Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Greetings for 2009

I'd like to wish you many happy returns in the new year, in everything you stake an interest in.
Personally, I'll settle for slightly better returns at the stock market.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Where did the guns come from?

Cell phones can be traced. (As can calls. So what if there are millions made every day.)

Why not guns?

Who made the guns used by the terrorists?

Who sold it them to the terrorists?

Considering there are more cell phone companies than gun manufacturers, that should be easy to dig out. Or so I think.

Friday, December 05, 2008


I'm sure you've noticed what passes off as security checks in the city's public places, and therefore also know what exactly can pass through them.

Mirrors rolled under cars. Wooden frames with serial lights that pretend to be metal detectors.

Security checks?

To deter the determined terrorist?

Or to keep honest people honest?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Early morning hues

Every morning strains of students singing at the assembly of a nearby school drift through my windows and into my home. Today I heard them sing a Michael Jackson song.

Heal the world.

Innocent irony.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mumbai. After the debris has settled.

It’s important to bounce back and get back to business as usual. The common man can't afford to sit at home.

It’s equally important not to forget. Or this will happen again.

I hope the media keeps up the pressure on the administration. A small compensation for some overtly dramatic and insensitive reporting.

I hope the rich and famous who shrieked themselves hoarse during the attack will continue to do so till action is taken. They have the time to do so, and the incentive. Lights, camera, action.

I hope things aren't swept under a carpet called the resilience of Mumbai. It's been happening since the first terror attack in Mumbai.

So, no matter how you do it or why you do it, as long as the change we all want to see is effected, it will be a job well done.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cheaper labour. Less valuable lives?

They say manpower costs less in India.

Does that mean our lives are less valuable too?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A mirror to Mumbai

What is this 'spirit of Mumbai' that figures so prominently in the media coverage of tragedies that hit the city?

Something that can be called upon to divert attention from the Government's failure to provide security to its citizens?

Resilience to bounce back after tragedy?

A chat topic for hacks seeking their 30 seconds of fame?

Emotional padding employed by new channels to bolster viewership ratings?

Well Mumbai has proved from past incidents that it has the resilience to bounce back. But that's necessity more than spirit. After all what can the working class do but recover and go to work. Mumbai is the most expensive city in India, and if you don't work, you don't eat. Which is a worse tragedy for 75% of the population of Mumbai.

This spirit (read 'survival instinct of the working class') is glorified by hacks on TV, who were born with silver spoons for their every orifice. People who don't need to work for a living. People who don't need to bounce back, but can sit in air-conditioned environments praising the spirit of a city that's been battered and bruised by terror attacks for more than a decade.

The hacks will continue to preach; as will opportunistic politicians who have easier ways of gaining votes than by providing security to citizens - like caste, religion and language. And of course, the TV channels whose reports have more drama than a Karan Johar movie (it's all about TRPs baby!).

The vultures always converge when tragedy strikes. And after consuming their fill, they say goodbye. Adios. Till next time, when the next tragedy strikes.

India needs a change. From the democracy it practises to the democracy it preaches. We need better governance than what the politicians in this country can provide.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sail-in interview

On a dark horizon littered with pink slips, there appears to be a silver lining. Positions are rumoured to be opening up close to the Dark Continent, in Somalian waters.

Applicants are required to be strong of arm and black of heart. Previous experience though desirable is not an absolute must. However, the willingness to learn, burn and earn is indispensable.

Remuneration will be handed out strictly based on performance. LTA, PF, EPS and other such claims will be settled with a rope around the ankles and a dunk in icy blue waters. The claimant will not be retracted until his claims are.

Perks include and are restricted to living quarters, 3 daily meals, 2 sets of overalls and a company vehicle. The uninitiated might consider high speed chases in the high seas and pitched gun battles an added bonus.

Defiance of authority (aka mutiny) will be treated with a tip over the rails, minus the rope around the ankles.

Please note. The company is an equal opportunity employer, and provides equal opportunities to all men on board.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Titles that titillate

The plot never changes in an adult flick, but the titles often titillate a writer's senses much more than the screenplay itself.

Here are a few examples:












Feel free to add from your collection.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dostana - a very brief review

It ought to be illegal for John Abraham to take off his shirt. My better half has a rather violent difference of opinion. Which is why I am of the opinion in the first place.

Click here for more of John in very little.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The mood of the American people, In black and white

After over 200 years of independence, a black man has made it to the White House. By a very wide margin; which tells me that America was indeed very close to having its first woman President.

It also points out just how much the Republicans have fallen out of favour with the people of America.

