Thursday, February 25, 2010

A peaceful warrior's Midsummer Mysterious dream

I lost a follower! Wait that’s not the worst part, I don’t know which one it is! I am a avid keeper of followers and fellow bloggers and I always try my best to keep up with them. Then comes series of “maybes”. Why did he/she stop being my follower? May be its something I wrote, May be its something I was expected to write but did not. May be I started snoring. May be I have to shave my ears! You get the drift.

I am wrapping up in Chennai; Yes I am shifting to Bangalore for as many reasons as you can count with fingers in two hands. One more challenge to my list – coping up. Although it’s few hundred kilometers away from Chennai, Bangalore is very different from it. Its ever changing landscape and vibe is shaped up by thousands of IT expats from all around India and abroad. I am excited to the point that I feel like a villager migrating to a big city.

On the love front, things have been amazingly normal, given my mood swings and our occasional confrontations. “You look so beautiful when you get angry” and “let’s work it out together” still holds good. We both could use some break and romantic time together. But honestly I like this phase better, we are learning a great deal about each other and it should only make our love stronger. It’s amazing how the definition of love changes with the seasons.

Many of my recent posts were basically my status updates and I would like to change that notion. How about a story? Ok I am never been good with writing stories (the last time was disastrous) so please bare with me on the first one, I promise to make it better along the way. Here is the curtain raiser.

Midsummer Mysterious dream
Picture curtsey

“What the hell you are doing?!” Ranbir Singh literally roared to the motorist who took a steep cut on his way. Unless provoked Ranbir is very amiable person, a romantic husband and a loving father. But tonight is not a usual one and the last call from Malini wasnt one either. Earlier during that day..

“Ranbir here”
“Mrs Ranbir here”
“Hey sweetie I am almost done here, what’s up?”
“Its little princes, she insists talking to you abt…” Malini’s voice faded in the back ground and a sweet younger version of it took over.
“Daddy, which one is good peacock or lion?” The 6 year old has picked up the British accent better than his.
“Why Ammu?” He can convince his high style client to buy his advert campaigns, but handling Ammu’s questions proved harder.
“ There is this stupid fancy dress competition and we had to dress as animals” There was strong emphasis on “Stupid”.
“Ammu can we discuss this tonight?”
“ Say promise”
“My daddy is the best, have a safe drive” Ammu alais Anita kept the receiver whose length was twice that of her ear to mouth.

Ranbir soaked himself into the pile of advert banners again, little did he know about the wild evening that’s waiting for him.  Ranbir is tall, handsome, dark brown eyed, fair guy. The 30 something had a fluffy dark hair and dimple on his square face, which gave away a smiling and friendly look. Ranbir is a successful advertising agent, so much that his chairman has personally asked him to move to head office in London from India. Few British colleagues who now work under him were so jealous that they even did a mock plan to kidnap and kill him in one of their drunken nights together.

While the move was very fruitful to Ranbir’s career, it did the opposite to Malini’s. Malini in her late 20s is stunnigly beautiful and from a royal family of Nagpur. Her great grandfathers ruled several small villages of that state. She even had a tiger as her pet. But Malini grew out of all that, for she believed in making history than being in one. In fact her legacy was the main problem when Ranbir and she decided to tie the knot. Malini met Ranbir in one of the sales promotion of her company .Both had a weird feeling that they were meant to be together. A quick coffee turned out to be thier first date, and after few months Ranbir proposed to her.

After moving to London Malini became paranoid over the joblessness, her obsessive cleaning and home management skills didnot keep her occupied enough. For her place belonged in marketing industry. She was one of the finest managers HLL ever had and according to her boss, she is still in “long vacation” and could come back anytime she wants. Malini started filling her time with books and mostly self help ones, for they helped her to do lot of introsepection. She read almost everything in self realisation, astrology, meditation, alternative beliefs and even past life. There were days Malini would just wait for Ranbir to go to office to finish another volume of Paulo Coelho or Brain Weiss. Exactly on her birthday at her birth time in the dark corridors of Past life section in the library, Malini met Marsha, a new age believer. There is a mystery about Marsha which Malini found interesting. It seemed to contain answers to all those questions she had about herself.

To be continued…
p.s: Peaceful warrior in the title is inspired by this.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Come home to Commercials

“Why advertising?”, If I earn a dollar every time someone asks me that question, I’d be millionaire now. The answer is “I don’t know, it vibes with me, it just feels right”. Each one of us have a destiny to work to, a purpose to fulfill in this world. The more we deviate from it, the more we would feel the stress and pain of life. But if we let, the universe would effortlessly lead us to it. And when we take up that job, it would seem as if the whole world is giving us a standing ovation to welcome us into it. Suddenly we will be dawned with realization about everything in our life that shaped us for it.

