Archive for September, 2010

A Smiley Issue

One emoticon that has thrived under all circumstances -the smiley:-),has certainly stolen a march (or smile:-)) on its counterparts! While other emoticons are, in the main situation-specific,smileys in the abstract are liberally scattered with abandon .The apparently innocuous smiley has an interesting history, with some countries having had it as a registered trademark! One could break the ice, in a trice, at its price! It’s likened to brand equity.”Smile(y) and the world buys into you!” seems to be the norm at playing the market. It’s an effective tool in one’s repertoire and when used with some degree of discretion, is every smooth operator’s recipe for positive reinforcement.

Having said that, has this brand equity taken a hit? Does the number of smileys truly represent the general air of positivity? If so, do smileys, by reciprocity, contribute to more smiles and foster an enhanced sense of goodness around, by the thumb rule of ‘The Secret’?Or is it, more often than not, sparked by a negative environment and surfaces as a ‘Black Swan’? In the latter case, most of us would have to incur a revision of belief! While the situation is unpredictable at best, most of us fall prey to the smiley syndrome! Can we answer this question with certitude:  Is a message with undertones of seriousness,obfuscated or accentuated with the use of smileys?:-):-)

I tried to decipher the message from a certain person I’d just befriended. He was the impassive kind, whose smiles seemed miles away!  “Have you seen Dr. Bansilal in the department?:-):-):-):-)”.No kidding, 4 smileys thrown in for good measure! I bemusedly tried to fathom whether it was the mere thought of Bansilal, the person’s mood, conceiving Bansilal being with yours truly, and so on and so forth, that elicited the smiles. My pre-occupation got the better of me as 5 kms to the destination took less time than I could have imagined! I was later led to understand that he was an inveterate and prolific non-smiling smiley generator! Regardless of whether I’d have gone through the motions with the same celerity, sans the smileys, I was certainly playing into his smiles (illusory, of course).

The smiley serves to connote a sense of purpose by its innate nature of positivity. It seeks to win you over with a radiance that ineffably beams on you, and the notion of “All’s well with the world:-)”dawns. On the other hand, unabashedly going overboard the smiley way in tricky spots may not always be taken in a lighter vein and could breed indifference/contempt as it can be as provocative as it is evocative! Interject smileys in touchy areas and one could get into hot water, giving way to other emoticons! A feeling of,more or less, less is more, takes over.

Some people associate smileys with vulnerability, that’s best dished out to a reserved (pun intended) table. Some prefer exclamations to make proclamations and declarations. Some others try their hand at other faces to suit their phase. Others lay emphasis on only the crux and feel it’s best conveyed without the rest.

A smiley once in a while may take you many a mile, but make sure you do justice to hit the right notes and not,with a vengeance, vitiate the beauty of an emoticon that can at the very least be smiled at:-).If your smile is not as broad as that of your smiley’s, take a moment to discover if you’re not the only one smiling! A tribute to all the non-smiling smiley churners and smiling non-smile(y)ing perpetrators, where the intersection of their set of smileys and that of associated smiles is a null one:-)!


Essay:It’s better to have endeavoured and lost than never to have tried at all.

A sense of fulfillment comes from a concerted and whole-hearted endeavour regardless of the end result. It could be argued that Man rides on his success irrespective of the spirit in which he’s played the game. In my view, although the outcome plays a role, if one is secure in the belief of having given off one’s best, having thoroughly enjoyed the journey, a failure wouldn’t be as disheartening as not having participated at all.

Evading an activity for fear of failure is detrimental and hampers progress. Failure is success turned inside out and must be taken in one’s stride to try and learn from one’s mistakes and not repeat them in future. Thomas Alva Edison, the great inventor with over 1000 patents to his name, when asked what he thought of his numerous failures replied calmly, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

Today, competition is rife and one is often scorned at for not pulling off a victory or failing in a venture. This can be really demoralizing leading the person to believe he’s not equal to the task at hand and make him contemplative when confronted with one in future. Jeers, taunts and the fear of failure hold one back from giving something a try, let alone putting one’s best foot forward. This kind of mindset spells doom, to say the least. Without any experience, mistakes that can be obviated are repeated ad-nauseum.Exploring new avenues give us insight and make us better equipped in tackling similar tasks with confidence. On the other hand, if one shirks from a task, he loses out in the long run as this attitude militates against success.

In Sports too, the ones who have made a mark and succeeded at the highest level have tasted defeat many a time. This hasn’t deterred them from realizing their dreams and carving a niche for themselves. They have, in fact, been made mentally stronger to cope with tricky situations unprecedentedly as they have been humbled and this has taught them valuable lessons along the way. Introspection and ironing out one’s flaws in the process is how a failure is meant to bring out the best in a person.

Winners and leaders from all walks of life have experienced failures but what sets them apart from the herd is their attitude of bouncing back from these defeats, committing themselves over and over again and pursuing their goals with all the ability given to them, armed with the knowledge the past encounters have afforded. They are impervious to criticism and never stop trying at any cost and against all odds. Their persistence has paid rich dividends and this ‘Never Say Die’ attitude puts them on a pedestal and will stand them in good stead.


It was triggered by an intriguing reflection,

And went on to change the whole complexion.

It all started with as mild a childlike fascination,

And has now turned into a heady obsession.


Can I face this world? I imploringly say,

Repairing and preparing as I ardently pray,

Do I need to be moulded like the softest of clay?

Chiselled to reflect more than what now may.


What is it that’s so alluring about you?

Is it in me or does your power magnetically glue?

I look at myself as I look inquiringly at you,

I can mend myself by taking your unsaid clue.


You precisely reflect my change in time,

Flipping my image as I pass my prime,

Time has its effects with many a harsh clime,

Masking me with less and more of the sublime.


You project more of the less and less of the more,

Proving your intangible might like never before,

But what you don’t reveal is the true spirit of the core,

For the soul reflects more and should be placed at the fore.

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