Thursday, December 3, 2009

I want more!!

"And mommy will allot 25% more pocket money!" excitedly shouts a kid on radio as part of an advertisement of a toiletry which is offering 25% more.

Aren't we all drawn towards excess? MORE, LARGE, EXTRA, BONUS all these are manna. Fatter pay check, a bigger car, a luxurious home....

Image from

"Hmm, I thought I would be paid more. Would I be entitled for joining bonus?" are the questions put forth by the candidate; completely forgetting how average his interview performance was.

Look at the simple things around you; a regular coffee is mixed with a dash of orange essence and its now an exotic orange coffee; a dollop of ice cream, some chocolate sauce and you get that enticing cold coffee full blast with coffee beans as garnish. Your humble pizza has the exotic toppings of your choice; the more humbler dosa comes with fancier toppings; from meat to sea food. A katee roll has all sorts of bizarre filling and top on; extra cheese, choice of sauce.

Not just food; just roam around the malls that have cropped up in your cities; the sleazy brands, the variety of choices. Its all at your disposal. The cities are getting bigger, the buildings higher; whether you can afford them or not is secondary. Townships are a city in itself; just having everything about - hospitals, schools, malls, parks. Your humble work space which just had a wooden chair and a table now has food court, gym, creche, play arena, libraries. Airports are like townships offering from bars and lounges to shopping centers.

Watch a movie; they show marriages in London and vacation in the Bahamas. The more the merrier; the bigger the better. Cell phones have music players and camera in them; they come with multiple sim facility, ipods have wi-fi and bluetooth facility. They offer so many features that it will take your lifetime to learn using them. A book store does not offer only books; a music store doesn't sell only music, a fruit shop doesn't sell just fruits.....

Its the era of excess and who but the Americans know it better. Their lavish and extravagant lifestyle; its a nation that lives luxurious and flaunts flamboyancy; which consumes more than any other country. Just imagine if there was one more America!! We are doomed.

One could say its the choice. Choice everywhere. The kids in today's household decide which brand of soap to buy; which plasma TV gives a better clarity and what color of car to buy. Are we spoilt for choices; with choices? Yes. But does it offer a BETTER option or makes things more complicated for us?

Isn't that we have made our most basic needs complex? I get reminded of an advertisement of a large choice of life insurance policy to choose from. Kids run towards a Gola cart and they choose from the range of flavor available; while one kid keeps wondering what to choose from. And then they offer assistance to choose what suits you best. We have so many choices that we need assistance ship to choose. How funny!!

Our expectations rise; we push ourselves to meet those expectations; killing ourselves. Probably the only thing that says less is more is Kareena's size zero!!!


  1. the ending was apt.. kareena's size zero is the only thing thats less :)

  2. wow...fantastic...this blog reminds me of what my dad alwys says, he says our life hd struggles bt it ws less cmplicated...u ppl hve means 2 mke ur life easier bt it is still as complicated as it was before....this is because u guys have more to choose from.

  3. Hmm.. I think the post could have more words in it.. I want more ;-)

    hehe just kidding.. yes.. we always want more more and further more...

    that what makes us human 'more' interesting..

    I want to get more thinner! :P

  4. Expecting more and also getting it is a good thing in my opinion.
    But we just got to know what exactly we want in the midst of so many options. I have never faced a problem in choosing things till now (depending on the budget of course).
    When it comes to achieving something, the more we expect, the better we become. (This doesn't apply to an example you gave about a candidate performing averagely)

    So expecting more is cool. :-)

    And Kareena's size zero? Damn! That's pathetic! :P

  5. hey sis!
    m ur fan! its final now :D

    loved ur post..Indians customers are evolving and getting demanding day by day!

  6. Hi Chriz,

    Welcome back. :-) Oh yes, thats the ONLY fact I could recall :-)

  7. Hi Gayathri,

    Oh yes, your dad said is just right. They say much choices; how convenient. But coming to think of it, its otherwise :-)

  8. Abhi,

    Dekha? Yeh Dil Maange More!!!!

    I do agree, MORE the MERRIER. :-) You want to go thinner? I just hope that you dont vanish.

    And I have one question. I dont find your comments on few of my posts sometimes. And I know very well that you have read them but dont want to comment.

