We are a judgemental society.
During the live New Year’s Eve 2017 countdown show on Channel 5 in Singapore, an ordinary looking teenage boy, Ganesh, became somewhat of an internet sensation because of his ordinary answers when asked by the show emcees, Mike Kasem and Vernetta Lopez on what his highlights for 2016 were.
Watch Ganesh’s interview segment:
Lopez: What is your name?
Lopez: Ganesh, what was the highlight of 2016 for you?
Ganesh: Going out with my friends.
Lopez: Going out with your friends was the highlight? Are you kept indoors a lot?
Kasem: How about something involving a swimming pool that might have been a highlight?
Ganesh: I went to my friend’s house and he living in condominium so I went there for swimming with my friends.
Lopez: Well you know what, whatever the highlight is for you, that’s fantastic.
Kasem: Absolutely. I was thinking Joseph Schooling for me.
As you can see from the conversation, the emcees were obviously fishing for more interesting answers. When Ganesh replied with something so ordinary like “hanging out with my friends”, they have to think quick to save the segment.
Kasem tried to lead Ganesh to a desired answer about Joseph Schooling winning the first ever Olympic gold medal for Singapore in the 100 metres butterfly swimming event in 2016. Ganesh may or may not have gotten the hint, but he seems to feel that an equally significant highlight for him was to swim in his friend’s condo swimming pool in 2016.
In this way, Ganesh sort of trolled Singapore on national television with his deadpan answers to some very simple questions which many others might have answered quite differently to make for good television entertainment.
The video of his interview segment got shared widely online and comments came fast and furious, with some criticising Ganesh for being stupid.
What’s wrong with his answers?
What’s wrong if Ganesh really did find spending time with his friends a highlight for 2016? And what’s wrong if swimming in his friend’s condo swimming pool was the most awesome experience for him in 2016?
Ganesh might be a simple teenager who appreciates the simple things in life and a really great friend. He might be from a poor family and don’t get to visit a condo or swim in a pool much.
Or maybe he simply had stage fright.
No one will know what Ganesh was thinking at that point except for Ganesh himself.
Whatever it is, I think his answers are pretty awesome and like Vernetta said, “whatever the highlight is for you, that’s fantastic”, that’s the spirit! It doesn’t apply to just Ganesh’s highlights, but to everyone else out there too.
Whatever you think were your highlights in 2016, they were awesome, whatever what others might think. We don’t need to be judged for this.
For me, I am just glad 2016 is over and I am looking forward to a fresh start in 2017. Similar to Ganesh, my highlights for 2016 was actually getting to spend more time with my close friends and family. We get so sucked up in our work and daily chores that we tend to neglect the ‘small’ things in life that matters. Thank you for the reminder Ganesh.
Happy New Year!