Thursday, 28 January 2010

Can you father your grandfather?

It happened some 15 days back. As usual I was going to my office from home via BEST bus. You consider yourself lucky, if you happen to get a seat to sit as soon as you enter an AC bus. Its like your day is made! How, small small things can cheer you up!

Two bus-stops before my office, I saw an aged man waiting for the bus. Handkerchief on his head to protect from the sun, stick in one hand, shirt not tucked-in, very old man, in his early 80's. He could barely walk into the bus. As soon he entered, I got up and gave him my seat. People gave me reactions, as if I did a great job! The old man sat for a while, got his breath back...became normal...

He asked, "Tum gujrati ho?..." I said "Nope." Then he asked series of questions about my day to day life and native place. He paused for 5 mins and said "Can you give me some work? I am useless these days because of my age. I dont have anything to do, but I want to work so that I keep myself occupied." I was awestruck. I smiled and said, "I am too small to employ you, you are like my grandfather. You should be resting." To this he said, "But I want to work." His frim words hit me hard and from that day it is pinching me. Some avenue should be created for people like him to keep them occupied and not get bored in their older age. I tried to make up something by saying that he can enquire the society in which he resides, if they need caretakers in libraries or garden or if they have home for employing old people. As I was saying that, I knew I was not making much sense.

I got down at my stop, but could not really get rid of that thought. Isn't it our responsibility now to ensure that the grandpaas and the grandmaas are occupied with some work? We can't give them time, and they really dont want it. They want to do something constructive, creative at this age also.

fOoD fOr ThOuGhT: Isn't it time to give them back? They ensured for our bright future, isnt it our time to ensure that they spend time doing something and not just wait for the D day to come! Any suggestions?

Sunday, 24 January 2010


My heart sinks when I read about students hanging themselves or jumping infront of a running train and kill themselves. Mostly the reason is studies and the pressure to score high in exams. Peer pressure. "99% marks laaoge to ghadi, varna chhadi..."
Not everyone can take same amount of pressure. If students are killing themselves, I believe it is the solely responsibility of parents more than teachers. No one knows a child better than parents. A mother know what her crying baby wants. So, when the kids grow up, it is the duty of the parents to push their kids only to an extent they can handle. I call it the baloon effect: there is always a pressure limit, when crossed, bursts! Tell them stories, to keep them motivated and make them fit for facing challenges boldly. Set achievable targets. Escapism is easy but thats really isnt what we want to do, when we take birth as human beings.

In the movie 3Idiots, it is shown that the character hung himself because he was denied of extension of time and another change to showcase his project. And Aamir khan does it within time, thinking outof box. But the by the time it was ready, the student has already quit from the world. He failed to believe in himself. And in that scene the audience realises that he should have kept on going , it was within the horizon. Ofcourse, it was movie and so aamir could do it, but in real life too, things arent out of control most of the times. It is the decision we take, decides the fate!

Life isnt easy. It brings difficulties of different variations for different people. Lot of times, we need to think from a macro perspective rather than looking at the issue constantly. Lot of times we need to take a break, indulge into something else and get back to our study/work afresh. We get only one life, we need to make most of it, almost everytime!

I think todays generation who are in schools, are unfit to handle pressure is:
they hardly go out to play on play grounds. We were lucky in this regards, I use to play for 2 hours daily after school in the evening. I skipped homeworks, I skipped assignment, but the mind was fit for handling the pressure. Todays generation is glued to internet as soon as they come home. I have seen my cousins discussing home work via scraping on orkut. They think joining "I dont like doing homework", "My class teacher is dumb", communities is cool. I started using it when I was in graduation. Orkut, Facebook and other social websites evolved much later. Twitter is the latest thing. Cell phone was given to me in graduation 2nd year, after lot of pleadings.

fOoD fOr ThOuGhT: The system is not to blame. Study course and material is never to blame. The environment and ecology is to be blamed. The parents are to be blamed that they are not allowing kids to play and choose their area of interest. Children should be feed with motivational stories. They should be shaped into a better and allround personality and not just class toppers or high achievers.

Taming the Tiger!

Tiger wood, the Michael Schumacher of Golf... The richest athlete. The man who surpassed the financial net worth of the most famous athlete on the planet! Michael Jordan. Golf became synonyms with Tiger Woods name, is down and out in public. Not an event anybody would ever want to see or hear about their role model. He was hope for millions. People followed him like mad. The uninteresting game was made interesting by this soul. Accenture whole heartedly showcased him in their advertisements.

I am completely against what this man has done. How can you cheat your wife and two little children. People around the world follow you and you are behaving such irresponsibly! Simple wonderful life, all screwed up!

