Monthly Archives: September 2014

Conundrum of Tu (you), Tum (you) & Aap (you)

If you have ever faced confusion on usage of Tu / Tum / Aap (English equivalent being ‘you’) while communicating with fellow people in Hindi, this blogpost will interest you. Wish it was as simple as ‘you’ in English which doesn’t factor the age / relation. Being well-versed with three regional languages (Tamil, Gujarati & Malayalam) and our national language (Hindi), I can safely claim regional languages are extremely comprehensive and create cognizance amongst communicators on usage of pronouns. One would realize this easily while using pronouns to address people. For the sake of wide comprehensibility, I would base this blogpost on Hindi vs English and share my real life encounter. Here is what I witnessed live with a close friend of mine being the protagonist in all situations.

Situation 1: He often uses ‘tu’ to address his friends. None of them take it as disrespect and are pretty fine with him.

Situation 2: He once uses ‘tu’ to address his colleague at office in front his colleague’s manager and quickly he is pointed out about this inappropriate usage.

Situation 3: He addressed the tea vendor by ‘tu’ where he ‘frequented daily’ and yet the vendor got offended which resulted in an argument.

As I witnessed all three situations, this strange animal ‘tu’ went deep into my mind and various questions started erupting. Personally, I do understand the difference of using tu/tum/aap and their equivalent in Tamil (Nee/Neenga) and Gujarati (tu/tame). But, researcher in me went ahead to understand the linguistics. Luckily, I came across this beautiful blogpost that differentiates all three in a very comprehensive manner. I started thinking, is it all about linguistics? Few of my past experiences forced me to deny this hypothesis. I later pondered if the usage of words or to be precise the pronouns depends on factors like – education, culture, societal surroundings of upbringing, etc. Though my friend is a well-educated one, I wondered why he used this pronoun across all three situations, which also landed him in trouble. Wasn’t it aware of it? Or Was he assuming everyone to be ‘close enough’ as mentioned in the blogpost referred by me? Or Was it just a carelessness? Many questions bothered me.

I am not criticizing or supporting any religion / culture here. However, I have often observed that Muslims, Rajasthanis, Sindhis make sure they use ‘aap’ even while addressing a one year old kid. Let’s talk about cultural differences. Same applies to people from Uttar Pradesh. I have noticed they are very particular in usage of ‘aap’. I have stayed for five years in Gurgaon and have rarely have seen the local people (Haryanwis) use ‘aap’. When I shifted from Ahmedabad to Gurgaon, it was a shocking surprise for me when even shopkeepers addressed their customers as ‘tu’. So, does culture play a role in how you address people?

Finally, does societal surrounding really affect the way you communicate? If it was true, then people who relocated from other parts of the country to Haryana, should start addressing people as ‘tu’. However, its not true either. I haven’t been ‘influenced’ by it and likewise haven’t seen any of my other colleagues who migrated to Haryana, getting influenced.

I know if I discuss this further, it would be an endless debate. I would conclude by just saying that respecting fellow human beings should be our priority. Need not bother whether we are meeting them for first time or they are our best pals, its always best to address with respect. You never know, when trouble might land you at crossroads!

The digital vein in me scratched my soul to check Google what does it translate ‘you’ to. It was indeed a relief to see the result.

Source: Google Translate

Source: Google Translate Launches Funny TVCs Yet Driving Strong Social Message has been one of my favourite online business model brands that has impressed me in recent times. They recently came up with two TVCs which has been going viral for quite sometime now. Though the pitch that brand made while launching these TVCs was that they are funny and highlighting their value proposition. However, I could also sense that these TVCs drive strong social message in a subliminal manner. In this blogpost, I will talk what’s so unique about their TVCs.

But, before that let me set the context by asking you all readers to think for a minute on brands that you remember have been successful to drive social message through their TVCs. I am sure many of you would recollect Tata Tea (Jaago Re campaign) or Idea (Latest campaign being ‘India ko no ullu banaowing’) or Titan (Remarriage campaign) and some of you would also relate to Amul’s billboards that try to cover the contemporary news. It has been a successful strategy for brands to leverage social message and build strong brand recall.

Let’s talk about how has tried to do the same. These are the two TVCs so far by the brand:

1) Hindu temple priest

2) Marriage event

Were you able to realize the social messages? If not, here is my take:

1) Hindu temple priest: Hindu is the predominant religion in India and people of this country have enormous faith in God. They consider the temple priests to be direct messengers of the God and blindly conduct whatever the priests ask them to do. One of the most common behavior of people visiting temples is to donate some cash on the puja plate. Some do it with the noble thought that this money would be utilized for temple’s development or the money would be used for a noble cause like feeding poor etc. However, many of them have a blind belief and enter into a cognitive deal with God that in case their wish gets fulfilled, they will donate X amount of money to the temple. Many prominent temples in this country earn crores of rupees in this manner. Some are well managed but, I am sure most of them have become a business model for so called wealthiest people around in the city / village.

I feel that this TVC highlights this area of corruption that is highly prevalent in this country and may be urges people to have a second thought before they blindly donate money to the temples.

2) Marriage event: Now, this is my favourite. Dowry, the hottest debate topic in India and also the most cruelest as it has led to many deaths. It is very well known that many women are tortured and even in worst case hacked to death in case her parents fail to provide the dowry that groom’s parents demand for. The situation depicted in this TVC is also one of the most emotional scenes in many Bollywood flicks. I feel this version tries to create an awareness amongst youth to avoid demanding dowry.

I feel these two TVCs have been a great output with best blend of highlighting social message and yet being funny for people to maintain interest. I won’t be surprised to see following themes in the future episodes of’s TVCs:

1) Kid and parent going to school / college for admission and the kid taking back few bucks as ‘cashback’ from the donation that parent pays to seek admission

2) A couple riding a bike being stopped by traffic policemen, husband paying bribe to get away fast and wife snatching back few notes as ‘cashback’

3) Jailor sneaking in few currency notes inside jail and taking ‘cashback’ from convicts

4) Youth being caught at airport by customs officer and the officer ‘earning cashback’ and allowing youth to sneak few products without paying custom duties

5) Election campaigner ‘taking cashback’ from the money that is given to voters (mostly a day before the election).

PS: This is not a sponsored blogpost. The promoters of do not have any clue about this blogpost, until they see it live.