I'm not being disingenuous, I've really forgotten his name, and I have no idea what - if anything - he did with the prize money from the sms contest he won. That is probably because the ToI has itself tired of him and has stopped asking him for sound bites.
I expected that from the Tabloid of India.
First they started the DO initiative, which didn't DO anything but put Amitabh on screen at some half finished sea bridge in Bombay talking about how India was rising. (I'm still trying to find out what India is rising FROM, exactly, but that's just me being an ass). I'd like to know from somebody if the bridge is done or - a la airport bridge flyover - it's still waiting for some politician or the other to put his thumbprint on a past due payment or for some overloaded judge to rule on some asinine objections.
Next was the Lead India initiative, which started off same as the doo-doo initiative and then morphed into a TV show that encouraged the sms slaves to send in scores of rupees to the ToI-Telecom company nexus.
And I don't know if you have noticed, but there is now a TEACH INDIA initiative. Where we are all supposed to get together and teach people about something or the other. (I'm not really clear on what it is we have to teach them, exactly. Probably how to send sms-es).
I think I've figured out why the ToI needs all these initiatives for India: Money.
See they were supposed to print the news. That didn't make them enough money, so they started printing pictures of women who paid too much for their clothes and men who paid too much for their women, drinking it up at various parties throughout the week. That got the ToI some eyeballs for some time, but there were only so many people attending these DO's - which is why if you notice - THEY'RE ALWAYS THE SAME PEOPLE ON PAGE THREE.
So they decided they have to DO something and hence was born "DO India - A ToI initiative" (to make money). Of course the didn't print the parenthetical part of the title.
Eyeballs must have poured in, and there may have been some impact on circulation, so they decided to take it to the next level and came up with "Lead India - A ToI initiative" (to make even more money). Same as the Do India thing really, but with SMS-es. More eyeballs. More money.
What next? "Teach India - A ToI initiative" (to see how many times we can do this shit to make money).
I wont be surprised if there is an SMS contest to elect the best teacher from amongst the unsuspecting innocent well-intentioned hordes that will surely join in on this Initiative
Meanwhile I'm going to come up with my own initiative. "Screw ToI Initiatives - A Screw ToI Initiatives Initiative". It's simple. All you have to do is switch to a newspaper instead of the ToI (which is not a newspaper, when you get right down to it), and then - of course - SMS me at 56789 with "The Screw ToI Initiatives Initiative"
Now to figure out how to get the telecom companies to share some of that moolah...