Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Year

Ello All,
It's been a while since I've written here. What better time to start than a new decade?
Tejas asked me to make a list of things I've done last year and the years before. He's quite scared we'll end up forgetting certain things you should never forget.
I'll do the list at some point but the end of 09 is significant for me for a very different, far more painful reason.
A couple of years ago, I started to let go of certain personal dreams I had because I felt they'd hinder a far greater personal dream of mine- A perfect family.
Perhaps it was my unrequited desire to grow up faster, or maybe I'm just sad that way, but when I get into relationships I tend to get into them quite heavy.
Proma and Anish never understood it but it always made sense to me, that if you find someone compatible you hang onto them for dear life because you may not get the chance again.
As a result I tend to commit a bit too much and as I've experience time and time again- too soon.
In football, our coaches always taught us not to commit to a tackle unless you were 100% percent certain you could come out the winner. See, if you don't win the tackle, your mark's free to run into empty space and compromise your other defenders.
My logic was there's still a chance I WILL win the tackle so I might as well try my best to do it.
But the most frustrating times, were when I'd plan and do everything as well as I could, but still somehow couldn't pull the tackle off.
Maybe I was playing against someone out of my league, maybe it was as simple as luck, the fact of the matter, the only thing I can know for sure, is that I wasn't good enough to make the tackle.
As you can imagine, this is all an elaborate metaphor (And a half decent comic actually...) and I am quite out of position.
I'm in a flux. I have no idea what to do with anything and I have no real idea how to move forward.
I feel wierd.
Sorry this post was quite rambly in the end. I just thought maybe blogging would help. It sort of has. I don't know.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

In Good Company

Ello All
The last few days have been mad hectic for me as I travelled to Pune for the weekend and then Matheran for the remaining weekdays. Pune was awesome. Matheran not so much.
The most obvious reasons were that in Pune we had a warm dry home to come back to and in Matheran we had a smelly, damp and cold bunch of bed linen to sleep in. There were also bugs.
Thing is, I've stayed in far worse conditions with far less complaint and it is certainly not my age that made me want to leave Matheran so much.
I believe, very firmly, that there is a level of connection between any two people, which is so immensely impactful, all other relationships fade into non existence. I call this level, the click. It's kind of like a pen. When the cap is off, some covers just click right in and some take a bit of effort before they click. Some just don't click.
A few months ago, through no planned arrangement, my girlfriend, my best friend, my sister, her boyfriend and I ended up chilling together. There was singing, there was chattering and there was a lot of laughing (key ingredient for optimum clickage...).
Last weekend in Pune we met again and it was just as awesome. There was no will to leave, there was no false smile, there was no hidden feelings, there was nothing but the good time we were all having.
At the end of it all, we all hugged waved and shouted our ba-byes before heading our separate ways to do our own things and it struck me how awesome this particular click was. We meet, have a blast and then head back to the less 'clicky' worlds we normally occupy.
I had a ball in Matheran. It was one hell of a trip, but something in me was trying very hard for the previous click and obviously that wasn't going to happen.
I suppose what this is boiling down to, is wherever there is a click, whoever it may be, cling onto it and protect it like none other because clicks are a lot harder to find than we'd like to think.
One of my existing clicks is fading currently. (Well two, but that's a whole other blog and probably even a book) She won't say it but it's been getting pretty blatantly clear that the boredom of old click is bothering her. I'm trying to figure out how to rejuvenate this click without having to pull the cover off the pen. Even if it's momentarily. I'm sure we'll get there but like I said, one must always protect their clicks. It's the greatest thing you'll ever have to protect.
To the Lawbreakers.
I've just spoken to the inappropriately mistitled 'fading click' and as always she has a far better metaphor. The metaphor itself is long and if reprinted here could result in injuries for me. Point being- the click is not fading but is in fact as awesome as always. I could extend my metaphor and say perhaps the color of the pen is not as exciting as it once was, and I feel it is my duty to brighten up and make her enjoy the clickiness of it all.
Now. Figure it out yourself and get back to me because I swear to God I haven't the slightest...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

