau indage - narayangaon: Now that brings back nice memories.
  • masturbation and wrinkles: See, my blog serves an educational purpose!
  • Buying Furniture as a couple: Was this a quest for advice, I wonder!
  • atticus finch demonstrate prudence: What exactly is this person looking for, do you think?
  • words for adventure: Maybe your purpose might be served with a thesaurus?
  • words from last names: You've lost me here.
  • words on marraige(sic) invitations: Sorry I can't help there.
  • liberal feminism on foeticide: If you mean abortion, I'm totally pro-choice. As for female foeticide and the like, I'm against it on moral grounds, but I don't see how you can stop it through legal action without severely restricting the rights of the mother. The best way to stop it would be through empowering women until the girl child is no longer viewed as a burden.
  • writing a letter about computer addiction: You are? To whom? And why?
  • nice m words: Why, are you trying your hand at alliteration?
  • bastard shashi tharoor: Well, I don't on principle hold with 'bastard' as a term of abuse, though I have been known to use it quite freely.
  • Updated on 22 December: This one was too good to miss - can we leave our flat and stay in other society in the same area

Okay, this exercise in narcissism is over. Regular blogging will resume soon, I hope.

Leave Request: Unmana Out Sick

I had been looking forward to doing some blogging this week, but the Guy and I are both down with fever. So we have been sleeping and watching TV and comforting each other. Pretty bad luck, as we had been planning to drive down to Lonavala, if not further, this weekend.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reactions to Others' Reactions...

to the events in Bombay.

I'm a bit bemused at all the shock and the blame. Did it take this, an insane act by lunatics, to make us realise our government is inept and corrupt? We're surprised that politicans are trying to gain mileage out of this? That our media thrives on sensationalism? Does it take an attack on a posh hotel to make us cry? What about all the people who die in my Assam every year, of terror attacks? What about all the people who died in Orissa, as the Mad Momma writes about here? What about all the people who die of starvation every year, in a country that hosts the world's largest number of hungry people? Why did that never shock you into protesting?

People formed a human chain against terror. I'm sure terrorists must have looked at it and trembled. Why not go form that chain at our borders, and give our defence forces some relief?

Email forwards advocate war. How can thinking people pass on such a message? Is that what you want, war? Let me come out and say it - and I don't care whether you call me unpatriotic or cowardly - I don't want war. Not even if the Pakistani government itself sanctioned the attack. I don't want more innocent people dying, whether they are on this side of the border or the other. Not just a lot of people dying, but the ones left behind will also have much worse lives. Our 'developing' economy will be torn apart. And of course, the starving will starve sooner.

Read Annie Zaidi's eloquent post. Also read this.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Here I Am Again!

... and thanks to all of you who dropped by while your host was on leave, especially Chandni, who seemed to miss me.

Well, we finally got internet access in the new house, so I should be back for good. In other news, however, my mom's visiting, my friend Effe is coming over tomorrow, we are planning a weekend away next week, and then we have more visitors for a week around Christmas. So I shall be busy, and blogging might be sporadic. On the plus side, I seem to have lots of holidays this month, so it might not be that infrequent after all. (Okay, Unmana, make up your mind.)

Give me some time while I read the 1000+ posts on my Reader. And tell me what you have been doing with yourselves.