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.
3 words- Chocolate Ripple Cake

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%.