Saturday, December 31, 2011

What A Year

Life is funny. It just is. And I can't think of any other word that best describes it. And so at the end of the day, all we can do is go on. And laugh a little.
Right?

It's been a one hell of a year, and for once I am not complaining. Because so much has happened- more than what I could ever have asked for. And there was so much growing up involved too (Again, completely unasked for!)

So remember the good times, pray for more, love, laugh and live and more than anything else be grateful for now, for this moment, for who you have.

Here's to 2012, which will hopefully be yet another epic year full of brilliant ads, furious writing episodes, a lot of pointlessness, some crazy people and the heartbreakingly amazing SRK!

Oh and Coca-Cola and McCann, thanks for making my day with the EPIC ad- 'For A Happier Tomorrow' Its just what I needed!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ad Mad

What a year it has been for Indian advertising- So many absolutely fantastic ads, and so many changes. The year saw many small agencies come up and make a mark, apart from the usual big ones. Also the two absolutely huge sporting events that took place- The ICC World Cup 2011 and the 2011 FIA F1 Grand Prix of India ensured that everyone was glued to the television screens and most advertisers used these as themes.

What I particularly love about the 2011 list is that some eternal favourites of mine didn't quite get the top spot, which just goes to show how brilliantly the industry is growing. The regulars on the list, have no place this year. Coca-Cola, Cadbury, Pepsi, Vodafone and Nokia just missed out because their campaigns while good, weren't absolutely epic or insanely brilliant. And at the same time, one brand seems to have just got everything right, with 3 spots in the top ten!

Secondly, it's great to see innovative thinking in so many campaigns. I've seen brands defy the norm this year, and then go on to make a mark.
Also it's absolutely great to see Google, SnapDeal and Flipkart advertise on Indian Television. Goes to show that even though the number of internet users is expanding exponentially, television as a medium for advertisers to reach out to the public cannot be dismissed or replaced. It is still such a powerful medium, and in the case of India, it shall continue to be so.

The 2011 Top Ten ~ (in random order)

Flipkart.com- No Kidding
I love the 'Dollhouse' one. I know it is so corny, and everyone keeps making a fuss about how it's wrong to use young children in these grown-up ads because they are so impressionable (Sorry to break it to everyone out there, but kids today know more than any of us- It's true) but I can't help loving the simple way in which he says, 'Dollhouse' like its so obvious that with the money he saves from buying from Flipkart, he'll get her that.
Also, the ad that says 'Pay Cash on Delivery' - Perfect way to deal with the perceived risk associated with online shopping among Indian consumers. As the two boys talk seriously during the office break about 'Sahil' the old school idiot who's too afraid to shop online, I can't help but laugh. I love the small touches- The milk vending machine in the office, the way the two boys stop talking when a girl (in high heels!) passes, and the line, "But Sahil Kaun?" and an exasperated answer, "My dad yaar."

Airtel- Blackberry Dormitory Ad
Just for the music and the way it's been shot, this deserves a spot in this list. And the ad has a fantastic concept of staying connected with BBM. Its short, simple, to the point, and somehow I think it stays with you. It does have this way of making you nostalgic about your good old childhood days and pranks, and it makes you smile.

Indigo- We're Going International
'A mission we remind ourselves of all the time' is my favourite line. Whether its's the machine-like ground staff, the absolutely charming captain or the super quick air-hostesses who handle every hassle - the ad is epic! My only slight complaint, or let's say suggestion- I wish the ad had subtitles, because the song is catchy, but Indigo you are truly too fast! And I agree that it's a brilliant theme to make your ad as fast as your services but subtitles would have ensured so much more involvement from the target audience. Nevertheless, it is one of the very few ads that does make me sing along, even though I make up half the lyrics!

Seagram's Imperial Blue- Men Will Be Men
I never thought they could surpass the 'Rose' ad, and they haven't. The three ads that are featured this year are a good continuation of the same theme and so typicallly male. I love the 'Princess Cut Ring' ad of the three the most. Good setting, great actors, a witty theme, and super lines. It's a great ad, but I still love 'Rose' more.

Tanishq- Bangles- What To Do?
Men will be men, and women will certainly be women. Tanishq drives home the point so beautifully. What I particularly like is that instead of just cashing in on the brand value of the two stalwarts, they actually took time (and money) out to weave a story, a very typically Indian one. I love that they don't just have Amitabh-Jaya standing there saying, "Buy Tanishq"  The other thing I have to mention is that as a sequel, the ad does NOT disappoint. They've followed the 'Necklace' ad up perfectly with this one.
And as for all the husbands out there who are wondering 'What To Do?', the answer is simple- Buy the ladies a ring, or several rings :) And Tanshiq if you're listening, make a third part already!

Airtel- Har Friend Zaroori
I've said so much about this one already, so I won't say anymore expect that this is the way to stand out and not be a part of the clutter. Hoping Taproot and Airtel come together for another winner soon! Also, I think it was brilliant to use an F1 theme in one of the ads that was part of the campaign because Airtel was the main sponsor for the India GP. Great way to mix publicity and advertising and ensure reinforcement.

Glee Promo- Star World- Character Dheela Hai
A bunch of high school kids singing and dancing to the Salman Khan superhit song, and it happens to be a firang show! Why is this absurd eccentric promo on this list? Because it's absurd and eccentric. And also because it's brilliant. Kudos to Star for thinking of it, accepting it, creating it and then daring to play it on their channel. This is the kind of eccentric innovation that really grabs attention and definitely leads to retention. It stands out.

Hero- Hum Mein Hain Hero
I know of at least five other girls in class who love the song and the ad, and listen to it during the finals. And even post it as status messages. Not quite what Hero MotoCorp had in mind I know, but it just goes to show how great the reach and the impact of the ad is. We all know that Hero Honda is now Hero MotoCorp, and no one can get the damn song out of their heads. One of the most brilliant rebranding strategies I've seen in a while (Didn't particularly like what either Airtel or Vodafone did when they were rebranding.)

Tata- Values Stronger Than Steel
I have a soft corner for corporate advertisements, which explains why I love this ad so much. And then again, its TATA- What do they not do? The advertisements of course are very heartwarming, very Indian, and very very emotional. It talks about the lives that Tata Steel has touched, and how they've made a difference. A special mention for their 'Tejaswini' project that empowers unskilled women employees.

Airtel - 3G Video Calling
When I get over the guy, maybe I'll review this ad.
Okay but seriously, like all Airtel ads- brilliant music. Apart from that it has fresh faces, a simple thought, and just that moment that makes you sigh. I love the concept and more than anything else I wish I had written it.

Some others that almost made it- Coca Cola- Do Diye Zyada Jalao, Nokia- Epic Dramas, Google- Dear Sophie- The Web is What You Make of it, Blackberry- Are you missing something?, Cadbury- I Love You, Pepsi- Change The Game, Vodafone- 3G Superhero ZooZoo, Idea- India is busy on Idea 3G.

(Yes, I realise they are all TVCs- I guess I really am biased.)

And finally a special, special mention for Google- I know both 'Happy Holidays' and 'Let it Snow' aren't advertisements, but it is brilliant branding, a brilliant idea and just so simple and so bloody brilliant. And more than anything else, it makes me so happy. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

That Traitorous Thing


Hope is a bitch.
I’ve said that SO many times before, and I wish I could learn that lesson for good, once and for all, but no matter what happens somehow I cannot seem to give up on it. Which if you think about, is horrible. Really.
If only we could go about our lives without processing it all, and remembering it all, there would never be the need for this continuous analysis that our brain does. The brain would shut up. At least for a bit. And hope would die, just for a little while. Think of just how peaceful that would be. 

But right now, hope simply refuses to give up. It eats away every bit of strength you have and struggling is futile. Simply because it’s so easy to hope, to think, to dream, to want. And reality, reality is so different. It’s so difficult.

And the worst part, despite knowing all of this, and just how evil hope is, I still can’t make my head shut up.  And  so I wish there was a remote- one that would stop this incessant buzzing- the constant words our brain feeds into our hearts. I wish there was a way to turn that off, just for a while. Sometimes maybe just for a good night’s sleep.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Drama Much?

I've learnt that most of the times in life the only person standing in the way of your happiness is you.
Why do we like to be so overdramatic?
Us humans- why are we such martyrs and such sacrificial lambs?
Because really, if you strip everything away, at the end of the day, irrespective of how fucked up life is and how annoying all humans are (especially your most loved ones) and what a bitch time is, sometimes you only need to look at things in a certain way, and it'll all be okay.
More than okay.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Need Chocolate Cake. NOW.

I know I haven't be so dedicated about blogging this year. (Given the number of drafts there are, I can assure you I've been very lazy.) But the thing is, when you're attempting to write a novel, you don't really have the time to write your pointless thoughts, unless you need some space to escape the aforementioned novel. So you write as a break, or to vent about writing, or if something really really strikes you.

A couple of things I've learnt while working on TUCS~

-It's a bad idea to write a novel that has advertising in it, when you're not a very strict-about-deadlines kind of person. You constantly ignore your book, to either look at other ads, or you get lost in another world trying to create brands and ads that don't really occupy center-stage in your novel.

-It is also a horrible idea to tell any of your siblings or cousins that you are working on a novel. They will make your life miserable.Trust me.

-Never look at pictures of food, especially Devil's Food Cake and anything else that has chocolate in it. And especially not at 2 am.

-It is also a huge mistake to have any kind of technology around you. Throw away your phones and the internet. I know you need music, but that should be the only thing that you can resort to for entertainment or inspiration. The Internet is evil.

-Never watch Vampire Diaries when you're in a writing mood. It'll go away and you'll just watch every episode you can lay your hands on, and then be miserable.

-If you go to Landmark to get inspired, do not buy books. Bad idea.

-And the worst thing you can do while trying to write a novel- live with your family. They will obsess over food. And while it is fantastic that there is someone there who cares for you and makes sure that you eat at regular intervals, its just tragic because somehow family has a way of talking about food and thereby making you realise that you are starving at just the wrong moments.

So how do all the writers out there ever finish their damn books?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Exhibit #61211743

Humans are idiots.
(And no, as much as I'd like to believe it, I'm definitely not an exception to this rule.)
We have a mind that's slightly masochistic I think because it rebels against us at the worst possible times, a sadistic memory that deserts you when you need it the most and brings up unwanted thoughts at your weakest moments, a brain that always falls for the wrong person, hope that makes you believe in things that have a probability of 0.000000000000000001% and more than anything else we think we're smart.
And finally at the end of the day, we never say things out loud despite advising every other person on the planet to do so.
Remind me again why we aren't exhibits in a museum already?

