Point of View


Courtesy: Shyam, my IIM-B Classmate

Answers given by 2nd year school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1.She’s the only one who knows where the selotape is.

2. Mostly to clean the house.

3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.

2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.

3. God made my mum just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mum?
1. We’re related.

2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people’s mum like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mum?
1. My mum has always been my mum and none of that other stuff.

2. I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.

3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mum need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.

2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he smoke a lot ?

3. Does he make at least 1 million a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mum marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mum eats a lot.

2. She got too old to do anything else with him.

3. My grandma says that mum didn’t have her thinking cap on.

Who’s the boss at your house?
1. Mum doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dad’s such an idiot.

2. Mum. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.

3. I guess mum is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What’s the difference between mums and dads?
1. Mums work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.

2. Mums know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.

3. Dads are taller and stronger, but mums have all the real power ’cause that’s who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.

4. Mums have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mum do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don’t do spare time.

2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mum perfect?
1. On the inside she’s already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.

2. Diet. You know, her hair. I’d diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mum, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I’d get rid of that.

2. I’d make my mum smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.

3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

WHEN YOU STOP LAUGHING — SEND IT ON TO OTHER MOTHERS, GRANDMOTHERS, AND AUNTS….and anyone else who has anything to do with kids or just needs a good laugh!!!

Courtesy: Shyam, my IIM-B Classmate

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
7th September 2014

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Love Your Child and Kids in General


Children are quick and always speak their minds………

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America
MARIA: Here it is
TEACHER: Correct. Now Class, who discovered America ?
CLASS: Maria

TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor ?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using the tables

TEACHER: Glenn, How do you spell ‘Crocodile?’
GLENN: K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L
TEACHER: No, that’s wrong
GLENN: May be it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it

TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD: H I J K L M N O
TEACHER: What are you talking about ?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it’s H to O

TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t have ten years ago
WINNIE: Me !

TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty ?
GLEN: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are

TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with I
MILLIE: I is…….
TEACHER: No, Millie………always say. ‘I am………’
MILLIE: All right…….’I am the ninth letter of the alphabet’

TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father’s cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn’t punish him ?
LOUIE: Because George still had the axe in his hand……..

TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating ?
SIMON: No sire, I don’t have to, my Mom is a good cook

TEACHER: Clyde, your composition on ‘My Dog’ is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his ?
CLYDE: No Sir, it’s the same dog

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested ?
HAROLD: A Teacher

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
6th July 2013

Pocket Money : Not Savings


It is funny to think about.

When I grew up, there was no pocket money. If there is a need for something, it would be met by the parents directly. There was no need to go and get something for oneself on one’s own pocket money. The need was not there.

Over the years, as with everything else, this notion of pocket money gained popularity. Children started comparing with one another about how much weekly or monthly pocket allowance they are getting from their parents. While an allowance per se is not a bad idea, as children would need some money even while at school, or when going out with friends, what is striking is that none of the pocket money today is considered as potential savings.

All the money is for spending ! No kid thinks any longer on savings. This is despite the long ingrained savings disposition of Indians, who have one of the highest savings rate in the world.

Spending culture has already gained ascendancy in India, with children driving the shopping malls to frenzy – most chains of shops in big malls are now redesigning to attract the young crowd which today is having a steeply climbing buying power vis-a-vis their own parents. Parents are now “old time”, still trying to figure out what all this mad rush is all about.

Mature teenagers are now directing the big-ticket spending towards high end accessories. Shoes cost INR 4,000 (USD 80) ? No problem. Handbags cost INR 5,000 (USD 100) ? Absolutely no issue. Seeing the way things are moving with their elder sisters and brothers, the younger ones as young as 6 or 7 years old demand pocket money these days and wish to spend on Haagen Daaz icecreams, which seem to be costing more than HP Printer Ink per ml in India.

The world has changed, and India is changing very fast. I have seen such huge changes in the past six years in Mumbai (which happens to be the most happening place in India anyway) that now I am immune to the rapidity of market changes. The market today is made up of people less than 20 years of age, and it is a huge market with growing spending power that retailers can ignore only at their own peril.