    Is it because you dont find them interesting? Or you find me dumb enough with those thoughts? Or is it that you completely disagree?

    Please respond, your opinion matters :-)

  9. Hi Karthik,

    Oh yes, I never said it was a BAD thing. What I was trying to point was we are becoming slaves to our own expectations and grilling ourselves.

    Do you recall those relaxing afternoon times; after a siesta, how women and elder men used to sit in the verandah and laze around as if there was all the time on earth?

    Can we afford to do that now?
    Yes, unless we choose wisely as you put. Glad that you dont have a problem with choices.

    I do have a problem with choosing one thing - my footwear. I am a maniac and I want more and more of them; its never enough!! :-D

    Expecting more is obviously cool; thats when we deserve it!! Now we can talk about ethics and morality which is out of scope :-)

    Yeah right!! You dont like Kareena? :-P

  10. Hi sista,

    Thanks. Oh my...I have a fan!! :-P

    Indian consumers are more demanding day by day; yeah.. Thats fine if they have the money to splurge.

    But otherwise? its serious issue

  11. Nice post. People's expectation not only rise but also become complicated. In order to satisfy that, they come out with new products. In the year 1900, the U.S. Congress decided to close the U.S. Patent Office saying that whatever has to be invented for the benefit of the people have been already invented. But look at the things that have been invented since 1900. And, that includes cellphones, my pet peeve.

  12. Hi SG,

    Thank you. This is a piece of information. How ignorant the Patent Office folks were. Look at the number of inventions now

    Talking about inventions; I recall reading about a patent granted in the patent website. A guy brought his broken potty and fixed it in the boot of the car; and submitted a disclosure as MOBILE TOILET. He was awarded the patent. :-) I dont have the patent number with me...

  13. Please don't search for the patent number Insignia. I know you have a busy schedule. I happen to have those numbers handy. There are 2 U.S. Patents for Mobile Toilet. The numbers are 5671487 and D557772. ha ha ha. They are real patent numbers for mobile toilets and I am not making them up.

  14. Oh dear me!! You got those patent IDs!!!
    I do believe you; why would you make it up.

    I have read about those patents; just didnt have the IDs with me..

    Thanks for this :-)

  15. hmmm i wanna do more comedy...but finally athu tragedy aiduthu.... ...ena panrathu kalam mari poochi..and yeah i remember that ad! :)!room potu thinking effect ah?

  16. Yes. As they say, the more we have, the more we demand. Our basic needs are today fulfilled so easily that we quite simply blend in the comforts and luxuries into our necessities. Society plays a powerful role in determining what our basic needs are to be socially acceptable.
    A designer Dosa may be a consumer product for us but may be an extravagant waste of money for someone belonging to a not-so-affluent society.
    America flaunts wealth that makes us drool, but little do we know that over one billion go hungry every day?
    It's all about the image they project.

  17. Actually this whole "big's the gig" phenomenon is practically an invention of the great American marketing system...and boy do they know how to do it!

    Almost everything else in the rest of the I-want-it-big-world (which btw, does NOT include around a third of the world's population that lives under poverty) is I guess a direct or otherwise influence of that.

  18. nothing is bad in wanting more,
    important part is are you ready to
    share with fellow citizens ,your brother and sisters.
    About Kareena she is perfect she knows how to maintain her body.

  19. Hi Hary,

    I quite dont understand your comments. :-) Over-worked effect -ah? :-P

    Oh yeah, those ads...they are amusing

  20. Hi Shaunak,

    I dont have anything else to add. You've said it all. Thank you.

  21. Hi A.R.N,

    Oh yes, I second waht you say. Did you say 1/3rd of the world? Hmm, I would say its 2/3rd.

  22. Hi sm,

    Nothing wrong in wanting more. I am talking here about whats happening to us by WANTING MORE.

    Hope you got my point. And yeah it seems you are Kareena's fan. She may be perfect; but she has sent wrong signals. A lot of girls just go hungry to become LIKE her. And oh yeah!! by the way, those last two lines are supposed to be humorous FYI

  23. More choices are making our life so complicated..and these value additions are making everything expensive:)..Once I read an artikle in BL discussing the same thing..are the choices making it better for consumer and the verdict was ..NO...the consumer is not getting much benefit, as the prices are going up and these marketing gimmicks are bringing the people to shop.

