Last december, a friend shared this article from TOI with me and it immediately sturck a chord. I wanted to blog about it then, but didn’t for umpteen reasons. And now I think is the most apt time to scribble about it. I always thought ‘self-aggrandizing cacophony’ would create chaos. As a kid, I used to look up to anyone who was soft-spoken, candid and down-to-earth and felt this is how one is supposed to be. Later, as a just-in teenager, you could say I had a lucky fairy standing over me, because I never had to push myself to be in the limelight. Everything happened naturally. I was blind to the fact that the kids around were not getting the attention they could be deserving, be it in curriculars or extra-curriculars.
But soon after we reached high school, I stopped wanting to be in the limelight. I suddenly started seeing that everyone is busy selling themselves aggressively. Fighting, pushing, pulling to be heard or to be seen. And they looked ugly. Why would anyone want to be like that? Standing on the table and shouting, “I am the best!” made people look worst. Wasn’t that obvious? All my little experiences told me that if you have the talent, it gets due recognition; what then is the need of the competition?
Well, back then whomever I talked to always told me the opposite. They would stress over the point that one has to shout and gather attention, or else your voice will be left unheard. I could see that what they said made sense; because I knew so many people who would lay on the couch and throw tantrums at the reality shows or stand in the auditorim and hoot, when they were the ones with all the ability needed to outperform the idiots eating all the footage! Somehow, ‘marketing and promotion’ – these words started feeling increasingly important in the times that followed. Selling oneself to the world became a common phrase. And though it looks unfortunate to me, people have become damn good at it!
Are they wrong? Are they right? Is leaving your mark really significant? I am clueless; but I know one thing for sure, I have mellowed down. Even today, I prefer being back-stage. Pulling the strings from behind somehow looks more appealing than being a part of the maddening crowd.