But the point of focus for this post is media and not what Mr. Woods did. The media needs to understand where to stop, where to draw a line. The role of media is to inform the masses about an event. But constantly following the celebrity and making living impossible for them is just not appreciable. What Tiger did, is nothing new in american society, yet so much cry in the public. The then president Bill Clinton, was in the same boat, some time ago. I understand corporates like Nike, Accenture lost in billions and their brand image took a beating, but the companies signed him because he was a great golfer and not because what he was! What he does with his private life should be his own affair. Now recently the TOI published Wood's pictures from his rehabilitation centre.

fOoD fOr ThOuGhT: Mistakes are committed by human beings. Now that he has realised and ready to get punished, media should allow him to survive and become a better person. What he does with his wife, children and mistresses, should be left upto him. Correct yourself and move on! This guy will come back, win some big tournaments, the world will stop critisizing him and media will again go gaga about him again.

Friday, 22 January 2010


We get to see Maharashtra politician in the media, more often these days and for the wrong reasons and dirty politics. When I say dirty politics, I know that politics is meant to be dirty, cutting each other, backstabbing, moaning, pleading, killing, hugging, blowing, tugging, smoking, snorting, shooting, stealing but when I get to hear the "Marathi Language or Marathi Manoos" topics, I feel sad about the new lows our Indian politics is hitting.

Mararashtra is a state with great history, land of braves who fought for Independance, equality, justice. The only worth brand ambassador of the country "Sachin Tendulakar", hails from the same state. My heart sinks when you hear, "Only Marathi people will be given new taxi licenses and marathi people means domicile of Maharashtra for 15 years and should have knowledge of Marathi", "80% reservation for marathi people in private and public corporates", "Use marathi, when in maharashtra", etc. Politicians actually need to go to some kind of school, where they are taught their roles and responsibilities and how to execute them. They need to learn few lessons about clean governance.

Why Mr Chavan has retreated from his statement of giving taxi licenses to "Only marathi" to "Marathi, Hindi and Gujrati" speaking peole? Possible explaination could be Marathi being state language and Hindi being the national, then why gujrati? Because it might hurt the sentiments of gujratis who play major role in investments in mumbai, who drives the economy of the state to a large extent! I feel pity of such politician! Development, roads, infrastructure, education, power, food, inflation, water...there are n number of issues to resolve but seems Marathi is there favourite! It is easier to play emotional cards and lure we, the foolish voters!

This marathi and reservation issue is spreading n number of diseases in the society: To name a few:
1. The way of our thinking has changed. We dont confront openly to people but at the back of our mind, "he is gujrati, he is marwadi, he is marathi...ohk he is from bihar, etc" goes on.
2. The level of corruption will reach to new highs due to reservations.
3. The competitive spirit will decrease and it will encourage buttering and babu giri.
4. People will focus more on ends rather than means. It is always the case, but such measures will promote ir further.

Imagine a situation if Sardarji's are denied to run taxis in UK or AUS. If mallu's are denied work outside Kerala. I dont wont to hurt anybody's sentiments but if people come to maharashtra, leaving their family behind, sacrificing so much just to work and if they have to face such ugly politics, I wonder what will happen 20 years hence.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

What an IDEA Sirjee!!!

After long and unfruitful debates between the developed and developing nations, to save the Earth, here come a very different advertising strategy by IDEA cellular. The campaign extends its concern over the issue at the same time successfully manages to make an impression on the audiences. It isnt a rocket science! Save paper - Save tree, simple known fact, but the way advertisements has depicted the concept is really appreciable.

In first advertisement, Abhishek Bachchan, the brand ambassador of IDEA, plays the role of an agonized 'Tree'. He strikes the idea of using mobile phone to save paper, and therefore, the greenery around him. More and more people switch to their mobile screens rather using paper. The tree regains life and leaves the audience with a simple message - 'Use Mobile, Save Paper'.

I liked the second advertisement more. A lady is shown bargaining for vegetables, she takes mobile number of the vendor and instantly transfers the amount to his account via mobile. I wonder if this trend actually picks up, the stuggling telecom industry can actually appear smiling again.
The new campaign from IDEA abides by the essential brand promise of providing a simple, fresh and imaginative solution to a complex problem of the society. The new campaign has been developed by IDEA's creative agency, Lowe.

Some food for thought: Idea cellular can actually stop printing manuals and unnecessary papers for new connections, stop using paper in recharge coupons. Heard they are going to use news-PAPER i.e print medium to spread the message!!! I hope they set an example by following what they are preaching rather than just creating a buzz!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The Mumbai Marathon...

