One of these days!!

Image“One of these days I will do something…….I gotta do something!!”

While I tire my mind & others unfortunate enough to be close enough to hear me, with my passionate proclamations of wanting to “do something!!”, 3 friends of mine within the span of 3 days have quietly, dignifiedly  shown me the way with their actions with unnoticed success stories of their own .

 1 cleared a really tough exam

2 won prestigious competitions

They remain anonymous, because that’s how they are. They didn’t do it to prove anything, they didn’t do it because they would rise in someone else’s esteem. Their happiness was privately celebrated with those who would understand the value of their work, their endurance & fortitude, not their prize.

 They did it because it simply had to be done, they motivated themselves, made few excuses, “slept a little less” (- I quote one of them here) . In brief just put their shoulders to it because it made sense to accomplish this task they set out for themselves.

I marvel at their fortitude, and being something of a writer I felt the strong urge to express how I feel about it. I am sure that respecting their anonymity will keep me secure from their protests

My hope for all of us is that we continue to learn from the very many ordinary friends of ours we meet daily  with their quiet success stories who in this age of blatant self aggrandizement show us that sometimes, ”Goddamit ! It’s not just about the Promotion it’s about the PRODUCT as well 🙂 ”  (Please bear the marketing references; I am bombarded with them in class all day 🙂 )

I learnt enough to not put off writing this out;   Baby steps people baby steps.  I hope the lesson will be revised many times by their continuing success.





Cake on face!!

Not exactly a literary piece of work  😉  am just penning (or typing) these hastily thought lines cause well its just one of those moments  🙂

My hair is greasy
My face is creamy
They got two cakes they did
one good one kinda putrid
My friends assaulted
with the cake at sight of which, my tummy revolted !!
After them i went madly running
But in the end I’m grinning
I’m happy that they cared
& think on their Bdays they too wont be spared 😀

Gift to young writers

One of my favorite writers, Dorothy Parker’s wit never ceases to amaze me 🙂

Snow White- In a parallel dimension

Working with the  seven dwarfs, learning, laughing & truly experiencing life for the first time, she had long realized that there was more to life than sitting around waiting for Prince charming. Hell!! She exclaimed looking at his handsome face from a distance, while he tended to his horse, “I’d rather steal his white steed & gallop away into the sunset knowing that I could choose a path different from the one that leads to his golden cage euphemistically called “The Royal Castle”.”

“I am not fooled! I just escaped from the one where my stepmother tried to get me killed. Not one stepped forward to rescue me, while I suffered for years. Not one. Am I to return to such another kingdom….. Is human avarice, envy not to be found in his kingdom? Why must I sacrifice this haven, this place where I am surrounded by friends who love & accept me the way I am, the  place where I am wanted?”

    She had a sudden thought, “There ought to be a young, interesting woodcutter perhaps who could better appreciate what her life had been about, what she had gone through, somewhere close. I’ll take a guy who will value my advice over any fool prince who won’t consider me his equal & struts about telling people how he woke me up with his magical kiss.” Of that she was sure. These past months, with her friends, the dwarfs & animals o f the wild had taught her much about herself & what she wanted from life. Gone was the fear of the unknown, replaced by the belief that she was a queen in her own right & needed a man with the heart of a king, not simply the title of one to truly love her.

“My story will not find lasting life in books because I will fade into obscurity for I refuse to marry for title. I will wed, for real love, be it forgettable by the world as long as it be everything to cherish.”

  Just then the prince walked up to her & said with a disarming smile, “My dear it’s been a tiring time for you. Let’s stay with your friends for a while; I would like to know the people who took care of you & what you have been through & I’d like very much to tell you about myself. Though the royal guests wait for us, let them wait for a while for I would love to know your heart & perhaps experience the magic of our kiss once more before we face this difficult world together”

Oh how she fell ………. in love. 

It’s not just an Ad , It’s a MOVEMENT !!!

Reality of changing ad messages & how they are connecting to more customers

               Marketing with a conscience, seems suspiciously like a paradox but it doesn’t necessarily be so. One of the cases (AVIVA Great wall of education) discussed in a marketing class at my college recently; underlined this fact for me.

               Brands are now trying to create “movements” Its not about selling their product directly, it’s about being part of an idea whose time has come. Decommoditize the product by linking it to a cause bigger than itself. It’s a thought that has found firm root in my mind & I feel if executed properly appeals strongly to the emotional side of consumers, which bodes well for marketers attempting to tap Indian Markets.

Let me give you a couple of examples of the use of this phenomenon by various ad campaigns:

1)        AVIVA Great wall of Education (Discussed at length here)

2)        Tata Tea – Jaago Re campaign   (Video 2 Official Jaago Re website )

3)        Airtel- Silent National Anthem  (An indirect appeal to the patriotic strain of customers & also sensitizing them     towards the differently abled)

               Citizens of India are youthful, they are craving change & the advertising agencies recognizing this are being part of the social story unfolding by engaging customers innovatively through social causes that matter. This is helping generate buzz, increasing awareness & reputation for companies through conversations with customers about social causes while the brand is in the background, but subconsciously getting imprinted in the minds of potential customers.

