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Culture Shock Story

CultureShock Story: Back in 2008 when I was in my first year of college I attend a national conference which had close to 400 students from all across India. It was the biggest surprise when on the first day of the conf I realized that people from the south did not even understand my lang [Hindi] being born and brought up in India all my life I thought I pretty much knew everything that there is to know about my country, like I’m Indian I just know, but I dint.

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The Head and the Heart - Rivers and Roads

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Well if you came here thinking this is going to be yet another post promoting or criticising the now world famous KONY2012 campaign, well then you are in for a surprise. I promise to keep this as short as possible particularly because I’m not very proud of my writing skills and also because it won’t take too long for a reasonable person to understand by frustration behind writing this post.

Well to tell you in brief about my agony. I hail from the city of Chandigarh also referred to as the City Beautiful. It’s called so because of a reason, the smooth wide roads, being the greenest and cleanest city in India, the marvellous French architecture and most of all it’s been kept away from the billboard frenzy of other cities in India. It’s been a pleasure for me to be residing here for almost 23yrs now and no matter where I travel to, I can’t wait to get back to my city for all the luxuries and peace it provides to me. 

I have very often been deeply antagonized and anguished over the uncared for, poster pasted and graffiti on the traffic junctions, city map hoardings, on walls of houses and public parks. As citizen(s) of the city beautiful it is our duty to ensure that is it shown proper respect and is not permitted to become the victims of crass acts of vandalism.

I recently came across an event on much loved Facebook named “KONY2012 COVER CHANDIGARH!!" and it’s a building community of youngsters from the city which plan to cover the city of Chandigarh with posters and banners promoting the campaign and thus making Mr. Kony a famous man.

I am sorry to say but there is not even a single rotary or a pedestal that escapes the excesses of the poster pasters every year due to Punjab University elections which anyway ruin the face of our city along with all the others type of poster pasters you find to promote events and concerts. In most cases these poster pasters are much faster in painting and plastering posters than the safai staff of the MC. Its saddening to see this kind of stupid behaviour and defacing the city in the name of promoting an event or just being the “cool badass rebel” that they want to be while spraying the word F**K, WeRock! Or some other cool gang name they came up with. The only way this menace can be prevented is by first respecting the city, being a responsible citizen and then taking strict action against the vandals. 

We are supposed to be the tech savvy generation trying to save the world by the click of a button, yet we are ignorant to the mere basic duties one has as a citizen of our city and nation. Well yes! Youth Activism in serious issues has been lacking in this country but if we, the youth, are getting drifted away by a 30mins documentary talking about a story almost a decade old driving on the emotional quotient of young minds and not really applying common sense or logic, that’s just a waste of an effort.

Well in case you thought poster pasting is the “best” and “only” way to make Mr. KONY famous instead of our corrupt officials, the unheard hero of rural India and the rebels in east India well then let me oblige you and give you a list of more productive things you can do to make your KONY famous.

Here is a quick list of things to read and get some quick lessons on how to promote Mr. Kony without making a mess of our city. These will probably be more effective and efficient in making Mr. Kony famous than pasting posters all over town only to irk the eye and defacing my beautiful city. I will now dispense this advice for FREE from the little experience I do have, this is as good as it gets and you can use the same to promote your own event[s]

1. Flashmob:

Yes, they are totally “in” you can make Mr. Kony famous wearing those blood red T-Shirts. You will attract media, gets photos clicked, gets videos made; chances are if you are lucky some of you probably will make to the front page of the leading local dailies. If you are lucky you might just land up an interview on PTC, Day n Night NEWS (that’s as good as it gets in Chandigarh) and if you are really really lucky you might just get CNEB to interview you. Zero cost, all publicity! Locations: Sector 17, Sukhna Lake, Sector 35, Malls. 

2. Candle Light:

I know this one is not as cool as the one above but you can also hold a peaceful candle light ceremony in various parts of the city. Again need not mention with your strength media should not be a problem. This time around you will have the time to pose for the picture. Make sure that your T-shirt is ironed and not covered when they click.

