Thursday, December 28, 2006

Just Pictures

Some days back a very good friend of mine wrote a testimonial for me on orkut. Something he wrote hit me and made me think more about what he said.

I have always led a convenient life in terms of time and space. I can easily blend into the current, nothing, but, the current.

Am not good at remembering the past in all its glory, just moments that stand out because memory hasn't failed them. They are like textured pictures that I carry with myself and treat myself to in moments of solitude, which are rare in themselves. I know what they smell like, i know what colour they are and I love to feel the way they make me feel. These pictures are not necessarily happy but take me back to a life which I found worthy of remembering....

There is no history that I live with but, the one that I want to live with. No future, I see myself a part of, than the one, I am, finally a part of.....Just some pictures that I carry that hopefully I will bring to life in the times to come...

And as I write this I have just been given some wonderful news, another picture to add to some lovely memories, of a magical place that felt like home. Unit of the Year....not bad....Congrats Svety....

Friday, December 08, 2006

Of Hope, the Need & the Greed

Its amazing, the path I tread, always makes me smile at my impudence. How could I have been so arrogant in thinking that I knew where I'd land up !!!

I take time out and laugh.....

I, never in my wildest imagination thought I would be working for the Sports Performance Brand.....and enjoying it at that....I laugh

Again, I always tell the ones who still love me how i'm going to make it up to them one day....i'll lose weight.....look like a million bucks.....and ensure that the time I lost with them because I just couldn't look the way they wanted me to look wouldn't has to come full circle, right??? And, I laugh

There is no way love can live and die in the same time frame....thats what i grew up believing. And, I laugh

There is no way I can live without you....indeed!! And, I laugh

My son's going to look at me with the same "love in his eyes look" forever....hahahahahah

I laugh at all these and so many more. I call it Hope. At times the need to hope, Most times, the greed to hope.....

I'm rooting for u Dada....fight back and give us the comeback you deserve....oh god don't make me laugh at this one.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

In Love All Over Again

My "favouritest" (I know I know its wrong english man) from Faiz

Raat yun dil mein teri,
khoyi hui yaad aayi
Jaise viraane mein chupke se bahaar aa jaye
Jaise sahraon mein haule se chale baad-ae-naseem
Jaise bimaar ko be-wajaah quraar aa jaaye....

And the translation by Vikram Seth

Last night your faded memory came to me
As in the wilderness spring comes quietly,
As, slowly, in the desert, moves the breeze,
As, to a sick man, without cause, comes peace....

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

First 10 Days with Adi Dassler

Its been 10 odd days now. At adidas...A new place...a different world. Thats, what i think everyday.

Its a different world. Not because it is different but because it is so far removed from what my reality used to be. The reality of working in a certain manner, thinking in a set way and of course not thinking in a set way too.

Learning every moment...

  • I have always been one to scoff at too much theory but have always been guilty of providing a theoretical framework for my meandering thoughts. Now, I've learnt that theory is dispensible till u need to regiment...

  • I encountered racism at a very fragile time in my life, when I was studying in England, when I was all of 9 yrs old...Though it made me escape the only country I had known since my birth, it completely left my consciousness unscarred. Today its heartening to see that working with our western counterparts comes so naturally to us. I have never interacted with so many people of so many different nationalities. They bring forth so many different ways of working, such diverse responses that each day takes me closer to a new way of looking at a traditional issue. Silence is acceptable and does not need the ammunition of expected noise. I can sit still without being pressured to respond....

  • Sports and me ...huh??? How could I have been so so myopic.... for a person who prides herself on being aware of the environment around her, how could I have been oblivous to the unifying spirit on one force - sports. Yes, it does make the world go around. Yes, it does celebrate the human spirit. Yes, it is exasperating. And Yes, it is the only language that binds you to your soul...

  • And if this is my belief after only 10 days, what do I say about the passion I see around me? Impossible is Nothing. There is no theory that regiments. But there are templates that are followed. Not just from one country to the other but from one person to another. The canteen guy knows exactly what the brand stands for and is more than capable (as I found out the hard way) of espousing it...

  • I had heard time heals. As each day passes I miss my old friends more. I understand, and this realisation, has come after great introspection...a lifetime of friendships have given way to days of professional camraderie. I don't think my friends here will ever see the old svety because like most things, I left her behind too....

I'm happy.......because......

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hasta la Vista Baby

And till then, I have these......
Memories that colour my perspective
And, perspectives that will last beyond.......
Courtsey FlickR

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Surprise Surprise

A day of surprises.

