Following in the footsteps of such respected media houses as the BBC and the Guardian, PuneTech yesterday played an April Fools’ Day prank on its readers.
Click here if you cannot see the video above. It’s different from yesterday’s news clip.
We claimed that Pune is expecting growth in revenues in spite of the recession, whereas the other cities, including Bangalore, would see a decline. If you missed all the excitement yesterday, check out our report yesterday. Unfortunately, the entire report was a hoax. There is no company by the name of INHR Associates, the links to the “extended abstract” and the “full (paid) report” are both non-existent, and the the news clip by a “certain TV channel (that will remain unnamed)” was actually created for PuneTech by some of our over-enthusiastic friends.
We have shown above a different, more over-the-top version of the same “news video“. It some out-takes and has credits of the cast and crew who made the film. As with the original video, the “reactions” of the average techie-in-the-street are the most hilarious – definitely worth checking out.
The hints you should have seen
As with any good April Fools’ Prank, we tried to liberally sprinkle it with giveaways – hints that people should have caught on to:
- The original source report did not exist. Only two brave souls complained to us that the links were broken. Everybody else seems to have taken our report at face value
- INHR Associates, the company which is supposed to have done the survey, had a website called http://inhumanresources.com – very few people picked up on that
- Needless to say, the video is completely ridiculous. The fact that many people actually believed it to be real, is a very sad commentary on the state of the real news being put out by our TV channels. We have come to expect trash like this from our TV.
- Check out the ticker at the bottom of the news video. It has ridiculous items like “Mallika Sherawat enters politics” and a bunch of other such things.
@asutosh has the distinction of being the first person to fall for the joke and retweet it
This was just the first in the long line of people believers. We had a few accomplices (@aparanjape, @d7y, and @amitsomani, and @meetumeetu) who re-tweeted it, after which I believe about 15 to 20 believers retweeted.
@logic loved the “marathi manoos” reaction in the video and wrote:
http://is.gd/pVGh 3:10 I knew recession wont affect pune coz marati dictionary doesnt have it.. ROFLMAO #EKSI. no this tweet is not #april1
Oh, the irony! Sorry, @logic, it was #april1.
@beastoftraal and @milliblog were were ridiculing PuneTech thusly:
Pune handling recession better than Bangalore? They couldn’t afford to buy a report for Rs. 7.5K, but! http://tr.im/i4jD
Another person who did not like the Pune chest-thumping was @kiranspillai who chastised us:
Junta in Pune maha excited about thier recession being not so bad as bangalore. Chest deep or neck deep – You still have sh*t sticking on u
I think the best exchange happened on facebook. Chief evangelist of PuneTech, Amit Paranjape, who was in on the joke, posted this to facebook:
Amit Paranjape: Why Pune is handling recession better than Bangalore. http://tinyurl.com/czl3w8
This resulted in the following conversation thread over there:
Rohit Joshi at 3:06pm April 1
It’s a bit like comparing France with the US. The French don’t have boom-bust cycles like anglo-saxon economies because the French don’t innovate and take risks as much. France is still a lovely place.
Navin Kabra at 3:09pm April 1
@Rohit, I doubt that the software/IT/ITES economics of Bangalore and Pune are very different from each other in terms of innovation, risk taking, and boom-bust cycles. I’m sure the explanation for this phenomenon lies elsewhere.
Abhijit Athavale at 4:22pm April 1
Maybe, the Puneites have not realized how serious this thing is going to be. Seriously, the reason might be that Pune has a ton of local industry that the IT/ITES companies are catering to. Bangalore has none.
Amit Paranjape at 5:30pm April 1
I agree Pune does have other local industry. Also, many other non-IT ‘tech’ companies.
After seeing all these reactions, I almost wished that the news item was true.
Of course, there were also some believers in the comments on the original post.
The making of the video
A few months back when we first got the idea, I casually asked meetu of wogma whether her film-industry friends would be willing to help us out by making a short film for PuneTech as an April Fools’ Prank. She and her friends went nuts with the idea and produced this clip. At that time, I had absolutely no idea of the huge amount of effort that goes into making even a short film like that. But, meetu and her friends, really took to the idea, and worked nights and weekends for almost 20 days to make this clip. I would probably not even have suggested the idea if I knew this beforehand, but anyway, they seem to have enjoyed the process, and we at PuneTech are absolutely thrilled with the final product. We would like to thank them all for the efforts, and for the superb result.
The director (Nitin Gaikwad, nitindgaikwad[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98193 74727), the editor (Shreyas Beltangdy, shreyasbeltangdy[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98922 12953) and the main news anchor (Raj Kumar Yadav, raj.deniro[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 99677 82869) are actual professionals in their field, and friends of meetu, who did this for us, free. The rest of the cast and crew are friends, relatives and neighbors. Here are the full credits:
News reader: Raj Kumar Yadav (raj.deniro[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 99677 82869)
Statistical analyst: Subramanyam Pisupati
Pune expert: Navin Kabra
Field Reporter: Shweta Karwa
IT employee #1: Mudit Singhal
IT employee #2: Nitin Gaikwad
IT employee #3: Subur Khan
IT employee #4: Amit Rajput
A billion thanks to: Pushpa and Badri Baldawa
Special thanks to: Mudit Singhal, Ravi Iyer, Agasti, Amit Rajput
Lighting: Agasti, Chandu dada
Production Assistants: Siddhu, Shiva, Sriram, Hemant, Saraswati
Make-up: Suman Baldawa
Camera and sound equipment: Rudra Communications
Editing Studio: Rudra Vision
Concept: Navin Kabra
Editor: Shreyas Beltangdy (shreyasbeltangdy[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98922 12953)
Dialogue: meetu, Shreyas Beltangdy, Navin Kabra
Director of Photography: Shreyas Beltangdy (shreyasbeltangdy[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98922 12953)
Director: Nitin Gaikwad (nitindgaikwad [at] gmail [dot] com, +91 98193 74737)
Gautam Morey, a PuneTech reader, said yesterday: “You are spending too much time setting up an April Fool’s Joke!”
And our answer was: “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy :-). We spend so much time being serious that spending some time on frivolous things is OK once in a while.”
At the very least, I think we should be able to say that Pune handled April Fools’ day much better than Bangalore!
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