These are the days

Ello All
This was honestly supposed to be a spontaneous post 3 days ago, but some very stupid moves and a trip to Matheran means it's had to wait till now.
Well, the day I wanted to write this, I'd just had a small meal with two friends from the Journo class. Nothing significant happened, nothing that really changed anything anyway. We ate, talked about inanities, caught our trains and left.
For some reason though, that experience of eating and walking home and being tired and chuckling and yawning is somehow very deeply ingrained in my memory.
On the same day I'd just had a gruelling session which had me drained entirely.
When I'm 56 and I'm talking to my kid/s and they look up at me and Kyra and ask us about college, these are the experiences I'll tell them about. And no matter how many ipods and net connections you throw into the fray, they'll always seem old and outdated.

I realise now that this post isn't going ANYWHERE and probably was never supposed to. But there's a very pleasant, almost comforting feel to this particular memory and it just strikes me how awesome it is to do something and then relive it later on and still come out with a similar if not stronger feeling.
Yea I'm just trying to blog more often. This is what happens.

While writing this post I started watching the Wimbledon Final, and man!
Fuck me!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Ello all
It's that time of the year again. I'm leaving the place I'm staying in. I'm going to be staying with a friend for a bit and then, well I don't know.
The absurd frequency with which this happens is fairly freaking disheartening and every time it does I start to appreciate the security and sheer sanity of having one home you can sort of track back to whenever you like. Even if it's just in your head.
It struck me, as always, when I went to pee and realised I'll be peeing in a new bathroom all over again. And then I'll start to get used to that loo and I'll end up moving yet again. I certainly wish things would hit me in more poetic circumstances but there you go.
These past three days I've just had my head in such an unbelievable jumble over this and honestly, what bothers me most, is that I don't have that thing a very dear friend of mine has everytime she's moving around. She'll just up and go like it's this very ordinary step. God, I wish I fucking had that. It just always kicks in too late and I end up with these couple weeks of jumble.
Michael Jackson dying hasn't particularly helped. Not that I hold it against him. But shit. It's over. No phenomenal comeback. No righting what went so wrong. Just end para, 'King of Pop' is gone. It's time like these you have to thank God we have the internet. Noone will ever forget, or even let diminish the significance of his passing, and I suppose, it's the least he deserves.
I digress. I suppose.
Sorry for the ramble/whine. Just figured a post might help the jumble go. Not worked so far.
Ah fuck it. Let's hope the next post's a little cheerier.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oh I wish I was a design student with flowers in my hair...

Ello all
These last few weeks have been possibly my most tense weeks in a while now. Some readers may know that my family's financial scene isn't the prettiest, yet somehow they maintain the same level of expectations they did when we did have money. It's admirable in a way, but it's also very frustrating, and as I mentioned worrying.
At some point after school I decided I wanted to be an idealist. The kind of person who took a job regardless of pay, as long as it was a job that fit my ethical threshold. My Father did this. After a very successful tenure as a bank manager, he realised his heart wasn't in it, so he took to a job that didn't pay well, guarantee longevity, or in fact, reward diligence. Perhaps it was bad luck and bad timing, but the point is, while he did follow his heart, it's not led him to a particularly secure place.
This scared me shitless. On the one hand, I desperately want to follow my heart and live my life without a dependance on money. On the other hand, I want a family. I want to have a nice internet connection at home. I want to be able to buy cold cuts and nice cheeses so I can have sandwiches whenever I want to. I want to randomly splurge on my wife. I don't want to be rich-rich. Just, you know comfortable.
Thing is, that takes money, and while yes principally and even morally I may be a bit more comfortable as a journalist, maybe it's worth the compromise if I can earn a decent living out of advertising. The picture isn't nearly that black and white. Sure I could earn a lot as a Journalist, and sure I could earn nothing as an ad-maker.
The bitch is that I'm so unbelievably petrified about what I should do after the year's done. Go to Australia, try for elsewhere, stay in India?
It just amazes me how we can spend so much time and energy doing things we don't particularly like or love, to the extent that we don't have anything left for what we DO like or love. And the fact that somehow, that could potentially even be worth it.
I don't know what I want, what I need, or what I should be doing. All I know is I'm at that point where I've got to make a decision that'll define everything. Sure I could change at any point, I'm not that linear to believe that the path I choose now is the path I'm stuck with. But the truth is, if I do pick the right one, it'll make shit a whole lot easier.
The only thing that's really pulling me through right now is the comic, and the fact that I've got a year to amp up my portfolio.
Growing up fucking blows.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Unmasking