Of understanding you were worth so little to some
Of knowing that u mean so much to most

Of feeling so welcomed
Of welcoming that much

Of finally admitting defeat
Of succeeding to forgive

Of rising like a phoenix
Of knowing that the ashes were never yours
Of eventually, letting go
Of burning what was left...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Is It the Kada ??

I've never been religious but I'm most definitely a believer. I don't know if there is a God out there but I'm aware of him within. Kill me because I say "Him". Him just sounds more right than a Her. Blame it on my gender insensitivity.

Afew days back, a friend of mine gave me a kada to wear. U know the punjabi kada. Had been wanting to wear one for quite some time. Don't know why. Do not understand the religious sentiment behind it. Just knew that I wanted to wear it.

And, since I have worn it, I feel I've somehow empowered myself. How does one explain something like this???? Fantasy? Inane Belief?

Changes are happening in my life and I am rearing to make these changes work for me. I feel happier than I have, in a long time, personally. More settled with myself. After years I looked at myself in the mirror and felt the pain of losing my looks. I'm looking at that as a positive sign. Internally I seem to be aggregating will power to take the final plunge. I need to harness my weight and I will do it.

So is it the kada ?? Or is it plain chemical locha ??

P.S. Thank U Karan

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Finally, an Aqua Sunset

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Things I'd Love To Do This Minute
  • haunt the most comfortable armchair under the most awesome grey-black sky and get drenched in the rain
  • indulge a duststorm listening to my favourite songs
  • swim in the sea
  • forget that i'm obese
  • play teen patti till the night takes over
  • lose myself in some other country
  • shop like mad for everyone I love
  • play chef at my own restaurant

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Just Heard This, Beautiful

"Ek din fursat mein
thaame haath hamaare
le gaye us dagar pe
jahan rehti hain baharein

Chal diye hum bhi ghar se
kuch befiqar se
dil tha apne bharose
hum the dil ke sahaare

Pal bada mukhtasar tha
tere seene pe sar tha
yun laga mar na jaaein
itni khushiyon ke maare.."

Courtsey: Zindaggi Rocks

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Friday, September 22, 2006

At Crossroads

As I live each moment some days, I slowly awaken to the possibility of standing at crossroads.

In the past, I have always deprived myself of this opportunity. Have always decided before considering, thus conceding to take the easy way out. Have always been a non confrontationist so absolutely do not want to confront what I may have actually decided.

But this time its different.

I'm goading myself to wait, consider and reaffirm.

Life is short. Yeah. But its full.

And, others are precious....very precious

Thursday, September 14, 2006

De Constructing Communication - Learning from the Dream Makers

There seems to be a cultural revolution happening in the country right now. Especially so when one looks at the usage of media and its usage of content.
And the surprising bit is that we have finally come full circle with media that have reinvented themselves through their content and their audiences.
There is no medium stronger than one that makes you think. More appropriately, Rethink

Not long back I had the privilege of being part of a workshop called Media Works at Bangkok. 160 odd participants from across Asia. As many ways of speaking English as understanding it. However, one thing that connected us - the need to communicate and be understood in the manner we wanted to be understood.
I think somewhere down the line, we, as media professionals, have lost the passion to communicate. Its is disheartening because the media that we use is so atuned to flexible communication nowadays.

I think the biggest and most effective media illustrations come out of film directors and playwrights nowadays.

We are still grappling with spots on radio and at the most vignettes and RJ mentions. Lage Raho Munnabhai celebrates the power of the medium and launches one of the most powerful communication strains through the medium. While we negotiate with terms like "Studio Invasion", it twists that term to take a revolution to the streets.
Is it possible? Why not?
Maybe not in such cinematic proportions but, we are not so dead to romance in our day to day professional life, that we fail to realise the beauty of a thought, the full potential of our tools. Flashback to Rang de Basanti, a nation moved to the streets through media, TV, radio, street activation. Its happeing in real life as we see drama unfolding on the Jessica Lal case everyday.

Today, we have a multitude of films being made to address need gaps that exist, in requirements of entertainment and emotional surrogacy.
After all that is why we are communicationg. Right?
To form an emotional bond with our consumers. One that may not last over time but when it hits, it hits that elusive chord. Who cares if KANK is not a technical movie marvel, it communicates to an audience faced with urban angst, a society on the move and creates as much sociological debate as entertaiment anxiety.

The critical part is that though these films find their own audiences, they are made by directors who want to tell their story. Its content that pushes the envelope, that gathers new moss and helps rebuild a traditional, near dead medium into one that starts talking to us. And, its architects are not scared of taking that first step.

