Friday, April 3, 2009

Running for a cause

What do you think is the one single factor that decides the bigness of news items to choose for a weekly news analysis column? Is it the number of people affected by it? Is it the number of people involved in it? Is it the ‘weight’ of the people involved? Is it the economic repercussions that matters? Or is it all simply media conspiracy? Since I’m no journalist working in controlled environments under supervision of egoistic editors, it’s the absurdity that’s the deciding factor for me. So here is an analysis of few very important news items that I came across last week.

The biggest news for me last week was that on March 28th we proudly celebrated ‘Earth Hour’ by switching to candles for an hour – from kerosene lanterns. The move has become such a success I understand, that people in my part of the world are now asking when can we NOT observe Earth Hour. My only question here is why did they chose March 28th, notwithstanding the fact that we had April 1st falling on the same week, a more apt day for people - especially in rural India - to observe Earth Hour(s).

The biggest landmark we as a nation crossed last week was that we now have our own seven wonders to litter around. I wonder why wonders are always seven in number. Is there a global standard set for the number of wonders that you can have at a time - like the number of U.N security council members, the number of KKR captains etc. Or does it symbolize something; say the number of colors that men can recognize? Now you might say it could be symbolizing the seven days in a week, then my question will be why not 12 or 365 or even why not for the number of holes in a human head. Your week proposition hence is a weak one as well. Now the news report quoted above also says that actor Aishwarya Rai, Her F-I-L Mr Bachchan, her M-I-L Mrs.Bachchan, her S-I-L Ms.Nanda, her husband Mr.Abhishek, Mr.Amar Singh and Mr. Kamal Hassan attended the ceremony that announced the wonders. Again, seven of them! Now I wonder what that symbolizes, I mean other than the obvious ‘odd man out’ question. Anyway, we are becoming a wonderful nation, which is good.

Now those are on the ‘up’ side of news which makes us prouder than the week before, I must also mention few things on the down side as well, to complete the article in true journalistic spirit. Though we humiliate ourselves everyday with our religions, politics, casts, moral-policing etc, here is one where we really failed in front of the world – According to this report , “Chowmein beats Indian curry as Britain's favourite food”. We better do something about it I say, rather than just sitting and watching the Chinese conquering the world, after all we are the world’s largest democracy. Not that it matters when comes to culinary expertise, but we got to console ourselves with something when compared with our neighbour right?

Now to the weeks biggest recession related news – On how a French pole-vaulter is trying to attract sponsors as his present sponsor backed out due to the financial crisis. It seems sports enthusiasts are waiting for other sports personalities around the world to follow him. I think this could even open up a new era for sports sponsorships if the running sports person also holds her/his hat out and seek public contribution. I’m sure she/he can collect enough sponsorship money to fund their entire career that way. Also more people will get to sponsor their favourite sports persons and reap the benefit upfront as well, no matter whether she or he wins in the actual game.

Before I go, here are some etiquette tips - for men in business and businessmen who employ them.

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