I was never interested in running. The last time I remember I ran seriously was in school, where you had no option but to run and compete and grumble, why running? Why do people run? What do they achieve after running, rather play a sport than running! But that was school and I had no option but to participate.

In my remotest dream also I never thought I would ever be running seriously. It happened that my boss introduced his couch to us in the office. My boss loves running, 21KM to be precise in marathon events. So, he introduced Marathon world to us. What happened next, is a series of beautiful stories and I can go on and on... Juhu beach... Rakesh... Runner wave... morning 530... JW Marriot... Citizen... half beach... full beach... power exercise... mat..., a dream, which was never seen, just happened...;)

17th January 2010 was the marathon day. I got up early, took an autorikshaw to borivali. As I reached there I could see lot of enthusiast with "Marathon", "Bank of Baroda", "TCS", etc corporate names printed on their T-Shirts. My excitment level increased. Thoughout the stations, participants kept flooding into the local train till I reached Marine Line station. It was almost a mob, by the time I reach there. I was accompanied by my office friends. We headed towards Azad Maidan, the holding area. Lot of participants were dressed as "Ram-Sita-Laxman", "Gandhiji", "Netaji Bose", it reminded me of the fancy dress competition that use to happen in school time. It was a fantastic feeling.

We started with our dream run, basically for fun, supporting cause, displaying the true spirit. The atmosphere was completely charged up. As we headed, people were shouting slogans in support of Anti-AIDS, Animal rights, Save girl Child, Save trees, etc. Companies made it a point to gather attention and mave their brands visible. I spotted stars like Ritesh Deshmukh, Poonam Dhillon, John Abrahm-who pulled maximum crowd, corporate honchos and people from political world. Poonam Dhillon herself came to me and chatted, I could not believe myself because you normally dont expect such things. I clicked with Ramadorai, Vice Chairman of TCS, and other celebrities. We crossed Churchgate station and reached Pizzaria square at marine drive. The TCS band was performing there. At various places bands were performing, StanChart, RadioMirchi, etc. All the way, people were standing, cheering up the participants. Volunters were distributing water and other food supplements.

As we reached marine drive, Oh! what a beautiful view that was. The mumbai skyline was so perfect and mesmerizing, I thought of staying there, spending more time. It is always beautiful at night time but the morning view was far more amazing. As we moved, the Navy band was performing, we stopped there, "Summer of 69" number. It was a rare occasion to get to hear the navy band, I managed to make a video too. We climbed the flyover and reached back to the Azad maidan, finishing the dream run. What an amazing feeling that was! I can not describe it in words!

Nearly 40000 people participated from various parts of the world. Prior to the event, we were supposed to collect goodie bags from World Trade Centre, Fort. I thought so many people will be there, it might take an hour or two, to get through. What an arrangement, boy, it took straight 10 mins for me, to get my things done. Appreciable arrangement!

Kudos to the organisers, Sponsorers, participants and the true Mumbai spirit!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Hamara Bajaj: An iconic indian brand that caught eveyone's imaginations!

"Hamara Bajaj, Hamara Bajaj"...two generations grew up humming the jingle...It portrayed the Bulannd Bharat, strong and united India. It caught the imaginations of the aspiring middle class...joint families. I, as a kid really enjoyed the jingle but never realise the importance untill the announcement to stop the production of scooters by Bajaj. Oh! you mean to say the priyas and chetaks are all history now! Has the time changed so much...I have travelled almost every corner of my city, nagpur, with my dad on scooter, as a kid! The adv reminds me of those days.

Launched in 1972, people use to wait for upto 15 years to become proud owners of a scooter. My dad got his first scooter after waiting for almost 4 years and yes, we were looked upon as a very cherished family. Owning a scooter in those days was among the sort after thing. People use to ask for Bajaj scooter as dowry, or if a bride's family is offering a scooter, they were highly regarded. The this generation kids would never understand the sentiments of Rahul Bajaj, when Rajiv Bajaj, the MD of Bajaj Auto announced to discontinue the production.

Renowned Indian ad guru Alyque Padamsee came up with the slogan "Hamara Bajaj". It was like a nationalist movement. The words were on everyones mind. Everyone could relate to it. It was truely the style statement and youth of that time use to boast scooter with great pride. I wonder if there could be any vehicle or even any product worth waiting for 15 years!!!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Aman Ki Asha - Not so Asha from it!