And to me that is the difference in what they do and, what we are doing. The brand is "our story". Our leap into the imagination of the consumer. And, if we are not able to take that leap with all the irreverence that we have for already set practices and benchmarks, because we are working with deadlines, or the client is not going to understand, or the media partners will never be able to implement, its a sad waste.

The bottomline is that we have not been able to hone our mind space into taking a "thought leader" role.
We are still debating how Star Plus has come back to its original space of Saas Bahu with its new offerings. Why are we not appreciating the biggest thought revolution of the last 2 yrs - cinema, that has gone through a churn and come out looking bolder, more open and of course smarter.

What is it that our movie makers have realised that we are missing. How come they have crossed benchmarks that exist, to accomplish with media, dimensions of a different kind ?

Today, Pepsi puts Rajiv Bakshi upfront on TV with a hand to heart guarantee. I personally think its a damned waste. All the strategies that the Client, the Agency may have formulated and researched and debated upon, fall flat.
There is a certain mood that exists when putting out any communication. The new Pepsi ad, Mr. Bakshi withstanding, looks to me as a desparate attempt at damage control. As it looks to most people I have interacted with. So, while Pepsi knew it had to go to the market with some form of communication, the tack taken smacks of immaturity. Absolutely no thought gone into attacking the problem with more innovation. Putting the "Big Man" on may have worked when consumers were less evolved. Unfortunately, today your communication needs to evolve out of its myopic existense.

Our movie makers realise that the whole texture of society has changed and is forever on a roll. To attempt to derive a behavioural change, one needs to move away from the superstructure of societal relationships and target the sub text (pardon me for my socio-political roots). Therefore, a Rajiv Bakshi will not induce an erstwhile cola consumer to revert to user status. It will just make one think why the big man had to make an appearance himself. Hitting at the superstructure will only result in such overt expressions of reaction and no substantial differences in behavior.

It is not the medium that fails us today or our intelligence but, our own imagination and courage to do things our way......

Monday, September 11, 2006

De Stress, Live

"The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'."

This is a quote I read somewhere. Seems to add up to the way I have lived.
Commited more than Involved.
I have never negotiated with life because I have always commited beyond my means and then tried to live upto that commitment.
But, now I'm done.

Involved suits me just fine.... Signifies a more equal attempt. Give as one Gets.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Of Black Pepper & Rain

Of an afternoon
That burnt to black pepper
In slow motion.

I feel it
In the breath that wrote it

I feel it in the arc on my face
the one, that you gave birth to

A smile?
Is that what they call it, nowadays?

For that arc that you etched on my face
And a smile that my heart screamed

And, breath that smouldered to grey ash,
an afternoon, pregnant with rain

Monday, August 28, 2006

I Loved Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
  • For, what is it they say about movies being the soul of reflection (NO, I haven't got it wrong & I didn't want to write the reflection of the soul)
  • For Karan Johar for having been there even though he apparently hasn't
  • For Shahrukh Khan to have finally dared
  • For AB to have given moments of sheer magic when he mouths "good joke" and his eyes just say "I've caught u boy but don't make me see this"
  • For a screenplay that may not be "right" or "good" or "technically brilliant" but a story that is well told, truly and right from the gut
  • For making "grey" the most beautiful colour
  • For giving Abhisekh the bandwidth to find himself as an actor
  • For friends turned lovers and lovers turned friends & then the most beautiful of all, friends remain friends
  • And, for showing that friendship is not only sacrificing, A Sexy Sam & a Chandigarh CAN flirt & flirt & flirt
  • For reclaiming my faith in something I once read, "the best way out is always through...."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I have just arrived at this dazzling revelation. For once I sat and thought about myself. Actually two revelations. No three.
  • I never think about myself. Not as in why I am what I am with respect to my interface with others but as what I am by myself. Its not that I don't have the time but just that its so complicated
  • And, the reason why I don't think about it is so very amplified in my first point. i have fucking no clue how to go about it. I jumble easy but to give myself some credit, unravel well...
  • If I were to give myself points on romance and being romantic (mind u, they are both different things) I would rate myself highly but, if u ask me my favourite movies, not more than 1 romantic movie (Love Story, the english one guys, am not talking abt kumar gaurav-vijeta pandit, kya ghazab karte ho jee notwithsatnding) would make it to the top 10.

So there, some big insights abt myself.....

Monday, August 21, 2006

Its Time

There comes a time when one realises how easy it has been to sacrifice self worth at the altar of seeking happiness.

