Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Improvement Ideas - Promote the Flex Boards Culture

One idea that I get when I see flex boards with pictures of some local 'leaders' and 'youth association members' is how this need for self-promotion could lead to a peaceful and law abiding society. The need for self-promotion is so deep that people go to great lengths.

Consider this aspect of self-promotion for a moment. Some people are constantly on facebook, some are constantly on blogs (like me), some are on whatsapp sending out philosophical messages and rotten jokes. Some others are paying good money to be featured in newspapers, some others are up to some antic or the other to stay in the news. I know people who actually buy citations and awards, float companies, finance movies (so they and their children can star in them), who self publish books and many other ways of self-promoting themselves. This self-promotion bug is a deep rooted need that we all have - the need to be relevant, to be acknowledged, to say 'hey, I exist'.

Then there are some of us self-promoters who find these above mentioned routes rather long drawn. Not for them all this waiting and working and writing and acting and taking pictures and posting and all that indirect stuff. There is yet another route that does not need all this. All it needs is a picture of oneself and a name (even a pet name like Pappu or Babloo), and the desire to appear on hoardings. These aspiring young self-promoting leaders get appointed on to some committee or the other in their neighbourhood and put together a well designed flex board which is then inflicted upon the average public with about a million faces peering out from them. Their names printed alongside.

Typically these boards are well meaning. They find some good occasion like for example, wishing some other great leader - could be President Obama for all you care. Put President Obama's picture, a smaller picture of some other leader, your own picture while walking around with goggles and dressed out with khadi, hand waving etc, and then thirty other faces of friends and family all grinning happily or looking like they have been dead for a couple of years. You could be wishing someone happy birthday, wish society happy Diwali, or any occasion you please.

The problem is that most times these faces do not inspire much confidence. They do not seem to be genuinely wishing you a happy Diwali. Its more likely they are saying -wait till I met you in the dark alley next door. I don't know why but they remind you of all the kinds of people you see in movies whom you ought not to meet in a dark alley. I don't want to judge books by covers, but what to do, these covers do not really inspire confidence. (Are their photographers bad?)

Why they are there on the flex board at all looking at me, what is it that they want to do peering at us, what their future plans are - these questions worry me when I see these flex boards. These youth leaders may well become our full grown leaders tomorrow, which is also rather worrying. Will I have to see them on television then? How will I approach them in real life if what I see on the flex board is itself rather intimidating? Are there only bad sides to this.

There must be some good side to it.

It turns out that there is one. A good reason why these self-promoting flex boards must be encouraged.

This is inspired by this news item I heard about recently. Let me relate the story first. A young man was waylaid and robbed of his stuff. He lodged a police complaint and things went rather quiet for a while. (Most likely because the police started their investigations into why this person was carrying any valuables at all. Sorry, that was a joke.) Now this young lad was in the habit of looking at these flex boards. Voila. He saw one of his friendly attackers smiling at him from one of the flex boards. He called the police and pointed at the flex board and they apprehended the smiling gentleman.

Don't you see the benefits? All that the police needs to do from now on is to get a print of all flex boards and show them to people who have been at the receiving end of robberies, muggings, land grabbing, eve teasing etc. Better still encourage these flex boards to be put up all over town so they serve as a gallery at every nook and cranny. In most cases there could be an early resolution to the matter since the pictures are prominently displayed and are of much better quality than the ones you'd find in the police files. Here the pictures are in colour, and showing the chaps in normal circumstances, leering, laughing, winking, threatening.

A further improvement of the flex board benefits to law and order officials is that they serve as great indicators to the cops on where they should focus their energies on. All potential mischief makers will make their appearance sooner or later on the flex and a close eye on their whereabouts could easily help. Thanks to the wonders of technology and the human need to self-promote, our lives can actually become much easier.

And we can all self-promote ourselves peacefully without worrying too much about being mugged by total unknowns thanks to the flex board technology. 


Rajendra said...

brilliant idea. Achche din zaroor aayenge, if implemented.

Harimohan said...

Thanks Raja. We will also be giving a fillip to the flex boards industry and many such allied industries. Yeh win-win situation lag raha hai.