Thursday, July 23, 2009

Get lucky

It was a nice, relaxed evening, and after we all had dinner, we went back to doing our own thing. I'm talking about my family, at home. I went back to my computer, so did almost everyone else. My folks started flipping channels on the good old TV, and this is practically a ritual. I would've done just about anything and gone to bed, except now my folks were calling me down with a great deal of excitement. Come, see, help, they said.

This particular channel had put up this picture of some headless celebrity wearing a snake-like diamond necklace, very choker-esque. I'd vaguely seen it somewhere before, and I guessed a bunch of names. All of us had vaguely seen it somewhere before. No prizes for guessing what the deal was- We had to guess the celebrity. But just getting through the line would mean you'd won 2500 Rupees, and guessing correctly- 50,000.

Yes, you read right. It is THAT much.

Now, we quickly moved from denial to confusion to excitement. I mean, come on! That's almost like distributing money! We even went beyond hazarding a few guesses, we googled it (GOD BLESS GOOGLE AND THE INTERNET) and found out who she was. There. Now, it was just a question of getting through.

You think we didn't know what a facade this was? We did. The channel happily aired footage of people calling, and guessing the worst guesses possible. We knew it was all fake, because our celeb is SO high profile that no one can miss her. No, really. A million phone calls, all of them guessing everyone but her, and in my country, she's one of the best known celebs around. There's NO WAY someone would miss her. So, this was a facade. A nice, big devilish money making scheme.

And the best part? Educated people like us who fully understand what a scheme the whole thing is STILL call anyway. Knowing that this is just a way for them to make millions of rupees while we try to get hold of 50,000. Knowing that all those calls on the screen were fake; we were never going to get through. Knowing that there wasn't a chance.

And yet, we did. Why? Because that's what we all want, deep down inside. We all want luck. It doesn't matter if it's packaged in a vial, a question, a lucky dip, a facade game show. We all want a strange yet delirious twist of fate to happily deposit riches and happiness into our laps, while we sit around and wait.

Wait, knowing that there isn't a chance. Wait, thinking that someone has to win. Wait, because we know someone who just happened to get lucky.
Wait, because we want to, too.

And that wait, that want, that need is the basis for SO many industries. We feed it. We clothe it, we want it, we create that demand.
And in this world of ups and downs, there's truly only one thing that we want. Our recession-proof desire. Luck. You think this desire increases only when we're going through bad times? Wake up and smell the freshly minted money from all this, folks. No matter how hard we work, no matter how much we try NOT to depend on it, we do.

And in my books, that dependence is vindicated.

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