As you realize you’re turning into an adult… do you realize that adults are just overgrown children?

Answer by Deepika Gumaste:

I think this answer will probably differ from person-to-person, as who we are what we become all depends on our external surroundings, the enemies we make, the friends we keep, the social and cultural mores, the economic backgrounds, the country we live in.

I live in India. Somehow, I have felt, Indians no matter what their age- always behave like kids. Mostly, our economic-socio-political conditions are at work. In India, unlike our western counterparts- concepts such as 'sex before marriage', 'giving attention to one's sexual needs, particularly if you are a woman', 'live-in relationships,' staying independently without parents are all looked down upon. So, at any point in time, if you compare an average American to an average India, perhaps you'll think that Indian adults are over-grown kids πŸ™‚

This was in a very broad sense.

Coming back to your original question- for me, as I am growing up, I am realizing the difference between an adult and a kid. Kids are innocent. For adults, 'Wisdom' is the  word. If as an adult you feel bogged down by wisdom, knowing not what to do in times of crisis and you throw a tantrum- then you are an overgrown kid.

However, if you are open to ideas, concepts, experiences (all sorts of them- adventurous  scary, exciting, thrilling, loving, cheerful, unknown, etc), and learning from your own mistakes, then you are not a kid anymore. You realize, you are becoming an adult. (I think, I am at this stage.)

People say, that there is a kid in every adult and therefore never lose him/her. I beg to differ.

I think, enjoy all stage of your life to the fullest. Right from being a kid, to a teenager, to an adult, to an old age guy/girl. Enjoy every bit of your age.

That's how we complete our human cycle. πŸ™‚

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What are some mind-blowing facts about Hinduism?

Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:

  1. Hinduism is the world's 3rd largest religion closely following Christianity and Islam. However, unlike the top 2 religions, 95% of Hindus live in a single nation! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations#Adherents.com_estimates
  2. If you ask a religious Hindu, when did Krishna or Rama live – they will give an answer like 50 million years ago or some other random big number. Actually, it doesn't matter. Because, Hindus believe in a circular time (rather than the linear time concept in the Western world). That means, after enough cycles I will write this same answer to you on Quora, once again. http://hinduism.about.com/od/basics/a/time.htm
  3. Each of our time cycles has 4 main periods – the Satya yuga (golden age of innocence), Tretha Yuga, Dwapara yuga and Kali Yuga. In the last stage, people get so filthy that whole thing is cleaned up and the cycle starts all over again.
  4. Hinduism is the oldest of the major extant religions. Its fundamental book – Rig Veda was written over 3800 years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rig_Veda
  5. Rig Veda was orally passed for 3500+ years in parallel. And yet, its current form has no major discrepancies. It is indeed a stupendous achievement that a major body of work can be orally passed between people in such a large nation with no loss in quality/content. http://elearning.la.psu.edu/rlst001/lesson-2/lesson-2.3
  6. Unlike other major religions, Hinduism doesn't consider the pursuit of wealth as a sin. In fact, we celebrate wealth in the form of many gods such as Lakshmi, Kubera and Vishnu. Hinduism has a 4 level hierarchy – Kama (pursuit of sexual/sensual pleasures) – Artha (pursuit of wealth and power), Dharma (pursuit of philosophy, religion and doing duties to society) and Moksha (liberation) and we progress from the top to bottom. This is very close to Maslow's hierarchy and thus Hindus are natural capitalists.
  7. Hinduism is the parent religion for 2 of the other major religions of South Asia – Buddhism and Sikhism. It is also closely associated with its sister religion – Jainism.
  8. The holiest number for Hindus is 108. This is the ratio of Sun's distance (from earth)/Sun's diameter or Moon's distance (from earth)/Moon's diameter. Thus, most of our prayer beads have 108 beads. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/108_(number)#Hinduism
    Also see Ganesh Mohan's answer to Numbers: What is the most beautiful number, and why?
  9. Beyond India, Hinduism is the dominant religion of many exotic regions such as Nepal, Mauritius, Bali, second biggest religion of Fiji & Sri Lanka and at one point covered most of South east Asia – including Indonesia, Cambodia and Malaysia. See more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism#Demographics
  10. The Hindu epic of Mahabharatha – that is often used to teach the principles of Hinduism – is written in 1.8 million words long poem (10X the combined length of the Illiad and Odyssey) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahabharata
  11. Unlike all other major religions, we don't have a founder or a prophet (like Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Mohammad or Buddha). According to Hindus, the religion has no origin (again coming back to the circular concept).
  12. Unlike the popular Western conception, Yoga in Hinduism is not merely an exercise routine. It is the founding block of the religion. Read more in my other answer: Balaji Viswanathan's answer to Yoga: What should everyone know about Yoga?
  13. The 4 most holiest animals for Hindus are the cow, elephant, snake and peacock (India's national bird and a wagon of many Hindu gods) – 4 main animals of India.
  14. The largest religious structures in the world – Ankor Vat in Cambodia were built by the Hindu kings of South East Asia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor_Wat
  15. Hinduism has no formal organization – no Pope, no Bible and no central body.
  16. Unlike Christians or Muslims, we go to the temple at any time, any day. There are no special Sabbath, Sunday congregations or Friday prayers.
  17. Hindu scriptures are organized into Vedas (poems that written in multiple levels from abstract rural level and going deeper into cosmic universe), Upanishads (scientific discourses and arguments about the world), Brahmanas (manuals for ritual performances), Aranyakas (experiments done on human mind and nature in the forests), Puranas (mythologies about Hindu gods) and Itihasas (notebooks on "historical" events"). See more: Balaji Viswanathan's answer to Hinduism: What are the main scriptures for Hindus? How are they organized?
  18. Hindus don't mourn for anything and believe that happiness is the highest form of religious achievement. Thus, unlike most other religions there is no sad festivals for us where we are supposed to mourn.
  19. Fire & Light are among the holiest of offerings for Hindus. The concept of Yajna – offering things to fire – is considered one of the highest forms of worships in Hinduism. It symbolizes the idea that everything meets its end.


