Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Walk when you talk

What an idea sirji? Indeed, what an idea. Walk when you talk. The Idea mobile advertisement is probably getting the attention of a substantial part of television viewers in India because of its positioning with what is a reality in India. In a country which may have close to 57 million diabetics by 2025, walking is definitely one thing which could turn the tide.

Go to any doctor and whatever your ailment you can bet that the doctor will tell you to start walking for at least 20 minutes a day and then increase that to 40-45 minutes. “Start walking. It’s good for you”, is a familiar piece of advice that many can hear in both glossy, vitrified-tiled, air-conditioned hospitals and sweaty, fan aerated and cemented clinics.

So everyone is walking. Be it old men and women, with low priced canvas shoes and sports shoes worth thousands of rupees, and younger women and men competing in waving hands and marching ahead, early in the morning or in the evening, India is walking. Reebok, Adidas, Puma and Action are smiling.

As a priest, I can’t help thinking of whether my congregation members are walking and if they are, shouldn’t I too? Because it is one of the best times to talk to them. Talk one on one and also to a group. The only thing is that I can’t stop. Because I have to walk when I talk!

Idea mobile has hit the nail on it’s head. Just like they did with advertisements which suggested that they were the way to get India’s schools to the villages. Positioning ourselves near a reality, makes us a part of the reality. So far as we can even use the reality to our benefit. Just as we use the reality of God and concepts like poverty and education to our own benefit. ( Idea even has a site for us to enter the time we have spoken on the mobile and then that is converted to the calories we could have lost if we had walked while we talked. See http://www.walkwhenyoutalk.co.in/home.html )

It is thus a reality that Indians are walking and walking more than ever. Idea mobile has thus positioned itself next to this reality and in the process stands to gain out of this reality. Whether the two (a mobile and walking) have anything to do with each other is another matter. Whether the mobile service provider wants to engage the problems related with walking and education also stand unanswered. For the time being, many of us who watch television will be humming…walk n talk, walk n talk, walk n talk…walk when you talk…what an idea?