Brand/product campaigns do make a big impact on what we wear, eat and think about a product. Every advertisement we see literally shapes our lifestyle. A 5 year old pestering her mother to buy a particular washing powder (may be because the cover has a Dora or Power puff girl’s picture or something) is not a joke. A 20 seconds commercial goes through hours of research, planning and production. And like every other powerful medium it can be misused too. It would take several posts if I went about listing all those lovely advertisements that awed me. So for now, let me share few of them.

The very reason I brought the bike of “Bajaj” is because of the slogan “Hamara Bajaj” (our Bajaj). The slogan not only personalized the brand, it also gave the sense of being Indian and supporting the Indian brand. The soulful music, simple visuals and the powerful slogan has gone deep into the memories of my generation.

When Genelia walked those corridors of stadium she literally walked every Indian girl out of their cocoons. A cricket game is a Man’s field and a women commentator has to have real confidence to be there doing that. That’s exactly the message “Fair and Lovely” wanted to put to its audience.

Love, celebration and enjoying simple pleasures of life like a child, is all that comes to our mind when we watch Cadbury’s commercials. Wasn’t that enough to make any adult buy a chocolate?

Ar rehman literally blew us with his music in these adverts. Even non Airtel consumers had this as their ring tone. This must be one of the most popular Indian advertisement music. Connectivity and need to expression is the message that’s powerfully put across.

Amazing isn’t? All those commercials we watch during our breakfast, dinner or between the game show are tactically created and placed to give us key message required to buy the product. Hence the need, of being informed customers and smart buyers. Its all there for us to see, ok lets review the below advert. Watch it from sales person point of view and let me know your thoughts, in the comment section.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A CSI Wedding and 13 ghosts

Have you seen the promos of CSI Miami? They often show 360 degree, slow motion clips of action sequence (like travelling bullets) which are impossible to witness in real. It’s interesting to see how the virtual eye dissects every detail of the frame in question. I finally got to catch an episode of it, after the long and exhausting celebrations of my brother’s marriage.
A bride groom gift - dolls dressed in traditional south Indian brahmin marriage dress
Months of planning, endless shopping spree and unstoppable need to please everyone are finally over. My home is filled with bouquet, gift boxes and sweets of several kinds. The much welcomed order and quietness has prevailed again. Here are some “unusual/strange/weird/ one in million/ or call whatever you wish “moments of it.

1. I baby proofed my entire apartment for the marriage – No surprise.

2. I shaved my dad’s head (don’t get me started on the reasons. It’s my first time but it proved to be fun and kind of dad-son bonding event.) – Surprise.

3. My garden is ransacked and my fishes are stressed from all the banging- No sweat.

4. I don’t seem to find my body spray and tongue cleaner – Sweat
Reception decoration, flowers made out of vegetables.
5. I said “Sowkiyama (how are you?) Veetla sowkiyama (how is everyone at home?) to hundreds of people who I swore I don’t remember seeing, even in my dreams – No regrets.

6. I was asked to hide the costly things in home and in function hall from these relatives – Regrets.

7. Dad, mom and few elders were running around like atoms in excited state, in an emotional rollercoaster, ready to cry any moment due to happiness, anger or sadness. And sometimes it’s really hard to tell the difference. Funny.

8. Suddenly the unmarried me have become the topic of discussion for some to advice, to pity and to play very creative rumors (according to an Aunt I am married twice and have 3 kids) – Very funny.

9. A cousin kept harassing me in front of everyone because I did not grant money/permission to a short trip which he and his family wanted to take in the bus arranged for marriage transportation – Not so funny.
10. Specially made meals were home delivered to Julie by his favourite cheffuer. - Very Happy.

11. No matter how much difference you share, people would smile when you have a camera in hand and say cheese – Quite happy.

12. Every relative would like to claim their share of respect, importance and gifts that they receive in the marriage – That’s ok.

13. After seeing the amount of the food that’s wasted, the money that has been spent I feel sorry for those who don’t even have a piece of bread for dinner. – Exactly opposite to being happy.
A vegetable zoo
All said and done I am very happy for my brother and his wife. I just wish it were a family affair. I bet both families spent loads of money, energy and time to please everybody except the bride and the groom. Don’t you think it’s high time we put our Indian marriages under 360 frozen shot like that of CSI Miami for a better look?