  20. Hinduism's holiest body of works – Rig Veda – talks of 33 main gods.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-three_gods Although most Hindus consider the Vedas as the holiest, none of those 33 gods are in mainstream worship now. 
  21. Unlike other major religions, Hindu scriptures ask a number of philosophical questions and is ok with "don't know" answer for some of them. One of the critical body of these questions is the Prashna Upanishad – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prashna_Upanishad – unfortunately most of us cannot understand the answer to the fundamental questions posted there.
  22. Hindus strongly believe in rebirth and karma. That means my next birth will be determined by my actions of this birth.
  23. Hindus hold big chariot processions to carry their gods during special occasions. Some of these chariots can be huge and marauding – sometimes killing people in their path when they lose control. The biggest one of all – Jagannath – gave the English dictionary term Juggernaut -meaning the unstoppable one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juggernaut
  24. Hindus hold Ganga as the purest of all waters and believe that bathing in it can purify them of their sins. While part of it is myth, there is also a scientific reason. See Balaji Viswanathan's answer to India: Why is it believed that the Ganges is self-cleaning?

Also see: Balaji Viswanathan's answer to What are the top ten verses in the Hindu Scriptures that would enlighten a non-Hindu?

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Why do PR firms disappoint, and what makes a GREAT PR partner?

Answer by Deepika Gumaste:

Your question is a bit unclear. We can answer your question, only after you have reflected on these-

Looking at your question, I am going to assume that you are on the client side- either a corporate communication professional or the client yourself.

In either case, let's reflect:

  1. Did you give your agency a proper written brief?: A brief that would detail your vision, mission and business goals for the company. Please pardon me, but these are not just words. These will form the foundation of your PR campaign.Therefore, 'how much' an agency can deliver depends on this very brief. Have you explained your agency, what exactly are you expecting out of PR? Sales, reputation management, crisis management?
  2. Are you small, big, listed, non-listed?: This might sound a little weird. But as a communication consultant, it is a truth and we have to live with it. Your size and popularity does determine how fast your PR plan will succeed. If you are a start-up, please don't expect out of your poor PR partner to land up you $0.02 in The New York Times or any leading newspapers. It will take time for a start-up to reach those levels of popularity. Remember, "Rome was not built in a day." On the other hand take it from me- If you are a listed company, in countries like India, your target audiences including the media, 'tend' to listen to you.
  3. Budgets: Most PR partners complain- that clients are not ready to shell out big money as they would do for their advertising campaigns. Ask yourself- have you ever faced such a situation. Are you willing to shell out that kind of money? True that PR is different from advertising in a way, that you don't need to buy space in leading publications. But don't forget that even a PR agency is a company. Even they need to take care of their employees. They need to ensure that their employees are not overworking. They need to equip their employees and train them. And these things, require budgets.
  4. Communication and Trust:This should have probably fared much higher on my questions to you perhaps. Do you trust your agency? Do you believe in them for their expertise? Many a times, a client demands a press conference for an announcement. The PR agency might suggest otherwise. Perhaps, they would suggest an exclusive with a leading business daily to be followed up with a press release dissemination. Would you trust them for their judgement? They are the experts in their field and are dealing with the media, day in and day out. Are you willing to go ahead with their expertise? If no, then what would you expect out of the agency, when your 'press conference' plans backfire and you don't get the expected results?

