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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Calcutta Blues

After over three decades of the Left Front's rule, the Calcuttans decided to overthrow the government and welcome a change. The lady thereby elected to power was endowed with immense hope and expectations.

Alas! We have moved from bad to worse, to say the least. The state of health and hygiene is deplorable, standard of education doesn't seem to be progressing and the crime rate is increasing at the speed at which one can cook Maggi Noodles! Probably with Shahrukh Khan as our new brand ambassador, the rise in crime can be accredited to the success of Don!
In the face of this degradation all that Madam Chief Minister is engaged in, is changing the colour of buildings and bridges and if she were given her free will, even taxis. We didn't know that in our bid to press for change we had called upon misery marked by blues, replacing the famous 'laal jhanda' of the Left Front.

She has declared that the Writer's Building be painted blue but little does she realize heritage structures like the Writer's Building and the Alipore bridge lose their historical charm, they do not need a make-over, not at the hands of Mamta Banerjee at least!
She has made it to all prime-time news shows and even made a mark on newspaper headlines by her take on the Park Street rape case. An individual citizen of the city knocked the doors of the legal system to appeal for justice and Madam CM turned the whole story around. Why does she think she and her party are at the epicenter of all that takes place?
Being a lady in the office of supreme power of the state she was expected to handle the situation a little better than this. Even if she thought a rape case wasn't a 'big deal' she didn't have to bring party politics into this scene.

What are we heading for? With this so-called iron lady leading us in her clumsy, careless and impulsive ways, what is in store for Calcutta? Striving for decades to release ourselves from the infamous oxymoron of being an under-developed metropolis, we tried our fate by trusting green instead of red. Sadly, the green gang, being unsure of itself, has discovered blue to be its new favourite!

Saturday, 25 February 2012


Not so long ago, I created an album on my Facebook account called 'Shutterbug'. The idea behind it was to post pictures that I clicked when I saw something unusual. A beautiful tree or a regular but unnoticed act in action or the like. However, this album concentrated on no celebration as such and probably that is why it didn't manage to grab enough eyeballs.

Thanks to the new tech age, I have several platforms to experiment with and hence use this space to post a few pictures that I consider candid without marked presence of people.
Even though blogging hasn't attained its height for me, I find it useful to refer to the statistics that Blogspot maintains for me. The statistics record the number of pageviews on different counts, on such aspect being pageviews per post.
Hence, in my urge to see if these clicks warrant viewership, I post some of my favourite pictures below. After all, are the pictures too bad, or was Facebook an inappropriate platform for these?

Withered WOW

When the sun shines through.......

Red left alone

Rainbow at my feet!

If you don't know the time, you don't know the direction:
East or West, Rise or Set.

Mates that never Meet

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Brains under the Bald

Their sponsors are such a long list that it takes over three minutes to complete the announcement , they have a nation-wide fan following, they speed up the gush of adrenaline and ofcourse, the passion they give rise to, goes without saying!
While other shows are accused of being dramatic, exaggerated, pre-scripted and even sometimes rigged, MTV Hero Roadies stands tall and unaffected by all criticisms.
Sailing into its 9th season, the show has earned popularity, favourability and of course, TRP.

I personally like to watch the Audition episodes more than the show itself. This is essentially for Raghu Ram, the mastermind behind the show. In the past, he was rough, rude and aggressive. However, now he's emerged as a man who offers a shoulder, he's caring and concerned and will hug you even if you appeared dumb to him. Some back of the envelope calculations reveal that this former short-tempered man, now hugs 8 out of 10 candidates he meets!

What I appreciate most about him is that he is an amazing judge of character and personality. People enter the interview room and more often than not, fake their attitude. But this man, sees through it all and his judgement hits the bull's eye! While I'm sitting and staring at the TV screen finding words to describe the person, Raghu has already assessed and uttered his judgement of the lad/ lassie.
He holds them in a warm hug when they're nervous, unsure or feeling low. He moves them on in a concerned manner and they're just at a loss of words or too conscious because of the camera. He doesn't give anyone an upper hand based on sympathy. At the same time he's not insensitive towards their handicap ( be it of any nature) He hasn't completely shed the old skin of aggression but I think the show demands it. He's perfectly balanced in his ways.

I know i am aiming a long shot  but Raghu, if ever you happen to read this, I want you to know people appreciate you for who you are and not just for the show you make. Your intellect and sensitivity are both exceptional. Maybe, you should look at Counselling as a parallel profession!:D

Bald and Brainy by choice!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Innocence and Imperfection sells!