The advertisement is fantastic with "Dilwale Dhulaniya..." being guessed correctly in a game of dumb-charades, bringing joy all over. Its a nice initiative. But is it going to help even a bit? Do we wait for 1st Januarys of every year to start something like this? Another resolution...? The motive? Does making Amitabh Bachchan appear in an initiative help? Connecting people-to-people basis and bypassing politicains, going to help? Lot of queries...
TOI and Jang group makes another initiative on 1st January 2010, this time to spread harmony between the two ever fighting nations. The first thing that comes into my mind is, do we really wait for January 1st and make new begining! Nothing changes in a day, we can start things any day and make a difference. Anyways, why is it not supported by other news channels and politicians of both the countries. When its the matter of two nations, it should be atleast supported whole-heartedly.

Music surely has no boundries...
"Sangeet mein hai aisi fuhaar
Pathjhad mein bhi jo laaye bahaar
Sangeet ko naa roke deewar
Sangeet jaaye sarhad ke paar

Sangeet maane naa dharm jaat
Sangeet se judi kaayanaat
Sangeet ki naa koi zubaan
Sangeet mein hai geeta quraan
Sangeet mein hai allah aur raam
Sangeet mein hai duniya tamaam

Toofanon ka bhi rukh modta hai
Sangeet toote dil ko jodtaa hai"
Agreed. Lines from Mission Kashmir movie, written by Sameer and Sung by Shankar.
The adv is trying to connect common people from two nation, bypassing the politicians. I doubt if it is going to be appreciated by any political party. Its also good branding exercise by TOI... trying to make a statement, otherwise limited role played by the nation newpapers as a whole. I see few awards for the initiative for sure.

I am not among the pessimist bunch, but if we look at it practically, the impact is going to be really insignificant. Such initiatives should be carried out. It is not going to make any difference in either of the side, nor its going to move our politians a bit. But, it just keep the hopes alive. It keep us reminding that afterall hatered is not the only solution and we can be considerate at some point of time. It also ensures that movie and music business is not hurted because of the stubborn stance at the highest level. My take, nice initiative, "the first step" seems alright, atleast somebody is thinking on these lines, but we need more actions rather than just words!

The sweet, romantic Beetle is here!

The VW Beetle... it does look cute... sweet yet strong and kind of very romantic car... I find it romantic car, I dont know why!... :)

The beginnings of the Beetle stretch way back to 1931, when a young Austro-Hungarian engineer by name of Ferdinand Porsche, when he developed a 'car for everybody'. Impressed by his treatment and understanding of real-world expectations from a daily transport vehicle, Adolf Hitler commissioned Porsche to make a 'Volks-wagen' - a people's car for Germany - a basic four-wheeler with a roof that would carry two adults and three children at contemporary freeway speeds - then pegged at about 100 km/h. And then there was the key rider - the car had to be sold at around the same price as that of a motorcycle.

The car brought the concept of an economy car to the United States in 1949. Within a decade, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Studebaker attempted to emulate the fuel-efficient compact car. More than 21 million Beetles were produced by 1992, breaking the Model T's 15 million production record. Japanese automakers Toyota, Honda and Datsun, later Nissan, followed VW's lead, with even better results.

Advertising Strategy:

(Adv of the 60s.)
The 1960s ad campaign for the Volkswagen Beetle changed the very nature of advertising--from the way it's created to what you see as a consumer today.

It was in this environment that DDB introduced the Beetle with a radical ad campaign that perfectly positioned the product and won the hearts and minds of the masses. What made the VW Beetle ad campaign so radical? Ads before it were either information-based and lacking in persuasion, more fantasy than reality, or relied on the medium's ability to deliver repeated exposure.
Beetle ads, though, connected with consumers on an emotional level, yet also conveyed a product benefit in a way consumers could relate to. Plus, the ads were breathtakingly simple.

Two famous print ads illustrate this. One featured a small picture of the car with the headline "Think small." Text highlighted the advantages of driving the small Beetle versus a big car.

The other presented just the car with "Lemon" in bold type. Ad copy explained that the chrome strip on the glove compartment was blemished and had to be replaced. The take-away was obvious. If this was Volkswagen's idea of a lemon, the Beetle must be a well-built car.

My Take on its entry into India: The car has already grabbed all the limelight. It comes with a price tag of Rs.20L something. Surely, it would appeal to bollywood industry more for simple reasons like... stars generally travel nucleus and not with complete family together, the style statement it provides... Cant ignore the parking and congestion issue in mumbai/ Delhi. Among the owners would be bollywood actresses, high class college going girls would get as Bday gift and sweet romantic couples may be in the age of 60s... :)

Two years old baby!!!

I created this blog two years ago in December 2007 and the first post was created exactly two years ago... So, this blog turns two year baby now... It looks good... good content... though not so regular due to other committments but still... the overall picture looks amazing... ;)

Happy Birthday!!!


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