Barack Hussain Obama's victory is not only a testament of his ability, but an indication of the despair America has been plunged into by 2 terms of George Bush.

The power of advertising

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The reel deal this week.

I watched Aegan today.

Never Aegan.

Shit for shat

Give Mother Nature a hard time and she finds a way of returning the favour. In the picture, a 'crapet' bombed bike.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Water idea sirji!

Thumbing through some web pages, I stumbled upon a beauty secret of a rather distracting young lady named Shriya. 5 litres of water a day is what she attributes the glowing attributes of her skin to.

Moral of the story?

Running water out and in, giveth you glowing skin.

Side effects include Mother Nature being a regular pain in the wrong places. Including outdoor locations where you might just have to walk till the unit is out of sight and do the needful when you have a bladder full.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Point of purchase

I saw in a New Jersey mall, a rather cute way of displaying leggings among other things. Your point of view Madam / Sir?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

8 year old guitar god, Yuto Miyazawa

Folks my guitar's up for sale.
Pay me as little as you'd like to.
In easy monthly instalments?
No problem.
Just take it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Smile please

Oh, what a 'Palin in the butt' she's turning out to be for Mr. Obama and company.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

West is best?

Poverty in America is harder to digest because of the opulence of the surroundings that frame it. The contrast is starker and more disturbing even for an Indian, who is used to seeing beggars and vagrants at every nook and corner back home. I'd say, in the west, you stand a better chance of not going hungry if you were a pigeon at a tourist spot.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pot an idea sirji!

There wasn't much action happening outside the agency's loo. So I got up to something inside it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Patriotism finds a new flavour.

Or leftovers from the restaurant's Independence Day celebrations?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Notes for nought, and lines for free

Friends, Romans, countrymen, NRIs, others; lend me your ears. Then lend me a vote on your favourite song. There's something new in the pipeline, and those I hear from will get it first.

Click here for all my recorded music thus far:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The youngest CEO?

The Prime Minister's busy running after a nuclear deal

And everyone else is trying to put a spoke in the wheel.
Forgetting India's biggest crisis - a daily square meal,
And the task of giving this boy a slightly better deal.

The Big Bangalore Protest hits a few wrong notes

This was and should continue be a protest against musicians being denied their right to a livelihood. Somewhere along the way, the agenda took a slight deviation and started to focus on the pub clientele's rights rather than the musicians'.

Here are some links to news reports. Not too many mentions of a musician's right to earn a living.

I'd also like to point out the description of the Facebook group created for the protest. Again, no mention of a musician's fundamental right to be allowed to earn a dignified living.

"Citizens..its about time we come together..and protest the right to our freedom..Freedom is our birth right! Lets have them lift the mindless ban on live music bands..the 11:30pm curfew ..lets have our nightlife back..lets get Bangalore back..lets make the right noise..not a commotion.. Who the people??? We the People!!! And we can change it ! Come together everyone!!!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bangalore bleeding from many more wounds

After 32 years in Bangalore I moved 2 years ago when a job came calling. My new station was just a few hours away. I've therefore managed a visit every month with reasonable regularity.

Some time back, I'd posted on this blog in support of the Big Bangalore Protest against the ban on live bands and other entertainment. I strongly support the movement as it infringes on my fundamental rights, but I've started to see things in a different light after my visit to the city last weekend.

First on my list of things to do in Bangalore was to join the 'Protest March' slated for August 15. On my arrival I discovered that the Protest was out of town on vacation. It was a 3 day weekend, and even a fight for one's rights needs a break. I guess that sounds reasonable.

First priority being out of town, I moved on to the others and around the city. And was quite aghast by what I saw. Potholes, ravaged roads, garbage dumped anywhere and everywhere, dividers overgrown with weed, sidewalks that are less walk and more trip 'n' fall, streets with no lights, a CMH road that's been run over by the Metro Rail project, a Koramangala that's lost its trees and everything residential about it... The city is rotting, and nobody seems to give a damn. Not the Government. Not the people. Think about it. There's a serious problem when malls come up overnight and a public utility takes years; when people fight for better drinking conditions rather than better living conditions.

Burn me at the stake for saying it if you want, but I do find the Big Bangalore Protest rather trivial considering the other wounds Bangalore bleeds from. I can't understand people taking to the streets to fight for their right to drink, dance and listen to live music under one roof, when the city's infrastructure resembles a scrap dump. Ironically they do believe that they are fighting to save Bangalore. Even worse, the protest congregates at the Mahatma's statue on MG Road.