What do parents do ? Some adapt, some gawk, some question, some complain, some blog. Like this one – I mean myself, spending some time writing about the market trends driven by children in India. I can only admire at parents who seem to have adapted extremely well to the very fast changing trends, and also giving in to the ever-rising demands from their children. That may not be the right behaviour always, but adaptability is a key trait that most of us lack. The worry is the drop in sync with the traditional value systems that Indians have always prided as something unique in their culture. Unfortunately, value systems take a hit, whatever we might say, in a fast-changing culture which puts emphasis on money and spending, and moves away from a culture of savings.

Well, is this any different from what has been the practice in the West ? No, not at all, but then the West has long experimented with such changes and has more or less settled into peace terms with the cultural changes wrought by youngsters. But India is still struggling with those changes.

Parents in India are getting challenged by their kids all the time, and I think it would not be long before they are forced to seek help in the form of psychological counselling. It would be prudent to stay close to the ground and listen carefully to one’s children all the time, and then devise ways to cope with the changes.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
29th January 2012
Mumbai

The Adventures of Tintin


I did not see this latest movie: “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn”, but my son saw the movie.

He said that I should write about this movie, so I agreed to interview him on his experience seeing the movie. Here it goes:

Q: Why do you like Tintin as a character ?
A: He finds solutions to problems in his detective work. He is very cool and adventurous.

Q: Were you waiting for this new movie to come ?
A: Yes, I was waiting for more than a month for this movie to come to Mumbai.

Q: What did you like in the movie ?
A: The mission of Tintin to recover three scrolls from three unicorn model ships and find out where all the treasures of the late Captain Haddock are hidden

Q: Do you think it is a “great” movie ? If so, why ?
A: Yes, it is a great movie because of its strong story and the wonderful animations and the way it makes the audience feel the suspense about what is going to happen next

Q: Have you seen any Tintin movie before ?
A: No, I don’t think there was a full movie, mostly cartoons

Q: Do you think there will be a sequel to this movie ?
A: Yes, certainly there will be a sequel as there is an unfinished ending to this current movie

Q: Have you read the story of this movie ?
A: No, I have not read the related comics

Q: Were there lots of kids in the movie theatre, or mostly adults ?
A: There were more kids than adults

Q: What is this story about ? What is “unicorn” ?
A: This story is about how Tintin discovers the secret of the unicorn ships. Unicorn is the name of the ship.

Q: How would you compare this kind of movie with a Simpsons or a Harry Potter movie ? If better, why do you think so ?
A: I would think that a Harry Potter movie is better because of the real-life characters acting out in what appears to be a real-life movie, rather than just animation as in Tintin movie.

Q: What is the message from this movie to children ?
A: Children should be inquisitive and adventurous, not just desk-bound. Ha Ha !

Q: Overall, did you enjoy this movie ? If you did, give one reason for the same ?
A: Yes, I enjoyed this movie very much, because I like seeing adventurous movies and this is one of the best adventurous movies I have seen.
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Well, I thought it was a decent interview, though I haven’t seen the movie and don’t intend to do so. But it is always good to talk to children and find out what influences them or makes them happy. They determine the future, don’t they ?

Cheers

Vijay Srinivasan
26th November 2011
Mumbai

Kindergarten Pricing


I have been seeing the rampant rise in the price of education in India over the past few years. Quality education comes at a price, that everyone understands. Quality cannot be cheap.

Since the government has failed in its stated objective of providing quality education at the primary school level, spending less than 3% of the national budget, it has become necessary for private education providers to step in and fill the void. The demand far outstrips supply in a growing country like India. A good kindergarten education in a city like Mumbai or Delhi in a reputed private school can set you back by USD 3,000 a year in just fees alone.

So, I was taken aback to see a price of some USD 5,000 for kindergarten education in a country like China which has a far better centrally administered and controlled government than India does. I read in “China Daily” newspaper edition dated 13th October 2011 that competition for admission is fierce in Shanghai’s private kindergarten schools. Parents have to register for admission two years in advance in the international kindergarten schools, to at least have a chance during the admission process. There are many international kindergarten schools charging between USD 500 to USD 2,000 per month ! Four-year old kids are interviewed along with their parents !!