  24. more food, more rich, more fat, more the itch to get more which you get in the last round- more dideases, more anxiety, more pressure, more the feeling that you have less. Then starts another round- more diet control, more spirituality, more exercise, and more understanding. By then its time to say byebye.:|

  25. True all the way. We are so spoilt for choices!!!! Better, more, bigger etc is the mantra these days. I Guess its upto us to draw the line finally.

    Very nice post. Loved the last line.

  26. Hi Antarman,

    Thanks for the comments. Its very true; if we dig to see the value add; there's nothing great; but just marketing gimmicks

  27. Hi Holy Lama,

    Your are truly a Holy Lama. So true your words are. :-)

    Thank you

  28. Hi lost world,

    Thank you. The last time was a punch :-D

  29. But in a way, society provides what we demand:)

  30. :-) It does!! and what cost? :-)

  31. You summarized the present market scenario.. spoilt for choices.. good read

  32. the point is atleast be happy that we are left with choices.. it doesnt matter whether the number of choices is more or less.. the choice si in ur hands..
    lol@ the kareena joke..

  33. Good post!
    It is true, the consumerism aided with rapid globalisation has infiltrated the smallest of small places too. I hate malls and other 'hyped' joints. They are owned by greedy people who escalate prices by faking their product.
    When will people realize it?

  34. Hi Tiger,

    Welcome to B Log. Thanks for the comments
    Spoilt FOR choices and spoilt BY choices :-)

  35. Vishnu,

    Yeah its fine as long as we can be happy with our choices. My point here is it shouldn't make our life complicated

  36. Hi pawan,

    thanks for the comments. You are right. By offering things like luxury and ambiance; they make us cough up more; which we fail to realize

  37. this reminds me of max new york life ad - kar lo zyada ka
    iraada, and pepsi ad - ye dil mange more. surf excel ads encourage u
    to increase the number of stains etc etc.

    nice write up..thank u for the wonderful guest post dear...

    n yeah, I am back :))

  38. Hi Neha,

    Welcome back. Ohhh hahahaha..oh yeah..lot of ads which says "zyada zyada".

    Welcome Neha, Hope you liked the guest post.

  39. i loved that post..every time, ur comments used to extend my post, but this time around, your post has done the needful..thanks :))))

  40. Thankfully never had a problem with making choices on a personal level .Hmmm..well, I feel that availability of choices does not necessarily complicate our lives ...its a privilege of those who could afford to pay it. I feel that the availability of choices just brings in a whole lot of service, reliability and accountability. well, we can say that we are spoilt for choices..but, guess, thats something good to be spoilt with.

  41. Hi Rohit,

    Thanks for your comments. As long as its not complicated; its fine :-)

  42. Hi Bindu!

    This post had me confused. I personally felt, there are too, too, too many phenomena that you've included under the umbrella term "more". :)

    1. Novelty. The examples you give of exotic coffee and ice cream flavors, dosa, etc. - rather than 'more', as in 'excess', I would count it as a desire for novelty, i.e., something NEW. It's not as if people asking for more cups of coffee per day, just coffee in different form.

    I think humans inherently seek novelty. Humans possess intelligence, and intelligence seeks challenges. Each time we try to solve a puzzle, for instance, we seek an answer. What is this 'answer'? I think in answer we seek something we had NOT known before. That's what makes us explore. And this urge of experiencing something different NOT experienced before makes us curious. But a side effect is loathing towards monotony and consistency. So the desire to try something 'new' is, I feel, what fundamentally distinguishes us from 'lower' animals.

    The 'lower' the animal, less does it hate monotonous mechanical work.

    Ants are most 'hard-working', and hate monotony the least 'cuz they're least intelligent.

    Now to get a bit off-mark, monotony has another aspect to it - consistency. Consistency provides us with safety.

    Hence, in prehistoric days, when every 'new' could've proved dangerous, people must have been more apprehensive to try anything new.

    But as humans started understanding environment better, more and more thing entered the domain of 'safe'.