Especially so when u finally realise that the same happiness was never within ur grasp, ever.

Life goes on and so it should....

Monday, August 07, 2006

Thank U Shome

This a rejoinder to my poem WanderLust by my dear friend Shome. Thank U Shome. Its pregnant with the balance of the calm and resplendent with the magic of hope....

Ever heard?
The still sounds of serenity?
The rush of tranquility..
Breezing through the mind..

Ever seen?
The pause in a placid pond?
The dance of stillness..
Holding you spell bound

Ever felt?
The force of a smile
Long suppressed..
Born from the calm around
Giving speech to the silence that surrounds?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Wandering But Not Lost

Of Wanderlust
I know,
That Kills
The heart
With pain....

The tearing need
to be
At a different place..
A different time,
A different smile,
Tears that never fall
tunes that forever call......
Distant seas that stretch out,
Only to stall.

Of wanderlust
I know,
Not Lost.
Moments that stare,
And, dust that dares....
Just go.
Kick back.
Distant seas to stretch out
None to stall.....

Friday, July 28, 2006

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

5 Going On 25

I am so happy to be back again. I have so much faith in the eternal oblivion and anonymity of the web that I was already consoling myself with the fact that I had lost this space.

Thank u Lynn for keeping my faith.

Last few days have been frantic. My son has not been well so long nights and even longer days. There is nothing more heart wrenching than seeing ur child suffer. Especially so when ur child wants to spare u the pain by going through his illness with the wisdom of the silent.

Its a different world out there. Here we steel ourselves everyday against corporate misgivings and barbs, infront of the innocence of a child, there is no hiding.

You are asked pointed questions, evaluated and then excused all in the lifetime of a second. My son asked me why I had to go to work. And before I answered he had already assumed it was for money. I tried explaining to him it was something I wanted for myself. "Like I want Maggi", he quipped. I knewI was falling into a trap the moment i said Yes. I cold see the gleam in his eyes as he promptly reminded me that Maggi was junk food and therefore, so was my job.

At 5 yrs hes influencing the way I think, god alone knows what will happen when hes 25....

Monday, July 17, 2006

Well Said, Mr. D H Lawrence

This is what I believe:
That I am I.
That my soul is a dark forest.
That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest.
That gods, strange gods,
come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self,
and then go back.
That I must have the courage to let them come and go.
That I will never let mankind put anything over me,
but that I will try always to recognize
and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women.
There is my creed.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Lost In Translation

Its been ages since I wrote. My days are so packed that I get little time to be with my thoughts. I steal a moment here and there, but.... Its amazing, I seem to have made a life out of moments that have happened. Better still moments that I wish had happened. Or would happen.

Today doesn't seem to be a good day.....apparently i'm miffed.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Blame It On the Rain

Umar jalvon mein basar ho
Yeh zaruri toh nahi
Har gham ki shaher ho
Yeh zaruri toh nahi
Neend toh dard ke bistar pe bhi aa sakti hai
Tere aaghosh mein sar ho
Yeh zaruri toh nahin
Khel diye ka patangon ne samajh rakha hai
Har kisiko anjaam ka dar ho
Yeh zaruri toh nahin.......

What is it about the rain that completely destroys my balance.........

Friday, May 26, 2006


I am what you
think I am to you

You are what I
think you are to me

No words

Just the freedom
to be
what we want to be........

Monday, May 22, 2006

"The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye, until we meet again." - Jimi Hendrix

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Just Me

We fall
Each moment
Each act
For want of want

Submit to a realm of indifference
Where each voice
Becomes a friend
And, each friend
Unwanted noise

We fall
Each moment
Each act
For want of want

More than Elementary, it Simple, Watson - A Man's Perspective

It’s not difficult understanding men. They are very clear with what they want, what they like and of course what they choose. It becomes problematic only when their female counterparts start looking for reasons behind their choices. I know I know, u’ve heard it all, read it all – men are from mars and women from Venus.

But I’m not. I’m from earth. Like so many of u who are reading this. Hey I need answers, dammit.

Its difficult being a man but noone seems to realise this.

Hey we find it extremely tedious going through a woman’s moods and need for constant exploration.

I love u, and that’s it.

Don’t ask me why.

I’d probably give u an honest take and say ur backside appeals and, especially so when its on its own.
But historical data proves that it would make u cry or twist ur mouth in that I know it all smirk.

That doesn’t change the fact that I do love u.

Don’t ask me when it started
Coz I’d tell u, when the natwest series was going on and u wouldn’t let me watch it until I tickled ur ear. That was when.
And I would be expecting a congratulatory pat for remembering such details.
But oh... u’re face would be a killer.