Cost of candles and publicity! Locations: Sector 17, Sukhna Lake, Sector 35

3. Rally/Walk/Marathon:

Organise a peaceful rally with KONY posters and banners across the city distributing placards to everyone you see on the way or organize a walk or marathon, people who anyway like to run or go for a morning walk will instantly join the event. It will promote the cause and also add to fitness. You can hold a small information seminar right before the participants start. Media…. Needless to say will be there; just don’t forget to give them a reminder call a day before, professional courtesy bro.

Zero cost, all publicity! Locations: Sukhna Lake or make your own route.

4. Placards Distribution:

Well there are two ways of doing this, either you can cover all major markets and traffic junction and distribute these placards or just fix up with the newspaper guy (it’s called a “jugaad” naam toh suna he hoga aapne) and get him to place a placard in every newspaper he distributes. This way to will reach out to each house in the city. Not every cost effective though. No media coverage but a solid blood red KONY placard will surely catch their attention or should catch their attention.  

5. Yay! We have a MP:

Get down to serious business. No media, no stunts, this is all business. Go to our only MP in town and convince him of your cause I’m sure he will understand the seriousness of the matter and if you are lucky he might just talk about it in Parliament and if you are really lucky India might just call White House to say “We are with you on this one buddy!” That’s what we want right! So why not just cut the chase and get it done already. Zero cost but no media.

6. Information Seminars:

Real passion never dies. This might take a little more time and effort but surely your efforts will not go in vain. Take permission from the DPI in-charge of schools and colleges in the city and give 30min information seminars in these institutes. All you need to do is play the video and you’ll gain more force with each presentation and you’ll be stronger than ever. This will surely get Mr. Kony famous and also can get you media mention for your good work.

7. Yay! We have a Mayor:

Well if you are still not convinced well then we are coming back to your poster pasting but wait in a more dignified manner. Please go to the mayor of Chandigarh. It’s a she at the moment, I’m sure she will give the youth of the city some time to listen to your concern and might just allow you permission to have hoardings at all MC owned rotaries in the City for a specific period of time and if you are really lucky you might get it all for FREE. I’m sure if you get all that, Ajanta Graphics from Sector 17 will also sponsor your hoarding printing budget ;)

I guess I won’t be wrong to say that the above mentioned ways of promoting Mr. Kony are way more efficient than pasting posters all over town, it will also help you take care of some of your serious concerns you have been debating about like:

#1 How will girls supporting the cause come out at night to paste these posters. All the above mentioned activities can be carried out in the day without much concern of safety of participants. Parents will be very willing to drive you there, just ask them with a smile.

#2 Chances are pasting posters will get you some space in prison and it’ll be pretty awkward to make that call home so late in the night and no one from the media is going to write an article about a poster he found on the wall, might just write an article about band of boys who got busted pasting posters at midnight.

The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm. Well if you are really mean serious business about “making-a-difference” to someone’s life in Africa well make sure you do it with some brains.

I will be more than happy if any of the supports pick a few quick ideas from this post and carry out a more effective promotion campaign in the city and not rape it instead. If you are a citizen of Chandigarh or have ever been to this beautiful city please help me to get this message across to all the blindsided enthusiasts supporting the campaign.

One click will surely save our city, please share.

I love Chandigarh.

PS: I avoid mentioning my stand on the KONY campaign as it would attract more comments, attention and dominate the actual concern of keeping our city free of such nuisance and vandalism.

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The Local Tea Party: This New Year, watch cartoons.

localparty:

(Inspiration - Mary Schmidt/Baz Luhrmann and Sidin Vadukut)

Ladies and gentlemen of the world of 2012, watch cartoons.

If I could offer you only one tip for this year means, cartoons would be it. The long term benefits and scientists’ proof and all you don’t worry about, just watch means…

Source: localparty
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TEDxRainier - Rick Steves: The Value of Travel (by TEDxTalks)

Source: youtube.com
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2012 is about having the right people with you.

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Moving Forward is important.

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