Here goes a million dollar question…

Where was FIFA world cup 2010 played?

If you still hang on with the obvious answer -South Africa , I beg to disagree. Going beyond the obvious, weighing the space and time allotted by media, it’s Germany all the way. The art and beauty of playing football, the systematic and critical analysis of experts, the shrewd tactics and techniques of coaches, the hard work and determination of players, cheers of the vuvuzelas were mercilessly pushed to the backseat. Reason: An irrational animal’s search for food ending up in picking the world cup winner. It was sheer chance and only chance that made Paul-the octopus to make the right choice. As lady luck started smiling on Paul, shifted its base from South Africa to the Aquarium at Oberhausen in Germany. Thanks to the extensive media coverage, Paul has become the talk of the town. I would say, “We were all ‘Pauled’ by the media especially the western media.” Does this mean that the concept of rational west and superstitious east is going topsy-turvy?

With the oracle Paul crowned to glory with its 8 for 8, after the world cup show down, all eyes were on the octopus with impatient, ‘Whazz up next’ worries. Even though the octopus is irrational, the owners rightly pitched in with their grey matter by declaring that Paul won’t make any more predictions and will get back to its former job of making children laugh. It’s the Right choice baby!!…it won’t be heads all the time when u toss a coin!!! It’s Paul who is now laughing at us – for the media attention it got, for the millions who googled his name, for the studies done by scholars, for placing luck before talent and hard work. Above all Paul ridicules man’s craving to go behind irrational predictions powered by sheer chance/luck that has no base. The whole world was fooled and laughed at by an octopus after it’s retirement announcement. In a way we were all ‘PAULED’!!! Whenever media, advertisement, astrology or career choice entices our senses and evokes our emotion eclipsing our reason and search for facts- beware- we are being ‘Pauled.’

‘Pauled’ by Advertisements
Zillions of articles, expert advices, first hand experiences would have come our way pleading us: “Don’t believe in advertisements.” But we still continue to be ‘Pauled.’ Endorsed by super stars, power packed with catchy videos and classy punch lines, advertisements let our emotions take charge turning its back on the real facts. Each time you hear the tag lines – Nike , “Write your Future,” Walmart- “Save money. Live better,” Coke- “Life ho to aisi”-(life as it should be)- we are hauntingly ‘Pauled’ by these advertisements such that we dare not to touch a brand sans advertisement. Just as one advertisement loses its sheen, the next more powerful one arrives and we continue to be ‘Pauled.’ The octopus Paul retired, but advertisements seldom retire, they will continue to make us ‘Pauled’ veiling our grey matter. It’s time people give an voluntary retirement  to advertisements so that we won’t be ‘Pauled’ again.

‘Pauled’ by Astrology
With Paul the psychic octopus hogging the limelight, the animal oracles are out in the middle making predictions –Mani, the parrrot, Pygmy, the hippopotamus, Leon, the porcupine..to name a few.
Along with this Numerology, Astrology, Tarot reading and innumerable techniques both on television and web are making humans ‘Pauled’ on a regular basis. Can any person in the world predict the outcome or future with cent percent accuracy? The answer will be a big no. It’s high time we break free all these future knowing stuff by which we are ‘Pauled.’ Let the reason and faith in God take the driver’s seat.

‘Pauled’ by Career Choice

When the department of Philosophy at Oxford, Harvard and other acclaimed universities of the west are thriving, it cuts a sorry figure in the Indian universities. Recently the Bangalore University shut down its philosophy department for want of students. Why didn’t the children turn up? It’s damn clear that the parents and students are all ‘Pauled’ by media and tradition creating a narrow state of mind. Mr. Jacob Varghese is an International and national award winning director, who directed the recent Kannada hit – Prithvi. During a public meeting, he shared his reaction of his mom when he showed the prestigious national award. His mom told, “ Iam happy, this will help you to get a good job!!!” A perfect example of how creativity and talents are pushed backwards resulting in a void of artists, actors, singers, folk artists and all the so- called non job oriented courses like philosophy. Thomas L. Friedman wrote, “Today, just about everything is becoming a commodity, except imagination, except the ability to spark new ideas.” As super power status knocks at India’s door, it’s high time to think that there is life beyond tech geeks and give it’s due for arts, creativity and talents. Let’s not get ‘Pauled’ again with regard to career choices – Be bold to choose, be brave and work hard to  win; blaze your own trail.

Be Bold, Don’t get ‘Pauled’

It’s shame for the humanity to be ‘Pauled’ by media, astrology, advertisement and career choice. Time is up for reality check. Don’t let our talents, imagination, creativity, faith and hard work get ‘Pauled’ by irrational choices. Rely on your grey matter, believe in God and please let Paul the octopus play and make children smile, it’s meant for that.

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