Saturday, October 25, 2014

#SayItWithCoke




Excuse crappy picture quality

A message regarding a surprise for you and your friends. You are asked to give them the Twitter handles of your five besties on Twitter. I would have ignored the message completely, except I knew the person who sent me the message and even though it reminded me of those pranks where an app asks for your crushes and then those names are sent to one of your friends, I was supposed to give names of my closest friends on Twitter. No way can that be one of those childish pranks. So I filled the form and truth be told, forgot about it after that.

Then another message, this time about the surprise itself and of course I agreed to attend without considering how awkward and asocial I am at social gatherings. I went for the event and loved it. It was fun and the people were super nice and awesome. I met new people. I got a bottle with my Twitter handle on it and I got a few bottle to give my friends too. So they too get a bottle with their Twitter handle on it.





Criticism (of other people)


How is it a #TweepsSurprise if only a selected few were invited?

I’m quite sure there are more than a thousand Tweeps who live in and around Colombo. Even if only 25% are active on social media, that’s still 250 people. This is a large number and obviously, not all of them can be invited for an event of this scale. But it’s not only about how many can be invited. If everyone got a bottle with their name on it, those bottles won’t be as special as they are now. It might be unfair that only a few people were invited but can you really expect Coca Cola to hold an event for all tweeps and give them all bottles with their names on it?

The event was also not for the 'cool crowd.' I'm not saying the people invited weren't cool. They were. But I was invited, and an event I was invited to is definitely not limiting it to the 'cool crowd.' Stop thinking there are these cliques in Twitter. There are groups of friends because they hangout in real life. But none of them are big-headed Tweeps with a 'we are cooler than you' attitude. They are simple, fun-loving and nice. The only person who has an attitude problem is he who keeps throwing a fit every time there is some gathering of Tweeps.

Yes, this is a bottle of glue.Use it to seal your lips.
“I’m not cool enough for a coke bottle with my name on the label so I’ll just write my name on a bottle of coconut oil”

Two words: Grow up!

Why are you being silly and childish? Okay, so you may think it's a fun thing to do. Write your name on a bottle and join the crowd. It’s all for fun right? But no. Those pictures were accompanied by tweets that were lame, childish and immature. Most of them were another way of saying, “I wasn’t part of this. I’m jealous and pissed and feeling left out and this is my way of telling myself that I’m not bothered by the fact that 1. I wasn’t invited to the event and 2. No one thinks I’m a close friend on Twitter.”

I would have loved to tell these people to write their name on a bottle of poison but I don’t promote suicide.


If your name was on a label, it's because someone considered you to be a close friend. Clearly, your angry tweets about having your name on a label is going to make them reconsider their choice of friends. Appreciate the gesture, dude. You may not drink coke. You may not promote it, but this doesn't mean you need to shout like a lunatic about how the company is infringing your rights by using your Twitter handle to promote a product you don't even use. I rarely drink coke, I don't exactly promote it. But I'm over the moon about the fact that there's a bottle with my Twitter handle on it. And I'm happy the people who I considered to be close friends are also happy (or are at least not throwing a tantrum) about the labels with their Twitter handles on them.


Campaign was a failure

No! It was an amazing idea and this is coming from someone who dislikes PR companies and promotional events of this sort. I got to meet so many people and even though I’m awkward and can’t speak much with people, I enjoyed the event. And I now have a label with my Twitter handle on it and I got to be part of this amazing idea of Coca Cola Sri Lanka. Coke won’t have bottles in Sri Lanka with names on them. Disappointing, right? We see those posts by people in other countries about all these cool campaigns or projects or whatever they are called done by companies. We get nothing of that sort. But Coke has come up with an idea that is truly Sri Lanka. A few weeks ago, someone tweeted asking about the last time we told our parents we love them. It made me realize it’s not something we do over here. We rarely tell people how we really feel and now, we can do that with coke bottles. And the best part is, there are bottles with Sinhala and Tamil phrases too, so regardless of who you are talking with and what language you use, you can #SayItWithCoke.


And finally, thank you to the organizers. You guys are awesome :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Marriage isn't a barrier to love?