Haven’t we heard it so many times, it’s all about power politics.

No it’s not. For years we’ve been brainwashed into believing complicated explanations of something which is so simple.
Something that is inherently personal but debated heatedly by outsiders

It’s all about feelings.

Feelings he may have for her and thinks hes showing like a neon light.
Feelings she feels aren’t there because they’re not coming thru.

This is not my pitch as a relationship counselor.
Gimme a break guys.

This is just a plea to each one of you reading this piece.
Between u, and me there is nothing called an us.

The need to make an us comes from a lineage of not being able to stand up for the I
We’ve been conditioned to believe that five fingers make a fist.
They do.
But that doesn’t make individual fingers any less powerful on their own.

And why do they need to be powerful?

Let’s question everything we’ve been taught to believe.

We’ve been brought up on a heavy dosage of “what ifs so prepare for the worst”

There is this inner restlessnes withn which one feels only when things seem too simple for comfort. But that’s what it is.

Simple works.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Embryo Breaks

These Moments
Pain, Longing, Exultation, Insecurity
Doors that Stand Ajar
And Windows that pull me through......

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mixing Your Soul with Mine

I'm so sleepy. Not really the best time to write. But what the heck.

I see all these amazing looking cocktails being made and think whether we look the same from above. As one ages one assumes that life teaches and so it does. Of life itself. And, feelings. And, love. And Meaning.

It not only teaches, it cleanses. Immediacy gives way to the search for a possible alternative. Of double 2s that don't add upto a 4, but do, in their own sort of way.

I mix my soul with so many souls everyday, in so many ways.....

It rained afew days, no some nights back and I mixed my soul with the black of the night, got drenched with it and danced in my mind with the joy of being free and reborn.The mind is always free.... Or is it ? Like I said, as you age, u realise the vulnerability of freedom, of being free and not knowing what to do with it. Of being at one with your own captivity.

I mix my soul with so many souls everyday, in so many ways.....

Last evening I was cutting garlic. I love garlic. I love the smell of burnt garlic in my food. It reminds me of things my life lacks. Of dreams that I aspire to make real. A bitter sweet feeling of moments lost and time gained. I love cooking. Its my time and my place. I let my hand mix things without any norm, myself smell the food and decide to let it go the mood of my sight. I indulge myself and my senses. Last evening I mixed my soul with the galic flakes that fell on the floor.

I mix my soul with so many souls everyday, in so many ways.....

People who've known me in the past feel I don't speak anymore. I smile. Its as if I'm always thinking. Burdened with thoughts they say. I'm not. Thinking was never my forte. Speaking seems to have become redundant as most of what I have to say has already been said. And, most of what I want to say, I have yet to find a voice for. It may sound depressing, but its not. I want to mix my soul with someone and things that understand my silence.....

Monday, April 24, 2006

Being Obese - Day 6 of the 12th Year

Have I been able to stop eating like theres no tomorrow ??? I guess, to some extent, I can dishonestly say, Yes. Dishonestly, coz the reason I've been eating less is coz I don't feel hungry.

I still haven't left Pan Parag. As I told my boss today, the one big reason I want to change my job is that I would feel apologetic in eating Pan Parag their in front of my professional environment. Its not that I like the taste. God alone knows why I can't give it up.

I really don't think much. So its not as if I'm stressing myself out thinking about my life and I substitute the pain and angst with food and pan parag. I've always been a doer versus a thinker. I don't think, coz it just branches out the problem into miniature shoots and then I'm screwed .

This way there is one issue I am unhappy. There ideally should be one solution, to make that issue into a non issue. And, that, should be controllable.

In the case of my increasing mass, the solution is evident and completely controllable. Yet, I find difficulty in comprehending it.

Anyways have promsed myself not to keep hitting myself. Only 10 pan parags today till now & not much to eat.

Atta, girl.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Just a small preface to this one. Usually I never write qualifiers for my poems. I believe the strength of a poem lies in its relationship with its reader. So I may be writing about what I think I'm writing about but u maybe living it in a different manner. But this one is special.
I wrote this one when I was 15 I think. It is completely autobiographical and happened to me when i was all of 10 and living in a place called North Tees in England with my parents. My parents are Doctors and both of them used to work in a hospital which was next door. There was a library in this hospital and I used to live there. There was a candy shop right next to the library and I used to buy these amazing mice shaped white chocolate candies from there. And , on one such Monday I met racism.........

