Friday, April 27, 2012

I'll Be There For You*

*Terms and Conditions apply.
Offer valid only if I'm in the mood to be there for you and if I have the time, which I never will. But anyway.

More often than not, when people say this line, they forget to include the asterisk and the attached terms and conditions. And we, stupidly enough believe them.

And even when its staring at us right in the face, for reasons best known to us, we choose to ignore the sign. And that's absurd really.

My point today is this- Nothing in life is unconditional anymore is it? We promise to be there for our best friends, we promise to love people forever, we promise to never give up.
But all of that is valid only when the world isn't being a bitch to you, and that is what maybe once a week, twice possibly if the gods are being kind?

Now I'm not just bitching about the world here like I normally do. Its me too. I'm selfish. More than I ought to be, and more than I want to be.

I want to be there for people, and I want to care. But I can't quite bring myself to. I don't know if its the heat, or the fact that life is annoying, but something has changed. And I think they call it growing up.

And that's just it. Life was simpler back then. And happier. And there were no implied asterisks that you had to watch out for.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Three Years and A Lifetime of Memories

I have no words, and that's a first because I generally don't shut up.
Three years of college have gone by, with the best year obviously slipping away so quickly, that I never got to just sit in class. I still keep thinking that it's July. Except it's not, and March is coming to an end.
When I first joined Francis, I never quite thought I'd feel this way, I never ever thought I'd miss this place, or cry over the fact that it's all coming to an end. But that's just the thing.
It's the people I met here that have changed it all and made college so brilliant.
Whether its sitting outside the language staff room and eating the canteen food with two of my best friends, or bunking class on 'work' with the COFEE gang, or meeting my Gemini 'twin' for a hurried stupid crisis, or studying in the car at 8 am for the exams with my marketing partner, I'm actually going to really miss this place. I'm even going to miss the green classrooms, and the stupid exam forms, the annoying certificates and the bad-vibes library. Third year especially has been absolutely brilliant with the best lecturers, so much work, so much bitching, a little studying, a fantastic organisation that can just about make anything happen, a Kotler seminar, a management fest, two marketing orientations and two absolutely epic farewells.
If I had to live it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing!
Because in the end, it all turned out okay. More than okay.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Because It's Not Just An Organisation

COFEE 2011-12 comes to an end today, and I simply can't believe it. It has been a whirlwind journey, and I will miss every single moment. Time, as usual has flown away way too quickly.
Whether it was dying editing Vantage, writing out scripts and certificates, planning every small detail and always losing the page we wrote it in, cribbing about everything and everyone, crisis management for backdrops and laughing hyperly, without any worry, at the end of it all, COFEE will always make up some of my best moments in college.
To the team that made college truly special- I'll never forget you guys! Wish we could live it all over again!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fading Away

The flame dances around and fascinated I silently watch. Slowly, it begins to fade and die. It's quiet here, silent almost even though I'm surrounded by people. Turning my attention to what lies outside, I look out of the glass at the city that lies below and beyond me, the city I have fallen in love with. I see the perfectly cloudless night sky and an enchanting golden full moon gliding away quietly and quickly. I see the roads full of cars, as expected on a Saturday night, all in a hurry to get somewhere else. Everyone, everything seems to be in this hurry to get away from here, to go somewhere else. But where? Where were we all headed?
Sighing, I give up on my thoughts. And when I look away from the view of the endlessly curving roads and the constantly moving spots of light, when I look into the glass, I see the reflection of a girl who is not me. I see a girl I don't recognise anymore.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Invisible Much?

Where has Pepsi gone? They’ve just disappeared. Post the ‘Change The Game’ campaign they undertook in April for the Cricket World Cup, I haven’t seen anything new. And they haven’t reacted to what Coke has done- it’s dropped its prices by 2 rupees just ahead of the scorching summer. And Pepsi still remains quiet which leaves me wondering if this is just the lull before the storm…

Brand Equity came out with its list of ‘India’s Most Exciting Youth Brands’ and surprise surprise Coco Cola trumps Pepsi. Now a company that once used the line ‘Yeh hai youngistaan, meri jaan’ and played only to the youth, seriously needs to do some reworking and rethinking, if it’s biggest competitor is upping it in youth popularity polls.

Ironically enough, Pepsi was the first brand ever, to associate itself with its consumers, saying 'Live in the Pepsi Generation' in the 70s. In India, Ranbir Kapoor was the celebrity endorser for the brand and given that Rockstar has been declared a hit with critics and masses, it is strange that there is no campaign featuring him. Pepsi’s last campaign, ‘Change the Game’ was largely targeted at the youth again because it used cricketers like Dhoni, Raina, Kohli and the others. Contrastingly Coke has used Imran Khan, who some might say doesn’t rank as high in youth popularity polls as RK. The new Coke ad, for the new year only features the spirit of happiness, a sentimental concept and a catchy hopeful song.

