Jan 4, 2020

This New Year Aim Beyond the Obvious

New Year Resolution 2020

As the end of the year was approaching, everyone in the office was planning for the end of year review and forward planning for 2020. That brought us to the Strategy and Planning Meet 2020 mid-December. The meet did what it was aimed at – discussions on challenges faced last year, setting the right context for the year, felicitating the performers and boosting confidence and motivation in everyone else.
In mid of the meet one of the senior leaders popped a question to everyone – What’s your aim in 2020? And everyone unanimously and in chorus yelled – Increase market share of the brand they were working for. I had a different aim in my mind but thankfully I didn’t shout out loud. The senior leader was elated with everyone’s answer and popped the question again to hear a louder response this time. And this time like everyone else I joined the bandwagon and yelled that increasing the market share was my aim too.

The incident popped a thought. People are so engrossed by their work that they do not see anything beyond it. Or maybe it is by design, traditional organizations start to make them think that way. Unlike a traditional formal working environment, say if one is part of a creative agency or even a media house, employees will be proud to share their aim for the new year and most likely none of them will be related to their work. I remember asking one of the employees in my previous stint what was his aim for the new year and he jumped while responding that this year he would be trekking to the Himalayas and hit 10K feet. Another employee in the same organization said, she wants to save for an international trip by the end of the year, another young lad aimed to buy a new car.
However, the more important point in these organizations is that the listener on the another end is open and equally receptive irrespective of what the other employee’s aim is.

On the other hand, any such response might raise eyebrows in a traditional setup. Every employee in the meet had been in one of such gatherings in previous years and knew what to respond, unlike me. So most likely it is by design that the workforce thinks in one direction. It might be good from an organization's point of view but as human beings, we should understand that work is a part of life and we should look at expanding our horizons beyond just achievements related to work.

We hear from a lot of people around that, the year passed so quickly that they didn’t even realize that it was December. According to psychologists, this is the feeling when you have done the same old mundane stuff throughout the year. While you do the same thing, you hardly realize any deep involvement in the task and it passes off as just another day, weeks, months and year. Psychologists recommend that if you want to delay time, or at least feel that way, one should learn a new skill. But this would happen only when you aim for new things beyond the obvious.

This year, irrespective of what I shouted with fifty other colleagues, I am also learning technical analysis of the stock market and solving the Rubik’s cube.

What are you gunning at?

Jan 2, 2020

The Rise and Fall of TV Stars

Recently I read about one of the famous TV stars Kushal Punjabi's demise. The reason of death is not clear. However, people say it was personal. To be honest, I could hardly recall a face when I read the news. But when I saw images of the actor flashing across various channels and news websites, I recalled seeing him in some show (still cannot recall which one). I won’t be surprised if it’s been a similar case with you. A lot of people who saw the news had Oh-Ya-This-Guy kind of reaction.

Well, Kushal Punjabi was a decently famous face in his good days. And those were the days when daily soaps were on their high. Every other show got people clinging to their televisions and every onscreen couple became a well know household name - in some cases the screen name was their actual name for the audience.

This ignites a thought. Many times the root cause of personal issues could be a professional failure. Though we do not know if that was the case with Kushal but there is always a probability. When one of the relatively better known names from the good days of television can face adversity to a level of committing suicide, what about the current talent line up on TV. Neither are the daily soaps a rage anymore, nor are they producing celebrities. We do not have celebrities like Mihir Virani and Tulsi coming out of TV anymore. New faces pop up in 1-2 shows and disappear nowhere in no time without leaving any lasting impact.
OTTs have eaten into the TV pie and the popularity of the medium is on a decline. Not denying the fact that a few TV faces will still make it big but they will be a handful. A majority will face an identity crisis if they do not evolve or upgrade.

Sadly, we heard of this news just because we knew Kushal Punjabi (by face at least), there are so many such cases which pass unnoticed. Unfortunately, such cases might increase in the coming years. It’s just that how many of them get noticed and talked about. It’s a tough world out there and only the ones with a combination of perseverance, luck supported by an influential network will thrive in the movie/TV industry.
God give strength to Kushal Punjabi's family to overcome the loss and at the same time gear up the current generation of TV actors to fight adversities as they will have a tougher time than their older peers.