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A dreamer to the core. A thinker. A writer. A marketer. A poet. A management guru in the making! A keen observer of business, organizations, leaders, society, economic environment, consumers, and innovation. A confirmed maverick who loves to turn conventional wisdom upside down!

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Similarity between drinks and festivals

What is the similarity between drinks and festivals? Both give you hangover. And the similarity doesn’t end here. I feel that both drinks and festivals follow a common trajectory from pre-launch to launch to post-launch.

Pre-launch is always so cheerful with lots of anticipation. Just imagine a moment when a friend called you to join him and other brats for a few drinks. From that moment to the moment you say cheers, your mind is thinking of drinks and the associated ‘oye bubbly’ feeling. Similar is a festival’s story. Just go into flashback and visualize the mood a day before Diwali. In almost every office, employees wore traditional ethinic dresses (Aha what a gorgeous sight it was to see those ubiquitous jeans clad ladies in Benarsi saree and gold jewelry). They exchanged good wishes. Got sweets boxes from otherwise not so benevolent employers. Even the office was decorated and customary rangoli designed at the entrance. And there were special dishes in cafeteria. No body cared when ¾ th of the office became empty at 4:30 PM when the usual office timing was 9:30 to 5:30. And the most evident example of this euphoric pre-launch feeling was the fact that my usually bland vice–president wore an extremely casual maroon coloured shirt with cream coloured trousers and topped it up with a Amitabh Bachchan patented French cut beard. Isn’t it the ‘oye bubbly’ feeling of the pre-launch in anticipation of the launch?

Then comes the D-day or D-hour or D-minute. This is the moment, in drinks parlance, when you clink glasses and say cheers. The momentum sets in. It starts slowly then takes a constant acceleration mode. Slowly, slowly you merge with the surrounding. You eat, drink, and talk completely oblivious to what other are doing or talking. You are one with oneself. A sense of ecstasy prevails all around. Similar is the path followed by festivals. Take the case of Diwali. It began leisurely with an extra hour of sleep in morning. Day passed on leisurely in preparation of the festival (buying crackers, sweets boxes, chocolates, flowers etc.). As the darkness descended, one started getting in the mood. As the buildings started to lighten up, it started gaining momentum. First few sounds of crackers were like the first few sips of a chilled whiskey. Within an hour or so the bursting crackers decorating the skies and the elaborate lightening of apartments gave the first high. And the next thing was merging into the madness and letting go of oneself. After that came guiltless binging on delicacies of the day. Once binging was over crackers again took over. The tryst with crackers, sweets, and bonhomie seemed like the familiar association of Whiskey, Kebab, and laughter. That’s called a perfect launch.

Newton’s modified third law states “Every high has an equal and opposite low”. Same is exactly true for drinks and festivals. If the night was high, the morning must be low. The morning after a night of festivities or drinks is usually characterized by a dull mind, aching body, sometimes headache, and a feeling of tiredness. And to add to the misery there is no extra hour of sleep because you have to start your daily drudgery. There is a feeling of sadness as if the dream just got over. Realization downs that life will be monotonous till the next festival or the next drinking session comes.

And these are not the only similarities between drinks and festivals. The biggest similarity between drinks and festivals is the fact that both are the easiest escape route from the monotony of daily drudgery. This is not only the biggest similarity but also the one from which all other similarities arise. Time just before a drink or a festival signifies the anticipation of freedom and the joy associated with it. Actual drinking session or the festivities signifies freedom and the flow of joy. Time after a drink or a festival signifies the loss of freedom and the resulting pain.

Nonetheless, I love my drinks and I love my festivals. Cheers to both of them!!

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