Ello all
Just a short one to let you all know that I've finally mustered up the courage to officially launch the web comic.
A few disclaimers are in order though. Firstly, the layout is rubbish but I'm working on a new banner which may take some time considering I have an exam in 2 days. Secondly, the image quality is equally rubbish and I think it's a glitch in my camera. I'll probably have to end up scanning though. I'm still in a testing phase. Thirdly, I've never done this before so if the actual strips themselves are rubbish, well let's hope and pray I learn soon.
This isn't something that'll grow into anything commercial, rather something I desperately want to do and figure it's worth the effort. At the moment it's all very rudimentary but I'm hoping I can make some progress and fast.
Anyway with much trepidation I present to you- - a webcomic.
Credit to Anish for somehow locating the damn thing and commenting on it two whole days before I even told anyone I'd come up with a name. He is, in fact, the best.
Be gentle...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Ello all,

My laptop cable went kaput! about a week ago and as a result I've not just missed a couple of posts, I've also ended up delaying the webcomic reveal. Hopefully I'll do it tomorrow.

Anyway, I had a long talk with an ex- professor of mine today and it sent me on a bit of a spiral thoughtwise. Inner hyperlinking if you will. And all of a sudden I realised just what my problem with Advertising as a profession really is.

I remember in Kyra's second last semester she'd done a post about how it blew that she had to write copy, convincing copy at that, about a restaurant she'd never actually been to. At that point something about the whole idea of advertising made me cringe, but it was until today that I was able to really get just what it is that irks me about it.

Imagine all the brands in a certain segment are people. They have personalities, plans, failures, achievements and quirks. Some are excellent at what they do, some are quite rubbish. But at the end of the day, the only ones who really prosper, who really last long are the ones who seem to be the best. Advertising as a profession ensures that.

Now, it's unfair to assume that all brands with good marketing are poor brands. It's equally unfair to presume they're all good. In certain segments it's reasonably fair, and in certain segments in not. Vodafone, is an amazing brand, introspective and evolving and always concerned. Their media plan reflects that and they succeed.

On the other hand Mandvi Beach in Gujarat is possibly the most beautiful beach in India, yet due to a better media plan Goa will always seem like the premier beach destination.

Al Rees and Jack Trout believe that 'perception is reality' and unfortunately they're right. If Nokia looks and sounds like a better product, then no matter what Sony Ericsson offer as a product, they'll always be at a disadvantage.

And yes, it's all very well and good to just go along with this ludicrous concept but what we're essentially doing is sacrificing a definition of better which is deeper for one that is shallower. It's bullshit. And the sad thing is, there now exists a multi-million dollar industry dedicated solely to ensuring that this concept be pushed as far as it can go.

Yes there's seven billion of us. Yes there's far too many variables and dynamics to be successfully idealistic anymore, but what bothers me is the flagrant ease with which awesome pure ideals are dropped.

I'm not saying advertising is all nasty. The creative process involved in brand building and the insight derived from analysing consumers is amazing. The kind of work some firms put into humanizing products and brands is incredible. The way stuff like Saatchi and Saatchi's lovemarks extends to better management or the way Audi and Honda ads can leave people with their mouths gaping, is not something you can scoff at.

But not only are these values rare, they honestly appear to be the exception rather than the rule. And I don't know, it kind of seems like that ever-looming air of 'nasty' that lies over advertising is neither something that'll go away too soon, but something that doesn't really deserve to.

Luke Sullivan has this joke which goes something like this:

I've just started dating a devout Christian with a very strong moral fibre. My dad's in jail convicted of murder, my mother's a madam and my three siblings are extortionists. But I'm not sure I should tell her I'm in advertising!