Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Sir !

The first birth day greeting I received a few days ago wasn’t from any of my friends. It was from an online dining portal who wished me a very happy birthday and very quickly followed up with a query as to how I was planning on celebrating it and could they suggest some options for a nice and quiet meal from their catalogue.
I managed to send them on their way; but soon there was another one coming and this was from my financial planner. he had been suggesting for some time that I was under insured and that I ought to buy some more insurance – from him of course and after his good wishes and all, he didn’t waste any time in reminding me that in buying insurance , age was every thing and that on my birth day , I had become a year older and in all likelihood the premiums would now go up a bit… if only I had bought the policy a little earlier , the cost would have been lesser… but it was not still too late….

A little later, it was the relationship manager at the bank. He went through the motions and then went on to tell me that this was a very auspicious day to begin investments in SIPs of some high grade mutual funds that he would be of course be very happy to recommend. After a brief talk about rupee cost averaging, he urged me to consider buying some gold for the kid’s education and all that. Akshay Tritiya, the Hindu New Year was at hand and what better time to buy gold which was guaranteed to be pure. There were a couple of more phone calls from assorted people some of whom I did not know even existed, much less they knowing and remembering my birthday. By the time my friends and family got around to wishing me eventually, I could tell them with a smirk that they were rather late in the queue.

Makes me think as to how commercialized we have become and we have taken our intimate moments into that commercialized zone, where there are no barriers and boundaries to privacy ; no thinking twice before making what is often an absurdly stupid social transaction.? I mean how can you really greet any one who you have never met in your life and are unlikely to ; or at best some one you meet a couple of times a year and for perhaps for no more than an hour at a time

Less intrusive but no less bothersome are the numerous e mail messages from friends who seem to sprout like mushrooms in the monsoon around your birthday. scroll down a bit, and there is the pitch – a discounted flight ticket for the spouse , a cheap holiday package , home delivered movie tickets and there was even a free pen drive provided I shopped for a certain amount at a shopping portal.

While wanting to sell your product if you have some thing of worth is a good thing ; demeaning special days and occasions in such a shallow way that you know it is phony and I know it is phony is crass ! relationships are sacred and precious and although admittedly the state of most of them is not what it should be and we and our friends often forget dates we ought not to, few of us would like to be greeted on our birthdays by an insurance agent selling a policy on our birthday…..just in case…… that is grotesque and there is no other better way to describe the consumer age we live in!

No comments: