Archive | March, 2011

40 year old advertising man

25 Mar

I was watching this ad featuring Sachin Tendulkar, don’t ask me the brand, who can remember all the brands the man promotes, it has tendulkar facing a black menacing looking bowler with a hockey stick.

And as I saw the ad it was obvious that the TVCommercial has been thought by a guy between 35-45 age bracket atleast.

What gave it away?

The black fast bowler.

Obviously the guy was a cricket watcher in somewhere between 1975-1990 when westindies dominated the cricket world. And we had legends like Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall and the works scaring the shit out of Indian batsmen.

The cricketing world of today hasn’t seen the big scary bowlers of that kind for decades now.

It was obvious that adman as he sat with his scribbling pad, said tendulkar facing a fast bowler with hockey stick and Michael Holding with the ball.

Dude I agree, those were the days, Taits and Lees and Akhtars and Bonds and Johnsons might have the pace but where is the character.

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Asses in Corporateland

23 Mar

“My company does not respect performance”
“That guy got such an underserving promotion”
“Woh chaat chaat kar….”
“Let’s see how far he goes without talent and through favoritism”
“So fucking unfair”

Today morning I was driving to office with a colleague and the conversation veered towards the above mentioned sentiment. He started sharing with me his corporate sob story of how he has worked so hard and for so many years yet another guy who is so very underserving is rising up and the usual associated shit, which I am sure you can easily hear in your head. We all in our course of work life have said and heard these refrains and laments in the past.

How can people be so dumb?

What do they think corporate world is?

Some fucking NGO??

Ram Rajya??

Some idealistic society???

For some reason people tend to consider the corporate world to be a perfect society. There are two mistakes in it, one is to think it has a parallel with the society and it is a miniature of the outside world they live in, the so called society.

I don’t have much of patience on this issue and will put my views succinctly and please don’t think the argument is a censure of the capitalism in any manner. And just my views.

Three points-

1. It is not a mirror of the society. It has rules which are independent of the society justice system. Do not mistake it as a perfect world where all things that happen are just and right.

2. The world does not operate as a barter system in its relation with its customers. It’s only smoke and mirror. In a way it is closer to the crime and criminal world in construct. The things it offers it tries to extract a price as high as possible in comparison to its actual cost of manufacturing. It in a way is a con game. And the ones that bluff the best are the winners. It requires a different kind of mindset to succeed, if I can think of an appropriate world, it will illusion.

3. If illusion is the reality of the corporate world outside the same will also hold true inside. The guys who can create the best illusions inside will succeed. What goes outside must happen inside. And it is best for the organization to succeed. It needs such people only. It doesn’t need honest, hardworking, committed people; it needs con artists who know their trade the best because dear friend, that is the business.

So stop cribbing and go find the best artist in the trade and become his or her apprentice if you have desire and ambition to succeed in this parallel, alternate reality universe.

And this argument is a con trick.

I dare you to find the flaw.

My friend Dev Anand

10 Mar

I was just now listening to kishore kumar songs and there was a song that was being introduced by Shah Rukh Khan, a perennial favourite of old timers like me “ek ladki bheegi bhang se” from the irrepressible and charming ” chalti ka naam gaadi”. And as part of his introduction he said some very endearing words for Mr. Kishore Kumar.

As I was listening everything sounded nice yet there at the back of my mind I could feel something was amiss, a note that jarred in his speak, out of place, like an ugly mark on the face of a beautiful girl, a misplaced splash on a perfect painting.

Then it came to me, it was respect that seemed unnecessary and somehow inappropriate, the suffix Mr didn’t sit easy, it was a redundant sound, a word rather than elevating the stature, made the artist distant, alienating him from me, his ardent admirer.

It is so strange, somehow the name comes easy on the Tongue, Raj Kapoor, Amitabh Bachan, Dilip Kumar, even the artists from another era, artists long gone, Kishore Kumar, Ashoka Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Bharat Bhushan, Marlon Brando. Bigger the artist, taller the flame, higher the scale more easily, casually the name sits on the Tongue.

The beauty of an artist lies in his humility (not real but associative), in their familiarity and intimacy that they share with their fans. I have not met Robert De Niro but I know him intimately, like a friend, like a buddy, he is part of my life, my growing up days, of my youthful fervour, his poster has seen me trying to ape his “you talkin to me” or shashi kapoor’s “mere paas ma hai” has been a wise crack of many, and outside the classrooms, many have whispered to the dictator professors “gabar aa raha hoon mein”, and the lovers burning in the flame of eternal love have copied and aped the style of SRK’s eternal and immortalised lover Raj. These guys been around us forever, live with us and within.

And no one calls friends, whatever their age or social status or stature or popularity, Mr.

One always calls a friend by name.

So Dev my friend, you will always have my nod of approval.

Deceptive analogies

5 Mar

Observation and contemplation are obviously different from seeing and thinking, yet are sometimes used interchangeably, without changing the intended meaning.

“I was observing the world around me” and “I was seeing the world around me”, mean the same.

