The other day, during the story-telling time to my 3 year old kid, I was saying stories from Ramayana. I tried telling him the exploits of Rama sans the villain - Ravana (because, I thought it will be hard to explain to a 3 year old about a man with 10 pairs of hands, 10 heads, abduction of Sita, etc); I just stuck to the other stories - Like Rama as a young Lad, killing demons who troubled the Sages, The killing of Golden Deer (Marica), Cutting of Soorpanika’s ears and nose by Lakshmana, Killing of Vali, etc... It then occurred to me, that other than killing the main anti-protagonist, Ravana, there is nothing much in the popular stories, to write back home about. I mean, other than above, stuff like making Sita walk over flames, banishing her from his kingdom, a war with couple of kids (his own) for capturing a horse, are not the stuff attributed to a God, especially a Hero.
While many argue and find various sub-plots that negate these ‘bad behaviour’; but I think, that the central narrative of Ramayana with Ravana put as the bad guy, is what makes Rama the good guy. It is that when both of them are seen in the same frame, that makes one good and the other bad...even though ‘the good’ has many shades of grey, and ‘the bad’ has many shades of white
In today’s world of consumerism, what it means is that:-
- The brand will be considered as a ‘hero’ brand, even if it does not have a perfect attributes, provided there is bigger story of another brand doing one singular major folly
- It depends on the story-tellers (advertising agencies), to mouth the story; and the brand that is successful is the one that is victorious in the market-place
- If there is a bad brand story or attribute, do not fight it or try and kill the story; instead, put your efforts to create sub-plots or sub-stories
- The blacker your paint your enemy, the fairer you look (seems like all political parties follow this principle :))
- Other than the brand story, there should be a larger category story... Like Ramayana, the larger story was the Good triumph over the Evil... and then everyone starts the story with the premise that there was good prince by the name Rama and an evil King called Ravana......
Next time, I try to tell my kid the story of Mahabharata, who knows, there might be some hidden message for the brands there too...
It is all about perception, I say
Image courtesy: http://www.indianetzone.com/46/war_rama_with_ravana.htm