Friday, December 2, 2011

That Elusive Thing

It's December. Finally.
For some strange reason, I never quite thought that this month would ever make an appearance, and now when it's finally here and I look back, of course I think that this year, like all the others, has flown by.
Time is strange that way- in retrospect it always seems like nothing, like everything went by too fast and you realize that you only have this moment to hold in your fingers, before it too slips by- all too quickly for my liking.
But sometimes when you're really really lucky, and the Gods are being unusually kind, this moment- it's all you need.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Destiny

I once wrote about Destiny and how it is in OUR hands- we choose to build those damn bridges and we choose to cross them too. And I still believe in that.
But what happens when despite all your efforts, you never quite meet at the bridge at the same time?
Or what happens if you're on parallel bridges, so close but your paths can never intersect, you can never meet.
What do you do when Fate decides to be funny, and makes two people build and cross two different bridges at the same time, so once again you're at opposite ends?
And what happens when despite your best efforts, right in front of your eyes, those bridges burn?
Why is it so difficult sometimes, to have something as simple as a conversation? Why is there always an interruption, an interference or simply just conflicting schedules? And considering how life gets busier as you grow older, what with all the responsibilities, how do you get Destiny to cooperate?
Because at the end of the day, you have to agree that some things are simply not in your hands.
You could build that bridge, cross it, and march up to that persons house- but they could just be on a plane to the other side of the world. You could be too late.
And more than anything else, you can plan your perfect moment and your ideal life and go about trying to make it happen, but you can't control what someone says to you, or how they come around and change your world, and maybe your beliefs.
You simply can't.
So Destiny, I've realized, is an annoying pain. Because it's about time really.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stand By Me

Can Happiness cripple you? Or is that just me?
When you're so overjoyed, overwhelmed and over the goddamn moon about everything that's happening, you absolutely love what you have. You fear change.

Happiness cripples you. It makes you crave constancy, and hate change.
Because you love everything you have so much and you want to hold on to the moment and never let it go, never let it pass by you. Because you’re so afraid that tomorrow will only bring unhappiness, tomorrow can only bring unhappiness. Because things are so perfect right now, that they simply can’t get any better.
And any change that comes tomorrow, will only make you a little less happy.
And so you want 
permanence and a steady life. And you worry. 
And in a world that only changes, it is such a handicap to detest change, to cling to what you have right now.

Happiness can be so disastrous
Because if you're stupid like me, it can make you fear tomorrow. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

4 am

I read the other day on Twitter (yes, I hate to admit it, but I no longer hate Twitter) that love is about wanting to be together through those tough times, not the good ones. (JP, you are truly brilliant.)
And it got me thinking, because despite the fact that TUCS is essentially a love story (I'm trying my best to change that) and the fact that I write about love all the time, I don't think I know what my definition of it is.
Does anybody for that matter? But what JP said, got me thinking, and somehow I wanted, needed to know my definition.

I used to write all the quotes I liked on love and life, as a silly 15 year old, and I still treasure the one piece of paper someone once scribbled quotes on and gave me because she just knew me, and she always will.
The ones that have stayed with me over the years and all the drama are just these three-
"Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning"
"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams"
And the most recent, and most true- "Love is eating twenty four ounces of raw fish at 4 o clock in the morning"

So what is love then?
And how can it be the most beautiful thing in the world, when it has the power to make you miserable?
Grey's Anatomy has this one line, "The person who invented the phrase happily ever after should have his ass kicked so hard." which I believe in so much. Because it's never going to be easy right?
Whether you've been married for 50 odd years or if you're just getting to know each other, or if you've always known each other, love is this potent drug that messes with you.
And it's never going to get any easier, because tomorrow will always bring another unresolved issue, another unforeseen complication, a stupid misunderstanding or simply just a difference of opinion.
We grow up with this foolish notion, nurturing this naive dream, this fantasy of what love is- and in reality love can be dark and terrifying because of the power it wields over you.

And while I'm no expert in the field, the one thing I do believe in- Love isn't a game to be won. Its not Him vs. Her and who was right, or who always texts first. Its about an 'us' or a 'we'. And you've just got to make the most of the time you get, because you'll never be able to turn back time.

Love has soul-shattering happiness and heartbreaking lows. Its not simple. It simply can't be.
And somehow, even though I wish I could, I don't think I can ever quite describe what it is- because it takes on so many forms, so many shapes, and more so because the meaning changes with time and from person to person.

And yet, if you know this, love might just be the simplest thing in the world-
Someone once told me a quote which for me truly reflected the essence of the whole damn thing-
If two people love each other but they just can't seem to get it together, when do you get to that point of enough is enough?
Never. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One Step Closer

It's November! :)
Funny how I always find time and topics to write on during my finals. (Anything to not study!)

This Ranveer Singh has that elusive thing we call the X factor. He's such a natural. So charismatic, so much at ease in front of the camera. Next big superstar (read SRK) in the making- I think so!
Really hoping that Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl, his next movie, is not a rip off of John Tucker Must Die or a new version of Bunty Aur Babli because that would just be such a disappointment.

Also, considering how its November 2nd today, I have to say this-
People say he is arrogant. I agree.
But I think he has a right to be. This superstar, (the one who is more popular than Tom Cruise) came from nowhere, or to be more precise from Rajendra Nagar, Delhi and he's managed to win a billion hearts, including mine. I love how he can laugh at himself and say that he'll do anything- dance at weddings even, for money. I love how he says that everything he tries to do today, he tries to do it in a big way, so his parents can see it from heaven. And I love that famous patented dance step, the one that always makes me smile- arms outstretched, legs apart, knee slightly bent, waiting for the girl of his dreams to just stay in his arms. And more than anything else, I can't help but die just a little bit when he says, "Haan, ek baat aur- aapki halwai ki dukaan toh mein hadap kar hi rahoonga"
Also, Ra.One in 5 days collected 170 crores. To which all I can say is, "I told you so."
Happy Birthday SRK! Just hurry up and make a few dozen more movies so I can fall for you all over again. Till then I shall settle for reruns of DDLJ, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham, Main Hoon Na, Om Shanti Om and of course Kal Ho Na Ho.

"I had to find you, tell you I need you, tell you I've set you apart"
              -The Scientist, Coldplay

This song, and these lines in particular, I don't know what it is, but it's not something I can ever let go of. Which is strange because it's such a simple thought. So simple, yet so spectacular.

I wish I could write something this powerful in TUCS instead of obsessing over chapter titles as usual. The current obsession is 'One Step Closer' and for the life of me I cannot decide what should happen in a chapter with this title. THIS, by the way, is the precise reason why I think I'll never finish TUCS- because I get too distracted and too involved in the most inane things. WHO designs a chapter around a title?

Anyway, listening to this song got me thinking (again) about love (again!) and life (Why am I not surprised?)
If only every one of us remembered that, wouldn't everything be okay? Wouldn't we always want to make things okay? Wouldn't we then just push away insecurity and all those doubts that creep up, and just go and do something to make it all okay?

What it also got me thinking about is that in a world where the only constant is change, why, why are there some people who never do change?
Is it naive, or wrong to hope that they will? To hope that relationships will mend, that they will heal with time?
Time after all they say is the best healer. (Of course I think it's all in the mind, and it is the mind that just changes the channel and makes you forget- thereby healing you, but alright I'll let time take credit this one time.)
And after you've tried everything, do you try some more or just give up?
So my question is, when do you give up? Just when and how do you know that it's time?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Heroes, Friends and Epic Dramas

I cannot believe I haven't written about Airtel's 'Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai' or Hero Moto Corp's 'Hum Mein Hai Hero' yet. What have I been doing? *rolls eyes* But better late than never.

Har Friend Zaroori (HFZ) is a brilliant ad. No, not just because the song is so fucking catchy even when you listen to it in Telugu and can't understand a word. It reflects real life- it's real. I can't quite think of another word to describe it- somehow epic, real, catchy and funny are the only things that come to mind, and really I know I'm not doing it justice. While most people love the kanjoos friend and the restaurant bill ad, my favourite is the F1 ad. Again, not just because one guy is Rohan from K3G, (I can't believe I didn't realise that!) or because the main guy is so charming, but just because it's so... fun. (What is with my vocab?) It makes you want to just go out and be with the people you love, and I think the drastic image change that Airtel is going with- to appeal to the youngsters out there- it's a good idea. A very Blackberry type stark turnaround. I don't know if Airtel has made their shift from JWT to Taproot for good, but I think they should seriously consider it. Taproot just has this way of tapping into our souls and picking themes that are just SO right.

A direct contrast to the fun HFZ campaign is Hero Moto Corp's 'Hum Mein Hai Hero' ad, which has brilliant lyrics and builds on the concept of a hero in every Indian's heart and soul- man, woman or child. It focuses on the struggles we face, and how we triumphantly rise in the end. My favourite one is the little boy, proudly and determinedly playing cricket against the Indian army, after the rest of his friends scamper away because the ball smashes against the army car window. I think that kid is brilliant- the scene where he refuses to give them the bat, and so (endearingly) stubbornly decides to bat- it's epic. I wish I had written it.
It makes me cry. Yes, really it does. (But then again so does Cabury's Diwali Celebrations ad- for the third year in a row) The aggressive ad campaign was designed to increase the public loyalty and inform us that Hero Honda is now just Hero.  It's SO Indian- full tugging at the heartstrings type ad, designed to be melodramatic yet subtle. Again, here too, I love the song- this time though for it's lyrics. The music by A R Rahman is  simply outstanding. Fantastic branding and rebranding on Hero's part. If you need inspiration, to do anything- you should just listen to the song.
(Note to self: Take your own advice, listen to the song and go study!)

Another thing I have to mention here- the new Nokia ad, to combat declining sales because of the growth of Blackberry in India- the ads that feature WhatsApp and Burp apps- brilliant again. I love the way it's been shot and the entire feeling- smooth, sleek, stylish and just so grown up but so graceful, so hazy yet so clear. I love the styling and colours- it's very similar to the Levis 'Go forth' campaign. Whether its the eternal question, 'Where we do we hang out tonight?' or the constant debate 'Green or Red Heels', the ads seem to say that Nokia is one of us, that the brand understands us- the youth.
And just the line- 'being young- is not as easy as it looks' - brilliance. I also particularly like the campaign title- Epic Dramas and the line- Smartphones for Life's Epic Dramas, because epic and drama just happen to be some of my favourite words. I think again, this is an ad, the target audience would really really connect to so they've got it bang on.

