I am a commodity!

Who is not? If one is not a commodity, then he/she is useless, unusable, not worth living or probably dumb!!

I always asked this question to girls whom I dated, to wife and friends. “If  I did nothing in life, probably didn’t have any talents, didn’t contribute to anything productive, didn’t go to work, sat at home, roamed around for the heck of it without any money in my pocket, just lived…would you get closer to me? would you continue the friendship? you would have married me?”

The then few prospective chics who were ignorant and courageous enough (or probably dumb enough?) to say they would stick on to me and will do anything to be with me!! Probably they would have, but I know, not for a lifetime for sure!! Friends would probably would meet me once in a while, keep in touch which would deteriorate once they get busy with their respective lives.

The Wife was smart enough to repeat back the question to me in a similar fashion something like this: “If I were ugly looking, unbelievably overweight and did nothing…you would have married me?” I didn’t have a convincing answer either which made me retrospect into the marriage market.

Be it arranged marriage, love marriage, matrimonial marriage….ultimately everybody looks at each other as packages, products or commodities. Mr. Right or Ms. Right happens first on the basic factors like money, property, looks etc.,. then comes family, behavior, interests, hobbies as value adds to the whole package. And then conversations happen, castles are built in the sky and Love happens! Then the deal happens between two packages (which we call marriage, engagement, seeing someone etc.,)!  After reading this statement, definitely there would be some who are ready to violently argue on this  and kill me right now! Well, there are exceptions and they are very marginal. Also, the exceptions also have some hitch associated with them.

I  have few examples to cite on this. There is a guy (aged around 28-30) near to my place where I stay. He is handsome, speaks well, well behaved and spends his time roaming across the streets, watching movies, a favorite  among kids (coz he is always free to play with them). He doesn’t work, has done his 10th, helps the aunties around with domestic work and is generally always happy.  Why don’t girls love him? He is such a nice guy to be with!  Similarly there is another girl in her twenties who looks dark, raised teeth, skinny and takes care of her mom and sister. She is smart, intelligent, works in a school and is a bread winner of the family. Why don’t guys fall in love with her. There are many the so called eligible bachelors around her. Why didn’t I myself get attracted before I got married?  Because these kind of persona (the guy and the girl) are not the right packages!! or the right products!!

Needless to say, Even God is a commodity in our generation. Live Telecast of poojas, aarthi at famous temples are available on TV and Internet. There are various sponsorship issues within them and fights for air space which we often hear or see. These initiatives are again to polish the spiritual side of us being products so that we get some shine, some relaxation so that we can unwind, get refreshed and get ready for the next produce!

This is even more obvious in the corporate world or the job market which I don’t think I need to elaborate. Ultimately  we are sophisticated human commodities or products producing new products for our own fellow human products to sustain our productiveness!! This is the real Product Life Cycle (the term IT companies use invariably left, right , center, up, down..in all possible angles).

For ex: I brush my teeth with a toothpaste in the morning. Someone makes the toothpaste, another markets it, someone sells it to me. While I am myself involved in the digital marketing of these kind of products designing  E- commerce websites and selling it. So I am marketing it to myself in a way. Now If I don’t brush my teeth, I would get ridiculed by colleagues and my unimpressed seniors at work  wouldn’t  recommend me to higher promotions and I would become a stale product.  And I get paid well by being a good, sincere and useful product/commodity producing more and more products! That completes the PDLC (Oops! i.e Product Development Life Cycle)

Friends, this is how I think when I am cynical or probably practical! These are just my personal thoughts and not intended to hurt anyone. Feel free to comment or discuss.

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9 comments

  1. Parvez · July 11, 2010

    Interesting write up!

    No matter how good you, your product, your website or whatever you’re selling is, nobody is going to take interest or buy anything from you without a good reason!
    Moreover..In todays world, one has to have that Unique Selling Proposition to sell one’s self that promises any great value or benefit to the potential friend / date / fiancée / partner / customer. Ultimately, these values are what it gets people to notice you.

    • Praveen Nair · July 11, 2010

      Parvez, I am not intending to say how good or bad one is. No matter whatever USP you have or don’t have, ultimately you are a product! A product in the society, relationships, job… everywhere. Thatz what i mean. Being good or bad comes after that:-) There are zillion information sources available to make ourselves good and better products anyways.

      • Binu · July 12, 2010

        crisp.

    • Rahul · July 13, 2010

      True. Its ‘maya’.
      To find real friendship, love, etc. one needs to look beyond what is seen/shown. Most of the times people wear masks. Worse, people add make-up on the mask. Coz deep down they know, that their real faces lack the real beauty to impress upon even themselves, leave aside others.

      We all take chances, or half chances and try to convert them into something tangible, visible and measurable. Hence USPs.

      There is a charitable trust near my home praveen. Its a home for the lesser privileged. Many of them who stay or work there are visibly challenged. Yes, blind by eyesight.
      But they are not blind by hindsight.

      Daily, I watch a family walk down from the trust to their home. Husband-wife-son.
      The son may be 11-14 years old. They pass by my apartment everyday on their way home at around 8 – 8.30pm.
      All of them have the white cane in their hands.
      They walk in co-ordination like normal people.
      They hold hands tight.
      They talk, discuss, laugh, smile, at times yell at each other while talking.
      They talk loud but they are not harsh.
      Thier faces are mostly towards the sky and not downwards.
      There is a certain rhythm in the way they walk, so as to not slip into the drain on the left, at the same time avoid an oncoming vehicle from behind.
      All three of them know how each one is walking.
      Never have they tripped themselves or anyone else or bumped into a pole or a shrub.
      They cross the road at the right time and at the right intersection.
      Before they do that, they stop talking and all three pay attention to all sides of the road and make a judgement before crossing.
      They cross the road, and get back to their talking, laughing, shouting, yelling, etc.
      They walk daily.

      I think there is a lot in this, for all of us.

      I guess each one of us has to find what is in ourselves to offer ourselves first, and later to others.

      • Praveen Nair · July 13, 2010

        Thanks for replying Rahul, very true! Thanks for the bringing up the observation of the lesser privileged people. How they need each other at every moment is very important and to be learnt!

  2. Shilpa · July 11, 2010

    these are my words.. These thoughts always haunts me..
    Hey Praveen.. I really liked the way you narrate.. U are blessed with talents 🙂
    Keep writing.. Happy blogging

    • Praveen Nair · July 11, 2010

      Hey Shilpa, I guess these thoughts resonate in almost everybody’s mind, but probably doesn’t come out. Glad that you are in sync:-) Thanks for reading. Will try to keep writing.

  3. Rahul · July 13, 2010

    An afterthought –

    Dont worry on the USPs, they will be taken care of.
    Pay attention to Unique Breaking Points. UBPs, if you may want to call them.
    When things go wrong, its not because the selling points disappear or diminish.
    Things go wrong because, the Breaking Points gain more strength, stature and size.

    • Praveen Nair · July 13, 2010

      That’s a good one Rahul, UBPs. But Frankly, I am not worried or anything. I am accepting things as they are and okay being a product as long as I am usable till the expiry date. That is why I am in this world for 🙂

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