Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Of Ego Inflation and Popularity Quotients

Every human being will have an inflated ego quite a few times in his life. This is a fact that many will concur with. Amazingly, this leads to a brilliant way of increasing one's popularity quotient. It has been used by celebrities, movie stars, authors etc. for ages and it still is as effective as ever.

We Indians are one of the most eager lot to lap up the praise unabashedly when someone doles it out. We barely care about its truthfulness or the reason behind; we just need to get a dose of it. It is a form of ecstasy, a form of bhang which fills us with hot air and takes us to cloud nine. We become putty in his/her hands and are led like a magician leads a hypnotized volunteer.
Jeffrey Archer writes a book, comes to India, and praises the Indians and his popularity quotient sky rockets. Taking nothing away from his literary genius, the ego inflation strategy is at work here. It is brilliantly used by the publishers and the author himself to get the sales soaring in one of the biggest English speaking populations. To top that, our journalists are nothing short of putting words in his mouth, just to get him speak good about us. Questions like 'Do you think Indian readers are one of the best in the world?', 'Do you think India has a good chance at the World Cup?', 'Do you like to come to India often', 'Do you want to stay in India' etc. His answers, of course, are all positive and brimming with incredibleness of India and we wallow in pride! Shouldn’t we be asking the author about his latest book and not about his interest in paneer tikka masala at bobby da dhaba?

Our movie stars go to all the cities to promote their movies. Claims like 'I love you all'; 'your city’s crowd is the best in India' and 'This city is my second home' etc. are not uncommon at all. These claims are repeated in all the cities they visit and it is not difficult to make out the fake smile and the reason behind their admiration for you. Still, we believe them. We go and watch their movie. Many do because Akshay said we are the best and SRK threw out a kiss and said he loves our city! There is no denying that popularity quotient touches new highs for the celebrities with those city dwellers. Till it fades, the tickets are sold, movie’s over, concerts are sung and money has been made.

It’s not just regular common Indian man who gloats when extolled, we have some known people too. There are men who could have been successful if only they could have kept their heads on their shoulders. There are many examples in the Indian cricket team. Press puffed up Parthiv Patel's ego when he got selected in Indian cricket team when he was less than 20 years of age. Soon, he had his big head filled with hot air when sledged Steve Waugh in a match! He would have been way better and seen in international squad more often had he tried making his game better rather than sledging greats, double his age and caliber. Sreesanth was praised for aggression by commentators and press and he took it too seriously and it keeps landing him in trouble. Not everyone can be Sachin and that is not the point of these examples. When someone extols us, we take it at face value and get big headed.

The praise is not always fake and not always for a gain. Nevertheless, I cannot disagree to the fact that inflating someone else's ego definitely raises your popularity quotient.
Now, that I have started blogging after a long gap, I need to get my readers back! You guys are the BEST blog readers ever, in the whole World Wide Web!! How can someone ever match your blog reading skills and commenting talent? I love you all...you make the writing all worthwhile. Go ahead, comment and do come back for more posts!! :)

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