I really wish I didn't have to go study at this point, for Market Research that too, but I think passing finals, rather unfortunately is a requirement for a job in Marketing. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wanting Darkness

William Saroyan said, "I do not know what makes a writer but it probably isn't happiness."
And I know that to be largely true. I can write, the words just seem to come, when I'm sad, upset, annoyed, stressed, avoiding things, heartbroken, angry, frustrated.
At that point, it doesn't matter if i'm working on TUCS or drafting a piece on an ad campaign or even ranting like this.
And strangely enough, when I'm happy- I love to revisit my thoughts, I love to edit, but anything I try to write- it lacks soul.
Maybe its because I once read somewhere that when you're happy you want to go out and feel things, you don't want to stay boxed up at home, in a dark corner furiously typing away and generally cursing. You don't want that familiar rush of excitement that fills you when you know you've written a brilliant sentence, because that rush- that's already present in every cell of your body.
You don't want to feel the anxiety you always suffer from when you take a breath to stop and read what you've filled up the page with. You don't want to grumble about how slowly you're typing because the words just seem to be flying out of your head and you're terrified you're going to forget or let go of a precious thought.
You don't want to get mad at yourself, your mind for distracting you.
Writers are broody. Its a moody thing. It makes you dark, grumpy and annoyed. It makes you crib.
When you're happy you want to go out there and fly- and then, you're so reckless that you don't even care, you don't even worry about the fact that you might fall. You want to go out there and sing songs like a musical about the most mundane things- eating toast and drinking a cup of coffee in the morning suddenly becomes so beautiful. And you don't care about who you annoy in the process.
When you're happy, you can't write- you can't pour your soul out on a piece of paper.
So my writers block- is happiness.
And I can't quite decide what I'd like to have. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Too Many Dreams

My finals start this Saturday. Hopefully someone will knock some sense into me and I'll start studying tomorrow. But the thing is, I really don't want to write these finals. Even though I LOVE the subjects. I just wish it was the 12th of November already and they were done. Finished.

And then there are a zillion other things that I want. Somehow I can never quite make up  my mind about what exactly I want- I'm always indecisive. And it gets annoying. As annoying as that stupid butterfly that keeps flitting about or the kid who never quite sits still for a second and you want to cry or snap or kill someone.
I find a new dream to chase every day and while that is brilliant in so many ways, sometimes I wish I could be the kind of person who picked one dream and lived it, and just lived happily. I wish I could be more balanced.. more stable. (More grown up?)

But I'm always in this rush to do more, to do something new.
I wish I knew the purpose of my existence- why am I really here?
Because there are days when all I want to do is write- but I lack the firm resolve that a writer needs- the ability to stop whining and basically shut the hell up and write/report a story as the situation demands. Writer's Block lives with me, and somehow no matter what I do, I can't quite kick him out.
Oh and did I mention I generally write rubbish? Because that's a big problem too.
There are moments when I want to market films (Thank you SRK for a marketing budget of 52 crore rupees for Ra One that has added yet another option in my list. Thanks. Really.)
Then there's always copywriting and the mad mad world of an ad agency- so alluring, yet so suicidal.
Also on my list is brand management, but that would mean working on the company side and not the agency and in my head that's both betrayal and boring- and I'm still confused about this anyway.
Online Marketing is the future- I know that- and I want that but I don't know if I want to specialize in it from the agency side or the company side.
And then there are those days, when I want to give it all up, and go work in sets and props at Prithvi.

Of course I could always resort to picking chits, which is my go-to solution for every decision I can't make, but somehow I don't think that's going to work this time.  And I know no one can take this decision for me- its my life after all- but a little push in the right direction won't hurt. Considering how I have about 6 months to find a job I like at a company I like in a city my parents like. Sigh.

I wish I could be a child again. Or even just 19.
(See, this is what I'm talking about. I started this post with 'I wish I was more grown up and stable' and now.. Sigh.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tired of Technology

Just a couple of days back I had this thought about people and things being so dispensable.
And now I realise (because Blackberry networks have been down for 3 days) that somehow I want to blame technology for making humans dispensable. Because things, oh they are SO not dispensable.
And who wants to talk to a person, when they can just tweet about it and let the world know right? Irony of the matter- I chose to blog about this, instead of actually telling someone in person. It doesn't matter to me if anyone reads this or not, or if someone shares their opinion with me on this or not- all I want, is to just put it out there. But who, who am I talking to right now? Technology came around (it was invented by us humans I know- another excellent example of the greatness of human stupidity) and it changed the entire concept of Communication, which is good in so many ways that I can't even begin to list them here, but is it making us less human?
Because I'm realising that I can live without talking to people, but I can't live without a fully functioning phone. And its the same with so many other people. Which is ridiculous if you think about it. Or maybe that's just me.
Of course I can always defend myself by saying that a phone is technically needed to talk to people and therefore humans aren't dispensable. But then again Facebook and Twitter- they aren't people now, are they?
Because the truth is, I can ignore things that have to be talked about, I can avoid sorting out issues with people even when they really need to be sorted out, I can be okay with plans getting cancelled- But somehow I cannot be okay with BB networks deciding to crash.
Or maybe its because I just expect technology to be super efficient and just about perfect- and humans, we're awesome, but we sure as hell aren't perfect. We all have our eccentricities and that just makes us who we are.
This dependence on technology, I have never approved of, and the last two days are just reminding me of how potentially disastrous this can turn out to be.
I don't know about Global Warming and all of that, but something tells me that Technology will probably be the end of us.
Because if you look at it, Technology is the Villain today- in every sense. (And the heartbreakingly gorgeous knight in shining armour as well.) And the tragic truth of the matter is- we wouldn't want it any other way, simply because we can't imagine our life without it. We can't go back to living like we used to, before it had come around and changed us.
It's this horrible love story- where you fall in love with the wrong person, and you know they will break your heart but there is simply nothing you can do about it because you love them.
And so, slowly begins that process of destruction and annihilation. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Indispensable Much?

If there's anything that I've learnt (and remembered) this year is that you have to fight for happiness.
Yes, I regularly realise that 'time is flying' (It's October already- Where did this year go?! I'm 20- How did that happen?) and I very conveniently forget it too. Too easily for my liking, but then again I'm known for forgetting things. Too often.
I also often am told that these years will never come back and it's a constant struggle after this (more so if you want to work in an ad agency or write) and you'll be at the bottom of the food chain for what feels like forever- but I still can't make myself look forward to a Monday morning. No matter what, I just simply can't. And that is so ridiculous, because the worst thing that a  usual Monday can bring right now is 6 hours of college.
But anyway, coming back to the whole fighting for happiness-
I don't know why I thought that would be so difficult.
(Dear God, Fate, Murphy and everyone else out there- kindly don't remind me how difficult it is. I'm just appreciating how easy you guys are making my life and no, I do not need a reminder!)
I had this notion, this foolish idea in my head that I could only be happy if I had everything I wanted in precisely the way I wanted it.
But as the days do go by, I'm realising that you really don't need so much to be content. Because there will always be something else, around the next corner- the next link that will make you happy.
Just some small random thing- that will just some how make your day.
That will make you forget, and that will make you stronger.
Which is brilliant.
Except I can't help wondering if it makes everyone and everything dispensable?
If it makes our struggle, and our pain, and our 'NOW' so futile..
(I should stop thinking, I know)


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Eat Pray Love

To start off with, firstly, before I say anything else- Wow. To be that honest, about your own life~ Just wow.
Secondly, I was a cynic. One who turned my nose up at the mention of the book, pushing it away as just another self help book meets romance meets life is great book. I thought it would be pretentious and preachy and god knows what not. Clearly this is why you should never judge a book by how popular it is.
Because Eat Pray Love is inspirational. Its funny, its tragic, its real, its everything. Its so human.Its me.
It shows a journey, it guides you but not once does it get preachy which is a fairly impossible thing and hats off to Elizabeth Gilbert for being able to write so openly, so honestly, so heartbreakingly and yet just making it stay with you because not once does it ask you to do any of this.
And even though I always knew I had to fight for happiness, the way this book reinforces that thought is pretty stellar. Whether its the food in Italy and her pursuit of pleasure, or the tale of discovery of both self and God in India, or just the realization of the essence and finding happiness (within herself and not the in arms of a gorgeous man, although she does find him as well) in Bali, this book was just- I'm looking for a word to sum up the experience and I simply can't find it-...
Enough has been said, by everyone who's read it and loved it, and if I could quote the lines from the book I love, I'll probably end up reproducing half the book so I'll end here by saying two things-
Don't watch the movie. It's not a story a movie can ever possibly hope to do justice to. (Not that I've seen it. But really when she's talking about her path to God, her meeting God through meditation, how do they hope to do it justice? How can they hope to show it the way the words do?)
And two- Attraversiamo- Let's cross over.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Storm I Can't Escape

A few minutes ago it had been a clear sunny day and there was even a slight breeze. It was perfect picnic weather. In a matter of seconds the stormy clouds had taken over what they believed was once rightfully theirs. They had captured the skies and slain the sunshine; the brightness was all but gone.

It was a torrential downpour and the rain refused to stop, much like my thoughts. I looked out of the glass doors and I could barely see a thing. Normally if you looked out you could always see the winding roads, the houses and offices that were dwarfed by this building and a few dozen people in the alley. But today, today you couldn’t see a thing. The rain was in a way blinding. It clouded your vision, your judgment and you could just barely make out the outlines. You couldn’t see what lay within. Not a soul could be seen outside and even the animals and birds had fled, as if they knew of what was to come. The sound- the thundering pitter patter, the deafening war-cry, the roar of the thunder took over as the soundtrack as the rain continued to pelt down steadfastly.

This rain, was like you, like your love- blinding me.

You infuriate me. You make me angry, drive me mad and leave me just flustered and confused. And while I do believe that I have fallen in love with you, I just wish you would leave. Because it's easier to live without you than go through this everyday.

This rain, was like you, like your love- blinding me.
And I was like a deer frozen in the headlights- simply stuck, magnetized or maybe just awestruck. I couldn’t look away and I couldn’t not think. And this one thought took over my mind- How did life change so suddenly? It wasn’t exactly fair. How did things go from being so spectacularly awesome, so unbelievable beautiful to so utterly heartbreaking? How? Just how?

- TUCS

Growing Up

I have a new life philosophy- There's nothing I can do about it.
Actually it's the old one only- You can't fight Fate. Whatever happens, happens.
But this new one I think just makes it more clear. Because it spells out the fact that you simply CANNOT do anything.
I still don't have all the answers I want, but if there's anything I've learnt in the past two days its that life goes on. It just does. And you don't have a choice in this matter. And Life honestly doesn't give a damn if you agree or diasgree or if you're happy and content or not.
It's going to go where it has to. So you might as well pick yourself up and get on with it, because the end, like always, will come. And it isn't in your hands.
So maybe it doesn't matter, maybe it's a good thing, great even, that all those questions are unanswered. Time as usual will tell.
And if the end isn't happy, well, that's when you go kill everyone who told you it would be a happy one right?
And another tragic truth that I realise today- I'm growing up. I'm turning into a left-brain person (sheesh) and somehow there's nothing I can do about it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Endings is just a Bollywood Thing

There were a lot of things on my mind today that I wanted to write about, and this wasn't one of them but life is like that no? Largely unexpected and annoyingly unpredictable.
Bombay Duck is a Fish is not a book I ever want to read again. But I know I will. I will read it several times.
I'm a sucker for romance, for witty writing and even then its not at all easy to get me hooked to a book. I have to really believe in it, connect with someone, something or even one line. And if I do, then I literally live the book. The characters are my best friends and I live with them. I see bits of me, or bits of others in their quirks and little habits, in their eccentricities and their pain, in their hopes and their heartbreak.
And this one had no romance, only heartbreak. No wit, only the irony of life. But it also had Bombay, Bollywood, SRK. And somehow, beyond all logical reasoning, I liked the protagonist. And even though the story was rather morbid right from the start, I hoped for a bollywood ending. And I guess my point here is that it doesn't happen right? In real life.
Happy endings- do they exist?
I know SRK says they do, and with every movie of his he makes me believe in them. And they say art, cinema especially mirrors real life. But how, how can happy endings possibly exist?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

To A New Beginning

We FINALLY, after the zillion bandhs had the COFEE investiture today. And hesitant and unsure as I was initially to apply, today I'm so grateful I did. Because it makes me look at college in a way I never would and that famous college spirit- oh I never thought I would say this, but yes, I'm actually glad to be a part of college! Because when you do the things you like, its not that bad. :) And I'm grateful that I finally got that chance to look at college this way, because its my last year here, and these are supposed to be the best years of our lives right?! So we might as well live it up!
COFEE 2011-12 It's going to be EPIC!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why Don't They Just Rename Sundays Already?

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is by far one of the crappiest, most clichéd and just unbelievably stupid movies that I’ve seen. And while I can accept this on days when I’m in a slightly agreeable mood, I cannot stand anyone else in the world sharing my opinion. And despite actually accepting that on a scale of one to ten, rationally (not emotionally, I can’t help it if I’m a right-brain person) I’d give it a negative score, I still sat around watching it. On television, nonetheless. With never-ending ad breaks that had all the extended nonsensical ads revolving around rabbits playing in the grass and fridges and penguins and washing machines. (Okay fine, one rather nonsensical ad. The others were just annoying. But really, penguins need to wash clothes? I’m sorry I must have missed the class where they taught us that.) Yes, so I sat around like a stupid grinning idiot the entire time, watching RNBDJ even though I had several other, extremely important and urgent, like top in the priority list kinda things to do. Why? The answer is as simple as the question, and it’s a three lettered word too. (No prizes for guessing!) Obviously~ SRK.


I don’t know what it is, I simply can’t put a finger on it and say that it’s this one thing that makes me love, adore, worship, idolize (and every other synonym of these four words) SRK. I wish I knew. Because it would go a long way in proving my sanity. Because you know there has to be an explanation for the hysteria he causes all over the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Bombay or Canada, Delhi or Egypt, Germany or Hyderabad. It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 55, man or woman- you can’t not love this man, or you can’t not hate him. Because there’s simply no one else quite like him. I’ve NEVER met a person who is divided on their opinion, never met someone who has said ‘Oh, he’s alright’ and simply shrugged their shoulders nonchalantly. Mention his name and either you witness someone blush a deep beetroot red and get that twinkling dreamy filled look in their eyes, or get a murderous aghast look and an ‘I’m going to kill him and then you’ glare. It’s always one of two extremes, proving my point that there is something about him, something quite spectacular.

October 26th and December 23rd~ Hurry up already!

Monday, July 25, 2011

One Grammatically Incorrect Sentence to Celebrate the Freedom!

So I officially no longer care or give a damn about the gramatical correctness of this sentence and this entire post. And yes, I also do not care if the information provided by me is sufficient enough for you or if it does or does not solve your problems or if it actually lets the reader comprehend the passage by not essentially being an unending string of words and longwinded sentences that have no meaning in the end. It may just be that you have to read every single thing that I've read in the last two weeks to actually just get this post but oh well that certainly isn't my problem and no amount of logical or critical reasoning that you use will change my mind so you might as well give up. Your issues with this post and arguments that you might set forth really dont matter anymore.
Also, I don't know why I bother to crib about change- because two days after my last post, I went back to absolutely detesting and hating the place I rather tragically call college.  

P.S. My apologies to the readers. This is what studying and not writing MY book when I really really want to does to me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The End?

For the longest time now, despite my many attempts, I've had absolutely nothing to say- nothing whatseover to write about. I can't think of any topic that I want to write on which is a shame really especially because I have been thinking so much. And maybe its because I can only write when I'm annoyed which again isn't a very good thing if I want to seriously pursue this as a career. Because what am I supposed to say- I missed a deadline because no one annoyed me to the right extent at the right time? Really?

Does this as a fact completely scare me? The answer is an absolute yes. What if I've written every single thing that I am supposed to, and there will be nothing more. (Well nothing good in any case, because I am quite the expert at writing utter rubbish as this post does prove.) What if this is it? What if I never finish TUCS? While it would certainly explain why I go back to writing the same thing again and again in a different way in my book, I'd rather be clueless and writing, than aware and not writing. This inability to write something worth reading, something that actually makes me happy and stupidly proud, is terrifying. Because I can't help wondering if it is really the end. And I know its probably just writers block (again!) and it will go away eventually because its stubborn as hell and there is nothing I can do about it, I can't not worry.

And all of this brings me to yet another question. What happens at the end? We all know that there is an end to everything, nothing really lasts. And no, I'm not talking of death here, but the peaks and the decline. There will be a day, I don't know if that is today, or a few years down the line- where I really will have nothing to write about. When my writing will not be what it is today. And that's a part of life right? So what happens then? What happens when you're done with what you love doing best? What happens after the end?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Selective Memory

It’s easy to forget things.
I should know, considering how I forget where I keep my post-its. Sigh.
It’s so easy to let things just slip out of your mind. To let other things, other moments occupy that space. It’s simple really.
It’s easy to forget. Easier to make newer memories.

We’re humans. We forget birthdays. We forget to buy things. We lose our lists. We forget the time. We forget to call people.
And sometimes we forget who we are.

And that’s all okay. Because you will always remember something else in return. That balance will remain.
And if you forget who you are, you’ll find yourself again, or someone will always be around to help you. To teach you how to walk all over again. To remind you of who you were and what you believed in.

And even if that doesn’t happen, then maybe you’ll simply just change for the better. Because change is the only constant right?

So forgetting things- that’s okay. It’s easy. Simple.
What happens when you can’t?

We've all got memories we'd like to forget. Things we wish had never happened. Words we wish we'd never said. So what do you do when you can't forget?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Waiting For Godot?

As much as I hate waiting, I know its an inevitable part of life.
And if you really think about it, life is made up of a lot of waiting.

We wait for a new day, we wait for the nights that follow and we wait for the weekends.
We wait for love, for family, and for happiness.
We wait for endings- both happy and sad, and sometimes we even wait for death.
We wait for people to come, and for people to go. For the seasons to change and for time to fly.
We wait for answers even when we know we won't like them, we wait for results and we wait to ensure that we don't get them.
We wait, so that tomorrow can be brighter, happier and simply unforgettable.
And if you're like me, you wait for Grey's Anatomy, SRK and a few zillion ads.
All through our lives, we will be waiting for something or someone. It could be happiness even.
But at any given point in life you cannot be not-waiting- even if it is for something completely small and stupid like a sequel, or shoes, or the next episode in the show you're obsessed with. Because if you truly were completely content and at peace with yourself and everything around you then what would be the point? What really would be the point in existing if we weren't hoping and waiting?

We're humans. And it is only human to want.
And so, we wait. We wait for what we want.
And the truth is~ its completely worth it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Not-So-Write Way

The sad part about being (or rather wanting to be) a writer is that nobody thinks its a real job. Or even considers the possibility that it might be. Which is a very insulting thing to think, but I'm not going to get into that. Of course there are several professions that I think don't deserve to be considered as real jobs, but I'm polite enough to keep those views to myself.
And, no tweeting things does NOT make you a writer.
But my question is, if nobody had ever sat down to write, the world would have been a very boring place to live in. Really. I could say~ can you imagine life without 'The Zoya Factor' or 'The Undomestic Goddess', but I think most people can. But everyone has that one book, or that one article or that one line right? That they simply cannot ever give up on.
Words are what we're made up of, or rather what we want to be made up of. Thank you, for the skin and the bones, but I think most humans spend a large part of their lives in TRYING to tell people what they think, or feel, or believe in. Life is a constant struggle where we're trying to say things, trying to express our stupidity in words, and if more people wrote, or read, they would realise how easy it is to do that.
Not to mention what would we read if no one had ever written anything? And considering how I have the memory of a goldfish, I'm not exactly a fan of the remember-everything-you-say/hear school of thought which is how it was until writing came about.
Of course I would be extremely grateful if no one had ever compiled or written a Banking or a Programming textbook, but well you can't always have everything your way.
So my point really is, what's so wrong in being a writer anyway? 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Addicted to Advertising

Dear Pharma,
I know you save lives and all of that which makes you a necessity but can you please spend some money on advertising so that the brilliant ideas we get can actually be used?
Sincerely,
Creative

