Friday, September 29, 2006

In the rear view. Last June.

Was going through an online journal I used to keep. Had an entry on what I thought was a very interesting piece of fungus.

June 14, 2005
To beard or not to beard
This morning I got a little creative with my razor. I shaved, but not entirely. Left a little on my upper lip, a wee bit on my lower and a fair bit on my chin. I quite like it. My wife doesn't. So I popped before the web cam and took a pic. For posterity's sake, before the fungus became history.

The day at work wasn't much different from other days. Many cups of coffee, pages of copy and a few rounds of carrom. Back home, I played around with my guitar. And by dinner time I had written 2 new songs. I played 'em for my wife, and she nodded approvingly. First round cleared. Let's see if I am as excited about them when I wake up.

Good night world. Good bye beard.

You know you are in Chennai when...

... 90% of the billboards advertise saree or jewellery brands (the rest advertise politicians)
... you hear 'let's go to the beach' a lot more than 'let's go home'
... the auto drivers treat you like a millionaire
... you're served 4 chutneys with 2 idlis
... you find not all bakeries are run by non-resident malayalees (introducing iyengar bakeries)
... potential grooms are classified in to just 2 categories - IIT-M grads and non IIT-M grads

... sidewalks barely permit one-way traffic of pedestrians
... you offer a copywriter a job, and he offers you a chance to hire him to your Bangalore office
... you've just arrived from Bangalore, and you're wondering why you took so long

Well I'm in Chennai after 32 years in Bangalore, and I'm loving it. A chilled beer tastes twice as good (click to know why). My car which hardly moved on Bangalore roads is quite happily zipping through Chennai. I work in my network's smallest office but have the biggest opportunity.

Here's to Chennai.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Have you been Casablanca Screwdrivered?

30ml of vodka. Orange squash. Soda. A slice of lime. What does that make? A Screwdriver? Screw me!!

Last night I was at this restaurant off Cenotaph Road (in Chennai) with my wife. Casablanca it's called. Orders were placed. A beer and a Screwdriver. The beer was quite as expected.

The Screwdriver wasn't. It tasted odd. And it was bubbling. We drew the attention of the Manager to the Screwdriver that wasn't. He returned the favour by telling us about the Casablanca Screwdriver (ingredients as above). So we returned the cocktail, paid for the beer and made our way out.

No we weren't offended by the Screwdriver. It was the manager. He scowled and was rude after the drink was returned. And then kept hovering in the background with loud comments about cocktails.

Now how often do we encounter the Casablanca Screwdriver? How often are we denied the basic service and courtesy deserving of a customer? Earlier this month, it was Hutch. They sent a goon calling to collect payment on a bill I was not even aware of. Sigh. I'm sure each one of us could write a 200 page book on the subject of Casablanca Screwdrivers.

All I can say is resist. The managers, goons and service providers who think they are doing you a favour. The brands who cannot distinguish between a good customer and a defaulter.

Banish them from your cheque book.

And by the way,
here's what wikipedia turned up on the Screwdriver.

The story of India's first low cost airline

It's the longest ad I've ever written. And perhaps the most read Air Deccan ad. Who doesn't want to know how a low cost airline is run.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The case of the missing numbers

Take a closer look at the picture. Notice something missing? Oh, it's yet another example of the poor quality of adhesives poor cabbies have to put up with. Yes, a bum gum. Smells like a scam. Let's go to Baker street.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Where have you parked your logo today?

I'm always on the look out for an interesting picture. So if I happen to cross your radar, you will in all likelihood notice a small black bag slung over my shoulder. It carries my Kodak Z650 digicam.

Two days ago, I'd just parked my car in the office lot, when I saw this real curvy babe standing at the other end.

A flash of red. A hint of cleavage. Plenty of thigh. And a set of perfect whites flashing straight at me. Pushing my spectacles up, I ambled across.


So in one fluid motion, that quite efficiently disguised my faux pas, I unsheathed the Z650 and shot. And then decided to write an essay on how unaware brand managers are of brand positioning. Click on the picture and a 1000 words will unfold.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Things-to-do lists Fender Strat
...go to Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry
...write another song
...write a book
...give my car for servicing
...tear up my credit card
...get a cable connection
...get a tenant for my apartment
...fix curtain rods
...withdraw my PF
...collect reimbursements from my office accountant
...catch the Q3 deadline
...check financial condition of my HDFC account
...get a medical check-up aid poster


LoC. Whose line is it anyway?

The dispute over the line of control has claimed many, many lives over the years. Soldiers in battle. Civilians in the crossfire.

'Whose line is it anyway?' tells the story of a friend, a soldier, who fell to bullets in Kashmir. It's an appeal for a peaceful solution. It's a reminder that life is precious, irrespective of which side of the border it's on.

here to download the song.


Hunting a rare species.

Odyssey, a books, movies and music store in Chennai. Fighting the pirates of the Pirates of the Caribbean.