10 Pence for Innocence

I see

Juicy white mice,
10 pence each.
Of course
In the corner shop,
In the hospital,
Where my father worked.

I Want

A blue-white Monday
Full of tang,
Walking with eager steps,
Tasting the anticipation
Of biting into each mice,
So deliciously sweet.
I felt it
Before I heard it.
Spit on my face
That too,
In my domain.
Infront of my corner shop,
In the hospital
Where my father once worked.

I Act

The heart of a child
It knows not what to fear
I fretted about my mice
But, stoically stood my ground.
Rubbed the spit on my face
With the tears that fell.

The strength of
An audacious dewdrop
Hanging on for dear life.
The ego of a blemish,
A tear
The might of its mere existence
To clash

I, still,
Bought my mice
Before walking away.

I Know

TodayI still taste the mice
BeforeI feel the pain
The logic of a child,
Not always in vain…
It stillIs the hospital
Where my father worked
My father did not change
Does home ever change?
A part of me,
A heartbeat away

The past never creeps up on me.
I live,
And relive
Each corner
I took.
And wonder,
What would have been
Had the wall not been there…
The past does not tell.
I gnaw at it with fingers raw with longing.
It denies me what’s mine.
“No heart”, I scream.
“No heart? And me?” says my past
“You must be out of your mind
Or soul
Or do you want me to lie?”
“Those walls were never there
The corners you always assumed”
That heart you talk about most
Is the heart “you” never had……
The truth you want to hear
From me
Runs deep within yourself.
“The truth is forever the destined
Its destiny is to be denied
To merge with blood
Then appear to want to be called white”
The Homecoming

Those are the beats of the drum
That sound the homecoming
Of a warrior.

Unused to such cheer,
Of death I understand,
That steals the body of its warmth
And the mind of all thought.

Mine are the eyes of a man
That pin all hope in one corner
And then,
Destroy the corner itself.

My torn pocket boasts of
Borrowed land
Where days are like nights.
Where sleep comes fast but shadows abound.
Where days are dreams but all unknown.

My torn pocket boasts of
Borrowed land
Land that I fought to win.

There is a wall at the end of this mountain
Which separates my world from yours

I live in hope.
There is a wall
I can scale it, when I,
Choose to do so.

Not the seamless
Heartless oblivion
I have been taught to see.

The ability to speak one’s mind is not rare,
The sensitivity,
To know
When to do so

I hope
Dear friend,
This innocence stays
Sometime soon,
In the years to come,
The intelligence
Meanders through,
In waves,
And, most definitely, resolute.

No torn pocket
No borrowed land
No mountain
Just one wall to scale
So many hearts to do it with....
My Child and I - In Communion

I refuseTo be drowned.
Drawn into a vortex
Of a multiplicity of voices,
To be made to doubt
Believe in
What I know,
For certain,
Not to be.
I stand by my belief.
I believe in God.
In each moment I lose
In every tear I gain.
Within me,
God lies
Waiting for a summon.
Not to act as a saviour
To remind me,
That, he is human too.
what I have with you
Is love.
A meeting of two souls,
An amalgamation
Of their separate wills,
Fusion into one.
The need of a touch redundant.
The echo of a feeling desiring it,

From hope to resignation....

From this wall to that wall...

From your beat to mine.....
Lies No More

Some days
I just lie
And look up
At the sky
And my reflection in it

Some days
I just lie
And stretch myself
To see how much
Space I take

Some days
I just lie
And curl myself in
So as to prove to myself
That I can

Some days
I just lie
And laugh and hope
That I haven’t forgotten how to

Some days
I just lie
And hope
That I have to lie no more... ... .
Being Obese - Day 1 of the 12th Year

Its with great relief that I sit with myself today. I finally have someone to talk to. Its difficult getting one to find a shrink even when one has decided to see one.

I am a 110 kgs or nearing it. That means that I'm all of double the weight I should be. Ideally. I would also categorize myself as a "Food Monster" I 've heard that the best way to start the healing process is to admit. So this is a venture into pop psychology. Its also an appeal to all friends and reader of this blog to help me cure myself. I've always been tried and found guilty for being too open with people around me. However, I'm being true to my character and eliciting help and support from all.

I had the most amazing thought yesterday.

Last nite some friends had come home for dinner and we got onto discussing meditation and what it means to each of us. The consensus was that the best way to meditate was to think of ur past day before sleeping in the nite and ur future day post waking up in the morning. And, everyone very sagely nodded their heads. (Listen, am really not trying my hand at sarcasm here. its just that I really don't think such generalised learnings work for me).