But the important part is internalizing and understanding what has been captured in that fleeting moment. Now two almost similar in construct scenarious or analogies can be interpreted very differently (it is a mistake to bias your mind towards the difference yet let’s continue)

Read the two lines –

1. What is more important the hand that wields the sword or the hand that forges it?

2. What is more important the hands that uses the quill or the hand that shapes it?

Similar in construct but not same, right??

I am not debating the right or wrong here. Just trying to point out that at first glance the two statements look similar in construct yet the answer to each with a little more contemplation can possibly be different.

Going back to the two statements, the first reaction for many would be hands that wields the sword and the hand that holds the quill.

But what if the hand that makes the sword doesn’t make it and the other hand doesn’t provide the quill. It does change something in case of sword, it compromises the strength of the hand without the sword and in turn compromises the ambition of the mind that would have wielded the sword. While without the quill nothing changes, quill was just a tool to reflect what was in the mind, and the possessor still has the tongue to convey his thoughts. While sword less hand is much compromised in strength, quill less hand not much he still can rely on the oral tradition, which in any case has been proven superior scientifically to teach and learn.

I have written earlier also though in jest (and in my enthu cutlet moods mixed saina and sania) analogies are made to highlight a point but are not parallel. And if that is so than precedent as a procedure and part of the process to pronounce judgements in courts of law is flawed way leading to possibly wrong conclusions in certain cases, as the assumed parallels could be faulty, they are just deceptively similar.

Thinking and contemplation also have the same relationship.

Contemplation is an immersive process focused towards absorption thinking on the other hand, in majority of cases action oriented or result oriented.

I could be wrong about thinking and myself a victim of my own self serving analogies and parallels, but it will serve me better if I take every act, every action as unique action and judge it for it’s merits and demerits.

To give an example as they say every life is unique and no two snowflakes are same. Hahahaha

Argument for argument

1 Mar

I was recently accused by a friend of being argumentative in my writing. He suggested rather than writing arguments I should rather focus on imagination and creativity that fuels fantasies and creates dreams. It somehow implied that what I write was I won’t say unimportant, his accusation was even more serious, he considered it as a very trifle, flippant pursuit; a meaningless action.

Writing for jollies; to sum up his point of view.

Another friend, surprising as it may seem I do have lots of friends and all very concerned about my physical, mental, social, material and spiritual wellbeing, said that I am very argumentative in my social interactions, I make discussions as right or wrong, win/lose situations, personal and in the process lose the larger aspect and raison-d-etre of that interaction.

Now the second charge is accurate, I discuss less, argue more and bicker the most. I have been conscious of that fact and am trying my best to curtail or at least minimize it to the maximum (don’t miss the wordplay there, maximize and minimize, hehe, ain’t I smart??).

But argument being meaningless is a much serious charge and I definitely take offense on that.

What is an argument?

A contrary point of view.

Some definitions of arguments

ar•gu•ment
–noun
1. an oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; altercation: a violent argument.
2. a discussion involving differing points of view; debate: They were deeply involved in an argument about inflation.
3. process of reasoning; series of reasons: I couldn’t follow his argument.
4. a statement, reason, or fact for or against a point: This is a strong argument in favor of her theory.
5. an address or composition intended to convince or persuade; persuasive discourse.
6. subject matter; theme: The central argument of his paper was presented clearly.
7. an abstract or summary of the major points in a work of prose or poetry, or of sections of such a work.

Some famous arguments (not an extensive list, but an indicative list)-

1. Earth revolves around the sun (an argument against what’s written in the bible)

2. Earth is round (argument against popular belief)

3. Women also have a right to vote (argument for equality of sexes)

4. Right to abortion (argument against religious beliefs and tenets)

5. Gay marriage (argument against social mores and norms)

There are obviously many other examples but the point I’m sure is understood.

Arguments by their very nature are contentious and never comfortable. It is not a question of it being right or wrong but it is different, different from the belief that the other person holds.

Now it might be possible that my friend meant that my arguments are frivolous and don’t merit effort. I possibly can employ my efforts in more gainful pursuits.

Daughter “Daddy, I want to study more, I want to work, marry late”
Father “Hahaha.”

Women “I can do what I want, I am an independent woman.”
Men “Hahaha.’

Indian “We want freedom”
British “Hahaha”

Hitler “Aryans are superior race, I think I should go for racial purity”
World “Hahaha”

Any thought, howsoever ludicrous it may sound, and it will sound ludicrous if it lies beyond your zone of comfort, should not be treated with disdain. It is the arguments that change the world. Arguments in that sense are not answers, they truly are questions. They might get recited as definitive answers, beyond doubt by the propagator but in truth, he is asking you to reassess your position, see the same differently. He shows a new path, as he himself must see the new path when confronted with the other thought.

Arguments against conventional wisdom are the most important one for those impact the future.

And if you are not creating arguments for yourself, you are denying your imagination and dreams.

So dear friend, don’t laugh at my arguments, don’t deride my thoughts, they might not sound important to you but it won’t harm to mull over them in your spare time, sometimes.

And I will leave you with a world changing question “Why do people dig their noses while driving?”