Schmoozing in the city…

Life is no longer simple, the way it used to be during the times of the fathers and the grand fathers. Inroads are made to higher grounds by schmoozing up with the so called influential. The gift of the gab is a sure shot guarantor to success.The influential of course love the schmoozing and would be devastated if a day goes past without their feet being licked by the Rin Tin Tins. Schmoozing is a lot more prevalent in the Cosmo cities of this world. The small cities are slowly getting the hang of it, but it has not yet reached devastating proportions. The plague called schmoozing is quite plainly an act indulged in to gain advantage by building inroads with people that “matter”. Merit of individuals is not the only determining factor to success, schmoozing well and truly matters in this fast paced world. It remains the unwritten code of conduct.

The power of individuals is no longer vested in the merit of their capabilities; it remains embedded in the ability to influence the opinion of the world at large. You can have a formula to create a medicine that cures cancer but if your name has not been promoted far and wide by the Glaxos or the Smith Kline Beechams of this world to who you have sold your formula, you will be a nobody. Same has been the case with so many whose name lies buried in the soft mounds of incoherence and whose work beneath graveyards of the unknown. The great beings left this world without a whisper, their works went on to create a lot of sensationalism thereafter, their work has lived to the day, and their work remains priceless. Vincent Van Gogh was one who struggled to make ends meet when he was alive; his death changed the fortunes of the work that he left and of those who bequeathed it. Posthumously Van Gogh’s work became priceless. If Van Gogh mastered the art of schmoozing when alive, he would never have struggled for his daily bread.

No longer is the unknown patient, he stamps his foot like a horse and eagerly strives to keep his nose in front. Page three continues to be occupied by those who have achieved virtually nothing yet attain everything. The ability to be at the right place at the right time is critical. Schmoozing ensures that the unknown is sling shot into rapid fame irrespective of whether he deserves the upliftment or not. Promotions are guaranteed to those who play the schmoozing game with the Boss. Cabinet rankings are passed to those who schmooze with the high command. Politicians schmooze with the media close to election time, the media lobby schmooze’s with it’s favored few, Lalit Modi has schmoozed Sharad Pawar so much that Pawar’s smile is still frozen. Schmoozing guarantees victory to the underdog, respite to the troubled and freedom to the convicted. If Raja from the DMK did not have the gift of the gab despite his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum scam, his head would have most surely been on the chopping block. A. Raja remains a favorite of the Karunanidhi family; his schmoozing with Dr Karunanidhi has ensured that the man in Manmohan could not touch him. 60,000 crores is the valuation of the scam, Raja continues to sing, unlike Tharoor who lacked the schmoozing ability with the high command but schmoozed wonderfully with the Twitterati. Poor Tharoor was the default scapegoat in this situation, quite tongue tied.

Like conniving hyenas, they scavenge on the left over that are thrown at them by the opulent and wait for an opportune time. Ladies do it in an alarming manner, sometimes difficult to recognize what’s genuine and what is not. At social events, over a cup of earl grey or Darjeeling, the fangs are in vulgar display. Men schmooze primarily at their place of work or over a round of golf. Golf is one sport which must have been invented to take schmoozing to another level. Who plays golf in all it’s seriousness besides the PGA folks? Golf at the clubs, over eighteen rounds of beer is the trendy meeting point for men who wish to transact with one another. The lesser known invariably is the caddie boy of the group, prancing around like a little puppy and topping up the beer. I notice a fair bit of schmoozing happening between the whose who of Twitter. A few tweets exchanged between the celebrities do reach a point of ad nauseum. Surely they could have deployed the sms to communicate with the other. But they don’t. They wish to showcase to this world, in all their synthetic glory, a sense of false camaraderie and good will that exists in their fraternity. They wish nothing short of the best for the other; they appear to be the guardian angel of the other. As if we never knew it any better.

All of us do this in our own way. Subtle at times, blatantly obvious sometimes, vulgarly glaring otherwise.  For those who wear the “I do not schmooze” jersey, my hats off to them. For those who schmooze, I have little respect for them. It is easy to get confused between fawning and schmoozing. Schmoozing is the more sophisticated version of fawning with the same ulterior motives.Fawning is to exhibit affection or attempt to please, as a dog does by wagging its tail, whining, or cringing or to seek favor or attention by flattery and obsequious behavior. Schmoozing is the ability to promote one self, through mingling and networking and by mastering the art of small talk.

 

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42 Responses to “Schmoozing in the city…”

  1. Sharmila,

    I wish the last line, defining Schmoozing, had been on the top of the post. I read it as smooching and was almost ready to believe that smooching is the newest trend in the market though I was going to draw the line at Raja smooching Karunandhi in the public for whatever gains.

    But there I deviate again. Its schmoozing, R, not smooching. Read my lips.

    Since I am new to the word, pardon me if I use the word forms incorrectly.