Anyway moving on~ so, a little more than a week at an ad agency was enough to tell me I'd fit right in, because everyone there is a little eccentric. Sorry strike that bit about the little.
And there can be no advertising where there is no insanity. That I now totally believe in.
In one week I've learnt that all commercials are referred to as TVCs, rather tragically you cannot escape science, all clients are a royal pain, Creatives have to be pampered by Servicing and that no matter what anyone says Servicing is an annoying occupation. Also, if you are indeed sleeping at work, you're halfway there to being a highly successful advertising professional.
I also now know that I cannot for the life of me see myself doing anything else. Except maybe writing.
Advertising is my drug. Its what gives me a high. Which would clearly explain my obsession with Shubh Aarambh, but never mind that.
Advertising isn't easy. If you're in Creative, you've got to be okay with a constant rejection of ideas, because all ideas don't make sense, they aren't pratical, or they are too complicated. And apart from the rejection, you've got to be able to let go instantly, and continue ideating so you can suggest something else. It's just not easy. Especially when you're surrounded by some brilliant minds who shoot off ideas every 2 minutes. It isn't easy to let go of the ideas you get, the words you put together because copywriters are sentimental fools. We don't like changing it, because to us, it fits perfectly. You're not going to go and change your baby's socks just because some distant relative or even the father for that matter says that it doesn't match the clothes. You'd just hit the person, and get on with life. In advertising, you can't. And of course it doesn't help that everyone thinks that they are excellent copywriters. *rolls eyes* Because ultimately it's just about putting a few words together right?
Advertising- even though it is the most exhausting, tiring and painful work I've ever had to do, is what makes me happy. So even if I had to scrap the best idea I had or let go of 3 brilliant words or write briefs all day long, or research some obscure thing and write up an extensive report which no one will read anyway, it's okay. The idea of 48 hour work shifts, lack of a proper life, and never getting time to write (apart from copy of course) is all just completely okay somehow.
Because its Advertising. Its worth it.
It can't not be.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Can I Just Get A Dog Instead?

Humans are a weird bunch. I've always known this, but somehow this past week has made me realise that so much more. We're all exactly alike and so unbelievably different in the same moment that it's rather scary. And as much as I wish we didn't need other humans to survive, rather sadly we do. And I don't quite get it. Because every single person you know or care about is going to annoy you or disappoint you at some point, the way you will annoy or disappoint every single person you know. Loyalties change, people grow apart, and things surprise you. It's a constant cycle of change. And I suppose it is only fair because sometimes we find someone else. We find others to build dreams with, strangers make us laugh, and sometimes we find friends when we least expect them. So it is only fair that that balance remains right? It is only natural that people grow up and grow apart? Only obvious that this too will change right?
Which is precisely why I think we all should just adopt a pup and live with that for the rest of our lives. Happily.
Because its simpler. And easier. And they are much nicer.
And we can then save all the drama for the fiction.
The lesser the humans, the better.
If only I could bring myself to believe that.
But anyway, if you're lucky, yes I am going to attribute this too to Fate obviously; So yes, if you're lucky, you find those people again. You get back the ones you once loved and it seems like no time has passed. Everything is the same all over again and you know it always will be. Though all the rubbish we call life, you know, it will be okay. If you're lucky.  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Call It What You Will, It Still Isn't In Your Hands

You can call it Murphy's law or Destiny or Fate or whatever you want to call it but the truth is that nothing ever goes as per plan. You can write down precisely what you want to achieve and make a 20 step plan. You could have painstakingly done a SWOT analysis over and over again and thought of everything. You could have even made that final list without a single scratch or smudge- much like a perfectionist. But something would have been forgotten, something would have been spelt incorrectly and something will go wrong. There will be something you haven't factored in or someone will just stupidly be late. And sometimes you just get up from the wrong side of the bed. And there's nothing you can do about it.
And that's a good thing because a life perfectly as per plan would be utterly boring right? Except its hard to believe that when it happens.
No, I'm not a pessimist. Cynical- maybe.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Checks, Conflict and Consistency

It seems like all I do these days is write about how awesome I think everything else is. No wonder I'm not writing anything these days. Well anything worth reading. Its good in the way that I hated reviewing things and now I actually don't mind it so much.
Which brings me to Ashton Kutcher and No Strings Attached. Yes, I know I'm completely insane but its him. And when he says the things he says- "Wait. You should know that if you come any close I'm never letting you go." I want to kill myself. Yes, its corny, and predictable and I'm pathetic but look at him and tell me you disagree. Considering how Mash finally accepted that he looks good, I dont think anyone in their right mind will say otherwise.
Not to mention he makes her a period mix. I have never seen that before. It was hilarious and it made me smile which is all movies like this one are supposed to do anyway.
Also, I think a huge part of the charm is that he's a writer. *sighs* And the fact that she's a doctor, in Mash's words, makes it feel like a Greys hangover. Anyway coming back to the most important scene in the movie- him leaning against the car with a hearbreakingly right smile, not to mention those checks on their V Day date. He looks eatable. Really.
Did I say I write reviews these days? Sorry, I meant I gush.
Gush and bitch.
I hate the fact that I actually like the Docomo ads with Ranbir. Because I hate both the brand and the star. But the tagline- keep it simple, silly is pretty good. And as much as I may roll my eyes everytime it comes on I can't help grinning. Its annoying. So much conflict I cannot deal with. Even though conflict celebrates the differences in thoughts that exist both between and within every human being.
All over this year I've seen brands I love make really crappy ads, and brands I hate make really good ads. Its annoying. It really tests brand loyalty and the ad obsessed person in me dies.
The Zoozoos are now starting to annoy me. I cannot believe I am saying this but yes. Its a little too overdone now, and considering how the IPL is going to go on for another month, I'm actually dreading the ads to come.
Then there's the Aircel ad which for the life of me I cannot figure out why I like. But I do.
BMW has an ad I subconciously hum along to and Idea has a very pathetic 3G launch campaign. Because one Ab Jr is enough. I don't need 3 for 3G, and no I don't even want to get Idea.
Coke continues with their 'Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr' campaign and I continue to pray each day for the same thing~ 'Pull that ad out already.' And Cadbury comes out with a not-so-spectacular campaign to follow the absolutely splendid Shubh Aarambh one.
None of the airlines seem to be coming out with any ads which is a pity because I love airports, planes and just the concepts they bring about in their ads.
And SRK~ What are you doing? No, really. I can't remember the last good ad you did. Which is a shame.
Also I'm so grateful I'm no longer a Nokia person because the new ad that they've come out with makes me want to kill myself. Its a retarded song conversation between a boy and girl and accepting friend requests and making social life better. Also I really dont think it was my imagination so I'm pretty sure there was a line that went 'Btw baby smile' or something like that. *hits head against wall repeatedly*
Thankfully there's Airtel as always to cheer me up with their heartbreakingly good ad- the 3G video calling featuring a young soldier and his wife~ makes me sigh.
And Karbonn which always makes me change the channel. At least some things never change!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Death By Stupidity

TUCS is going to kill me by the time I finish it.
No, really. And it's not because of the large legal messes- the fact that such a company cannot exist according to the Companies Act, 1956 or the fact that my solution is confusing me, or the fact that I don't have enough taglines or because I still haven't named everyone.
It's because somehow, invariably, whenever I sit down to write at an absurd hour like 2 am, because I'm in that kind of a mood, I write about food- or incidents involving food. Or in some cases, ad campiagns for restaurants. So, being the stupid person I am, I go research this food.
And then I die.
Why?
3 words- Chocolate Ripple Cake
*sighs*

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bombay in the Rains

I want to be back in Bombay. Especially when it is raining.
Yes, it is dirty. Pathetically unimaginably dirty. More so in the rains. I'm not even going to talk about how littered and crowded the beaches are considering I haven't been to a Bombay beach in about seven years now. And the fact that the water in the sea is anything but blue in colour. And Bombay is almost always smelly- it smells of fish, salt, sweat and the sea. And then there's the perpetual dust and dirt in the air. And the humidity. And the fact that you cannot see a single star in the sky even on the clearest of nights. And that ten minutes outside and you're dying to escape the heat. And its an insanely, ridiculously competitive place to be in. Bombay is known for its tragedies. But I still long to be back there.
Because at the end of the day, nothing does quite inspire me to write, or make me smile to myself the way Bombay and Nariman Point do. Nariman Point is one of the most amazing places I've been to simply because what you can see from there will leave you speechless. Whether it's the Queens Necklace, or the Arabian Sea that stretches out indefinitely before you, Nariman Point is where we go back to find ourselves again. Which is why every couple that has ever romanced in Bombay has on some sultry evening or the other come here to take in the wind, the rain, the sea and to embrace the overwhelming nature of love. And why irrespective of what day of the week it is, Nariman Point is where every person who has given up, goes, to find that strength. Nothing makes me calmer than the Sea Link, which in the night is absurdly non-threatening despite the fact that the sea is pitch black and you can't see a thing save for a few small buildings that dot the hinterland. Despite being the busiest, most over crowded place in India, Bombay - the big, scary city- the land of dreams, has this unruffled, serene even, quality to it. It makes you sigh peacefully. I miss Bombay- the smell, the sounds, the view and more than anything else the spirit. And even though it's been seven months since I went there, I haven't forgotten anything about the view from Marine Drive and Nariman Point.
And considering how TUCS is based in Bombay, I really need to go back to figure out various important, highly crucial and strategic details like where exactly I want the offices to be located, (Cuffe Parade obviously) and where everyone lives, (Malad, Bandra, Colaba, Andheri and Chowpatty) and where they eat (Theobroma- Colaba, Indigo Deli- Lower Parel, Basilico, Jazz By The Bay- Marine Drive, Trishna- Kala Ghoda, Olive, Mahesh Lunch Home and Brijwasi Sweets-Andheri). And no, I refuse to Google this, or ask any one of my many million extended family members who live there simply because it just isn't the same thing as actually feeling what Bombay makes me feel~ inspired, hungry and just so damn happy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Luck And A Little Love~ The Zoya Factor