Sunday, February 07, 2010

3 Bloggers and a Granny story

I got this crazy idea that I had to pen err, keyboard it down immediately. So I am writing this post at 12:50 am, talk about peak of joblessness ;) Most of the Indians might know this story told by our grandma/mom when we were kids “Patti vadai sutta kadhai”(Granny, crow and the fox story) . What if some of our beloved bloggers had written their version of it?

For those who don’t know the story, here is the short version. A granny was making delicious Indian fritters and a crow stole one of them. While the crow was on the tree about to eat the snack, a fox came along. Being clever self, the fox planned to steal that fritter from the crow. It said to the crow “you look beautiful and I really wonder how sweet your voice would be, could you sing for me please? “ The foolish crow did what’s been asked and lost the fritter. The story was said to promote the values of not stealing, being clever blah blah, you get the idea.

Now to “I-have-gone-nuts-on-Saturday-night” versions of it.
Disclaimer 1:
All characters appearing in this work are real. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely intentional.
Disclaimer 2:
I choose these three bloggers because (they paid me for publicity), I see distinct style of them that I think, I can imitate.
Disclaimer 3:
It would make very little sense if you haven’t read their blogs (yeah right, otherwise all my posts are very sensible)

Chotu’s world – AJCL: My close friend and my favorite writer, she writes touchy incidents of motherhood in lovable way. AJCL I love you so much ;)

Chotu has started asking numerous questions, a sure sign he is growing up. Soon he would be independent and I am going to miss pampering him. Today we went to the park (same old one which we visit twice a day) and a granny was making aromatic fritters. While I was excited to try the fritter , Chotu was maha excited to see a new bird sitting on the nearby tree. He pointed at it and asked “ amma teela enna birdie erukku” (what bird is there in the tree) and I said “ its crow” . Apparently he wanted to know about its origin, life span and its genetic code. While I went into the animated discussion with him, the granny also joined us. At the same time the crow took one of the fritter and there was a big hungama about it. Chotu after seeing this declared to everyone around that fritters in the pan are having “clow bateria” (Crow bacteria) and no one should eat it. And suddenly he started screaming, I could see the people in the park starring, not at the unstoppable chotu, but the helpless me (being mommy has its own embarrassing moments I tell you). After several questions he pointed out to a dog in the park and yelled “focssss” . It was then time for his dinner so I rushed home with groceries in one hand and crying chotu in another.

Business Musings - Ramesh , My god father and very professional writer. If you want to know about the business world, look no further, for his easy going posts on latest affairs would make you well informed.

Its safe to say that businessmen from developing nations are as good as the ones in the US of A , UK and Europe. While the whole economy is recovering from the big R, our favorite Granny is making profits in fritters industry. In the last six months she has made whopping 2 million - profit! Can you believe? SHE MADE PROFIT, in what wall street journal has called – the toughest business hours of the decade. Rumors are going around that the mighty crow corporation would make cheap offer, practically day time stealing to the granny fritters, but fox Inc isn’t keeping quite either. Today’s fox Inc’s media release about Crow Corporation, calling it “beauty of the century” clearly hints its tactical plans. I say “if it’s too good to be real, then it’s too good to be real”. I guess unethical business like Crow Corporation surely deserves what’s coming next. But I am more worried about our favorite granny fritters. It was not just a profit making machine but a beloved company and dear one to million patrons like me. We need to wait and watch the developements, its sure going to be the corporate drama of the millennium.

Mybittersweetkoreanlife – Emma is like a fresh air from the well bloomed garden and we share loads of common interests. Her picturesque travelogue posts literally take readers to anywhere she goes.
I just unpacked my luggage from last vacation this Saturday morning. I had this throbbing head ach, that’s probably the sea food we had or sojo. While Chris was busy dealing with his troublesome boss, I took a good two hour nap. Later we decided to have a romantic dinner at Osaka Park. The ride through the nature trail was memorable experience by itself. It gives visitors a new appreciation for life and don’t miss the hiking while you are there.

(Picture of a muddy trail with a stream by the side)
Later we walked to the empty streets of Osaka village and saw two ajummas making Korean fritters. It was very similar to the pancakes, except these are deep fried.

(Picture of fritters)
We rested in one of the gazebo eating the tasty dishes; Chris spotted this dark healthy blue eyed crow in the nearby tree. Crow took off with one of our fritters and suddenly we decided to follow it. The mid afternoon sun was so hot, and the long walk was very tiring. But he encouraged me to walk and right then we saw country fox in the nearby bush.

