When a television commercial

sets these standards,

you begin to understand why thirteen kids committed suicide in Mumbai within two weeks. A VP at 24? Is that what our kids should be aspiring to? Or even talking about at the age of 8? 9? How old does the little boy look?

And although I am no fan of Chetan Bhagat, I must link up this story here in the hope that it will spread near and far. So what if it mentions my old college? :p


24 thoughts on “When a television commercial

  1. Oh, that VW kid grates on my nerves like no one else. If I were the salesperson, I would hold him by the locks & plant 2 swift ones his scrawny cheeks, the loss of one potential customer be damned. Yes, it’s quite disgusting what the ad preaches as well. But then, they’re in India to make moolah & undoubtedly the best market research team has told them that this is what works. Sad and true.

    As for Chetan Bhagat, he annoys me more than the kid. He calls himself India’s most influential writer, Pied Piper etc. etc. (all deserving epithets), can’t he write a single piece of fiction that does not feature suicide either in the beginning, in the middle or towards the end? All of his books have at least an instance each & then this story. He apparently “wants to make a difference” to Indian youth, but he’s clearly not helping the cause

  2. reminds me of 3 idiots and the value of the message- about the kind of learning we need in our lives/countries right about now and how there is a huge majority that just doesnt get it. and scarily might not ever get it. 😦

  3. Hi MM,
    More than anything it is a scary ad, especially for parents like us, who have little ones going to school and some way or the other this is what every one of us wants out of their children. Wonder why our parents were not like this??? take care, Rekha

  4. I think that the ad captures the mood of the youth succintly. Aspiring for luxury and driving oneself towards it is an admirable trait. How you go about it opens the means vs end debate that will go on forever. I think we must try to foster a sense of perspective among the younger people that will help them make decisions in a way that they will not regret down the line.


  5. Me too! In case you are wondering what this is for… to put it in the subtlest way, I am not a big fan of Chetan Bhagat too! And this has nothing got to do with that lame ass movie… this goes way before the idea of the movie was even conceived probably. I came across some interviews of Chetan Bhagat and then spotted him on some talk shows and news debates. Gosh he is such a pompous ass. It’s very evident that he thinks that he is way smarter than what he actually is. I have never read him… he might be a gifted writer… but certainly not a credible personality, leave alone being likable.

    To me personally it was quite hilarious that they were fighting like cats and dogs over taking credit for that stupid sub-standard movie, which was clearly a nice idea utterly wasted!

  6. Excuse while I go and throw up.

    This just leaves you with the kinda heebie-jeebies that can never bode well. What pisses me off most is that this really gives Indian parents a bad name. I know enough and none of them seem to be fostering this kind of madness in their children. Who are these people, who don’t really care about children or childhood? who don’t seem to care that they stand to lose the child in their child – a not necessarily to suicide.

    It gives “best interests of the child” a totally different twist, no? Since when was that VP aspirations at 7?

    Boy, am I glad I don’t know these people.

  7. Umm… the kid will join his father’s business. That’s the secret behind the designation.
    You CANNOT become a VP at 24, even if you have studied for 27 years out of those 24. It against the laws of physics.

    • You can, you can. These days designations are a dime a dozen (unlike the good old days ?). I remember when I started working I went to the office of a government securities trader and met someone who was a vice president. I was pretty impressed. Turned out that everyone was a vice president.

      In South East Asia a relatively junior position is assistant vice president.

      HR is a human construct so anything is possible.

  8. VP at 24, how I wish! I turn 24 this year and VP-hood is as far as buying my own flat in Bombay! And a Bug costs between 18-20 lakhs! Dude no way in hell you can afford even a bug at 18 years old! Seriously kid get your head out of your ass!

  9. I love VW, I love the Beetle, it’s my dream car (Do I sound weird?) but did they have to make such a screwed up ad? Poor little rich kid. And poor little kids who’re swallowing all this crap.

    Mental note to self: And this is reason no. 2342 why we don’t have a TV!

  10. I disagree. First, of all, wanting to be a veep when one is 8 is kind of like wanting to be the President of the United States or an astronaut (though arguably, being a veep is a slightly more mundane dream). You have some idea of where you want to end up, with absolutely no idea of how to get there. Which is fine for kids -we want them to dream after all.

    Second, I’m not even sure there’s that much pressure in this ad. The kid is saying something about becoming a VP or CEO. He’s obviously not fully informed about what it would take to become a veep, but whatever. What would make this pressure-filled would be if some adult were to say “You MUST become a veep by 24”. And of course, unsaid pressure. Which we can’t tell by looking at this ad.

    So if I had a kid who was watching this, I might bring it up in a casual conversation like, what do you think? And then try to impress on her the notion that its good to have a dream , CEO, entrepreneur, writer, scientist whatever, but bad to think that the only thing worth doing is something conventionally successful that earns a lot of money.


    • I dont think being ‘a VP’ is the same as being an astronaut. Being VP here, is designation. Not career choice. I can be CEO of my little chai store at 15 if I want. IMHO, we set too much store by designation. Companies are constantly coming up with new desigs to keep people happy. When i joined work recently I was asked if the desig was to my liking. I was quite bemused… how the hell does a desig matter? Its the responsibilities I’ve been given that matter…

      The other point that annoyed me was the deadlines. Kids will often tell you they want to grow up to be an astronaut. or an engine driver. Why set an age limit and say VP by 24? Wheres the fire? The growing pressure to buy a house by 25, make CEO by 30 and get botox by 32 is just crazy. Everything must be perfect…

      *goes off muttering, to put her false teeth into a glass*

  11. My 6 year old cousin’s play “group” has a Director, a CEO and board members 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Their main “agenda” is to choose which game to play during lumch break and the games class!

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