Looks like Mumbai or Delhi is a shade better ?! In Shanghai, parents invest in pre-interview training for their kids, often spending in excess of USD 1,000 just for the training some six months in advance.

Chinese parents want to give their kids the best in education, often preferring bi-lingual education over Chinese-only education, and are willing to pay 4 to 5 times more than what is being charged in public schools funded by the government. Sounds familiar ?

At least, the government agencies in China, such as the Municipal Education Commission have focus on fulfilling the demand for decent and reasonably priced education. The Commission recently announced that they will build another 100 kindergartnes within the next 3 years, on top of the existing 1,252 kindergartens. What about India ?

It is a matter of grave concern to all of us when there is not enough supply of approved quality education facilities available in a fast growing country like ours. It is also a matter of concern when private school education prices keep climbing up every year, trying to meet the demand from parents thirsting for such education. During my school years, education was virtually free, costing some INR 200 (USD 4) per month at the primary school level in a private school. But now, when the population of the country has increased from 700M to 1.2B, have we done enough and more for providing for the future generation ?

When we ponder over this question, it is not surprising to learn that the birth rates in the country has started declining ! Young would-be parents would obviously not wish to get burdened with the fear of big financial commitments even before they consider starting a family.

That is the cost of growth. May be it is not all that bad. But, we need to provide a good quality of education for the current kids, who will have to carry the flag of India well into the future.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
16th October 2011
Mumbai

International Clown Fest


I attended theatre after a very long time (many years) yesterday at the St Andrews College Auditorium in Bandra. My wife persuaded me to accompany her for the International Clown Fest.

I was not too keen, as my favourite pastime for a Saturday evening comprises of gymming, followed by a laid-back drink, and blogging. I had to give up my gymming and blogging, forget the drink. And, I did try to escape, but did not succeed.

So there we went to meet the international clowns.

It was a bit surprising to see the compound of St Andrews College – it was spacious and well laid out. It is not far from the St Andrews Church and is just next to the School. It had a lot of parking space, which is unusual in Mumbai, and there was no parking charge ! Wow !!

The auditorium itself was quite impressive, though it was not very modern. It could easily seat nearly 1,000 people. I asked my son to compute the total number of seats in 60 seconds and also the revenues of the show if atleast 90% of the seats are taken up on an average. What about the total revenues for the 8 sessions they were running over 4 days ? And, what would be the share of the clowns if only 50% of the receipts is shared with them ? My wife and son got quite irritated with this line of thinking and questioning, obviously, as they had come to see the antics of some clowns, not get into some arithmetic computations.

The Clown Fest lasted almost 2 hours with a break of about 15 minutes in between. The team of clowns from the U.S., Canada, India and Malaysia did pretty all right, but I did not feel that the show was that great to demand the price they were charging.

In any case it was fun to spend some time away from home. I was amazed at how quickly the entire auditorium filled up to the brim, though when we came in, there was hardly some 10% of audience waiting to get in some 30 minutes before the show started.

Take a look at: “clown fest India” . It was interesting to see the cast and how they engaged with the audience. But there should have been more fun from the clowns.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
02 October 2011
Mumbai

Remember Your Old Friends


I often find that a few select folks who were close friends when I was 15 or even 10 years old, still try to maintain their affinity to the mutual friendship and attempt to keep it alive, despite distances and time differences.

It is not always the case though. More often than not, old friends are engaged with their respective lives too intimately to find any time at all to reconnect with their past. At the prime of their lives, there might be just too many things on the plate to handle. That is normal.

However, a few friends make that extra effort to reconnect and maintain their relationship. I have a few friends like that, and a couple in Mumbai. The strength of a relationship in such cases is such that, an occasional phone call once in a few months is adequate to rekindle old thoughts and discuss matters of current interest. It is wonderful when I do receive such calls.