I think the Big Bangalore Protest must rewrite its vision statement. There's more to our fundamental rights than the freedom to drink, dance and sing beyond 11pm.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Media takes the 'MALT SATYAGRAHA' national

This is absolutely fantastic. Last Sunday a few people braved a light drizzle to kick off a protest against the Government's moral policing. This Sunday it's gone places. All of the below.




And here.

Pics of the protest meeting are HERE.

Keep in touch with the movement HERE.

Please feel free to add links to any other reports you are aware of. And spread the word. Post on your blog, forward links etc.

Friday, August 08, 2008

i - i - yo!

The iphone will be out in the market on August 22, and in all likelihood out of people's reach as well. While AT&T and O2 subsidised the new Apple product in their respective markets, Airtel and Vodafone aren't likely to do so in India. So the 8GB version is projected at between 16000 and 18000 INR, and the 16GB at approximately 28000 INR.

Now I'd like to take the opportunity to rub it in. The iphone is free in the UK from O2, and T-mobile puts it at 1 Euro in Germany.

I use a Nokia N82. Have a good day.

Details here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The butler strikes again

Stephen Bates and his little boy were granted an audience with royalty after the little fellow topped a nationwide talent search.

All was well till the butler ushered them in.

"Your Majesty", he said, "may I present Mister Stephen Bates and his son Master Bates".

"How did you know?" asked an astonished Simon. "The barn's been deserted for years."

Rajni can. In fact, only Rajni can.

Simply superb. I wonder why they say Rajni Kant.

Monday, August 04, 2008

'Malt satyagraha' in Bangalore

The law under Section 31 of the Karnataka Police Act sends the alive and kicking, running and packing at the stroke of eleven. Bangalore however refuses to go to bed like a good little boy.

The froth has finally risen to the mouth of this wonderfully beer bellied city. And spilt out on to the streets in protest. Cubbon Park it was that saw singers chant slogans and guitar players wield placards, demanding the right to earn a livelihood. The crew was completed by employees of pubs, lounges, discos, folk from the world of entertainment and events, and just about anyone else who cared.
Like Vinod D'Sa.

Click here and a news article covering the protest will spring up. Man on the extreme right, blue jeans, red shirt, fading hairline and flowering beard. That's him. ("VD, say aye.")

He sent me a link to the online gathering on Facebook today. Sign up if you care two hoots. Namma Bengaluru has been taken hostage by the moral police, and a freedom struggle is in order. The protesters convene at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Cubbon Park every Sunday to register peacefully their difference of opinion. Join 'em.

Will their Gandhigiri beat back the system's gaandugiri?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tring, tring

I have bought myself a new phone. For the first time, with a 5 MP camera, GPRS, GPS, WiFi, this, that and everything else that goes under the features vertical. So if it ever travels towards Mother Earth at 9.8 m/sec2, the bruises will show on my brow.

Do SMS me your number if you have mine (I lost my directory with my old phone). There is a palatial residence waiting for it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

'Pint' of View

A seasoned Indian politician had this to say on the wads of currency that surfaced in the Lok Sabha just before the trust vote. "It would be a murder of democracy if the incident had really happened. If not, it was a criminal matter."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Justice is no more.

What manner of indifference can turn a nation's attention from Bhopal to a nuclear deal?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I made a Bong connection

From the movie 'The Bong Connection' directed by Anjan Dutt. Music by Neel Dutt. Sung by Shaan.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Use your head before you use your head

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water?
Jill poor girl, forgot her pill
And junior came tumbling after

My music

On iLike

On Facebook.

Listen. Download. Share.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dish TV presents DTH or Ducking The Consumer

DTH by Dish TV was wonderful as long as it worked. Some days back it went on the blink, and I've been chasing their Customer Cell for a wee bit of Customer Care ever since. Mails, calls... nothing has worked. Euro 2008 is almost over, and Wimbledon is on its way.

Every time I speak to a voice that's not prerecorded, I am assured that the matter has been escalated for immediate resolution. And going by their progress I'm sure it's Petronas they are climbing.

The moral of my story?

'Wish kiya, dish kiya, aur ab fish kar raha hoon.'

Gas problem?