The Zoya Factor~ a book I randomly picked up in Crossword on a lonely day in 2008 (Landmark wasn't open then) simply because I realised I had never really read anything by Indian authors and that was a shame, considering how I want to be one. The cover wasn't exactly striking but what I read at the back made me smile and I was willing to take a chance. And I'm so grateful I did. Because three years later it still is one of the books I cherish the most.
And irrespective of how many times I've read it, I still smile when the NZ engraved on the charm bracelet that reminded Nikhil of Zoya implies "New Zealand" famous for its sheep because he bought it in New Zealand. Or when they talk about the Nike Warrior ad- which should really be made into an ad as soon as possible because it is simply fantastic. Or when Nikhil Khoda says "How about a lucky kiss?" Or when they go on their "cheap" date and their arguement over 'mongrel' is so intense and sexy; and at the end of it he says~ 'I really want to kiss you, you know. But I'm not going to, okay?' And she idiotically whispers 'Okay' Or when in the end he says "I hope you've noticed that I took care not to park in your esteemed Gajju Chacha's slot."
I can't help but bite my lip in exasperation when they fight over luck and captaincy. I can't help but sigh when Zoya texts him before the semifinal asking if she should come for breakfast. And two texts later, completely out of context, Nikhil- fed up with the war- says- I miss you. I grin when they say, "Who said I wanted to talk to you?" I can't help but smile ruefully when Zoya stupidly doesn't go to him after they win the semi-final vs England.  And I can't help but die a little bit like Zoya when he signs off with "Love, N." And just like Zoya, my heart breaks a little bit too, when she overhears him saying "I miss us too" exasperatedly to god knows which one of his many girlfriends.
I can't help but laugh everytime anyone says anything remotely witty which is just about every two minutes.
The line that stays with me is this one- "Nikhil chewed gum and basically stood around at second slip looking like the grimmest, most intense Boost ad ever."  This line kills me. It does. Because that is how awesome it is. Anuja Chauhan is a genius. And no, its not just because her descriptions of Nikhil Khoda have everything to do with ads; which btw is a stroke of genius because who, who would ever say 'Boost brown eyes'? Its simply the best way to describe his eyes.
Its Bollywood, melodramatic, stupid, wickedly funny and has SRK in it. Zoya has gorgeous hair- I can see it in my head- and her stupidity is what I can identify with. Because we all are that stupid. Nikhil- headstrong and stubborn, talks like a Nike ad and as a PYT puts it- he looks so intense- like he'd let you flirt with other guys all evening and then take you home and make passionate love to you to show you who's the boss. Nikhil is just marginally smarter than Zoya, but it is their childish arguements, their ego, their stupid texts and the constant bickering (Do me a service Zoya from Servicing, Little Miss Fix It, Surely you didn't think we were winning because of you, You're pretty cocky for a skipper who's lost every final he's ever played) that makes them work.
Lokey and Monita are characters that will stay with you because of the way they've been written. The email between Vaishali Paul and Sanks, the Zing! ad shoot at Dhaka, the 'Nike' shoes for Rawal, Zoravars epiphany at the Zoya Devi ad shoot and Eppas curse , the Benito's pizza incident/accident, the jealousy with Zahid and Miss Sultry South, the constant puns, and the crazy head of the IBCC and his guru add to the entertainment. Not like the book needs it considering how every time Nikhil and Zoya are together, the reader cant help but smile or sigh at their witty banter, idiotic fights or wicked romance.
An unputdownable read by one of the greatest writers I've ever come across, The Zoya Factor is a book that combines an ad agency, cricket, luck, loathing and love. What more could I ask for? Really? Its been a love affair that's lasted three years and I know it'll last a lifetime.
Now that I've got that out of me, I must go read the book. Again. For the third time. In two days. *sighs*
In Zoya's words~ Loathing 10%. Lust 90%.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What's The Weather Like?

So there's a lot of things that i should be doing right now, instead of typing this post out. Like writing things that need to be submitted tomorrow, or cleaning the perpetual mess that my room is in or even trying to study for my practical exams which being on Monday, isn't all that far away but no, no all my stupid head can do is think. And I don't even want to think. About anything for that matter. And especially not about how its been six months since I went on a holiday because I just want a vacation. I want to go away to some place where no one is going to tell me what I should be doing, where no one really wants me to do anything. And where my mind leaves me alone as well, because clearly it is rather stupid. And clearly also rather stubborn, because I cannot seem to stop thinking about this one thing.

I hate when I run out of things to talk about with people, especially -no only- when it’s the ones I love- the ones I generally can't stop chattering nineteen hundred to the dozen with. Because I know I talk a lot, or at least that I can, depending on the circumstances. But people drift apart, and all of a sudden there are no words, no words to say what you feel out of the many million words that exist, and the many zillion that are invented on a daily basis- Twitterati, Twitterverse, Tweet-up and Twestival being excellent examples. Yes I hate Twitter, clearly.
 
Anyway my point is that how can we possibly not have any words for someone when there is no lack of words in this world? How do two such bloody close people drift apart so much that even a 5 minute conversation ends up being awkward and filled with long, seemingly unending pauses? Why does it become so hard for us to tell the people we love what it is that we really need and what would make us happy? Because honestly, wouldn't it just be so much easier if they knew what it was that we thought and felt?

Is it just a phase, is it growing up and growing apart or is it just a necessary step in every relationship that will ever be a part of our lives? And most importantly how do you get back to what you used to be?

And yes, I know that there is no right answer for each of these questions and it comes down to those two people and what they believe in, but i still cannot seem to stop thinking. I think its because I've watched way too much of Criminal Minds in the last one week. And there's only so much of that show that you can take before you go insane. So, Grey's Anatomy- will you hurry up and get done with your spring break already? 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cricket, Coke and Changing The Game

I've been meaning to write for a quite a while now but it just hasn't been happening even though everyone keeps asking me to. Maybe its just that now that the exams are done, I don't have anything to bitch about. Oh, no that's not true.

The new Coke ad- Like what the hell were you guys thinking? Are you absolutely out of your mind? You follow up the Shadow ad which was very Strange Love-esque with this? This? Really? I mean I love Imran and detest Ranbir (Sorry Cookie, he is hot, but he's a cheat and they aren't my type) but I can't help liking the Pepsi Change the Game ad campaign so much more. Even though I cannot stand Pepsi and will NOT drink it. But the campaign, you have to agree is fantastic.

The Cricket World Cup is here and like every other soul in this cricket loving, crazy and obsessed nation I too breathe, eat, and sleep cricket. Truly it is the cup that counts. I love the nail biting games, the start-to-finish gripping your seat, closing your eyes, and feverently praying games. But what’s also fascinating is the kind of phenomenon it has become, especially when it comes to advertising. Even the advertising industry is so united at this time. Every ad, every product and service irrespective of what the product is, either features cricketers if they can afford it, or focuses on a cricket theme. Suddenly everything has a connection to this game- Be it obvious products like shoes and televisions or the unusual pizzas, telecommunication services, cements or even bathrooms.  [Parryware- Wow what a bathroom. I swear. I never said the ads were good of course. This one is just ridiculous.]

Some companies go to the extent of even changing their tagline for this cricket season- Tata Sky Plus substitutes the word cricket for life in its tagline, but after all when it comes to India they are synonyms right? Sony Bravia has modeled a campaign based on “The Incredible Game” but the one campaign that does make you sit up and take notice is the Pepsi- Change the Game.

A series of 7 ads with world class cricketers including five Indian players- Mahendra Singh Dhoni,Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Virat Kohli, and Suresh Raina. It’s an eyeball grabbing campaign, and extremely heartwarming because it talks about the hope of a billion souls and it happens to be so extremely catchy. What’s more is that the ads are extremely Indian, true to the flavor that makes us who we are. Whether it’s the helicopter shot with MSD or the Switch hit with Kevin Pietersen, or Ranbir Kapoor teaching Virender Sehwag, the central theme is that of the common man- the average Indian, being such a huge part of this significant game. The campaign changed the game and how, setting a benchmark in Indian advertising. (Just as a point because I can't not say this- RK, like really first of all your name is like a take on the most amazing person alive- SRK, so stop copying his hairstyle. Because that supposedly cool pony you sport in the ad was something SRK did long ago with Don. So really, stop acting off screen and do something that's worth talking about apart from your many low battery "conquests".) So anyway I don't quite know if Coke did what it did, out of desperation, or because just like everyone, they've lost it. I'm praying its a phase because I cannot wait for this ad to be pulled out.

Second best of course is Airtel because they have the afore mentioned amazing person- SRK. Simple, to the point, endearing, heartwrenchingly good looks, and that dimple. Who cares what the storyline is? But they do have one, and a good one at that. Because before we had alerts on phones, and internet on our fingertips and all of that the only thing we'd ask every single person who had a chance of knowing was the score. Because like the ad says- There is only one question. And I know I'm talking about the World Cup here but the Airtel-BB ad is just simply too good too. And no, I'm not just saying this because I love my BB now and i'm texting 24X7 and therefore end up promoting the BB every minute that I'm awake but because it really is a great ad.

But the best undoubtedly is Vodafone. The Vodafone Zoozoos are back! The teasers featured people going crazy, fighting over what they saw. Bird or Plane? Fact or Fiction? Alien or UFO? Dream or Reality? And I for one couldn't wait to know. The Zoozoos not only are absolutely original and endearing, but they also happen to have some of the best storylines in advertising. And this, this was so totally worth the long wait, the intrdoduction of Vodafone 3G as a superhero- changing in a phone booth, saving the world, swooping out of the atmosphere, stopping trains, solving complex Maths (Calculus in all probability), racing a bullet ala Rajnikanth, working out and charming his girl all in a matter of minutes was just mindblowingly good. They got the script right, the music is outstanding and the Zoozoos as usual are not annoying but rather extremely heartbreakingly fantastic.

This ad, this ad makes going to college at 8am because Telangana decides to have a half day bandh- 1-4 completely okay. This ad just brightens up my day somehow. And all of a sudden, very much like in the ad, all is right with the world again. So maybe they really are superheroes. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Year Of Getting Away With Drama~ Courtesy TUCS

Because Fiction reveals truths that Reality obscures- Jessamyn West

TUCS- Pinnacle Shall Run~
 
What it’s supposed to be:
The destinies of two companies remain entwined much like the hearts/lives of their owners. A novel about the highways and bye lanes of corporate India, revolving around Pinnacle & Shall Run Planes and their young, not-so-naïve CEOs- Karan and Zoya. A book that constantly flips between the past and the present, and some dreams and hopes of the future, to reveal the journey of their incredibly irrational yet delightfully endearing team.

