Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I Know What You Want

Today I witnessed something interesting. An experience worth sharing, because it opens up other lines of thinking.

My 7 year old daughter Nidhi, brought a friend home, and they asked for permission from my wife Varsha to play games on Nidhi's PC. Having secured the permission, Nidhi went about the task of booting the PC, and opening the folder marked "Games for Nidhi". {I still get amazed at her deftness at handling the PC, especially on the way she controls the mouse etc. See her smiling face on My Homepage... I really must update those old photographs....}

So the duo began exploring, and Nidhi zeroed down on a game, but Varsha intervened and asked them to play Pocket Tanks instead. Her reasoning was pretty sound - there are two of you, so play a game that both of you can enjoy simultaneously.

That made tempers fly, an argument ensued, and both parties stuck to their stand, not willing to holster their drawn guns. Their swords still pointing at each other, I asked the friends duo what was wrong with the suggestion of Pocket Tanks. "After all, it allows both of you to participate", I preached. "Whereas in other games, only one of you will enjoy, and the other one will be a mere spectator".

Then our little 'Customers' revealed the following:
a) they did not know how to play Pocket Tanks very well - at least Nidhi's friend didn't - hence our suggestion that both can participate was actually wrong. Neither of them could, fully!
b) Nidhi actually wanted to sit back and check out how her friend either excelled at, or bungled on, the games she has become so adept at playing... she 'wanted' to merely 'spectate'... (maybe the English language will officially adopt this word some day)..!

Fertile that my mind is when it comes to sowing the seeds of imagination, I started drawing parallels to: Senior Management telling other down the line what's good for them; Quality Heads telling Supervisors what their jobs 'should' be; Marketing whizkids on the 39th floor deciding not only on Promotion but also on the Product - on behalf of those illiterate customers loitering on the pavements....

A real revelation for me - "I Know What You Want"!