If your answers to all these questions are- "I have tried it all." Then and only then, I would suggest you to re-think about your PR agency.

Hope this helps.

My $0.02

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Is it really necessary to turn an act of crime against a woman into a gender war, where statements like “teach your boys to behave themse…

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Answer by Chloe Shani Malveaux:

Trying to change the cultural dynamics between genders in society is not a declaration of war. And to recognize that there is a distorted view that men have towards women is not pitting men against women. Gender equality in society is not a zero-sum game. If more women are safe it does not make men more unsafe it just means that more people are safe.

The fact is that most men who become rapists aren't just random deviants of society but they are a product of society. These men don't start out recognizing the individuality and rights women have as individuals and think "I am just going to violate this individual who has hopes and dreams just like I do!" They might view women like most people regard beasts of burden. Women are property, and live to serve until they are no longer useful. When you do not view something as you view yourself or even your peers, it is much easier to justify cruelty.

People tend to want to view rapists as horrible monsters that live in the forest and sewers, put on human masks, slink out and strike random women who incite their lust. But the truth is that rapists are people. They are sons, grandsons, nephews, neighbors, maybe even fathers themselves. They did not sprout up out of the swamp like a horrible nightmare, they were born of real mothers and possibly were raised and nurtured with love in a stable home. And even if some men don't go as far to rape, there are men with disturbingly mundane and common upbringing that will empathize and reason on the side of the rapist.

And we have to figure out how these men without a horror movie monster like beginning ever got to the mindset that it was okay to rape or what they did was not rape, how certain actions are viewed as acceptable.

People have to look at what would given them the idea that women are less than, that they shouldn't inherently have the same rights and freedoms as men enjoy.

This means that the way these boys are being raised, how these boys are taught to relate to women needs to be examined and changed for real progress to be had. Because there will aways be women who will walk alone at night, women who have sex outside or marriage, women who will just give the middle finger to people trying to control her life just because she has ovaries. You may not agree with these women but it does not justify an attitude of dehumanizing these women.

A lot of these men weren't just hard wired to be rapists they were raised and given excuses and justifications as to why it is okay to sexually assault certain people. And the excuses need to stop. Stop feeding young boys the narrative of female inferiority, because ultimately it isn't just a disservice to the future women he crosses paths with in his life, but it is a disservice to him as well.

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What makes a good public relations agency?

Answer by Deepika Gumaste:

Here are my views:

  1. Expertise- perhaps a niche helps.
  2. Good, passionate and resourceful people. You would also want to take a look at the leadership of the pyramid. What happens at the top, will eventually influence the bottom of the pyramid.
  3. A company that is quick to adapt to the outer environment. For eg- You don't want an agency who doesn't know what Twitter is, in an age of hyper web conversations
  4. As Christophe Ginisty mentioned, ability to provide two dimensions service is important.

My $0.02


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What does a first year PR associate do?

Answer by Deepika Gumaste:

Very good question. What does a first year PR associate do? Very boring work, but one that lays the foundation for him/her for a successful career in the long run.

Yes, as a newbie, you might be asked to do all odd jobs and tasks. It is probably a sophisticated version of an intern. In the first few months, probably 3-4 months, you might not be introduced to the client. The reason being, you are being tested for your skills, aptitude and attitude. After 3-4 months, what is mostly called as probation, you'll be introduced to the client. As a first year PR associate, you are the foundation of the team, you are working in. You will do primary research on may be your client verticals. You will have to make daily coverage reports for the client, you have to track and monitor news in the media that might be relevant to either your client's company or sector.

Further you will be asked to create media lists- the bread and butter of your agency. You will call the publication houses, collect contact details and create databases. As you complete a few months, you will be asked create month reports or daily/weekly reports (as the client demands). These reports usually give you a detailed report of what activities the agency has undertaken during a particular period of time.

Slowly, you will be asked to connect with the media and do the primary pitching for your clients.

All in all, the first 3 years of a PR professional are quite boring. However, this is time which will never come back again. So make yourself visible. Ask questions, share and discuss thoughts. Read, read and read more. Be present on all the platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Be a part of networking events- professional awards, surveys, etc.Once you have done that, you are all set to be the PR rockstar.

Last but not the least, please don't say NO for any work that might be given to you. You might be asked to make coffee for your seniors. Do it! You might never know, if they are evaluating you for attitude. But yes, don't allow anybody to take undue advantage of you. Don't be afraid to question your seniors. Ask them and challenge them, if you have a view point. Don't argue for the sake of it, but if you have a genuine point, put it across.

They will appreciate you. Basis that, you will be evaluated during your appraisals. πŸ™‚

Good luck.

My $ 0.02

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