What it actually is:
Crap.
*****

TUCS turns one today. And I’m grateful because this is a perfect excuse for me to turn hyper, to get some sinfully good chocolate cake *fingers crossed* and do plenty of drama and get away with it- not that I don’t every other day but well today I have a very valid reason. =] But more than anything else, what I’m most grateful for is the fact that I had something to turn to every time college started to annoy or depress me which it did just about every second day.

TUCS isn’t just a book, for me, it’s become a reason to live- to stay happy day after day despite the fact that I have Banking as a subject and my textbook is a curse that destroys all happiness; despite the fact that the Spewing Rubbish Bitch teaches us the only subject I care about; and despite the fact that I will fail in my fourth Semester exams because I don’t know anything. It's given me something to look forward to every time I've been disillusioned and disappointed, and it just somehow makes my mornings brighter.

TUCS got me through what could have been a very very bad year at college and so I’m more than grateful. I’m grateful for every word that I’ve ever written for TUCS in the many million places I’ve written it- irrespective of whether it’s still a part of the storyline or not, irrespective of how dramatic, foolish or impossible those incidents may have been; irrespective of how stupid or how smart I may have sounded. I love how at the end or middle of every notebook I’ve used in the last year there will be a word, a sentence or a page, and especially a moment, a memory that has everything to do with my baby.

I’d like to thank Fate for somehow making this happen, and my Accounts teacher in the second sem- for the life of me I cannot remember her name- for making accounts so boring that I actually started thinking and my thoughts led me to TUCS. And all the gorgeous views that are slowly disappearing because of this city’s unending need for “development”.
And obviously my Mom and Dad for reading TUCS over and over again, the words “airport fiction” only challenge me to write better and for basically never giving up on me despite my stubbornness.

But more than anyone else a zillion thanks to-
Ayesha- my Cristina superhero Yang, who was the first person ever to read it and for being my very rational editor. You’re my person.
Mash- for loving the kiss, for being my Thesaurus and for not complaining every time I decided to ignore you and furiously write in that black book of mine.
Apeksha- for NOT saying “It’s too long” and actually reading it instantly every time I asked you to, which just surprised me too much, and for being my BB Bitch.
Because through all the toads, the dodos, the raw potatoes and the wolves, I know we’ll be okay because we’ve got each other, and because our girlfriends really are our soul mates and boys are just people to have fun with <3
Now if only I could finish it instead of writing eulogies for all you bitches.

And Francis- yes I’m actually going to thank my college- for being the horribly boring and depressing hellhole it is because otherwise I’d never get motivated to do what I really love doing. A certain absurdly small footed Cruella- Vaishali Aunty- for making me believe I can write and for just making me who I am today.
Manu- the moronic bodyguard brother- for rolling his eyes every time I mentioned the book- my lack of experience in the corporate world being his bone of contention along with the fact that (he believes) I can’t string a few words together to sound sane even if my life depended on it.
Kriti- for wanting the happy ending, making me want it, and making me want to believe in it. And for saying all the right things, and for that one heartbreakingly right text =]

Also the unrivaled, unparalleled, incomparable Anuja Chauhan- for being the greatest role model ever and such a huge inspiration.
Grey’s Anatomy- because there simply isn’t anything quite like you. And in your seven seasons you’ve given me SO much to think over, and you gave us Mc Steamy.
But most of all Shah Rukh Khan- for existing, and for that dimpled smile, and all those extended romantic scenes in the overdramatic Bollywood movies I worship and live for.

Anyway so the point is I couldn’t have done it without you’ll and you better pray that it doesn’t take me yet another year to finish it because then I’ll continue to be the hyper, rude, cranky but awesome bitch I was this year.
Much Love.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Holding On

“Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves and then we have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.”
-Snoopy, Peanuts

I detest goodbyes. Honestly I do. Yes, if it involved running to the railway station just as the train was pulling out, to see the girl you love one last time simply because you realise it’s the last time you’ll ever see her (Love Aaj Kal) then I’m not complaining. Those goodbyes- the overdramatic and filmy but so heartbreakingly good ones, with some running involved obviously, the very old style ones that filmmakers today are too ‘cool’ to make, I love but otherwise, in real life I hate them.

Goodbyes generally mean that people are going away and that never is a good thing really. I hate the Departures terminal; love the Arrivals- I think it’s the one place that’s always so full of love, to quote an airlines heartbreakingly good ad campaign- "All for that one moment"- and yet I have quite a reputation, a penchant in fact for running away from things, especially problems, and complicated awkward situations, which if you think about basically implies life. I’m known for resisting change even though I know it’s futile. I’m famous for my stupidity especially when it comes to dealing with change. Goodbyes also mean waiting and I’m not patient. I’m not rational or practical or even the shutting-up-and-suffering types. I’m the moody one, who can’t to save her life figure out what sort of a mood she is in.

Also I think I hate goodbyes because they mean the end of a time- the passage of a series of moments that I’m not quite ready to let go of yet- they imply change. I’m a hoarder, I don’t like letting go. Whether it’s the notes we’ve written to each other over the years, or just random scraps of paper with meaningless lists, or even bills- I can’t bring myself to throw it all away. I write down lines, I don’t delete some texts, I love photographs. I collect unnecessary things, keep empty shoeboxes, and generally hate letting go of any kind of book- unless its Banking- that is one book I’m dying to get rid of. But I can’t just let go of it yet, I have another 2 months to be cursed with its presence. And there are other things that I wish I never had to bid goodbye to- the best example being the almost 18 t-shirt I adored- but I didn’t really have a choice.

And that’s the thing; all of this sometimes just isn’t in our hands, saying goodbye isn’t up to us. Sometimes it’s just what’s already been written and there isn’t anything any of us can do about it.
But still for once I wish time would slow down even though I really want it to fly by, because I’m really not ready to let go of my teenage just yet.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The 'D' Word

Death is really all around us. Blatantly all around us. It doesn't lurk in the corners any more, it just snatches every third person right before us. I've never given much thought to how exactly I would die but all of a sudden, being the paranoid person I am, I realise that there are an infinite number of ways that that could happen.

Everywhere I look, any topic I pick, I find a hundred reasons, a thousand things that blatantly point out our mortality- how fragile we are. We fall down, we fall sick, we lose our minds. We break our bones, sometimes we break our hearts, and sometimes we just forget it all. We eat too much, or we eat too little, sometimes we just have our sweet tooth to blame. Sometimes I just hear about people who simply never woke up.

Every time I read the paper, I hear about a new disease- a disease without a cure. I hear about people and their inability to control their minds. I hear about another disaster- environmental, nuclear, or just man- made. I hear about terrorism and war and turmoil.

At the end of the day, even if we are superheroes in someone else's lives, we are only human. And irrespective of how strong we feel we are, or how cautious, or how vigilant, someday it will all come to an end. It will all disintegrate before our eyes and the only thing we'll be able to do is look helplessly as we see someone we love disappear before our eyes. And all we'll have are the moments that have already gone by, leaving us, alone. Alone to die.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fridays, February, Finance and the Future

Its February finally. And it's Friday. Thank God for that.
Contrary to popular belief constant interruptions like the doorbell do NOT inspire me. Especially when it happens to ring five hundred frigging million times in the day. And I just had to say that for some reason.
Coming to what I wanted to say, my eternal confusion- I didn't attend a 2 hour presentation on shares and debentures by Swaroopa Ma'am yesterday, choosing instead to write TUCS. Fortunately there was no attendance taken. But see the real reason is I'm scared, terrified even that I'll get swayed by her ecletic presence and promptly switch to Finance for my specialisation. I want to do Marketing, but there's no denying that everytime I sit down to write a page in TUCS promising myself to make it a purely Pinnacle page- full of ad campaigns and photoshoots and taglines and press releases, I get distracted and barely 400 words later I give up. I stop and start rewriting the same concept, the same dramatic turn of events and the same dialogues only now they happen in SRP and have everything to do with cash crunches, and revenue problems and loans and debentures. Not to mention the idea even of Marketing seems exhausting right now.
I'd like to use the line "Innocently, and inadvertently intrigued me." but I don't quite know where to use it. The idea of stringing together all the small bits, all the many many pages of TUCS and its many babies and editing it to see if it makes sense is exhausting to say the least. Its daunting and terrifying and it's too precious. TUCS is my baby. Which just makes this whole thing scarier. And every time I see the number of documents that have accumulated I die a little bit, well a part of me does. But I know that I can't not write it. TUCS is something that I need to get out of me, it's something, a story that I believe needs to be told, irrespective of what happens in the process.
I think I'm a closet olive lover. The other day I shockingly picked out only four black olives from my sandwich and just about died when I realised I had eaten the many zillion others. And I do remember eating green olives in my pasta and loving them the other night. I shock myself.
This post is rather random I realise, but well it's all I have to say right now.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In Dire Need of Desire

“Too often, the thing you want most is the one thing you can’t have. Desire leaves us heartbroken, it wears us out. Desire can wreck your life. And as tough as wanting something can be, the people who suffer the most are those who don’t know what they want.”
- Grey’s Anatomy- Season 3, Episode 21- Desire

Desire is heart wrenchingly heartbreaking. Desire can’t be ignored or avoided. You can’t have a polite conversation with it and then say your goodbyes. You simply can’t go your separate ways and act as though nothing ever happened. You can’t pretend to be just ‘good friends’ with it. Desire isn’t a One Night Stand. Desire never leaves. And when you know you want something, Life almost always makes sure that you don’t get it. At least not right away. Because one of the biggest lessons that life attempts to teach us is that we need to wait for things. And I’m no good at that. No good at all. And as much as I hate it, I know I have to.

I think I finish people’s sentences to rush things~ to finish it all quickly, to put an end to everything. I’m always in this hurry, in this rush to get somewhere else. I don’t know why I’m in such a rush to get to the end, especially since the end quite obviously is Death. I forward tv shows, I hate stupid advertisements that waste the time even though I love advertisements, I can’t sit around waiting for 5 days for people I love to visit, I can’t be patient enough to wait for one week for a show to be telecasted. I want it all, and I want it all now.

But you can’t always get what you want or what you need all the time, on time. Life sadly is nothing like IndiGo and their promise. If anything, Life doesn’t work that way. It has its own inexplicable and bizarre way of serving us things and more often than not, we never really get what we truly want. It has its own timeline and its own whims and fancies and there isn’t a thing anyone of us can do about it. And that’s a reality we all have to live with I suppose. It just comes down to accepting it and moving the hell on.

