Thursday, February 18, 2010

Perfection

SCENE 1

A client reviews a newly designed poster, made by the designer according to the client's instructions.

Client: Its not quite what it should be.. I feel.. no, I am almost sure there is something missing
Designer: I will try adding better pictures, ones with more colours
Client: Hmm
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Client: Um hm, We are getting there, but not there yet. (After a long contemplating pause) Come on Reg, give me your all. We need the perfectly designed poster. Tell me, what are you going to do about this?
Designer: The tagline? I will work on that
Client: Yes, that too..but we need more. It needs to pack more punch. You know what I mean?
Designer: (nods)
.
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Client: There is only one thing I can tell you Reg. Its not perfect yet. I need perfection. got that?
Designer: hm (uncertainly) which part of the poster you want changed?
Client: Am I to tell you that? Is that not your work? Give me the result, dont ask me for details. Why else am I paying you?
.
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Client: This is your best? I cant believe this.. After four weeks of work, this is what I get??
No No! this cant go on.
----------------------- END OF SCENE 1 ----------------------
SCENE 2

He had been searching for a simple pair of jeans. You might think it is easy to get, but no, he just could not find the right one. He tried at all the major stores in the city. The one that came closest to his liking was a Levi's pair, but that still needed alterations which the store offered to do, but he refused. He just did not see any sense in paying Rs.3000 for a pair of jeans that needed alterations! An altered one is never the original one.

After months of searching, he chances upon one hanging in a dingy shop in spencers plaza. He tries it on, and in that instance, he knew, he just knew that it is perfect. He finds it hard to believe that he had to look for months, MONTHS, to find this!

He is furious! He demands an explanation! Why the hell doesnt the other stores just stock up the perfect jeans??

Why you ask? Well, let me explain. He knows, very well that it was THE perfect jeans. So, it should be available everywhere. He doesnt understand why these other stores keep all those other ill fitting jeans. Its quite simple, no rocket science. all they need to do is get rid of all the other stock and keep on the shelves only the prefect jeans! Now isnt that only logical?

------------- END OF SCENE 2. CURTAINS DOWN--------------

The most over rated entity in all walks of life and work. "Perfection"

My salute to all professionals whose work is based on other people's definition of perfection. Rarely will there be a perfect unison of the expected deliverable and the actual output.

Is it really necessary that I agree with you on the exact definition of perfection? You have your own definition, I respect that, but I have mine. and if that fits with yours perfectly, there is a good chance that you are looking back at me from a mirror.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

12 angry men

How much can you enjoy a black and white movie of 1.5 hours when all you see in it is the inside of a dingy room, and the faces of 12, not very attractive men taking turns talking, and only talking? My answer is - enormously, if the movie is '12 Angry men'

A classic like no other, the movie surprises you into total attention as it starts narrating the story. It can be viewed as a movie with a social message or one that analyses human behavior, whichever way it is looked at, you would be convinced that it is a masterpiece.

It starts in a courtroom where the judge, bored after hearing a long trial, sends the 12 jurors to a closed room to make their final votes and decide whether to send the 18 year old accused to the electric chair on the charge that he killed his father. There is only one condition, the vote has to unanimous. 'Guilty' or 'Not guilty', all the jurors have to take the same stand.

At the preliminary vote, all but one man is sure of the guilt of the young boy. One against eleven, this man is also not sure that the boy is innocent, but only that his conscience does not allow him to send a fellow to death without first talking about it and feeling sure of the guilt. So eleven jurors, set about convincing the only guy who does not agree with them so that they can all go home soon.

The central character (the one who does not say 'guilty' yet), an architect, a man of no imposing personality, but mild and even slightly shy in his body language, almost uncertainly runs a campaign just to reach the right decision. As the movie moves from scene to scene, the viewer gets a good look at the various kinds of men and their way of thinking. Every single one of them remind you of one or other person you have met, worked with, been associated with in some or the other way. A facts guy - give him the facts and he is by you. A thinker - hurts his head thinking and digging so that he does the right thing. An indifferent guy - whatever happens in the world, he stays unaffected to the last. A few more such as a self observed guy, a guy with prejudices against sections of people, another who is never assertive even when provoked etc

Closed in a room with facts, prejudices, indifferences, genuine concerns and other emotions, the same men who strongly believed at the start of the movie that the accused was indeed guilty, laboriously reach the final verdict of 'not guilty'. The how is the essence of the movie.

If I say more about it (havent I already?), I would be ruining the fun of watching the movie for you. do grab a DVD and watch it. Its a very old movie, you may find it difficult to get in the store, but try your best. Its worth every minute of its running time.

People make such masterpieces once in a while, and thats why we watch cinemas