Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The art of customization...(for dummies)

Like everyone else, I too spent my childhood and youth walking the corridors of school and college, racking my brains and waiting for results. I have never seen my name on top of any list (unless it was a list of latecomers or such).

I was not a topper in academics, sports, music, recitation or dance. I was not a favorite student of any teacher in all my life. I did not score well in the entrance examinations, my Kerala Engineering Entrance rank could easily be mistaken for a phone number, majority of my Engineering college batch mates don’t know me by name. I am the kind of person no one took seriously, and I have never given a reason for my parents to be immensely proud or disappointed. But here I am. For the record, I’m doing just fine.

These days, all parents think their kids are special (back in our times this was not the case). This applies to me too. But recently I came to know the weirdest things some parents do, to let others know that their kid is the unmatched champion in everything that needs skill, expertise and intellect, even the Lemon and Spoon race which they think is an item at the Olympics.

There is a monthly local magazine in my hometown; I admit it is the most boring magazine in the history of the written word. It is the size of a tinkle digest and consists of roughly 25 pages including both sides. This is one of those things that continued to reach my home, and just like phone or electricity bills, it came every month whether we liked it or not.

So subscribers thought why not spice up our magazine and make it interesting. After all roughly two thousand people read it – precisely, less than ten people read it, others use it as a fan during power cut or as a mat to place hot vessels on the table. So the breakthrough idea was to put up scan copy of their kids’ pre KG report card, 1st grade report card, certificate for group singing competition or another for excelling on sports day etc.

Image courtesy: Google images

It just leaves people like me lose the will to live.

And the best part. Below the scan copy of the report card, the names of both parents are written in bold. What goes through the minds of these parents? It could be either of these:

1.      Step one of a matrimonial profile, just insanely early.
2.      I was a loser; I want to tell everyone my kid is an Isaac Newton in the making.
3.      I intend to donate sperm, so this is proof for the rate I will charge for the same.
4.      I am encouraging him so he does well in the Entrance examination.
5.      I want to see my name in print, any publicity is good publicity.

There is no hard and fast rule to decide what to publish. The key is to know who should see it, and who will appreciate honestly your invitation to his themed fourth birthday party.  Mark Zuckerberg helps you do this by giving you an option to create a ‘Custom List’ on Facebook. Make your own custom list, Facebook or not.

Because you already know, that those odd 761 people don’t give a damn, but those who matter really do. 


  1. Btw which magazine is that

    1. It is a local magazine, for members of a particular organization, sorry Meenakshi I really can't name it... :D
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. How could you? Lemon and spoon race is my game! I always win. You cnt say its not huuuuuuuge.

    1. Aha ? How about sending a request to include that in the Olympics...or The Asian Games?

      Magazine...cant name :-(

  3. Hahaha I need to check out that magazine now! :D

  4. LOL...It's a crazy world, with the craze for I, me, myself and of course my kids becoming larger than life itself! Simply loved your take on it :)

  5. God knows what happiness these parents seek in bragging about their kids. I never wanted my parents to turn into a brag so I never did anything exceptional to make them feel proud :P

  6. We spend our growing-up years being told by our parents to be someone else(read the overachieving dummy) and adulthood being told - Be proud to be yourself!

  7. The obsession for heroes in making in every domain as indulgence of parents has reached repulsive proportions! The proof of the pudding lies in what happens in later years for such kids!

    1. True Rahul! motivation is good, but worshipping the kids is a whole other thing.