Recently, I received a call from Stuttgart, Germany, from an old classmate who studied with me in secondary school – we are talking about early Seventies. He called to thank me for some referral I made over an email about one of his relatives. But the very thought of calling up and thanking, rather than let email take the usual course, is a great feeling. One won’t do it for everybody or every situation. People do feel intensely about old friendships and relationships, and old schools and places that they had lived in once upon a time, long ago in the past.

I feel quite touched when I think of Madurai, the Southern Temple City in which I grew up. Most of my formative years up to the age of 18 was spent at Madurai, many of the friendships were formed there. I had a good ride as well as a very bad ride in my life while still being a teenager. Without delving deep into the past, I can say that those years impacted me like none other period in my life. And, when I hear a voice from that time, it is truly amazing to know that somebody remembers me from those times. I still speak to a close friend who still lives in Madurai, and we share some tidbits about how things have changed over the past 3 decades or so. He is still a traditional businessman who has adopted some modern techniques but lives very much in the past in Madurai which has hardly changed all these years !

I was thinking about these old friendships suddenly today after I received that call from Germany, spurred by old memories. I have a very close friend from those times who lives in Chennai and with who I share a relationship with no barriers. We together mimic the teachers from our 8th Grade even now when we meet sometimes – very rare though. When we are not able to meet at all, I give him a call and do the mimic and both of us burst out laughing, sometimes uncontrollably.

Isn’t life made of those small and deep memories, and friends from the yesteryears who have made a significant impact on you or contributed in some way to your growth as an individual ? It is, and today I relished some of those nice memories.

Welcome to the old good world of friendships in these days of Facebook and Twitter.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
20th February 2011
Mumbai

Tiger Moms


Professor Amy Chua of Yale Law School has shaken up the staid world of American Parenting with her recently published book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”. There is so much coverage of her book on the net so no point in recounting the key points here.

While she might be right in certain aspects of parenting that she has experimented with, I think that her methods and conclusions are so way out of the current thinking on parenting, even in today’s China. May be her book would see an outstanding acceptance in Singapore !

Disciplining kids in today’s world requires an exquisite balance of the type we learn in the corporate world. One does not wish to create a rebel out of one’s kid in a wanton fashion. There has to be a certain amount of “buy-in” from the kid, whether he/she is in his/her pre-teens or teens. Today’s exposure that a child gets and chooses to receive is so enormous and rich that we need to work hard, as parents, to help them sift through the rubble and find the real gems of learning. Easier said than done, even for ourselves.

Prof Chua disregards the realities of today’s world in her treatise on Tiger Moms. While I agree that Asian mothers, in general, are more concerned with academic performance than Western mothers, they do not provide a “total” or “better” solution for the development of their children. If that were the case, Asia would have, by now, created a phenomenal number of Nobel Laureates and other global inventors of repute, which we all know is NOT the case. Asia’s proportion of Nobel Laureates is well below 10% even today. Asian innovators seem to thrive in Silicon Valley better than in Bangalore or Shanghai, though things are very slowly changing. The American Economy has not collapsed, it is having a growth rate of 2.6% which is not bad for a USD 14T economy. Let us not write off the U.S. economy or their system of higher education which still remains the envy of all world, including China.

Ask a Chinese student or an Indian student where he or she wishes to graduate from. Given equal opportunities and resources, it would be almost inevitable that they respond with an American University name. Do they say they want to graduate from a Delhi or a Shanghai University at the post-graduate level ? No. I haven’t heard such an answer. Even a reputed school such as NUS (National University of Singapore) is rarely mentioned.

Why ?

America still produces the best inventive and innovative minds in the world. It is having some challenges in the secondary school education system, which they are trying to fix.

Coming back to Tiger Moms and their characteristics, I disagree with the harsh techniques used by Prof Amy Chua. I am surprised that as a product of the U.S. University System and a teacher in the same system, she chose to use those techniques on her own children. May be she wanted to inculcate “Asian” or “Chinese” value systems in her two daughters. That may be fine, no issue with that. We all tell our children to respect elders, be frugal, follow rules, be disciplined, study well, etc., We all try to do parts of what Prof Chua advocates in her book. However, she has stepped out of line with her harsh techniques and her assumptions on “good parenting” that she picked up from her parents.