    In Corporate life, if an appraisal says a candidate is ‘committed’, it usually means the guy is a fine ‘schmoozer’ and can be trusted to guard the skeletons in the backyard.

    A ‘leader’, these days, is not the one who can show how to do a job, he is the one who keeps a pack of whining ‘schmoozers’. He can’t lead a Dilbert, but he keeps a Wally to boot.

    A few days ago I was asked in a private mail by a regular commentor on your blog why I do not do something about the things I feel about my country.

    And my reply was I am not a leader. I cannot justify the survival of yes-men.

    Perhaps, its all to do with childhood grooming. In 1964, my father was an active member of the Youth Congress in Jabalpur MP. I got the opportunity to meet many types of people.

    I have met Mrs. Gandhi in the Teen Murti Bhavan… I have spent three hours in Pandit Nehru’s library… I have had breakfast at the Home Minister’s official quarters in New Delhi… I had met Vice President V. V. Giri… I have seen R. K. Laxman in his office in the Times of India building outside VT station… And so many more that this space is not adequate to list them all.

    And I was lucky that I was a mere school boy then. I was not overly impressed nor mislead into hero worshipping. But I came to know what achievement looked and sounded like…

    It looked like Pandit Nehru’s library in Teen Murti… like the kind voice of Mrs. Gandhi asking me if I had had breakfast… like a dreamy cartoonist gazing out of a large window… like the simple Indian attire of a trade union leader from Karnataka who was the Vice President…

    On the contrary, Schmoozers are not achievers. They are weeds who dwell under the shade of a great peepal tree that weathers all the storms.

    🙂

    • Sharmila,

      Sorry. That last para reads. I meant, ‘In contrast’ not ‘on the contrary’.

      What I meant was, in contrast to those all-time great Indians, the schmoozers are not achievers.

      I never get anything right first time. Sign of age or perhaps sign of the ages!

    • Reader – Quite a lot of confusion you have created between the two verbs.Nevertheless, interesting set of experiences that you have shared with us here on this space. RK Laxman is a firm favorite in the list that you have provided, his brother is also somebody I most admire. I liked the conclusion about schmoozers sitting under the peepal tree, like weeds.

  2. Aishwarya Says:

    Schmoozzzing has a nice ring to it. Kiss a** does not!:) New word, old practice. Is it limited only to cities, to a certain age group, to the rich and the greedy, and to the present times…I dont know or havent understood right.

    Is it what juniors do to their seniors to find out how to pass the exams…what women do at their in-laws’ to maintain peace…what I do to the nurses (esp the head nurse) to see that they take good care of my patients…what pharma guys say to us so we prescribe only their meds…what I say to the maid so she does her work well…or what she says to me if she wants an advance on her pay…or is it just a celebrity/politician/job promotion thing…I am confused. Am I a schmoozer or a schmoozee ad nauseum or am I safe? Is this a Sringar rasa?

    Kidding.:)

    • Sringar?????

      • Aishwarya Says:

        I thought both involve ‘donning different hats for different occasions.’

        Sorry, R, guess I am way off the mark about the schmoozing … and the Sringar. 😦

      • Oh no. I am sorry. I didn’t elaborate on the question. All I meant was I didn’t quite connect the Schmoozing musing to Sringar.

        I suppose if someone was to do a survey of schmoozers one would probably split them into categories, like:

        1. Full time Schmoozers

        2. Part Time Schmoozers

        3. Devoted Schmoozers

        4. The Schmoozer fan club

        5. Die-hard Schmoozers

        6. Not Sure

        The Sringar might apply to a few like Devoted and Die-hard!

        But I will not say I am not sure… because that would put me in the last category!

        🙂

    • Aish – Interesting as always. I guess what you probably do is “motivating” and not schmoozing.:) In my opinion schmoozing is by and large practised more by those with little scruples. We pale in comparison.

    • Aishwarya Says:

      Touché, R…:)

  3. Sharmila – Networking is the name of the game. Gone are the days when people were so self-respecting that they waited patiently and trusted their work to speak up for them. Today everybody is in such a hurry to grab success that they never think twice before stooping down to any level. Pesky pawns in a hurry to fulfill their royal ambitions always end up paying the price.

    This was another well-written piece. No schmoozing here, only the highest order of respect for you.

    Melwyn

    • Melwyn – Ha ha, no schmoozing here is it? Are you sure? Lol, kidding..thanks as always for your wonderful and joyfull comments as always.

  4. Sharmila – Reader has tried to play the Rancho trick here by replacing the word schmoozing with smooching. I must say it works here as well. Now sample this: –

    “If Van Gogh had mastered the art of smooching when alive, he would never have struggled for his daily bread.”

    “Promotions are guaranteed to those who play the smooching game with the Boss. Cabinet rankings are passed to those who smooch with the high command. Politicians smooch the media close to election time, and the media lobby smooches it’s favored few. Lalit Modi has smooched Sharad Pawar so much that Pawar’s smile is still frozen.”