    So now obviously, our innermost instinct to try 'new' manifests uninhibitedly and we seek 'variety'.

    This increased variety is to be distinguished from 'improvement'. Greater variety does not necessarily mean improvement. There's no 'improvement' in making a chocolate shake with banana instead of 'chikoo'! ;) But yet, it means greater variety.

    And remember, had it not been for boring academics, our attention spans would've been even lesser entailing even greater loathe for monotony! A typical child under 5 has attentions span of less than 5 seconds! ;)

    2. Compaction. A few examples you provided, again did not speak of people seeking quantitatively or numerically more, but just that the features/services, that previously could be enjoyed only through MULTIPLE portals, can now be availed through SINGLE portal. Examples are sophisticated cell phones, better equipped townships, airports with more facilities, etc. :) ...

  43. ...Of course, with greater compaction owing to greater convenience, we do end up 'consuming' more.

    For instance, had today's phones not had cameras, too, internet would've been flooded with much lesser photographs! I would've heard much lesser variety of music, had it not been for music player in my cell phone, and I'd have never known you or your ideas if not for the browser on my phone. ;) [not sure, if am giving you greater reasons to hate technology by pointing out the last example ;)]

    3. Basic needs becoming more complex. Yes, you're very right. Basic needs have become more complex. This is possibly because of improved technology. As you would've read in my response to Stupidosaur, the 'basic' needs for survival have become so easy to fulfill that, we no longer are bothered about them. So internal combustion engine-driven automobiles were a rare thing a century back, but today they're very commonplace - mostly because of ABILITY to manufacture them faster.

    Likewise, I'd also pointed out in Stupidosaur's post that whether services or products that fulfill our desires/needs - all can be 'replicated'. Products through assembly line manufacturing and services through well researched protocols. So, we have stopped taking 'no' as an answer. This is one of the problems plaguing humanity, and especially, more so among people bred amidst more modern technology or prosperity (developed nations and 'next' generation in developing nations).

    So as you shall see, a whole lot of 'more' we want could be resolved into component driving factors - seeking:

    1. Novelty/variety

    2. Compaction

    3. Instant gratification - not being able to suppress one's desires once they are 'felt', largely 'cuz of easy availability of things.

    And if you could see, all of the above tendencies are directed towards one single thing - wanting to collect as many experiences as possible. Yes, you could summarize it as wanting to live 'more' life. :) That's consumerism, and definitely requires 'more' money and 'greater' production of services and products.

    Now the biggest issue comes!!! :)

    As you might notice, in what has preceded, I've not defended or criticized the above tendencies. I've only tried to explain how they have arisen.

    Personally, I do not find anything wrong with wanting to live 'more' life....

  44. ...Probably it looks so bad 'cuz of the means used to earn more money or produce these goods and services. Inequality in distribution of wealth, such that some people enjoy what are considered 'luxuries' despite (or even at cost) of others struggling to survive gives rise to a collective guilt. This has all has also given rise to problems like pollution, global warming, plundering, exploitation, cheating, etc.

    But these problems are fundamentally because of weak conscience and lack of foresight, rather than the desire to live 'more' life per se. Plus, as I pointed out, this desire always existed. It's just that now because of improved technology it has become possible and socially permissible to lead more luxurious lives.

    Plus, as you might have gathered from my comment on Stupidosaur's post, disguised unemployment makes people innovate, or try to project old things as new. This is 'cuz though we largely have (or will have in near future) means to produce services and goods to satisfy EVERYONE'S needs, our convention for asking money in RETURN of provision of goods/services makes it mandatory for everyone to work. But everyone does not need to work ('cuz of ability to replicate)! So whatever 'work' gets done is towards tweaking old things - what we call 'innovation'. And this innovation creates greater variety in the 'market'. And greater variety further fuels the urge to 'try' it. And to try it, requires MONEY! :D

    I hope, you see, how my whole comment is going 'round' and 'round'. This is priorly 'cuz this is a vicious CYCLE. :P

    But of course, up till now I'd only discussed 'genuine' needs and desires.

    A lot of our desires are fueled only by peer pressure, and insecurity of impressions we make. The desire to seem better in COMPARISON with others.