(picture of fox starring)
(picture of fox with fritter in the mouth)
(picture of Emma with V shape in fingers with her cool t-shirt, and her favourite colourful shoes)
At the end of the day we were exhausted sweaty and tired beyond Imaginable, but it was amazing to watch crow and the sunset, standing at the cliff.

(Picture of crow, sunset background)
(Picture of Emma and Chris, Emma shows V sign, sunset at the background)
I would probably write my version of it in the next post ;) now off to sleep.
Ps1: If you know my address dont give it to AJCL, Ramesh or Emma.
ps2: You are free to write my version of it ;)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Nobody said it was easy

I swing everyday, every hour, and every minute.
Remember the craziness of Madagascar buddies when they are left free in the forest? Free (yet scared) and happy (yet confused), the only hope is being together with friends. With few days left in my notice period, I am going through exactly that. My mood swings from temporary euphoria to sudden depression and I feel like shuttling between North Pole to Sahara. I am just preparing myself for long days of my life

Music keeps me going
In movies, (defn not the Hollywood ones), when the hero goes through a career dip, they would show how he suffers at first. And then bang! A song sequence with many short clips of his hard work and perseverance is enough to make him millionaire. That hardly ever happens in real. But I firmly believe I am going to see some interesting developments in forthcoming days. Needless to say I would post every detail of this journey, and you guys would be the first ones to know.

I love Pakistan
I am sure many cricket fans and those with strong “patriotism” would judge the forbidden statement written by this Indian. How can I even think of loving someone, a fellow human being who is born few thousand kilometers away? How can I share the special feeling with people who are victims of bad politicians, hypocrite media and terrorism? But if patriotism means these things then sorry don’t count me in. Love, support and understanding are all we need to bridge this gap, to cut the poison tree that was created by few corrupted minds for their own benefits.

I roar for Tiger
Our national animal is close to extinction! From 40 thousands to mere 1400 and declining the very minute I am writing about it. I used to think such campaigns are mere donation mongers or attention seekers. Albeit, it still helps to create the awareness about the issue. Every word written or spoken about it would definitely make a difference.

Be it mood swing, peace with nation or conservation of wild life, we can always do something about it. Its not easy but its definitely worth our effort.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Lets play IN to U 'tion

It has been very serious here lately and I wanted to write a positive topic with a fun twist. One of the few things I ask myself when I wake up everyday is “How can I be more of myself today?” While many of us see preserving our identity as a challenging job. Being outrageously our self is the most natural thing to do. The more we are in tune with what we are and do what we really like; we would experience a state of bliss, happiness and perfect health in Mind and body.

By listening more to our hearts, Intuition to be precise, we can understand more about our likeness and being. Most of the time, we do listen to our intuition but we find hard to trust it, drawing up many logical conclusions that might ask us to do otherwise. But remember when we were infants no one asked us to drink when being fed.

We all evolved(and evolving) from a single celled organism. Plants grow to sunlight, animals know how to find food and raise babies, all just by instinct, the natural intuitive power. If we learn to trust that higher knowledge that’s available to us, we would be able to make better choices in life. The choices that would truely vibrate with who we are.

So let’s play a game to exercise this connection, let’s see how much we are willing to listen to our intuition. Before we begin please do the following.

1. Sit comfortably
2. Close your eyes (duh after reading the steps fully ;P )
3. Take 10 deep breaths, fill your lungs as much as you can and exhale slowly.
4. Say “Relax” mentally 10 times to yourself, in slow regular intervals.
5. Say this” I am willing to listen to my intuition now”
6. Open your eyes

Now the game is to see who is preceding you in the comment section. We are NOT going to Guess, we are going to SEE mentally using our Intuition.

1. Close your eyes.
2. Visualize yourself as a Kid in your school.
3. Slowly walk to your class room, taking in the sights, sounds and smell of the place.
4. See the black board, no one is around you. You take a seat in the chair in front of the black board.
5. Now say “ I want to see who proceeds me in the comment section, Show me a feature or likings of that person”
6. Just observe what comes next
7. Open your eyes.

Now visit the comment section. Write your comment like below

1. How true the description of yourself by the above person.
2. What’s your forecast of the next person
3. Your thoughts/ feel while doing this exercise.

I have put my comments to start with, go on have fun ;)
There is no right or wrong answer here. It only says how much we are in tune with the intuition, so this awareness would help us to build that connection. You may wish to redo this, in that case please do it after an hour or two; this is just to dial down the anxiety factor. If you wish, I shall write more about this exercise in my next post