The Movie With All The Stereotypes

October 15, 2008

What got me started on all this pontification about Indian movies being filled with hippies was watching Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Although I liked the movie, one question went through my head throughout the movie: don’t any of these people have jobs?

And then I put analysis and realised that pretty much all Hindi movies have no yuppies. So I sort of lost hope in Bollywood’s ability to showcase yuppies. But then two months later a movie came along which actually had all the rich people stereotypes including yuppies. In fact all three stereotypes had lead roles. This movie was Bachna Ae Haseenon and the three heroines each represent one of the stereotypes.

Minissha Lamba was basically the lala. She was from a rich serd family and married a rich serd guy with a massive family house and reasonably decent family business in Amritsar Sahib.

Bipasha Basu was the hippie. In the first half of the movie, she landed up in Bombay and became a Shiamak Davar dancer which is basically your beginner or starter hippie. The point is that it involves no MS Excel. In the second half, she’s become a supermodel or superstar or both, and all her daily inconveniences are smoothed out by a succession of secretaries who take care of them. So between the first half and the second half she moves from beginner hippiedom to advanced hippiedom.

Deepika Padukone plays the yuppie. She does an MBA, works three jobs, and hunts for stock tips. She also follows tech and plays computer games. When Ranbir Kapoor asks her to put jeevansathi with him, she says K to him because she’s afraid he’ll ask her to stop working (which would result in her lifestyle moving from yuppie to lala).

The most interesting character is Ranbir Kapoor because his classification matches whichever woomaan he’s putting blade on. He starts the movie as a lala by being the rich son of a rich dad who goes on holiday to Switzerland and blades the lala Minissha Lamba. Then in the next segment he’s a video game designer which is a very hippie job. So he blades the hippie Bipasha Basu. Finally he gets promoted to senior management and has game designers reporting to him, and just tracks their progress, so he’s become a yuppie. In this part of the movie he puts blade on the yuppie Deepika Padukone.

I am not sure if the movie is a metaphor for how liberalisation forces lala family-owned businesses to professionalise and hire yuppie senior management. That sort of speculation is better left to people with columns in Sunday newspapers anyway.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

A Theory of Fraudness

March 4, 2008

You can approximate how fraud an MBA’s job is by looking at which Microsoft Office1 product he2 uses the most.

Excel indicates the least fraudity, because the MBA here is working with real data and numbers, and is close to the truth of a particular situation. These are the consultants who do actual number-crunching, market research junta, and quants (though of course quants will be using cooler stuff than Excel).

Word is more fraud, because it abstracts real information (numbers) into words, but is not quite as fraud. And given that there’s a lot of tacit knowledge floating about in organisations that it not easily converted to numbers, there are chances that the MBA is actually communicating real information when working in Word. As a commercial banker of repute, I am in this position.

PowerPoint is the pinnacle of fraudity. The MBA who works mostly in PowerPoint is doing nothing but converting real information into easily digested bullet points that lose all nuance. These MBAs are usually found in things like internal consulting and sales strategy. They convert the Excel sheets made by people doing real work into PowerPoint presentations made to clueless senior managers who refuse to analyze the data themselves.

1: There are other office suites besides Microsoft Office, but these are MBAs in the corporate world we’re talking about here. We can safely assume that the IT department has bought MS Office.
2: It could be he/ she, but again, this is the real world we’re talking about and in practice male MBAs outnumber female MBAs five to one (and that’s at IIMB). The female MBAs who do exist are of course equal to the males when it comes to putting fraud.