Desire is difficult but it makes your life worth living. Because when you don’t know what it is that you truly want, you wander around wasting the best part or the most part of your Life looking for what it is that you truly love. Without desire you’re aimless, without a purpose, lost. Desire makes you want to fight back. It makes you want to get up at 6 in the morning and get to class. Or as the case may be stay up till 5 in the morning to write. It makes you read stupidly intelligent and annoyingly good books. Desire makes you achieve. It makes you spout sentences at 3 in the morning because you’re in that kind of a mood. It’s an altogether different story that it kills you in the process, shredding bits of your soul and breaking you and your self esteem and crushing your heart along the way.

Desire propels you. It’s that driving force we all are in dire need of. It makes life worth living. Because what fun would life be if we weren’t struggling a little bit, if we weren’t dying a little bit?

So bring it on 2011. Because I know exactly what I want and I know I can be happy.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Pinnacle Shall Run

"You want me to what?” I asked, stunned.
“Not you. Pinnacle”, he said matter of factly. I rolled my eyes. It was my favourite pastime these days. “Can you explain what exactly you want Pinnacle to do Karan?” I emphasised each word because really, he was annoying.
“Please?” he stressed, smiling.
“Karan” JS glared.
“Please” I said, not smiling at all.

“All right then. I think it’s crucial for Pinnacle to acquire GFG as a client. First of all, it will do wonders for Pinnacle as an agency. Two, it is great for SRP which is a part holder of Pinnacle because we’ll be in the know of what his moves and plans are, and also of his deals with other airlines. Three, since this idea comes from SRP, maybe the revenue earned could be used to buy back shares held by SRP easing the cash flow problem. Four, if he does become Pinnacle’s client, then we could strike a deal with him, and swing things in our favour.” He looked so smug, so pleased with himself and his great ideas, which by the way weren’t great at all, it aggravated me even more. This meeting was traumatic enough for me as it is. I mean we were supposed to be voting on selling Pinnacle. How could he barge in and bring up something that wasn’t even on/in the agenda? I suppose he could, because he was a part owner and he was Karan after all, but it was still bloody unfair. I realised he was looking at me for a reaction, like most others in the Boardroom, so I stopped the mental rambling and began the verbal one.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea at all. One, you shouldn’t be talking about a company’s reputation and image I think considering how you are jeopardizing yours. Two, since when does Pinnacle do what SRP tells it to? Three, you want us to buy back our own shares? Are you crazy? How is that good for our image? Four, it’s not a cash flow problem as much as it’s a cash crunch one. Five, wasn’t one ‘good’ deal enough that you want one more? Six, whatever happened to Client Confidentiality? Oh wait I have more to say, seven, wasn’t this supposed to be a meeting on voting to sell Pinnacle?”
“Come on. Be a little open to his ideas. We can decide in a little while.” Vishal’s efforts to calm me down failed as always, but only because Karan had to add, “You’re problem is that you can’t deal with change. You can’t accept anything new; can’t think beyond what you’ve already thought of. You can’t change your mind once you’ve made it up and you don’t let anyone else change it for you.”

His eyes told me that he wasn’t talking only about the BOD meeting, but I brushed those thoughts away. “You think I’m incapable of accepting change? I just agreed to leave the agency to become a negotiator at SRP. I just agreed to give up my damn job which FYI I love very much. And I just agreed to give up my company to save yours and you tell me I’m incapable of change? That’s rich.”
His voice rose, and now we were both screaming at each other, “Yeah I say that because you don’t even want to spend a few minutes analyzing my suggestion which by the way is a good one.”
“If I didn’t analyze it Karan, how do you think I came up with my seven points of concern?” I lowered my voice, wanting this argument to end. I was fed up and I was also regretting my choice of words.
Quite obviously he didn’t want the same, “Seven points of concern? You ripped it apart and don’t try to deny that and please don’t disguise it as concern. Is there honestly nothing redeeming about it?”
“Karan…”
“Yes or no? Is there nothing redeeming about it?” He insisted I answer, and I did, “There is. But…”
He cut in, “Then I think it is worthy of a few more minutes of discussion. Let’s hear what the others think of it.” He turned and looked at Vishal and JS, both of whom seemed extremely tired of our constant bickering, which had escalated from being on a monthly basis, to a daily or even an hourly one.

JS looked at Vishal and then said, “Why don’t we all listen to a little more about Karan’s idea and then we can take a call on what we want to do?” He looked at me with a reassuring glance, that seemed to say that everything will be okay though for the life of both of us, we didn’t know how. Karan walked over towards the big screen and one of his many assistants, -Yes, of course he had an entourage. Why would you even doubt/question that? - started the ppt. I was irritated again. He didn’t have the time to talk to me, no wait he practically ran away from me, but he had the time to make fancy floral powerpoint presentations for his stupid senseless supposed ‘solution’. Men, I thought, mentally rolling my eyes. Okay they weren't floral, but I hate presentations.

He began his presentation with a charm and a style best suited to award show hosts. The title slide of the PPT had GFG’s picture and a picture of a target. Juvenile much?
“As is quite clear by the illustration, I believe GFG must be our next target. We must try everything we can to get him as a client; it must be our foremost objective and I will give a detailed explanation of every reason why I believe so. Firstly ever since the announcement of his new invention – the Green fuel which was made ten days ago, he has been in the news world over constantly. He has refused most interviews, and is being very secretive, to add to the mystery I suppose and sources say that he does not have one official representative yet. It is rumoured that he is planning a press conference next week and it is crucial for Pinnacle to get in touch with him somehow or the other before that happens. The Pinnacle connection most importantly will help Shall Run Planes in obtaining information about his dealings with other airlines and his plans for the future and we can certainly hope to get an advantage when it comes to signing a deal with him.”

I sighed softly and began doodling again. It was hard to listen to things I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be a part of this meeting in the first place and now thankful though I was to him, for postponing the voting, I still wasn’t thankful enough to want to listen to all the nonsense he was spouting. I wasn’t thankful enough to even want to listen to figure out if it was nonsense or not, just like my thoughts currently.
Less than a minute later Vishal pulled the pencil away, “You know you want to listen. Don’t be stubborn.”
I whispered back, “It’s not being stubborn Vishal. I’m just so tired. It hasn’t been an easy day; it hasn’t been an easy decision. I spent the last two days oscillating/vacillating between both our choices for the vote, unable to stick to one decision, and that’s ridiculous because I’m the one who suggested the sale.”
“It isn’t ridiculous at all. And I know how much Pinnacle means to you, but you should accept the fact that it is an equally difficult decision for all of us as well. And Karan is trying to help, even though I know it doesn’t feel that way. His approach may be wrong, but he means good. So listen.”

I smiled at him. He was right, like always. At some point in the five years I had known him, he had matured so much. He knew what to say when and how to get all of us to cooperate. He just knew. He had grown up. And we, me and Karan, we were the same- two stupid people who'd never be able to figure it out.
Karan stopped his speech abruptly and said, “I don’t know why you aren’t listening but you should. This is a good thing. I’m trying to save Pinnacle.”
Vishal jumped to my defence, “She had a doubt about his next conference. We were sorting it out Karan. Just go on with it.”
But of course he couldn’t let go, “Do you realise how good this will be for Pinnacle’s image? Leave aside Shall Run for a minute. Keeping SRP apart, this guy is the client to have right now. Do you have any idea what it will do for the company? Because this guy is huge right now and you cannot not capitalize on that. If you get him, Pinnacle is set, for life!” He looked at me, stressing on the parts where it was awesome for Pinnacle.
I wasn’t falling for the bait, “Do you have any idea how bloody controversial this is going to be?” I know I could have been nicer, but I’m me and it had been an incredibly long and painfully annoying day.
He chose to respond with the clichéd, “Any publicity is good publicity.”
“I have never advocated that.” Two could play the matter-of-factly game, I suppose.
“But I have.” He grinned.
“Clearly.” I snorted, and I ended up rolling my eyes again. There wasn’t a week where he wasn’t in the news for some crappy thing or the other. Generally most gossip revolved around his many 'Plus Ones' to every social do he attended and how long those 'relationships', if you can call them that, lasted. So I wasn’t surprised to hear him advocating any publicity is good publicity. No, I'm not jealous. Honestly.

He continued, unaware of what was going on in my mind. “Anyway moving on, I would like to point out the fact that the biggest advantage Pinnacle has right now is the fact that we haven’t been chasing him and hounding him like most other agencies and media units. That might raise the respect he has for us. We must go after him strongly but he mustn’t realise that. To him it should look like a soft, bordering-on-disinterested, we-are-awesome approach.”
Oh so he was framing strategies now? Acquiring-Client Strategies? Who did he think he was? JS seemed to have read my mind or maybe he just had the same opinion, because he cut in, “Karan, no strategies now. We just need you to illustrate why you think this is a good idea and you’ve done that. Strategies can wait till we actually reach a decision on the implementation.”
He obviously didn’t seem to mind his father’s interruption. Father-son bonding had reached a new level these days. Sometimes it seemed like they were programmed to work the same way, react the same way and that was a recent development. JS added, “If you have anything else to say about this Karan, now would be the time.”

“I’d like to end by stressing on a very important point again- Separating Pinnacle and SRP, that is irrespective of SRP and its troubles, you have to admit that he” Karan paused for effect, and pointed at the screen which was now displaying a big blown up picture of GFG, and then continued, “is definitely an asset for Pinnacle, that is if they can get him.” That last bit was obviously aimed at me, even though he was pointedly looking away. His attempts at trying to manipulate or coerce me in the disguise of a challenge failed because I wasn’t as stupid as he thought I was, even in times like this when I couldn’t think. Or maybe he just wanted me to think I was challenging him so I would get irritated. Okay I’m over thinking this again. That was my problem where he was concerned.
JS then got up and ended the meeting by postponing the final decision to the evening because we all (read me) needed time to think about the new developments. The BOD was set to meet at 6 again and in the meantime we were asked to forget everything else but Pinnacle, GFG and Shall Run Planes’ approaching and sadly rather inevitable crisis. Karan and JS left together, involved in a rapid, serious discussion presumably revolving around the GFG and any developments that may have taken place in the last 6 hours.

Vishal, Shekhar, Sanjana and a very subdued me walked away from the room. A gamut of emotions had taken my brain hostage, and I didn’t have it in me to process what the others were saying. The relief and the joy at not having to sell Pinnacle, at least not now had taken complete control of me.
And if only I had known what lay ahead, I would have sold Pinnacle that very moment.