The Government gave us one fuel price hike. The gas stations are giving us another. Tried buying regular, normal, zero vitamin, common man's petrol or diesel recently? You'll find more often than not that it isn't available. However the more expensive Extra Premiums and Extra Miles are available at Extra Moneys. If you don't see sense immediately, you'll go from fuel station to fuel station till you finally figure it's cheaper to get the blue blooded variant of gas.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Raghu Dixit

Psst... psst... this is the record of the year. So get that cheapskate, downloading ass of yours to a neighborhood music store and get a copy. It's a hundred and forty nine Indian moolah. That's less than 3 litres of gas, not to mention a whiff of fresh air as well. Go.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


For a clearer picture, refer to a friend who speaks Tamil.

Point to be noted

Children are cute.
Then they grow up.
And start resembling their parents.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Zaitz Farm Road - 01 - Little dream of mine

LITTLE DREAM OF MINE {Album: Zaitz farm Road (2005) }
I don't have a house atop the hills
I don't have the money to pay my bills
I don't have a chauffeur driven limousine
But I still have a dream

Now I don't have a girl whom I can hold at night
And I don't have a fire to sit by when it's cold outside
I don't have the clothes they say that make a man
But I still have a dream

Now I'm not famous, and I'm not a superstar
But I've got a song, and I've got my old guitar

And till the time I reach the end of the line
I'll get by with this little dream of mine
- MJ

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Zaitz Farm Road (2005)

In 2005 I recorded my first album. A collection of songs written over a decade. From my college days lined with dreams. To 10 years later, when on bended knee I offered up a diamond ring.

Zaitz Farm Road.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be putting up songs from this album up for download. Aye mate, it's free. So come by.

Blogger bhais and sisters, help spread the word. There ain't no record label behind this one.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

2441139 by Anjan Dutta

My first words in Bengali were 'chagoler beechi'. It means 'goat's balls'. I was looking for something nasty to say to a Bengali male colleague who was dishing out Mallu jokes at my expense. A lady friend from the same East Indian tribe obliged.

The next thing I could do in Bengali was sing.

2441139 by Anjan Dutta.

I absolutely love it.

Get a friend who knows Bengali to explain the lyrics to you, and you will love it too.

Ashish Chakravarty, I cannot thank you enough.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bettering the better half

I have finally proved to my better half, that I am indeed the better half. And guess what, she agrees. Or let's say, she simply can't disagree.

Here's how the argument went, and never came back.

I said, "I married you. You married me. So I'm smarter."


Views from the corporate ladder

"Good morning", said the manager.
"I have a different point of view sir", replied his junior.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Air supply

'Praise the Lord' said the pastor.

'Thanks mate', replied the adman.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Beach Ball 2008

Every year around April, the advertising fraternity (me included) makes a beeline to Goa to celebrate its rather pretentious reason to exist. (Creativity is the better accepted and politically correct term.) On April 4, with the war cry, "Sri Scamachandra ki jai", the swayamsevaks dived into proceedings in very brief briefs and with what promised to be everlasting enthusiasm.

The Gods at Goafest were many. Each with a unique set of devotees.

The bar
It was free. It was flowing. It was unending. And worshipping at this altar were devotees largely under the age of thirty. The lure of a sponsored drink at that age and salary is hard to refuse. Ye bar, baar baar.

The work
Nobody cared. With the exception of the odd young man (the girls were closer to the water), a year into the business. He stood staring at the walls, scratched his head among other sweaty places and turned his face this way and that in an attempt to get it. Which brings to mind an ad written by my favourite copywriter.
Ravi Eshwar wrote, “Advertising is like the awards. Few get it.”
And these days not even the client gets to see it.

The main show
The eye candy was out to tempt, tease and torment. So when the seminar halls emptied out, I knew the rain dance had begun. Look at it this way. What chance does a Caucasian presenter of advertising funda have against a wet goddess? Va-va-voom said her most ardent devotee, Archie Andrews.

The side show
Some won because their work could not be denied. Some others won because they could not be denied. The evidence of horses being traded was not visible to the naked eye, but those who saw it enlightened those who didn’t. Bye then till 2009 for more of the same. The show must go on.
Bhagwan Sri Scamachandra ki jai!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Blog and tackle

I understand the theory of not mixing politics and sports, but I fail to understand its application with regard to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The world's largest sporting event will earn a huge sum of money for the Chinese Government. And as you know the bullets being pumped into Tibet don't come free.

Whose side are you on?

If it's China, you don't have to go any further than this.

If it's Tibet, copy these ads and post them on your blog, and pass the word on to other bloggers. If you're not a blogger, save the ads on to your computer and mail them out to as many people as you think might care.

Click on image to enlarge.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

God's own sense of humour

They tell me Kerala is 100% literate.

I tell them the illiterates are in Dubai.


Kerala's football coach is in tears every time his team gets a corner.

