Saturday, July 30, 2016

42 inch 4K TV and life choices

Couple of months back one of my colleagues, lets call him Vijay, purchased a 42 inch Ultra HD 4K television set. It cost him around INR 70 k. When I inquired him on the reason for this indulgence, he sported a wide smile and replied, "I want to live life king-size. What is life if you don't enjoy it".

Vijay is not alone. He is part of a growing section of the society who are unapologetic about their spending patterns. They purchase the latest electronic gadgets, shop every other weekend in branded stores and fly wherever they want. Of course, why shouldn't they? After all its their hard earned money; they have every right to spend it as they seem fit.

I pressed Vijay further on what programs he intend to watch on his new favorite gadget. His face contorted a bit, clearly annoyed at such an irrelevant question. If there was a machine which could translate facial expressions to words, it would have certainly read out - does it even matter what I watch; everything will look good on this. But he controlled his thoughts, paused to think for a while, and casually uttered, "I guess cricket will look cool on this. I will watch a few IPL games. Also, the animal channels. It would be such a thrill to watch a Leopard chasing a Deer in 4K"

I ran into Vijay a month later. I asked him how his TV watching experience was coming along. He replied that the TV is great and the images are so clear that he can count wrinkles on an old person's face. In fact, after he bought the TV he recorded a show featuring an old lady and replayed the show regularly to see the old lady's wrinkled face! But off late he wasn't getting any time to watch the TV; office work and other important tasks - like sleeping - occupied most of his time.

This incident lead me to think - is there a better way to lead life than what Vijay so eloquently put 'king-size' ? Agreed, that watching a lousy program on a 42 inch 4K  TV is way better than watching the same program on a 32 inch TV, but why are our choices restricted to just upgrading the TV? If Vijay wanted to enhance his TV watching experience, a more logical choice would have been to watch a better program, isn't it?
Given that he had 70K to spend, could he have bought DVDs of some classic movies or TV shows? Could he have subscribed to some online streaming movie sites? Could he have opted for some paid channel where he could watch the programs he liked? And if he was never the TV-watching type, could he have just spent the 70K on something else; something which would have bought him genuine joy and happiness? Did he even think on these lines?

I think that is one of our main problems. We only think of upgrading to 42 inch 4k TV, never think about changing the programs we watch. We commute to our mundane jobs on a Maruti Alto and aspire to commute to the same mundane job in a Honda city, but don't think about the option of going to our dream job in a metro. We live in a 2 BHK apartment and aspire to own a two storied independent house, but don't give any thought on how to live in these concrete structures.

As I walked out of my house with these thoughts in mind, I was startled by the guffawing coming from my neighbor's apartment.From the ajar door I could see that my neighbors - two bachelors in their late 20's - were watching the superhit hindi comedy movie "Hera Pheri". One of them - Narayana - was laughing so heartily that he almost fell off his chair.
They were watching the movie on a 15 inch non HD laptop. I wonder if they would have laughed any louder had they watched the movie in a 4K HD TV set !