I’ve heard people, both male and female, say that marriage isn’t a barrier to love, meaning that if you love someone and they love you, their marital status isn’t an issue. Marriage maybe good, bad, happy, unhappy, but it is still marriage. It might be just a signature on a piece of paper, but that contract binds you to another person. Regardless of the ceremony you had or didn’t have, you are married and that is much more than how much you love each other. Marriage provides security. It’s a way to ensure your future will be taken care of. That you will have a home, food on the table, someone to take care of you and a family. You may not love each other, it may have been an arranged marriage, but you decided to take this person as your spouse and now, you’ve met someone else and you want to just chuck that life you built in the bin?
It is easy for some people. Just sign the divorce papers, take your stuff and leave. Pay whatever you have to. Wash your hands off that family. Pay a visit every now and then, if that’s necessary. But what about the person who doesn’t want the divorce, who isn’t the reason for the divorce?

The spouse
She agreed to marriage and she agreed to a future together, with you. She had dreams of growing old together, dying in each other’s arms. These may seem like silly dreams, but honestly, it’s what I would think of when getting married. If you aren’t looking for a lifelong partner, DO NOT GET MARRIED! It’s as easy as that. Don’t mislead people, don’t cheat and betray them. Just don’t. So that lady who thought her future was in good hands finds out her husband is thinking of leaving her and at the moment of confirmation, especially when she hears him say it or when she signs those papers and hears the judge’s verdict, her entire life crumbles to the ground.
And it’s the same for the man who thought he’ll be with his wife forever. It’s not only about saying goodbye to a person, you are also saying goodbye to a life, to a future.
Now think about his/her self-esteem. They realize they aren’t good enough, they doubt themselves. They blame themselves. And when they see you with your new family, it crushes them because that was supposed to be your life. And now, you have been replaced.

The kids
Once someone told me that when a couple gets divorced, the break up is between the couple and the kids aren’t involved. Okay so you get married, you have kids, you decide to get divorced and then the kids aren’t given a thought about? Who gets custody of them? Who pays for their needs and wants? Do they agree to this arrangement? What do they think about it?
I don’t know if this happens to others as well, but let me tell you that, your parents getting a divorce can really screw you up. I started losing trust in men; I started doubting myself, wondering if a man could ever love me enough to never leave me. I realized I had to be independent, have a steady income, a house of my own. I had to merely listen to my friends talk about funny or loving things their fathers do and just smile, I never had stories like that I could share with them. And I was small, young. I should have been having my first crushes, reading and having fun with my friends. Instead, I was keeping secrets from them, dodging awkward questions because for some reason, it felt like I no longer had a ‘normal’ family. And when friends came over, having to explain why your house was empty of any of your father’s stuff, that wasn’t at all fun.
It still hurts. To see him being a better uncle than a father. To see how he has replaced the role Amma played in his life. To see how someone else was living the life we should be living. It shoots daggers through my heart. I think, you can move on when a friend or boy/girlfriend breaks your heart. But when a parent does that? You can’t just forget that, you can’t move on.
(I’m not blaming him or calling him a bad father. He never completely disappeared but he was never there when I needed him the most. And you may think you are merely choosing a new spouse, but to your children, it feels like you are choosing a whole new family. It makes them feel worthless.)

The family
Forget the spouse and kids. Think of your in-laws. Your decision to leave your wife means a split of the families. And try as they might, it’s difficult for the in-laws to be together again. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. But more than that, the spouse who was left behind? He/she is suddenly without anything. Her family, parents or siblings, have to take care of her. They have to help her; they have to make sure she doesn’t crumble to the ground. All because you didn’t know what you wanted in life, all because you didn’t bother to see if you were compatible, all because your priorities are screwed up, all because you couldn’t remain faithful.

Society
In Sri Lanka, telling people you are divorced or your parents are divorced is something you’d rather avoid. It’s awkward and often, hurtful. They pity you and that’s something you don’t want.
Below is a conversation I’ve had just too many times
Me: Actually, my parents aren’t together.
A: What do you mean?
Me: They are divorced. And he married again
A: Oh! I’m so sorry to hear that
Why are you sorry? I don’t need your pity. Your pity won’t bring back that family that is complete. In school, when we were taught about families, there was the nuclear family and the extended family. What happened to the single-parent family? Why didn’t our text books include that lesson?

Dear men and women,
If you decide to get married, make that marriage last. Don’t cheat, don’t be unfaithful. Don’t ever seduce or be in a relationship with a married person.


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