Given all of that, it is surprising that Pepsi is still keeping a low front.
I know ‘Hindu-TOI’ are the new Pepsi-Coke, but I really miss the days of the cola wars! ('Nothing Official About It' is one of the most epic lines ever!)

On a happier note, the big guys in Telecom are simply making my week.
Love Vodafone’s newest ad featuring the pug again, despite the fact that I hate the pug. Its simplicity of thought is what I like best and of course being the sappy romantic I am, I love the line – “Just you, just me. I think that’s all we need” And Airtel- with your new promotional campaign, “talk to us one-to-one” you leave me grinning, because that is just such a smart idea!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Two Much

A big thank you to my lovely Zoya, who has to put up with me and my stupid opinions, and to the infuriating Karan, who after so many debates, finally has a surname. TUCS would be nothing without your delightful chemistry, and you two make me want to write your story. And you make not really having a life somehow worth it.

To K3G (and the amazing SRK entrance scene) for being on TV every Sunday afternoon- it's just what I need to get into my writing mood.

To Alan Bennett because Chronology really is a deterrent. (And such a bitch!)

And to everyone out there who still remembers what TUCS is, you guys are the best! Thank you for putting up with me =)

It's been two years and I know I need to forget the world and just sit down and get it all out of me. And I will.

If I get to Goa that is.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Waking Up!

Talk about being original! :)

The DNA ad came out in August 2011.
And The Hindu ad - January 2012

And all I have to say for The Hindu-

If TOI is below your class, stop chasing its readers. Hey, maybe we want to know what Hrithik's petname is and whether Abhi-Ash had a baby boy or girl. I for one do.
Because maybe sometimes you're fed up of the miserable reality the world has to offer with corruption, rape, wars and a never ending economic crisis being daily items on the menu. So maybe we want to read something fun and inane. And yes, I LOVE the advertisements, especially seeing the first entire page ones.
And dear Hindu, if you do decide to indulge in an ad war with the newspaper that happens to be the largest circulated English language newspaper across all formats in the world (the TOI), at least find an original concept. And better actors. Really.
Also, for a newspaper that claims to be 'above the rest' because 'oh my god we are SO goddamn intellectual' how are you selling your soul? The Hindu's front page today (as I was informed by a Hindu reader who coincidentally had a very difficult time staying awake today) had a full page Vodafone ad- the same as on the TOI.
Perhaps the end of the world really is near, because copying the DNA ad wasn't enough, The Hindu is now adopting TOI policies too? My, my I never thought I'd live to see this day!
Must be a result of "waking up" and a restructuring of their top level management.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Make it Work

"You think yours is the one that's going to make it" 
                  - Grey's Anatomy

Well obviously you do. You always want it to work out, you want that happily-ever-after. You always do.
But how on earth do you make it work?

That’s all it really comes down to, doesn’t it?
For it to work, you have to say things out loud. Because no matter how similar or dissimilar two people are, or how long they’ve known each other, no one can read minds. So irrespective of how harsh, hurtful or selfish it sounds in your mind, you have to find the courage from somewhere inside you, and say what you want as simply as you possibly can to the one that matters. It’s the only way.

But sometimes saying things out loud can hurt you, it can end relationships because words once spoken can’t be taken back. So a statement said to spite someone, something hurriedly uttered in anger or a sarcastic jibe can just spell doom.

So what then?

How do we know when to say and when not to? How do we know what the right thing to say is? How can we possibly know?

So at the end of the day, life comes down to this gamble? This matter of chance and luck, that what you say won’t hurt the other person? That the two of you won’t be selfish and mad on the same day? That one of you will have the good sense to step back and stay silent?

How does it work?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Perceptual Blocking

In Marketing, its defined as the everyday noise that our mind automatically shuts out, because if we processed every single thing that was happening around us, we'd lose it. (And that's really an understatement)

You don't notice every single advertisement in the newspaper, you miss a few signboards and some people while you're driving, you don't register what every single person is wearing or doing in a shopping mall, simply because its too much.

And so, your mind knows when to filter and what to block. And it does this without you having to point it out, or remind it to do so.

If only we could do that consciously too.

(Now in Marketing, when you do that, you're protecting yourself from things you don't want to hear or see and its Perceptual Defence. Like for instance, a smoker ignoring the anti-smoking commercials. But I'm not talking about that.)

If only we could make our wicked brain shut up for a while, and consciously choose to ignore the small things about all the people we care about - life would be so much easier. And happier.