Times have changed. World is not the same place that her parents started off with in the U.S. The essential skill that we must teach our children are not related to Maths and pushing them to be #1 in the school maths tests (like what Prof Chua did with her first daughter). It is not about piano lessons, or horse riding, or swimming skills. It is not about driving them hard on academic output, to the exclusion of all the rest of the life skills.

Today’s children need “life skills”, more than anything else – they need to be able to handle complexity from the word go. They need to develop into the equivalent of “general managers” in the corporate world when they grow up. The specialization into something close to their heart can happen after they hit 16 or 17, ready to get into college. I have seen and experienced the fact that kids do not wish to know the impact of world affairs, leadership behaviour, interactions between leaders and countries, scientific developments, historical antecedents when analysing a particular dispute, and psychological issues. Maths, Physics and Chemistry are important, no doubt, but rote application of the principles in these subjects leads to a mind which is not able to apply the same in later life. Example : mine !

A combination of “scientific application of principles” and “development of life skills” is what is called for, and this would require parenting of a different style. Unfortunately, parenting cannot be outsourced. And, the U.S. has just too many broken families with no serious child support. Parenting by graduates of the U.S. education system (like Prof Chua and her husband) in the traditional American way would not have produced kids which are worse than the current children, since highly educated, integrated families produce a better impact and influence on the kids – they learn from imbibing and seeing what their parents have accomplished in life.

Well, I can go on and on, but the key point is that the message has got to be different – it is not possible for the American parents to quickly switch over to the Tiger Mom way of parenting and benefit from its output. They got to think for themselves, learn a few techniques, and ensure that the family support system is in place to produce great children who would grow into great adults.

No shortcuts, folks ! And, to Prof Chua – I am sure you will reconsider some of your conclusions as you receive feedback.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
13th February 2011
Mumbai

Cycle Buying Behaviour


When my son wanted a new cycle, necessitated by his height which made the current cycle unusable (for quite some time I should say), we decided to do some investigation on the web.

It was interesting to see that, in India today, you could virtually buy anything online. I am not sure how many people do buy things online, I have not seen the statistics. But I discovered that Indian online buying experience has gotten better. So far, I have only bought movie tickets for the family, flight tickets (regularly), make payments to service providers, and order movie rentals.

I presume that online buying gets better if we are already pre-equipped with suitable knowledge. For example, I do not really see the need to go to a mobile phone shop to buy a phone – the item is so well known and described in such detail, that once you have decided the make and model, it is comparison-shopping on the web to determine the best deal and then place the order. More or less the item should arrive as expected. I am trying to do that exactly that now (buying a new phone).

In the case of the cycle, while it was not difficult to identify the model and features, etc., the determining factor was the “buyer behaviour”. In this case the actual user was my son, and he wanted “immediate gratification” once I have approved his purchase with grant of funds. He was against the online buying since he was well aware that any such thing ordered online was going to take a minimum of 4 to 5 days to arrive at home. So, he was always pushing for going to Hyper City’s cycle shop and buy the “damn” thing !

So, I had no choice, though I had good recommendations from my research on the web.

We went to Hyper City, and what did we see ? A decent lineup of cycles, no doubt, but only two makes – Raleigh from South Africa, and Hyper City’s own in-house brand called “Maxit”. I asked the salesman about BSA SLR, and other makes, but he said they do not carry other brands. That was a disappointment in terms of product comparison-shopping. Now, the determining factor is the comparison between just two brands and whether my son liked one of these brands. I tried to dissuade my son from making an instantaneous decision, by suggesting if we could go to another shop called Firefox down the road. But he was not willing to listen and even came up with his reason that Firefox bikes do not last long as per feedback from his friends !