But to come back to the point, I thought , really thought on what I say to myself or do before going off to sleep and post waking up in the morning. Every night for the last few yrs, my eyes close to one thought, tomorrow is another day and i'm not going to abuse my body with food, not this time. And I wake up each morning to the commitment that today is D Day. No garbage. No food. and by the time I'm done getting ready for office , i'm done with my commitment too. I hoard on breakfast that cuts straight to the flab and postpone for another day.

I've often questioned myself why I put myself through the pretense of promising myself something I don't want to make an effort for. Coz thats what it amounts to at the end of the day. Its not that I don't want to do it, its just that I don't want to make an effort. It hits hard coz that has never been an issue with me. I make an effort for the most ridiculous of things. I try and make possible situations that my loved ones want to bring upon themselves. So why does it not hit me that these same loved ones cannot see me dying this way.

Till a few yrs back I was fat. Not obese. And I was conscious of the fat. Because I wanted to look good.

Today I'm obese. I think medically I'm reaching a milestone offering called - Morbid Obesity. am conscious of the fat. Because I cannot not be conscious of it. Movement is cumbersome. Walking is an effort and the mirror has become my worst enemy. Still what do I do?? I eat some more...........

As usual. today is another day of postponement..........will come back soon with more.........

Friday, March 24, 2006

This is my article that was published on a site called afew months back. It relates to my professional angst and may get tiring for the casual reader.

A Profession Does Not Become Redundant, It's Practitioners Do

A churn seems to be the order of the day. Or, should I say times. A few years’ back, media used to be the hand maiden of a number of intellectuals. It still is and, always will be. The credibility of any profession becomes the onus of the practitioners, and it is up to us to ensure that the tangibility of numbers does not give way to the inane exploration of ideas. Or so they say.

We work on databases. The same databases ensure that their anomalies keep us occupied for a good part of the day and, more often than not, of the night too.

There are so many times that the outputs of these softwares and databases have been twisted to assure the way various hypotheses are judged. Clients are happy that we are able to conjure up magic to back the decision they want to take. Agencies are happy because the clients have put their faith in the hands of us outsiders and now, together we partner each other. Tough, but true.

I have only seen this industry for some five years or so, and that too in a sheltered fashion. So, these may seem like the ramblings of a premature cynic, perhaps. Hear me out all the same.

Habit Changing Parameters

The reason for this introspection is an incident that revolves around a colleague of mine when we were studying Media. There was a presentation that we had to make and this friend of mine came up with a unique term, “habit changing GRPs”. Most of the class laughed and we all put it down to some old fashioned “faf”. Now, five years later, the truth in the term comes back to me as what we are missing in this field or, as we bravely put it, this industry of ours.

Isn’t that what most brands that want to break through to a consumer try and achieve – habit changing GRPs. So, just because an enthusiastic schooler married the sacrosanct GRPs to some simple minded English, do we completely dismiss the concept? I say no. And I appeal to all clients to be open to concepts that may not be measurable, but ride on insights. Sometimes, the intent of a campaign should be completely transparent, and what better way to achieve that transparency than understand where the thought is coming from.

As Good As It Gets

I can already see so many eyebrows going up. I can hear the debate. A media plan is only as good as the measurable impact it brings to a campaign. Agreed. But a media plan is also only as good as the objective it defines for itself. And though numbers give adequate proof, the whole premise on which they work is that they are neutral. But are the results we are trying to achieve neutral? They aren’t. And, therefore, we twist these same numbers to identify reality as we know it.

Don’t get me wrong. Nowhere am I saying that numbers do not reflect realities. They do – in bits and pieces. And, if you don’t have numbers, what does one base the deployment of several crores worth of campaign on? This article is not to take away from the reality of numbers, but to ensure that life and strategy goes beyond them. I’m sure there would be no argument in the fact that numbers can be used to prove points, in different ways by different practitioners. So, today we, the media planners, in all our wisdom, decide on the edits of creative films, pass judgement on their creative quotient, and when a campaign fails, smile knowingly in the ‘we always knew it’ way.

What gives us this power? Wasn’t the product a joint endeavour? Therefore, just because our brethren do not have the indulgence of numbers on their side, should their side be negated completely?

Numbers, always numbers. We have proven to the client that in the current scenario of cluttered communication strategies, we’ve done our bit by optimising the plans that have gone out so as to create the most optimum efficiencies. We are safe.