The boys forget the ball and set up a tea stall.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Demand and supply

Incidentally, Emami's Fair and Handsome Cream promises fair skin in just 4 weeks.

Incidentally, America has never had a non-white President.

Incidentally, I see an opportunity.

Incidentally, Michael is sulking.

Sex and the city

Krish Ashok recently wrote a superb piece on the Chennai Metblog, on the difficulties of being a boy or a girl in some colleges of Chennai. Now that leaves only the the middle path and rules out both sets of stairs. The lift then?

Check out these college rules. I borrowed it from Krish Ashok.

Why send criminals to jail? College looks worse.

Click to read what Balaji Balasubramaniam has to say.
Click to read what Abi (T. A. Abinandanan) says.

Watch the Times Now report
Part 1
Part 2

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Arey, what are you saying?

I finally have an inkling of why some people call it an 'ego problem'.

Your ego drives you to do better than them.

And they have a problem. See?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bangalore or Chennai. The argument continues.

Chicken or egg?

Coffee or toffee?

Bangalore or Chennai?

Ever since I've come to Chennai, a little less than 2 years ago, I've seen this topic discussed in various places. Blogs, coffee shops, offices. Everyone is trying immeasurably hard to give Chennai the advantage of his/her voice.
My friend Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan is the most recent.

Yet in 32 years in Bangalore, I've never encountered a debate on this topic. Chennai just doesn't exist on the Bangalore horizon. It is not even acknowledged as competition. In fact as far as Bangalore is concerned, there is no argument. This tells me that the feeling of not being up there, exists in the minds of Chennaiites more than anybody else. What it still doesn't explain is why the weekend trains are full of young Chennaiites going to Bangalore for a break. And not the other way around. So in defence of Bangalore, I'll say it has more to offer young people than Chennai.

I've lived in Bangalore for 32 years and now in Chennai for the last year and a half. While I love the change and everything that’s uniquely Chennai, there are things I distinctly dislike as well.

I love the love and respect Chennai has for everything to do with art – music, dance, theatre etc. I love the food – 5 chutneys with 2 idlis, a million varieties of mixed rice and so on. I love the beach. I love the old architecture. I love the movies. I love the love for the mother tongue.


I hate the conservatism that's thrust upon the southern metro by self-appointed guardians of moral standards. It shows in the way people are forced to dress, in the way entertainment is viewed, in the way tenants are accepted or rejected based on caste and eating habits, in the chauvinistic ways of some educational institutions (boys and girls are prohibited from interacting, even made to use separate staircases), in the moral policing that happens on the beach and in the double standards that allows men to bare their penises and pee in public.


The moral of the story? Forget Bangalore. Stop trying to prove Chennai’s credentials with comparisons. Stop acknowledging Bangalore as competition. As the harder you try, the harder it’s going to get to compete.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Learnt English in 30 days?

Zoom in and read what goes for body copy in this ad that otherwise offers you a great deal.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Enna da day?

There's a children's day.

A mother's day.

A father's day.

Even an all fools' day.

But men's day?
(Wiki tells me India celebrates it on Nov 19, but has no reports of anyone being caught in the act.)

Enna da day?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

The vicious cycle

You realize you need exercise.

You buy a cycle.

You don’t cycle.

You sell the cycle.

You realize you need exercise.

Exciting Exchange Offer

The ad caught the attention of all members of the association.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The auto meter as a revenue generation model

The auto meter seems to have finally found its calling. It's usefulness as a measure of travel fare is a chapter and a half in the history books, but it now has a purpose far beyond reminding passengers of their helplessness. Brand building. Wah...wah...wah...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One of our best

Advertising Agency: Publicis Ambience Advertising, Chennai, India
Credits: Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan, Gous Basha, Manoj Jacob

Read feedback to this ad HERE.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Posters for Radiant Gym

Click to enlarge.

Copy: Me
Art: Manoj K Ouseph
Agency: Publicis Ambience, Chennai

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Titular titillation

Gyaani Sale Sing.

Sums up an adman, doesn't it?

A know-it-all salesman who never stops crooning his own praises.

Monday, March 10, 2008

From down south to up north

Up north, 'tutti' is a commonly used word for what emerges from down south of the human body.

Which makes me wonder about a very popular mix of ice cream consumed in the afore mentioned part of the country.


Jaane kahan mera figure gaya ji, Abhi abhi yahin tha kidhar gaya ji?

When I'd last heard, he'd lost a 100 odd kilos. Take a bow Adnan. Now you can.