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  Opinion   Columnists  21 Oct 2023  Krishna Shastri | On disrupting the worlds of film, business & hospitality

Krishna Shastri | On disrupting the worlds of film, business & hospitality

Krishna Shastri Devulapalli is a humour writer, novelist, columnist and screenwriter
Published : Oct 22, 2023, 12:11 am IST
Updated : Oct 22, 2023, 12:09 pm IST

So here are three copyright-free ideas that my readers belonging to the movie industry, the hospitality sector, or just any business.

I propose the concept of a Buffet Disapprover.  It's a guy who follows people as they load their plates to the brim, casting disapproving looks alternately at their plates and their faces. (Image: Storyset by Freepik)
 I propose the concept of a Buffet Disapprover. It's a guy who follows people as they load their plates to the brim, casting disapproving looks alternately at their plates and their faces. (Image: Storyset by Freepik)

Wherever I go, I’m hearing the word disruption. If one wants to make a difference, apparently, one has to ‘disrupt’ the way things are being done, break old formulae, change set patterns, get off beaten paths.

Every once in a while, my altruistic side kicks in, and I decide that I’ve done enough lame humour pieces that don’t really help anyone; it is time I give back to society via this column.

So here are three copyright-free ideas that my readers belonging to the movie industry, the hospitality sector, or just any business, for that matter, can incorporate freely and fearlessly. Thank me later.

First and foremost, the movies, obviously. Here’s an idea whose time has come.

Adorable, stylish Mahesh Babu/Allu Arjun/Vijay/Dhanush-type NRI boy (settled in the US/UK/Australia/Sub-Saharan Africa, take your pick) comes back to his native village with one purpose: to break up his big old joint family. His sole aim is to change the mindset of the pathologically parasitic, evidently jobless members of his extended family, who – when they’re not living off the fat of the land –gather in the monstrous family living room dressed in garish clothes, to serve up the occasional aphorism or be background dancers for the hero–heroine’s duets.

In a rousing climactic speech, with the help of a nifty PPT presentation, the protagonist shows the idiot family that all that they’ve been doing so far is mixing up co-dependence with togetherness, and persuades everyone that each nuclear family unit should go in search of its own destiny and file individual returns. The film ends with everyone going off in different directions to live lives of individualism and self-reliance, and the hero getting some much deserved space.

Provisional Titles: Vidipodham, Po! (Telugu)

Yedathe Gaali Pannu, Da! (Tamil)

The idea of going to an office has forever fascinated me. Probably because I’ve never lasted more than a week in one. And it surprises me that motivational posters that you see at places of work haven’t changed that much from my time to now.

They are all about sweat, toil, trying again and again till you succeed, how the sky is the limit, how there is no 'I' in Team, etc, etc.

And let me assure you, I've never once seen workers in any of these offices – sitting forlornly at their desks, right under these posters – look like they’ve ever paid heed to these platitudinous messages and improved their output.

Which leads me to think that what might work, and this hasn't been tried (disruption, remember?), is posters with more truthful messages.

Such as –

“You're a loser. We hired you because, being greedy, your piddly salary was all we were willing to part with.”

“Work if you wish. Or not. We are all going to die anyway.”

“No one cares about you. No one cares about us. No one cares.”

“Keep it mediocre. That's your strong suit.”

“Cut corners. No one will notice. Because our product is s**t to begin with.”

“We will fire you. It's only a matter of time.”

“All of us are in the same boat. And we are rowing up s**t creek.”

“If the cops come, run.”

I have a feeling they have a much better chance of working than all those King Bruce and the Spider type quotes.

***

Finally and inevitably, the food industry. I dread buffets. And there's no way you can avoid them because, sometimes they come free with the stay and, at other times, ordering à la carte when there's a buffet becomes a nightmare.

The mayhem and greed of seemingly civilized, educated (and by no stretch, deprived) people at these affairs has caused me so much trauma that I see myself as a buffet survivor.

I've come up with an idea that will serve hotels, people like me (I'm sure they exist), and the average buffet enthusiast (even though he may not agree now) in the long run.

Hospitality folk who follow me, this is yours for the taking.

I propose the concept of a Buffet Disapprover.

It's a guy who follows people as they load their plates to the brim, casting disapproving looks alternately at their plates and their faces. When diners go for second and fifth helpings, the Buffet Disapprover shakes his head and says things like 'Really? You think that's wise? Why don't you drink a glass of water instead?'

The Buffet Disapprover will also hover around tables as people are wolfing their way through another overflowing plate and read out quotes about gluttony, sing songs about greed, all the while throwing sad, semi-contemptuous looks at the diners. 

Once in a while, on the PA system, he will announce in a gentle yet firm voice 'Enough. That is enough, madam. Yes, you in the blue kaftan and goggles. We have it from reliable sources that we are not going to have a famine any time soon. And, you, sir, in the shorts, with your rear cleavage visible. Show some mercy on those poor kebabs. Haven't they been through enough already?'

Tags: film set, powerpoint, humour