    “Raja remains a favorite of the Karunanidhi family; his smooching with Dr Karunanidhi has ensured that the man in Manmohan could not touch him. Raja continues to sing, unlike Tharoor who lacked the smooching ability with the high command but smooched wonderfully with the Twitterati”.

    Melwyn

  5. Reader,

    Really? The idea was yours Sir!

    • Melwyn,

      You created a perfect word-picture. I could imagine Van Gogh, Lalit Modi, Sharad Pawar, Manmohan, Raja and Karunandhi all in a sort-of smooching contest! Or should we say Schmoozing contest?!

      Somehow the word ‘Schmooze’ still sounds like a conversation among the cattle. Or perhaps I am thinking of Moose from Archies comics.

      🙂

    • Melwyn and Reader are doing a la Karuna and Raja? Wow!

      • Sharmila,

        Now you have me confused… I would hate to be in place of either Karunanidhi or Raja. One, because, (going by appearances) , Karunanadhi looks like a scarecrow in a traditional lungi… and two because I suspect Raja is a male… Correct me if I am wrong!

      • Oh oh…

        Duh duh me! I am a bit of a tube light…. I just realized what you meant…

        The day has been a nightmare… I am not getting anything right… Just not in my elements… what a goof… Its probably a stroke of heat synchope… the desert summer is catching up… I have been here for 20 years but I am yet to get to terms with it….

        Melwyn, hope you don’t misunderstand…. I swear, in the name of Abhi-sheikh Bachchan and Barkha Dutt, I am neither gay nor lesbian! I am not into ‘Dostana’.

        I am just having a bad day with words!

        😦

  6. Mewlyn and Reader – Ha ha ha..no need for all the explanations, I am having ridiculous amount of fun guys.

  7. MonaLisa Says:

    Wow…! What a smooching session…! 🙂
    Smooch or Schmooze, we all love it when we are on the other side of the fence… 🙂

  8. Reminds me of an incident in a railway train…

    As the train rolled out of the station, a child in its mother’s arms started crying. The mum started singing a lullaby… After a few seconds I told her, “Let it cry, that sounds better…”

    🙂

  9. MonaLisa Says:

    that would be a great idae Reader…! Just carry on (doctor)…. 🙂

  10. I’m looking out for Celina Jaitley.

  11. MonaLisa Says:

    Lol… mel..! whos that..!?

  12. MonaLisa,

    She is an Indian actor who is also a gay rights activist.

  13. S.M.Vyas Says:

    Sharmilaji,

    All said & done ( read “read” ),it is Tenalirama & Birbal who are still respected & not the schmoozers in thr King’s Court/Darbar.
    W still remember Naushad,Shankar Jaikisan & like,but I am sure,nobody will take their place- even schmoozeres – or present day so called musicians ;let it be Anu Malik or Pritam.

    We will always remember Lata Mangeshkar,Mohd.Rafi,Mukesh,Kishore Kumar.Can Sawant or others from New gen. can take their place?

    Whatever award/reward/publicity one get – say present day storywriters,can they anyway be nr to Munshi Premchand or Sharatchandra ? And the list is & will be endless.

    No denial that many died without getting due rewards. But unsung ? Not many.I am realising that I am writing more from Theory & Heart of Principals/Values & NOT out of Practice & Mind of Principals/Values. Well,perhaps I am not puting in the appropriate manner. But, a half empty glass indicates half filled up glass ! Too elementary & boring ? But,yes, I am a bit of optimist.

    Regards,

    S.M.Vyas

  14. Probably off the air for two days.

    Tropical cyclone ‘Phet’ expected to hit my town by noon tomorrow. Passing through Gulf of Oman towards the Indian coast.

    Expected disruption of power, water and food supplies.

    If I am not online, I will in the sea…

  15. Expected Speeds at epicenter: 63 Knots

    Peripheral speeds: 34 Knots

    Moving: 310 Degress at 06 Knots

    Expected route:

    Masirah Islands (Oman) 137 107 in 24 Hrs

    Karachi 237 361 48 Hrs

    Winds speeds

    on 3/06/10 115-120 Knots

    on 3/06/10 120+ Knots

    Gusts: 140 Knots

    1 Knot is about 1.6 Kms per hour

  16. Please check your mail for maps and positions. I have just sent two info fliers from the local met.

  17. It was earlier clear to me that this post was about Schmoozing and not Smooching.But after reading Melwyn’s hilarious modified version of your text,I feel Smooching better fits the context now.HAHA!!!!

    I have one request,please do consider me when you start writing.I mean simplify your language a bit so that it doesn’t go over my head as it has gone this time.Please,I can’t understand these many complications of the English language.The language that you elders speak is far beyond my understanding 😦

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