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Showing posts from January, 2010

in search of the great nothing

I have a hypothesis. which is really an extension of thought. but to present it, i must develop a context.(or trend-spotting as they call it)

1. nucleated world -> people are connected to more people far more thinly. (a lot of hi's, hello's, how are you's.. very few hugs, time-spent-together's, ILUs.)
2. people removed from cause-effect ->  most of us have no clue what their salary paying job's effect is in the world around, due to matters of scale and transferability of work. (did my work as biz develpment for a media company went into funding his accentuated war advocating rhetoric?; did my design for valve go into the bombs that shelled afghanistan's villages? is all that incessant printing in office and penchant for cleanliness causing felling of millions of trees?)

this ignorance of cause-effect also alienates us from what we consume. take that burger out of your mouth and see what's inside. can you name all that goes into it? did u know where it …

Consumer's bosoms

Coke, HUL.. are arguably amongst the biggest brands in the world. tell me how many people will buy merchandise of these brands without any push marketing (coke logo on Aamir khan's poster.. people are buying Aamir's poster, not aligning their identity to coke)
What does your brand mean to people? why should its symbol be cherished by people?
I took this picture at a stall on the way to a temple near Pune (where I was dragged to unwillingly, by parents as only parents can do. the trip was I think to alay fears of 'me getting lost' to them.)
The letters on the key chain is the name of a populist maharashtrian political outfit (with loud nasty agendas). It is populist, with its leader always portrayed with raised upright hand pointing in a vague direction. well, its not exactly vague... he is pointing to the 'others/outsiders'. The posture is allegative, on front foot.. saying 'you better do it our way, or else'. I wonder how was the revered german dictator…

lightness of words

words. they fly out of an open mouth. mostly, without the brain noticing it.
they are ever so light and free. spend all you want, there's always more where they came from. they might not always have a form, a meaning. but that does not mean, they are inconsequential. Like for falling leaves in fall (how imaginative.. to call a season by an act so obvious), there are some ardent gazers, keen and mesmerized with that act of falling... watching it accumulate. for most sane others, it does not warrant a look. the ardent gazers follow the falling, knowing fully well that the words have died the moment they were born out of utterance. the soul escapes with a sound, and the dead carcass floats bottom on to decaying heap. there are insects there. waiting. slimy, pestilent. they chew off one word, and then another bite from another and so on. all the time leaving their disgusting saliva all over. they are the rumourers. But they are the ones to create the only reality. the mulch. the mulc…

her pout

her pout is her hug
and her lips draw blood
stilled in rapture
i laugh out at my dazed-ness
and give up the moment
i had yearned for
all this while...

the pimp

i am a pimp. i hustle brands everywhere I can; on glowing rectangles you stare at, in schools that your children attend, in streets that you travel, in movies you watch, in books you read, on umbrellas of ushers, on clothes you wear; wherever your senses may take you, you will find a pimp hustling his brand. and i stop at nothing. (well, unless you go numb and in coma of some sorts. then why should my dollar and time be spent on you at all..?)

i brand cars, i brand tea
i brand you, i brand me
i brand everything.

In his book 'Identity', Milan Kundera has something interesting to say (though as a cynical provocation)about Advertising. He says 'thanks to advertising, everyday-ness has started singing.'
I follow quite a few publications, blogs etc where paeans to the joyous occasion of birth of a new brand or campaigns are sung.
Let me be the devil's advocate. i like being that. i will try here to respectfully shine on the ad world my views about advertising's effect o…

arziyan

arziyan saari mein,
chehre pe likh le laaya hun...
(delhi 6 soundtrack)

a lump forms in my throat after the first verse. and all i am left with is a sense of serene submission; of lightness; of happiness though not content. i close my eyes, and sway with it, and sing perhaps a few lines along. its not a song in grace, its in yearning. its in a world where the notion of defeat and winning is defeated itself. its a still fluid world. the song is the water with which we wash our hands, feet and face before stepping into a mandir,masjid or dargha. listening to it turns this room into a joyous open space, light playing hide and seek with the walls, waves crashing onto it.
its perhaps amongst the very few tracks which leave me incapacitated to do or think of anything else while listening to it. all i wish to do is submit to it.

Twisted

Indian middle class is many things. one of it is being insanely twisted in its logic and morality. let me give you a few examples.

1. a friend was telling me how a relative of hers questioned her staying in andheri saying 'all the girls in andheri smoke.. u want to smoke that's why you want to stay in andheri.'
:P hilarious, yes. but i cannot begin to fathom the way we micro-stereotype everything, especially about women and 'behavior'.

2. while in a group, we were discussing how Urdu had evolved in India and its rich heritage.then the discussion veered to, how urdu is not the native language of Kashmir, with ladakhis, dogris and kashmiri being the most spoken.(this was in context of compulsory education of Urdu to ladakhi kids whose mother tounge is not Urdu.) all of a sudden, a apparently well educated engineer amongst us says 'they should ban urdu'.. asked why, he said 'because this is hindustan. why advocate a muslim language' i was left speechl…