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So, dear friend, who is an "observant spectator" ? Okay, you don't want to know but would much rather fill the form, submit it instantly, and be done with it?
Fine, we heard you. Click here to reach the form, without reading the 'essay' below.
You say, "Hey, I've submitted the completed form, but I still wanna read the 'essay' " ? A-ha!
So, we take it you really do want to read and enjoy the following 'semi-rant'. Pal, no offense. Just sharing thoughts openly, thinking aloud.
In our view, anyone who exhibits the following traits or attributes qualifies to be an "observant spectator".
To be sure, such a person is a proud, well-meaning, middle-class/salaried-class Indian.
Only, the person sometimes unconsciously tends to be a bit introverted, or shy, or commitment-phobic, or very busy-busy, or eternally sceptical/cynical…. You get the drift.
Sometimes, the person unconsciously tends to be dismissive or doubtful about any new ideas or initiatives spearheaded by his/her peers.
Or, he/she is just resistant to any such ideas. He/she couldn’t care less. He/she doesn’t give them a chance to succeed. He/she pre-judges them as well as the initiative. He/she suspects motives. He/she sees hidden agendas. He/she allows old prejudice or biases or dislikes to continue to color his/her current perceptions.
Sometimes, he/she may even unconsciously, secretly, wish they fail, and fail miserably at that, just so that he/she could derive sadistic pleasure of claiming, “See, I told you they would fail…”
Or, like many typical middle-class/salaried-class Indians, sometimes, he/she unconsciously tends to approach any cause for larger good with a selfish sense of “What’s in it for me?”, or “What’s the big deal?”, or “What’s the fuss about?”, or “How is this different/better than that?”. Or, worse: "Why should I join and offer my views? That would only strengthen them, which is not my goal."
He/she just doesn’t want to disturb or disrupt his/her existing lifestyle or existential pattern. He/she doesn’t want to try out new things. He/she is happy in his/her comfort zone.
Or, he/she fears being caught out on the wrong foot. Or he/she fears “getting exposed” or being perceived as any of the following: an ordinary speaker who is not eloquent or articulate; an extremist; ignoramus; a bully; a timid person; a show-off or a pseudo-intellectual. So, it's better to be in the background, safer to be passive.
Or, he/she thinks he/she is not confident. He/she thinks he/she has low self-esteem (in his/her own view, he/she is a dud).
Or, he/she is just envious or jealous: "Oh, this is the thing I'd have loved to initiate. But they have beaten me. So, I won't cooperate, come what may, no matter what."
Or, he/she is just plain snobbish, pseudo-elitist. He/she wants to be perceived as a very busy VIP type of person who does not have time for trivial things, “faalthu initiatives”, or “futile attempts” because his/her time, every second of it, is very, very precious.
Or, actually, it’s the other way round: he/she has time for trivial, ultimately inconsequential things, but tends to chicken out of really useful or serious activities.
Or, he/she has this notion in the head that somehow he/she is royalty, a cut above his/her peers, and hence everyone must treat him/her like, well, royalty. Or else, there will be total indifference, or participation will be made conditional -- "either my way or the highway" ... or, this: "You listen to me. Do what I tell you. You know nothing. Your ideas are old, impractical, unreal. Otherwise, go to hell. Am out of this. If you want me to be part of this, you'd better do what I tell you. Else, bye, bye."
Or, he/she expects everything to be simple, easy, uncomplicated, layman-friendly – any perceived technology-related challenges scare the bejesus out of him/her, and he/she would rather steer clear of such stuff, including video conferences ("Gosh, I don't know how to download, install and use an app").
Or, he/she just doesn’t care. He/she wants to be left alone. He/she wants to do what he/she has been doing all his/her life. No one can convince or persuade him/her. He/she won’t even make an effort to apply his/her mind even for a second to a new idea. He/she has laser-like focus on what he/she thinks are his/her priorities. Nothing, not even the prospect of disappointing his/her buddies with his/her indifference, can distract him/her from the "priorities" and "practical concerns" of "day-to-day life".
Or, he/she is afraid of taking the plunge, and would rather test waters first before making up his/her mind. He/she loves to play it safe. Caution is his/her watchword.
Well, well, well. To be fair, he/she is genuinely unable to join NRI-Natter for wholly valid and acceptable reasons... To reiterate, an "observant spectator" is an honorable person too -- a proud, well-meaning, middle-class/salaried-class Indian.
Okay, enough! Whatever be the reason why a friend chooses to be an "observant spectator", whichever of the reasons listed above applies to you, it doesn’t matter. We still believe you are priceless. Your views are invaluable. Your participation would be worth its weight in gold.
That’s why we respect you. Your support, backing, encouragement will mean a world to us. So, here’s the deal: you can stay in the background and just watch the proceedings, without anyone else noticing you. As non-participating observer, you are free to get a sense of what’s going on, without being in the thick of action. You can make up your mind at your own pace. And once you do that, then you can decide whether or not to upgrade yourself to a full, active member of NRI-Natter.
So, dear friend, as you can see, there’s no escape for you now. Come on, be a sport, fill up the form below and convey your willingness to be an “observant spectator” for the time being. We’ll be delighted. Make our day. We’ll make yours.