The Times of India Sunday Supplement Times Life! has much to offer. The food for thought that they dish out is indeed conisdered a delicacy by my brains atleast!
The following is an article that Purba Dutt wrote in today's edition.

The advertising trends have drastically changed and the tiny tots are increasingly replacing the 'stars'. These youngs ones aged between 5 and 10 years, have claimed airtime substantially and when all else is over-shadowed by the heavy, grey clouds of cynicism their innoncence appeals to our being and thereon shines the "Umeedo wali dhoop...."

Can a 10-year-old sell you a bike?

Advertising gurus are turning to kids to help them sell products to all you adults. Just how did tiny tots beat cricketing stars to land airtime, asks Purba Dutt


Agang of children, all aged five to 10, let their lips make exaggerated ‘o’ and ‘e’s as they enunciate every word of what is the new inspiration anthem, courtesy AR Rahman. Two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp’s latest television commercial, Hum Mein Hai Hero ditches that actors and cricketing stars of Dhak Dhak Go, turning to a group of young children to instil in customers, faith in their inner potential, and perhaps sell a couple of bikes along the way.
   “There is a lot of cynicism around us. It’s only kids who can spring hope within us with their innocence and purity,” says Prasoon Joshi. Joshi’s word is as good as gospel truth, considering he is executive chairman of the Indian arm of global marketing communications giant, Mc-Cann Worldgroup and currently Bollywood’s most sought-after lyricist. He too decided to turn to children while scripting the lyrics for cola giant Coca-Cola’s latest TVC. Umeedon wali dhoop, sunshine wali aasha, Rone ki wajah kam hai, hasney ke bahaney zyada…Zidd hai muskurayenge, khush rehne ka hai waada, Joshi made the child actors sing, murdering cynicism in one clean sweep.
   Creative teams at advertising agencies are betting on junior power, and clients look convinced of the idea of children selling products meant for adults to adults. FlipKart, India’s largest online shopping store, has picked two kids and perched them on salon chairs, with rollers in their hair, to preach the virtues of online shopping. Kartik Iyer, CEO of Bengaluru-based Happy Creative Services, the agency behind FlipKart’s commercial, says, “Only kids can trust unconditionally. Add to that the subtext that the FlipKart service is so easy to use, even a child can use it. That was the starting point of our storyboard.”
   Often, advertising is not just about generating sales. Building an image is key to a brand’s success. When Hero Motors disassociated itself from Honda Motor Company of Japan last year, it announced a new name, logo and identity, with the Hum Mein Hai Hero commercial at its core. It was a new positioning pitch — a hero lies in all of us — and fitted snugly with the brand name.
   Rahul Nangia, chief creative officer (west and south) of Law and Kenneth, the agency that created the Hero ad, says, “When we launched the first commercial in this series on August 15 last year, the response was overwhelming. With thousands of people uploading their own videos against the track on Youtube, the commercial gained a life of its own. Shooting it with kids alone was the next logical step. The client isn’t looking at marketing anything with this ad. It’s looking to create a brand identity. Through kids, we are trying to open up people to their own potential.”
   While there is no gainsaying that kids bring a fresh breath of purity, what about credibility? Joshi, who has wrapped up the lyrics for a new Greenpeace commercial has children pleading with adults to place nature in their custody. “When children make an impassioned plea, you realise the situation is alarming, and it’s time to act.”
   And creative gurus claim it’s cost them no labour to convince clients of kids’ potential. Responding to, how does a motorcycle manufacturer fit into a 10-year-old’s life or what do a pair of lovable brats have to do with online shopping, Iyer says, “That’s like saying why show dogs in an ad where the product is of no use to the dog.” While he admits that frequent discussions with his client were needed to plug loopholes, Nangia says his client’s reaction to exploiting the marketing power of kids was ‘fabulous’.
   For the audience, what matters is that the ad appears natural, like a slice of life. Kids who behave wise beyond their years make a commercial contrived. Koushik Sarkar of Apostrophe Films, the firm that directed the Coca-Cola TVC, says the kids you see in Sunshine waali asha.., weren’t picked because they were good-looking or acted well. “We just wanted kids with a spark.” Sarkar remembers dropping in on the sets one morning to find the kids lost in rehearsal. “They were being their naughty selves, poking each other, screaming. I asked my team to stop rehearsing, and roll the cameras. I wanted the oddities included. Listen in carefully, and you’ll notice bits where the kids are singing out of sync. None of the imperfections have been edited.”
— Prasoon Joshi, lyricist-copywriter

FlipKart’s television commercial shows two children seated at a salon, discussing the virtues of online shopping

Kids are the only protagonists in the latest Hum Mein Hai Hero ad