Well, you can’t tackle such practical inputs. So, I focused on the decision-making between the two Hyper City brands. The price gap was significant – the Maxit geared 26″ cycle was some INR 3,999 as compared to INR 6,999 for a similar-featured Raleigh cycle. While I was tempted to try out the Raleigh, my son decided on the Maxit after the serious test drives that he did within the shop riding the bikes ! He also compared the geared cycle with the normal gear-less cycle, and then decided in favour of the geared one since he felt that there would be a need to navigate ups and downs in our apartment complex !

I do not understand why they sell cycles without basic accessories such as bells and (whistles !). So, we needed to pick up those accessories from the Raleigh lineup. I thought this was a good sales strategy on the part of the Hyper City management. You can pick up their house brand, but the add-ons come from the expensive Raleigh brand ! Good for them !!

It was a good learning experience, buying what I would have termed an high-involvement purchase though not a very expensive item. Since the product is going to be used almost everyday, the decision-making was rather involved and entailed a real product usage experience. I agreed that it would not be appropriate for online purchase.

Happy buying experience to you folks during this happy new year season !

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
8th January 2011
Mumbai

The Great Indian TV Corruption


Well, here I am not talking about the corruption scandals unearthed by India’s famously intrusive and investigative TV channels – the CommonWealth Games Scandal, or the 2G Mobile Spectrum Allocation Scandal, or the Mumbai Adarsh Society Defence Land Allocation Scandal, and countless other sensational scandals which they seem to be routinely breaking open.

I am talking about the deterioration in the quality of the programs which the common population watches day in and day out ; the effect that foul TV language is having on the children ; the alienation of the educated adults who are getting put off by risqué programs which cross the limits of propriety on prime time TV broadcasts ; and, the needless aggression of famous anchors on TV whose modus operandi seems to be adopted from a Tim Sebastian !

Please do not get me wrong. The media, as the “Fourth Estate” after the Parliament, the Judiciary and the Executive, is surely needed, especially in a raucous democracy such as India, to create a much-needed check and balance on the politics of corruption. I am, in no way, denigrating their importance and their need in our civil society.

But, I do have serious reservations. The same TV channels do not investigate the corruption which clearly does exist in real estate, mafia underground, and film world. What about education and the corruption that higher educational institutes have so religiously instituted while accepting “donations” to admit less than qualified students, thereby diluting the standards of higher education in this country ? What about religious corruption ? Politics is not the only area that they should focus upon.

I also seriously contest their “copy the West” philosophy. Why can’t India have its own philosophy in investigative journalism ? And, why news channels have some programs not compatible with their status as “true beacons of democracy” in this country ? It is important to respect the people who are slandered mercilessly, unless proven otherwise.

Most of all, it is the corruption of the minds of young children and teenagers which worries me. We have some totally stupid “reality show” programs, which are supposed to actually delink reality from the fancy world of films and TV shows. Are these really “reality” shows ? Men and Women are not just dominated by sex, there are other things which they do, and 95% of time is not spent on love and sex. Children get affected because the whole family seems to be enchanted by such shows. The adults speak about these shows. The newspapers reveal a lot because there is an anticipated censorship brewing, which has been temporarily suspended by the High Court recently.

Well, well, democracy is OK, but also not OK. When the Fourth Estate could run roughshod over decency and respect for privacy, what can we do – SWITCH THE CHANNELS, or SWITCH OFF THE IDIOT BOX. Yes, that is what we do at home. TV robs a family of quality family discussion time, a time to engage in other pursuits such a game of Scrabble, or Chess. A family cannot see TV for more than an hour a day, unless it is the National Geographic Channel with some great wildlife program, etc., or a great movie classic which the entire family would love to see during the weekend.

Now, I am losing interest in the sensationalism of the Indian News Channels, as there is no depth, rather it is a superficial coverage of the facts and events, with no detailed analysis. The analysis is provided in a group discussion anchored by a rather intimidating and “intervening” kind of anchor, not one who would wait patiently to let one complete his viewpoint on a topic of national “scandalous” interest. Are anchors becoming “god men” – I mean god like people, who wield huge influence and indirectly influence matters in the public domain ? It is becoming like that in India these days.

Well, avoid the TV whenever you can.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
21st November 2010
Mumbai