Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Back to School" advertisements

As the school reopen day is approaching near here in Texas, I’m finding “back to school” advertisements all over the television. It’s nothing unusual to see advertisements to popup just before some event like Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day and now advertisements are all about “back to school” days in the month of August. This year the advertisements are different than usual. Is it a good difference I am talking? Absolutely not! I am appalled and outraged at some of these advertisements.

Let me take an example. This advertisement starts with a boy, may be aged 11 years or younger, dressing and changing hundreds of cloths in front of the mirror, practicing his words on how he should approach this girl he has crush on. I guess the advertisers wanted to convey a message that wearing good cloths boosts this boy’s confidence to talk to girls…may be? But I see it in different spectrum. Shouldn’t he be concentrating on book or sports than girls at that age? May be I’m from different generation all together. May be girls and boys are interested in each other at age 10 only these days.

Another example is about this girl who is very shy and I guess new to that school. She carries her lunch and goes to a bunch of good looking girls and says “Can I sit here?” The main girl in the group takes a good look and says “Sure”. And when this new girl sits down happily, the main girl in the group says “Nice top”. Instantly there are all holding hands and walking in the school corridor, laughing, giggling, checking out guys and all. So there you go, wearing a nice top can get you lots of friends and you will be popular. I can buy that top and many more such tops at this super store in the advertisement. My daughter is shy; I better buy that top for her. Looking good can get her many friends and boost her confidence.

May be I’m over reacting here; may be I’m not raised this way. We had school uniforms when I was growing up. We all students looked and felt the same. No question of spending hours together in front of the mirror and trying out all trendy cloths. No question of low self esteem, no friendship hurdles, and no NONSENSE. “Back to school” means another year of challenging academic, year of hard work and lots of home work, and spending fun time with friends and playing sports. School is an abode of unlimited knowledge, timeless exploration, and creative learning. A place where punctuality, perseverance, respect, hard work and determination are the founding steps of every student. ‘Style’ and ‘clothing ‘has nothing to do with school and education.

I wonder why there aren’t uniform systems in United States. Well, there are some but most of public schools don’t have uniform as part of school culture. It’s a pity. I bet the lobbyist of clothing companies wouldn’t allow uniform system to be a part of school culture. It would only mean fewer sales of kid’s cloths and ultimately lesser profit. I wish we all parents sign a petition and request all schools to adopt uniform as part of school norm. This would definitely bring so much change in school-goers attitude and behavior. Until then, wishing all back-to-school goers a very happy, knowledge-filled, fun-filled and healthy school year.

Monday, August 4, 2008

It happens only in India

I took the above clip when I visited my parents this year in India. I still remember my kid’s baffled face when they heard this laud Indian music and saw folks dancing on the street. It was something they never witnessed. I didn’t feel anything strange about it until I saw my kids’ gasped looks. I ran inside home to bring my camera and started shooting this clip. This is something they will never ever see on American streets. There are no words to describe how this works on a busy intersection with so many people walking and dancing, with that loud music without disrupting the natural flow of the traffic. AMAZING!!! This happens only in India.