Apples, Traffic Signals, and the Male Species

April 9, 2009 at 13:12 | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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Sri’s decided that she’d give her imaginative muscles a break, and get me to do the thinking and writing. My sincere apologies for delay; this guest post was supposed to come on last week. My name is Arjun, and I feel privileged and honored to be a guest blogger here. The Sloppy Chronicles is gaining a good bunch of readers and why shouldn’t it? The author’s ability to exaggerate mundane acts like getting into the wrong bus or playing down relatively serious events is not very common, and I want to recognize that here. As someone suggested, “It feels like a female Chetan Bhagat.” Yep, it does Sri.

You know how we have these T-shirts during college fests, right? Like much of rock music, these T-shirts are designed by guys and girls under a heavy influence of marijuana. The guys designing the T-shirts are so obsessed with belting out that perfectly-uber-cool-design-that-makes-everyone-go-Wow! that it ends up being mediocre to stupid in most cases. The catch lines, the images, the layout: kids who are hooked on to How I met your mother think that they can outdo the designers at Tantra, or equal the class of Benetton.

In my engineering school I had seen some really bad T-shirts come out during the fests. The colours were all wrong and the material was rag like. Worse still, the price was way too much (the secretaries always felt like the margins from T-shirt sales could fund 3 nights of liquor). But all that never bothered me as much as the graphics on the shirt. In my first November cul fest in college, the catch line on the T-shirt said “NIT-H rocks and … (with an underline).” This corny line was supposed to imply that NIT-H (the name of the college) rocked and that was the bottom-line, WWE style. The humour that came through was dry-to-slapstick at best and never really amounted to much pride for the wearer. We bought them because the shirt had the name of the college displayed on it, and we hoped that people would notice it in trains during the vacation journeys and think highly of us. As the years rolled, the designs kept getting more ridiculous and dumb.

And then, when I became one of the 6 secretaries of the fest I thought exactly what my predecessors had thought: My team will give the best T-shirt this college has ever seen and will ever see. In our team meetings, we discussed as to how people would love our shirts and would go days on end without ever taking it off. Our T-shirt was to be designed around one central idea – if somebody walked into a store and saw this fest t-shirt displayed, they would pick it up because it was attractive. Easier to say than to do!

There were 5 guys and 1 girl in the group of secretaries, and like with all student secretaries, nobody liked us. But we come up with this design:

The front of the T-shirt had on the chest area three little boxes in a row. The first box was red in colour with the image of a white apple in it. The second box (the middle one) was orange with an image of an apple bitten off from the top right. The third box was green in colour with a picture of an apple eaten fully and the stem remaining. So here you have three boxes red, orange and green signifying the traffic lights each showing an apple being eaten at different stages. Below the boxes was the catch line: “BYTE THIS”.

We loved the idea. The picture was abstract with traffic lights and an apple. Somehow the line Byte this sounded techie and also meant bite the apple. But there was one problem. The girl secretary in our team didn’t think this idea was so cool.

“Why, what’s wrong with this?”, I asked.

“Byte this? Arjun, the girls are going to wear this shirt and on their chest it says byte this!” said the girl.

We never spoke another word about that design.

This is why we still have women around on this earth: to save the male species from self destruction.

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