Who cares about whether or not he opens the door for you, or if she's texted you before she's tweeted good morning to the rest of the world? Why would you keep a count of which of your friends called you at midnight on your birthday? Why does it matter if someone never makes the first move, takes the first step? Why do we have to remember the small flaws we all have? Why do we have to be so petty?

Why can't we block all of that crap out and just remember that these people matter, irrespective of their flaws and habits. Because no one can makes us happy, the way they do. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Escape It All

"The roar of the sea, that thunderous sound the waves make~ for some reason I find that calming. Their strife, the way they crash, the power they possess to swoop over everything, destroy everything that lies in their path- I find absurdly peaceful. I could sit on the beach all day, doing absolutely nothing, because I cannot stop looking. Listening to the waves- it’s probably the best way to put me to sleep. 
Goa is picturesque in a way that’s hard to explain. Every step, every turn we take, every corner leads us to a house that simply tells a tale, that narrates the most beautiful story so vivid, so surreal so dramatic and yet so subtly simple, so simply subtle. 
There’s so much history, so much to learn and so much to feel. Goa is vibrant, colorful, and just all over the place. It’s simply festive. You can’t be here and NOT want to jump around. And then you go to the beach and serenity just takes over.
It’s like you’ve found contentment, or actually achieved self-actualization. And in a way I suppose it’s like being high. Because your mind starts to numb, your thoughts turn hazy, and you stop worrying about every single thing that happens to be wrong with the world and just sit around like an idiot smiling to yourself. Goa makes you forget your worries.
(Don't even get me started on the food, I won't stop. Sigh.)

It smells different, not the salt-sweat-sea-fish smell that I’m so used to. It’s nothing like Bombay. Nothing.
The humidity here even feels different from the humidity I know. It for some reason reminds me of Kerela. I don’t quite know why. There’s a part of me that’s scared, terrified even that I won’t like Bombay now. Because Bombay has no space for laziness, slowness, tranquility and stopping to think. Bombay is always in this mad rush, this hurry to get to the next step, the next place even though no one in the world has a clue of what the next step is, or where we’re supposed to go the next second.
But Goa, Goa is where you can take your time, pause to not smell the roses but rather to sniff the air and decide if you want to call this feeling contentment or tranquility.
As for what I’m calling it~ I don’t know, I haven’t quite decided yet. 
So excuse me for a bit, I must go continue sniffing the air :)"

~ And THIS is why I wish I could be back there. Now

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Another Dream To Chase

For a while now I have been trying to sum up what I have on my mind and I haven't been able to and that is only mildly annoying.
Life is strange and I know I have said that SO many times and it's stupid that it still surprises me this much, but you can't quite sit down and accept the fact that life will be strange right?
Cause even when you do, it just finds this whole new level of being strange. And so you're back to square one, and surprised.
I had this perpetual  trademark patented statement that I'd make, literally every single day, and on several occasions more than once a day, and now, now that I don't have to say it anymore, I'm not grateful. Now, I wish I could say it.
And that's just the thing right? The grass will always seem to be greener on the other side? We will always want to get back what we lost or gave up on, and contentment, how long can contentment last before you just give up and get fed up?
On another note, the problem with Plan A working out is that you have to give up Plan B, and I do not like that. Not one bit. I want it all to work out, and I want it to work exactly the way I want it.
And that never really happens, does it?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Brighter Than Sunshine

The lights of the city, the streetlights on the roads had just been switched on and against the blue sky they looked so strange, so unnecessary. It was 6:30 pm on a cold winter’s day, but surprisingly it wasn't dark yet. The sky was almost cloudless, pale blue and then suddenly ahead of me lay this beautiful golden pink orange haze. 

To my left were rocks and one solitary huge building- lit up. It stood there incongruously, standing out against the serenity of everything else. The place was so unlike Bombay. There was an entire stretch of untouched land, no buildings, nothing.  Just the vast emptiness of the sky and a faint outline of the moon, crescent and almost invisible and one single shining star. 

The road seemed endless; the lights seemed to stretch out on the road ahead as it curved.  And all there was on that lonely road in December was him and me. Him and Me. The emptiness, but the completeness of the moment stunned me. You couldn't possibly find this emptiness in Bombay.

And somewhere I think in this silent stretch of land, we found each other.

The road took another turn  and the entire city, the buildings and trees formed this outline of dark hazy shadows.
Just complete darkness, and then a soft hopeful pastel orange pink and then the calmest blue. I couldn't bring myself to stop looking out of the window, at that patch of eerily orange sky, the horizontal strip in the middle of all that blue, even when he placed his hand on mine. 

It was a start. A new beginning. And in that moment, I couldn't help but feel that maybe, maybe this time things would really be okay. Maybe this time we would be okay.