    This is something I find totally reprehensible, especially, when it just doesn't stop.

    This creates a lot of dissatisfaction and frustration in life. 'Cuz if you experience lust for chocolate, at least you'll eat it to your heart's fill, feel pleasure for sometime and get on with life, and in the process fulfill a desire that was totally your OWN. And this kind of lust may or may not be a very bad thing depending upon:

    1. Means used to obtain/produce chocolate, i.e., if it harms/does injustice to others

    2. If that chocolate harms you

    3. If you relinquish your duties and disrespect your obligations towards others in the process....

  45. ...But when you want some things only to show your neighbors down, basically, the terms of your life are decided by OTHERS. And there's NO WAY, this fulfilment could provide pleasure, 'cuz you end up getting something that you never wanted! You end up doing something you never felt like doing. Then once you prove your oneupmanship against your neighbor, you start picking on someone else to show them down. Of course, you mission won't be over, if your neighbor 'retaliates'.

    Of course, the 'YOU' over here was a generic pronoun, and not you, i.e., Insignia. ;)

    Okay, I end my long 'spate' of comments here, but maybe I can summarize that I don't feel, actually wanting more in life is bad per se, but the means used to and consequences of obtaining 'more' in life could be wrong/harmful.

    Wanton (only because it is 'available') and insecurity-driven (wanting to seem 'better' than OTHERS/show OTHERS down) is definitely worth critiquing (in my opinion).

    I'd done a post, wherein I'd envisaged a World, where ALL of our needs/desires could be fulfilled without causing any tangible damage to ecosystem or other humans. Just see if you'd like to 'live' in such a World! ;) Futuristic! (click).

    And another post, where I've partly dealt with how I would like to 'be'. ;) States of matter. State that matters. (click).

    Hope, you enjoy reading my response and do not crave for 'more'. ;)

    Now just because I've focused quite a bit on how this desire for 'more' arises, please don't think I approve its thoughtless fulfilment. :)

    Nice, thought-provoking post! As you must see from the length of my comments, it certainly did provoke a 'lot' of thoughts! :P


    PS: You need not respond to the individual parts of my comments. As you know, I do so only 'cuz of limitations imposed through my cell phone. :) Plus, now that all your readers have 'moved on' to your subsequent posts, they hopefulyy won't be bothered by the length of my comments here. So you may comment uninhibitedly. ;)

  46. Hi Ketan,

    Oh, sorry if the post left you confused. But it's meant to be taken in a light manner.
    Yeah, I included all the flavors under a generic "more"

    Few which are harmless, few which are harmful. :-) I just gave examples for "more" without any relationship between one another.

    Your segregation as "novelty", "compaction", "basic things getting complex" and "instant gratification" was perfect w.r.t my examples in this post.

    And I did not think of these aggregations when I wrote this; but randomly picked up instances and product and events as examples - cell phone, coffee, investment and all. So thanks much for extending the post. Your perspective is really organized here as compared to my random jottings.

    coming to the issues you talked about - I second each one. I have nothing more to say and absolutely no disagreement. Most of us are governed by peer pressure; to lead a materialistic life which would be "appreciated" by basically we all live for others...Which is sad but true.

    Rat race, selfish desire to earn more, unequal wealth distribution....all these aggravate the situation more.I have mentioned vary vaguely in my responses to comments that it should not be at the cost of morality and not at the cost of killing yourself to satisfy your desires.

    I did read your responses to a related post. And I have read "Futuristic" and "States of Matter" already :-) What you try to say is commendable; but its so far fetched.

    Anyways, thanks much for your responses, my light post did really provoke a lot :-D

  47. Insignia,

    Thanks for letting me know your post was 'light'; my first question was going to be why so angry?!! ;)

  48. Oh!! Ketan, angry when? In the post or in the response to your comments?

  49. I meant in the post. Really, you didn't write the post under influence of alcoh... err... anger/irritation? ;) Just read it again, if you think it doesn't sound angry. :)


  50. Oh is that so!!! Hmm...Let me read it again; but NO definitely not in anger, irritation, and nope, not under alcohol influence. I wouldn't take that chance to write; just concerned about my readers :-P

    Maybe it was frustration. Anyways shall read it again :-)


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!