Diya Mirza (the poor man's Aishwarya Rai) , once revealed in an interview how she would skip meals to be able to afford the cab from her way back from work, back in her struggling days. That was long back, but I guess the information stayed with me because I thought the story was kinda inspirational.
Or was it?
Diya Mirza could have taken a bus/train/tram from work as well. That way, the whole skipping meals sob story wouldn't have been essential any more. But that was Diya Mirza. Or was it?
Our generation suffers from a weird insecurity. Let me give you an example. Back when I worked at a consulting firm, everyone came to office in Levi's denims. Well, to be truthful not everyone did, but more people did than otherwise. Now that I work at a product based organization (where the average pay is considerably higher), most people I come across dress in more sensibly priced brands. I once went for an interview at Google India, and the interviewer came dressed in a fluorescent orange turtle neck that I'm sure came off a flea market for not more than 150 bucks.
We seem to have reached a stage where we do what the market demands of us. Another example? How do you explain the obscene percentage of students who chose
1) Engineering degrees
2) Software Jobs
3) Management degrees
in that order? Hell, software doesn't even pay more these days! And I have lost count of the number of people who hated their engineering courses, went on for management degrees and then hated those even more.
Personally, I always feel the pinch every time someone goes for higher studies in the US. Why? I have no idea. I would enjoy creating an android app or optimizing an SQL query far more than say, mugging up a network packet structure; but the market tells me that the action is abroad.
I recently bought one of the best (and the costliest) phones in the market. The price was certainly way out of my league, but I still did. And now I think:
1) The screen is definitely huge and gorgeous, but I spend almost 18 hours a day in front of a screen which is 4 times larger; the PC monitor. 9 hours out of these 18 are spent in front of two such display panels.
2) Games do run butter smooth; thanks to a dual core processor, but I would prefer the FPS games that run a tad awkwardly on my single core PC any day.
3) My office is just a 20 minute walk away, and I could do without any music during this journey.
4) I really do not need most apps on the go, as I have better softwares installed on my PC; and I am in front of it most of the time anyway.
Point is, I still love the phone. Forget love, I am crazy about it. That's in part because I can appreciate the elegance of the product and the design of the software, which a big section who buy such phones cannot. (Not because they are dumb, but because they aren't into engineering per se).
And buying a phone is just the start. After the phone, I bought an elegant case for it which incidentally cost me more than what I would get for reselling my old phone. Now, I have realized that the 2G data connection on the phone can hardly do any justice to its abilities, so the solution seems to be an obscenely priced 3G data connection. Next, I would be buying 500 bucks apps on the market. At the end of the day however, playing Need for Speed on my PC is still going to be a hands down better experience.
I remember a health drink ad which talked about how we should run or fall behind. Well, we are running, but where are we running to? And what are we running for? I completely advocate running for a goal, but truth is, most of us are completely clueless. I still remember when a trainer asked this question to a training room of 15 people.
What do you want to become in life?
It's a simple enough question. One that I am sure every 5 year old can answer at the drop of hat; Pilot, soilder, actress, teacher and the like. Most people out of a class of 15 answered what sounded like,
"I want to fulfill my responsibilities to the best of abilities; rise up the value chain and network across my peers".
That's one answer that my simple brain cannot make any sense of. Is that what you are running for?
So what are we losing out on? Relationships? Perhaps values? Baba Ramdev can tell you more about them.
What I feel that we as a generation are losing out on is creativity. I know that for sure when I look at someone wearing a (fake) solid colored tee with "being human" written in a simple font in white, and I feel, "this doesn't look bad".