Thursday, August 23, 2007

Piss, don't kiss

Thinking of taking things into your own hands in public? Then let it be your..., rather than your beloved.Kiss in public and you're likely to wind up with a bloody nose. So what if it's just a peck and the lady is your wife of several years. This is a decent society. Respectable. And it says you cannot commit indecencies in public. What example are you setting for the youth of this nation? Huh?Piss in public, on a vacant wall, and you will be felicitated for having inaugurated yet another common man's lavatory in the city. A few others will join you. And after you have left, more will continue the good work. Alas, man who drinks water is also a man who must pass water.

So citizens one and all, by the law of the land,
You can unzip quietly and take in your hand
You can do it in public, just do it on a wall,
You can do it anytime, spring, summer or fall.
You can display your phallus to an unsuspecting crowd,
And draw absolutely nothing but an indulgent frown.
But smooch in public and you'll catch one on the jaw
Our culture don't allow it, and that's the bloomin' law.
So piss, don't kiss, it's safer that way
And I don't blame you for wondering, who made us this way?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

BE to CD - Egg puffs, tea and Ogilvy on Advertising (Contd.)

It's a great first book to read in advertising - the A for Apple variety.

It threw light on the ad agency, its departments, its functions, and the position I was trying to make my own. And by the time I had read the last page, my resolve to pursue advertising as a career had been cast in stone.

Nothing to do with the book's selling powers. I just found that I had all the necessary qualifications. No degree (not mandatory). A gift of the gab. Good spelling. A way with the words I could spell. A way of avoiding those I couldn’t. A general curiosity about things that were not my business.

Not that I had other options, but I couldn’t ask for more.

The book also told me one other thing. I was working in the wrong place. An agency which asked for very little work and paid for it might sound like a dream come true, but it wasn’t going to get me my next job. There was a more important currency to be earned, my portfolio. And that wouldn’t happen without work, irrespective of how my bank account fared in a general health check.

By month two however, the alarm bells started ringing. Because the cash registers weren't. My two thousand five hundred rupee salary was coming in instalments. A thousand the first week. Another the next. The rest came sometime during what was left of the month. Was this, I wondered, what they meant by 'salary break-up'.

And then the Lord spoke to me. His words were loud and clear, and exemplary in their economy of phrasing.

“Man does not live by eye candy alone.”

Thursday, August 09, 2007

BE to CD - Egg puffs, tea and Ogilvy on Advertising

9 am. Monday morning. I stood at the bakery located around the corner from my new office. Munching an egg puff. Sipping tea. No, I wasn’t playing hooky. The office wasn’t open yet. And when the doors were thrown open, it was the office boy. Not the one bright spot I was expecting to throw light on my morning.

I looked around the office. One large room. Six workstations. A loo. Two shelves that constituted a library.

She came in by 11, as did Late Twenties. Forgive me, it was my first job. My ignorance went as far as not knowing that bosses never sauntered in with the proletariat. Smiling she came to my desk, shook my hand and welcomed me. I promised to do my best. To work as hard as I could. To stand by her through thick and thin, er… the company.

He looked less pleased. No smile. Not even a hint. Just an officious shake and a few mumbles about creating path breaking advertising (also known as rich managing directors).

Over the years I was to hear that bit over and over again. At every agency I worked. Some said clutter breaking. Others called it taking the leap (ironically that agency’s office was on the 7th floor). “We must make it to Cannes”, said a third, and I can’t say that the itch to refer him to Cox and Kings didn’t occur. Never mind. Soon after you joined, you learnt that you really weren’t expected or required to create anything better than your boss could, or had. In fact, you’d better not. Now that’s a different story, and I’ll get there in time.

My first month at my new workplace passed like a dream. There was a lot to clean my spectacle lenses for, but very little work. So I headed in the direction of the 2 shelves that was the office library, in search of some words I could munch on when I wasn’t feasting on eye candy. I found Ogilvy on Advertising.

(To be contd.)