Spoilt for choice

If you want to buy a car, there are reliable Japanese brands such as Suzuki, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Korean brand Hyundai, American Ford and Chevrolet ( who has since decided to call it a day in India) and whole lot of European brands viz. Mercedes, Audi, Skoda, BMW, Porsche, Lamborghini, Renault and of course our very own Tata and Mahindra. If you want a bike, again you have Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha and our own Hero, Bajaj, TVS and ever loveable Enfield. And this is true for almost every thing – there are more than 50 major brands of soaps, at least 10 major toothpastes, 15 shampoos, several edible oils, haircare, TVs, Mixers and refrigerators. At the last count, you have a choice of more than 1000 TV channels, including all regional channels.

Rewind it to not too far off but say early and mid 80s. We had Ambassador and Fiat, Rajdoot and Yezdi, Bajaj and Lambretta ( or Vijay Super) , Colgate, Binaca and Forhans, Lux, Lifebuoy and Hamam and Dalda and Rath. And for entertainment, there was Doordarshan. Neither there were means to buy things nor any great choice! Yet, life was more peaceful and fewer materialistic choices meant greater investment in relationships!

We are spoilt for choice of things but very poor in relationships. It’s me, my wife and my children and of course my swanky home, luxurious car, state of the art cell phone, highly paid job and globe trotting! But parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, friends are all in contact through WhatsApp communication on birthdays, anniversaries and select festivals !

Can we invest a little less in materials and little more in relationships? Let’s for once be spoilt for choice in a different realm.

4 thoughts on “Spoilt for choice

  1. Respected Sir, I eagerly await your next piece of writing as these come out of full of your goodeelf precious experience and experiment. This time yourself have portrayed how society move and lose bearings; I take my example in reality i do not need 1000 TV channel but I step ahead to become mere surfer to find what content these air; shortlist my stuff and lateron time approaches when i have absorbed sizable content of my selected TV programmes but I astonish to see new world of Netflix or Amazon Prime in offing. This have eaten almost 50 % of life hours which were otherwise to be spent at relationships. I am sure that time will come for 10000 TV channels (like apps) and I won’t be able to surf even and Kaal Chakra will not stop. Therefore after reading Your Goodself writing, I realize to turn back first to relationships and not to be spolit.


    1. But the fact remains that you still take some time out to read my blogs that goes on to show that your heart is in right place. Call up your friends and relatives once in a while. The problem is that even they are caught in this Kaalchakra! Thanks for encouraging me to write more and better


  2. Thanks for this perspective, Dada. Very interesting read!
    Infact, research studies have shown that people like to have choices, but as the number of options increases, so does the level of complexity of decision making, hence leaving the person overwhelmed, paralyzed and unable to make a decision. I’ve faced this myself when on the rare weekend nights that C2 sleep early, and Rahul and I armed with a TV remote, settle down to finally watch a movie on Netflix or Prime. And we surf and surf “in the hope of finding something better” only to realize that an hour has passed and it’s time to sleep and that we’ve not watched anything!

    I remember reading about a research study where participants had to choose from a selection of Godiva chocolates. One group was given a limited selection of 6 chocolates to choose from, while the second group was given an extensive selection of 30 chocolates to choose from. While the second group (30 choices) found the selection process more enjoyable, what’s surprising is that they were LESS satisfied with the outcome and more prone to feelings of regret and low confidence, than the first group.
    And this is in a low risk situation (since choosing a wrong chocolate doesn’t have far reaching or major implications!)
    So it goes on to prove that abundance of choices can actually end up being demotivating.
    I’ve pondered over this both as a manager/leader and lately, as a parent. We grew up with limited means. Toys, gifts, pocket money etc were alien concepts. On my birthday, Ma used to stitch a new dress for me from a roll of cloth (bought at a wholesale discount) and make my favorite dish for lunch . And that was the birthday treat, and boy, it was a big deal! Birthday parties were friends coming over and eating a home-baked cake, Uncle Chips wafers and 10 Rs pineapple pastries bought from a local store. My first wristwatch was a gift from my grandfather at the age of 15 when I topped my 10th Board exams. Kids of today get watches at the age of 2-3 years, Hamley’s toys and what not (my kids included). This is a big dilemma for me as a parent where I struggle to make things available to my children (which I didn’t have access to, as a child) yet ensure that this abundance of choices doesn’t make them lose sight of the fact that happiness lies in relationships, not objects.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s