The Situation Is Paramount

While budgets are always limited, imagination isn’t. There are boxes that we operate in. Necessary, as they are the building blocks that our mind builds on. And then, there is the external environment that ensures that we are not contextually myopic. Or are we? It’s amazing how things and concepts taught in the past, when we had more of a child in us, come back to haunt what we are doing now.

I’m a student of Political Science, and I remember that the first class that I was taught in college was on this – Do not be contextually myopic. There is a situation in the event of things that is paramount. Never ever forget that. Then, I went to Communications School, where we were told not to fall into the trap of S3 – Single Sample Syndrome. We understood. And then, we came to work.

The Coming Of Age Of New Communities

I believe it is very easy to get intimidated by the sheer size and variety of the Indian media market. And with the same seriousness, I also believe that we are not getting intimidated enough by various pockets which our consumers have built for themselves. There are communities that function within these pockets. More critical than communities built on region, religion, caste, culture because these new communities cannot be so easily segregated.

The new communities are one of similar economies, more importantly of similar propensity to spend. The things that they own, end up owning them. And that is how we profile these people. Because these are the only parameters that are measurable and we have data on.

However, the situation is always paramount. These same communities have built for themselves an evolved socio-cultural code that may be an extension of their region, caste, religion we so easily take for granted.

Losing The Essence Of Our Community

Fortunately, we operate in India and numbers have never been a problem. So, one knows that carpet bombing will always work. However, in the process we forget the larger responsibility we have towards our profession. We are communications experts. We may choose to divide ourselves into creative, servicing, account planning, media and various other niche outfits to ensure that the branches of this industry that we function in grow in such abundance that the likelihood of the tree being rotten never arises.

The bottom line is that we all strive towards ensuring that the communication cycle is complete. What is the science in carpet bombing, especially in a country like India? Convenience? We really take Douglas Adams seriously when he says “Flying is learning how to throw yourself on the ground, and miss.”

But What Is ‘our’ Community?

Whose problem is it that today cricket rates are spiraling, whereas the output that once used to accrue from it seems to be spinning a new story? Is it not our responsibility as media professionals to help the client make an informed decision? Is it not in our powers as participating members of the advertising industry to launch a decisive movement against the monopoly and increasing murkiness of cricket selling?

We, however, choose to look at this as a passing phase. Billings matter. And, haven’t we made so many presentations in the past justifying the measurability of the impact of a campaign that runs on cricket? So, it should be equally easy to show what happens if cricket itself is not able to garner half the viewership it once used to.

But demand is still high and, therefore, economics throws back at us unbelievable rates. And, the futility of trying to form a cartel like movement in a so-called free market economy.

The client has understood the market with our “technical expertise”. Being on cricket ensures that the ad is seen almost immediately. The fact that huge amount of monies have gone into creating that visibility is not apparent to the audience. Therefore, any stature that you may be trying to achieve through the selection of cricket as a media vehicle is only relevant to the immediacy you are able to create in audiences that are hopefully relevant to you.

As I try to curb my angst, I can already hear someone screaming that this time the sell of the next tournament has a creative size diktat also – only 30 and 10 seconds of airtime can be bought.

So much for the creative making the brand…

Be All That You Can Be

This industry is personal. It’s about people and their attitudes. It’s about making a difference to an entity that is intangible – the brand. The agency, the client, and any other intermediary are incidental and only facilitators. It is about understanding and unleashing the power that we have, to create and disseminate an idea, to ensure that the idea’s time has come.

The distinction between a business and a profession works like a dual-edged sword. Unfortunately, at the moment we seem to be sitting under it rather than brandishing it. We are communication professionals. We indulge ourselves by calling ourselves creative, media, and business development experts. We work not for clients but for the brand. And the sooner we force ourselves to remember that, the more respect we will earn for ourselves.

Therefore, a profession does not become redundant, its practioners do.

We live in an age where most of the time we have for ourselves is spent at work. And, if we are not able to make this work more meaningful, it also reflects on the way our personalities evolve.

The various situations I have elucidated on earlier reflect the need gaps, I feel, exist. Not just in this industry or profession, but in the manner in which we build esteem for our expertise. The overhaul needs to happen within.

Perhaps, the solution lies in rooting ourselves in market realities that go beyond the obvious, going back to an age when ideas reigned supreme and the route to effective branding lay not in the profession of advertising, but in the belief and passion of the practitioner.

Farewell Lover

Through blood soaked moments,
I will return,
To a life I have always led,
But no longer know.
Unsure Of how to adopt it:
That I will Have to.
No matter what.
I will surrender
My dishonest soul,
Hold on To my willful heart…
make a life out of it:
your smile
Comes first
Or your dimples