Weighty Issues ……

Come festive season and the daily newspapers get packed with innumerable advertisements. You name it and it is there — jewellery, food products, clothes brands, home appliances – electronics, eateries, home décor, malls and supermarts, bridal trousseau ….. the list is endless. And not to forget the full page glossies of the builders and their ‘irresistible’ festive offers!

So many advertisements, that someone can easily do a Ph.D. on it and there wouldn’t be any dearth of research material — reams and reams of papers are utilized just for this one purpose. Pick up any daily with its supplements and you can get sufficient data to accomplish the research in one newspaper.

So many varieties and innovations! You keep turning pages after pages in hope of finding some article and all you get is ads and more ads. Even the articles could be anything but that; many eateries and malls go for paid articles — so once again it is nothing but an ad. You find some celebrity posing with various brands and products and gushing how it is so convenient to find everything under one roof!

Of course, in this age of stiff competition, every trick in the book is essential for running — and winning — the game of business.

But one gets to hear that the reading habit in general is on the wane because of the boom in the audio-visual media. So I wonder whether people really do refer to these ‘n’ number of ads in the print media?

This is an era of on-line shopping — and it is catching up really fast, mainly because of its convenience. So, with the numerous established and sprouting on-line shopping portals, is there any relevance of the ads in print media? ….. Or, may be because of the onslaught of this new-age shopping, it has become a must for the businesses to take their products to the common person via print media.

I am not much of a shopper, so I may not understand the value of these advertisements. But my neighbour  does often borrow the thick supplement (the thicker the supplement, the happier she is) to search for latest sales in nearby malls. So I guess there is a market for these ads.

Whatever may be the reason or the result of the advertisements in the newspapers, it ends up bulking up the volume of the daily paper.

Believe it or not, this was the stack of newspapers and its supplements that we received this morning.

If this is the thickness of the material to be delivered at one doorstep, imagine how much bulk the paper boy must be carrying to deliver the dailies to all the apartments on his route! How much weight would he be lugging from one apartment to another!

It is also more time consuming for the paper boy, as the stack doesn’t get easily tucked in the door grill or door handle. As it fell off outside the door, he said apologetically, “It is so thick, no! It doesn’t stay in place and falls off due to the weight….”
Apologising for something that is not his fault. And does he get any Diwali bonus for his extra efforts?

Everybody from A to Zee marks their presence at the doorstep during Diwali. Even the people who hardly do any service (for which they get paid) also linger around for ‘Bakshish’ or tip. But in so many years of paper-reading, I’ve never seen a paper boy approaching for a tip during Diwali.

And to think that they deliver our daily dose of news, scandals, entertainment, ads, all 365 days of the year — be it rain or sunshine. When we browse through pages and pages to spot a ‘Sale’ that is most suitable for us, do we spare a small thought to the boy who delivered those reams in our  hands?

Looking at the volume of a daily newspaper, I guess the paper boy does deserve a consideration this Diwali.


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