Archive | January, 2008

30th January

31 Jan

Yes we all know that Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on that day.

But we live in busy times and details sometimes slip from our cluttered mind.

Yesterday I completely forgot about the day.

I came home from switched on the TV and saw, as expected, the news covering the story.

As I sat there watching TV, my subconscious pricked me, reminded me, goaded me, yes Mahatma Gandhi was killed on this day, but dude there is a much bigger, titanic scale tragedy which happened on this day.

I tried to clear the fog and then I remembered it was also Sudip and Anu’s wedding anniversary.

Congratulations Anu and my heartfelt sympathies are with you Sudip.

Prince and his horse

30 Jan

Once upon a time, prince was riding through a deep jungle on his horse.

Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop

After a long time of galloping the horse turned to the prince and said “Prince, I am thirsty, can we take a break for water?”

They saw a stream of fresh water.

Prince rode the horse to the stream and got down so that horse could drink water.

Horse immediately trotted towards the stream and drinking water greedily…

Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp,

Prince thought while the horse is drinking water he can eat his food. He started eating his food.

Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp.

Horse came back and saw prince eating his food and he thought he should also eat his food.

Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp.

Prince finished his food and went to the stream to drink some water.

Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp, Slurp, slurp

Prince and horse actually overate, so they decided to sleep for some time…

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

They woke after couple of hours and decided to start on their journey again…

Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, Gallop, …………………………………………….……………..

I looked down on my angel, smiled and quietly put her in her bed.

Sweet dreams, darling.

Barbie Dolls

28 Jan

Picking up another contentious issue to discuss which has been much debated topic with my wife.

The issue that I plan to put forth is my point of view about bringing up a girl child and would very conveniently ignore the counterview expressed by my wife.

The genesis of this debate started from a general observation/comment by me that parents make a big mistake to doll up their little young daughters – Armani clothes and Gucci shoes.

You can see today little girls as young as two-three sashaying in their designer clothes with parents adoring these little models with starry eyes – my daughter prettiest.

I believe this supposedly indulgent innocuous action by parents puts a much disadvantaged female child at an even weaker position.

Such actions reinforce, propagate and establish the very stereotypes women are trying to fight at that young age itself.

A child’s mind is open to suggestions and how she will view herself will be established at that very age.

“You need to look beautiful” is the worst suggestion that a parents can give to their daughters.

I have nothing against people dressing up their kids smartly, what is an issue is the unnatural degree of emphasis on this dumb activity. This simple suggestion becomes a singular focus as they grow up.

Imagine the strength of this vicious cycle, girls as they grow up have other girls as friends who have been trained themselves to consider this as a vital life defining activity, and looking more beautiful than the peer group becomes a singular focus of achievement.

What right do women have to criticize the advertisers and marketers parading beautiful women and building typecasts when that is what they need and talk about the maximum.

Keep a hand on your heart and say this is not true.

It bleeds my heart to see young girls preening themselves in front of the mirror – wasted life, wasted opportunity.

Before the world defines their position in the society, women themselves become slaves of this image. It takes away so much of their energy, attention, focus, capability.

If you ask me it is bloody unfortunate.

Why?
We all know that men look at women as objects and if women also look themselves as objects (beauty a primary focus) that must indulge the male eye, it’s doom written all over – twice.

Before women scream from the rooftops about their rights, I believe they need to look inwards about the role they play themselves as mothers, sisters, friends, colleagues in shaping the stereotype.

Power of suggestion.

Only you can decide whether your daughter will have an ambition to be another Sushmita Sen or a Marie Curie.

p.s: before any “tare jameen par” flag bearer start taking about the tragedy of putting pressure on kids for achievement, let me clarify, this topic is not about degree of achievement (irrelevant point) but about shaping destiny.

Please read this book

23 Jan

A short story by Ernest Hemingway

22 Jan

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Hail Master

16 Jan

A long forgotten experience was remembered in the most unlikely circumstances.

It goes back to days when I was a student (and still had ambitions of being educated and before I decided to stay illiterate by shifting to management from science) we had a gentleman called Prof Deb (his Bengali roots are not unimportant but definitely incidental to this story) as one of the teachers.

Prof. Deb was an acknowledged genius world-wide in his chosen field of Physical Chemistry (theoretical Chemistry) with expertise in some abstruse dense field of quantum chemistry.

But even with his awe-inspiring stature, he probably was the most humble and accessible teacher I have ever studied under (and there were other towering personalities in our college – he was the BIGGEST – but none as approachable ).

Anyone could go up to him and ask the stupidest, dumbest, most basic question and he would explain patiently the query till the student was satisfied. Howsoever busy he could be, no student would ever get rebuffed.

I am probably unable to explain what a stalwart he was. And the questions which he answered probably were a waste of his time and an insult to his intellect and time.

Enough ambling, coming back to the story.

So one day I was having a discussion about him with another professor and I happened to mention to him that I find it so surprising the fact Prof. Deb is so very humble.

Prof. Laltu said something which probably I should not have forgotten but would remember for the rest of my life.

He said “The branch that bears fruit hangs low.”

Diamonds, gold and a little silver – Part 1

14 Jan

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall
Who is the most beautiful of them all?”
Of course, you my lady.

Every fashion, beauty, cosmetic brand has been giving this answer to the consumer since eternity.

Actually all these brands go a step further – they promise beauty. No ordinary beauty – transcendent beauty.

Is anything wrong with this?

No, not at all.

To be noticed, to be attractive, to stand out is the reason we dress up, invest in gold, diamonds, designer clothes and other fashion products.

Colored hair, torn jeans, ear-rings, bald look nothing but renditions of the same need.

All these are in a way are substitutes for success – I’m better than you. I’m special.

Humans are driven in their effort to be exceptional, brilliant, extraordinary.

The leader of the pack – Everyone wants to be special.

These products primarily address this innate need of the humans and beauty is an expression of this need.

Beauty makes you special. Makes you more than what you are or in a human logic shows your true worth – bow you minions to my glowing personality.

Now if you translate this logic into communication for say a jewelry brand, we will find advertising with beautiful women, products proclaiming their uniqueness, intricate designs.

To a detour here, unique is also an expression of beauty. Only unique will make you stand apart from the herd.

In creative expression terms all communication for beauty and jewelry brand stems from – all eyes upon you (person or the product).

But hey, here is my question, if such brands are addressing this special need, can communication for all these brands be clone of each other?

Another no will not be out of order here.

But that is all what we see… beautiful women, focus on designs, drawing attention to uniqueness –in various creative ways but always in the same form.

Now if a new jewelry brand has to enter this industry, how should it convey its differentiator?

Conventional wisdom will take the new brand to the same playing space. It will create footprints in a field already made dirty by many.

Is there a way in which the brand can differentiate itself without breaking away from the core reason for existence?

For this let’s move back and re-look at what is happening there.

Most of the brands have looked at beauty in a uni-dimensional way and focused on the softer aspects of the term – Mushiness, softness, love, longing, yearning.

But enter the deep recesses of your soul, the need does not stem from these feelings.
The true DNA of beauty is based on a baser human – DOMINATION.

DOMINATION
POWER
CONTROL
LUST

Beauty must give you CONTROL. Control over the emotions of others.

A new truth.

A new reality.

To be continued…..