               To demonstrate the efficacy of “Not an ad, it’s a movement” idea , lets study what AVIVA Great wall of education campaign has achieved:

1)        The Aviva Great Wall of Education collected over a million books for underprivileged children in its third year, and has become the biggest Bookwall ever.

2)        The donation drive  in 2010 collected close to 9,50,000 books which impacting more than 500,000 underprivileged children. 

3)        Through Vodafone, AVIVA  got over 11000 sms’s and another 50,000 has been committed by Vodafone as their contribution to the cause

4)        Publishing houses like Crossword and Harper Collins also donated significantly to the Wall.

5)        NGO partners – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, Save the Children, and SOS Children’s villages of India

6)        AVIVA’s  recycling partner Handpaper  converted irrelevant books for children into fresh notebooks. 

7)        1400 books worth approximately Rs 40,000 were donated on the Pratham books website


              It’s a story of successful wide scale collaboration. Some of the partners in this campaign have a very good & respected brand image which has been lent to AVIVA via this campaign, while they themselves also earn repute . From a branding & marketing perspective listed below are some of the key returns for AVIVA by this campaign:

Success for the Brand “AVIVA” 

  • TVC  campaign, featuring Aviva India’s  brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar,  became hugely popular 
  • Popular Bollywood celebritieslent their support to the cause .
  • On Facebook  fan base increased from 61, 501 to 165,670 adding over 1 lac followers during the campaign
  • A website was created for the campaign –, . Had 7,577 visits on their micro site, 344 people took a pledge, 294 played the game and 1379 used the drop-box locator 
  • The average number of people talking about AVIVA’s Facebook page during the campaign was 30,000 with its peak number of 63,709.
  • Before the campaign the average number of people talking about the page was 4500.  
  • The total number of impressions for facebook ads was more than 70 mn.

                  More & more brands want to be part of the “we want change” phenomena. It’s highly engaging, it adds to brand repute & its driven majorly by the youth (an important & expanding market segment). So be prepared to join a movement endorsed by your favourite company.

Note: Also find interesting insights in the following blog  on the Jaago Re campaign.

My world got smaller today

I write not for just myself today, I write because my world got a little smaller. I write today because I wept for an unknown girl who could have been me. I wept today because I learnt of a woman molested & beaten & of men emasculated by their fear by a handful of crazed maniacs. I wept today because humanity died a little.

A girl was molested on July 10 in Guwahati [the incident], in full public view by a group of men who were affronted by her “boldness” to drink at a bar, by her desire to be equal & by her courage to stand up to them when they passed obscene remarks at her.

This is not a “chalta hai” incident, this is an incident which will one day/night (for those of us who will have the temerity or need to step out of our homes) happen to us or to the women we love & care for. It will happen when we least expect, when we decide we need a break because we worked as hard as the men.

I beseech you men & women, Make up your minds, steel your resolves to fight against these incidents, these crimes. Don’t let the “bystander effect” weaken you ever. For evil to win it is enough that good men don’t do anything. This is a truism to take to heart. I don’t use words of probability like “might” & “if” because you fool yourselves that you will do everything right & this won’t happen to “good girls” like me or the ones I know. You Fool yourselves .

This day I wear no jewellery, no finery, I do not wear “modern clothes”, I don’t go out to revel not because those emboldened faceless beasts have scared me but because today I mourn the loss of humanity, because I scorn those emasculated men in the public, because most of all I feel solidarity with that unknown sister in Guwahati who could have been me.

The Man in the Arena- A Speech

One of  the most inspiring & moving speeches i have come across, “The Man in the Arena”  is the title of the speech given by the US president Theodore Roosevelt at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910. The speech is notable for the passage:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

A Rebel’s ballad


A rebel’s ballad

I’m less if you are lookin for a pretty face
I’m more if you want all excepting blase
if you believe you’ll get to call all the shots
you should know you’ll receive pain lots
cause that’s what you’ll get for loving a virago
a crazed girl with her ideas even moreso.
Know this to be true its no lie;
It takes the devil in an angel guy
to get an angelic demon girl to love & trust
& theres divinity in even the worst.
So do you think we are good to go?
i think the answer we both already know.


The childhood friend

I had kept Jeremy waiting for too long this time I said to myself. That’s it! Tonight is the night! Jeremy you get lucky cause I intend to try out something I have been playing in my mind with, till the very thought of the act sends shivers down my body! I knew exactly what I would wear, how I would approach him & how the deed would be done.

                            I reached home that night & found Jeremy in my room as always. I reached out, felt his familiar texture and pulled him to myself. He had always been steady & dependably hard for me just the way I liked .I looked at him with half lidded eyes & said “I don’t want us to be drab anymore. I want to experiment & I know you will enjoy what I have planned for you tonight”

                     I took out my brushes, paints & used long and hard strokes along his body. A few deft butterfly ones in the otherwise hard to reach areas worked magic! I took my time & stopped often to enjoy the moment.

                      Once satiated, I went for a shower confident in the knowledge that he would still be there when I returned. I came back & saw Jeremy, my dear old childhood chair painted in the most abstract manner with myriad colors ready as always to receive me.



I leave now, tarry not I
wishing not to wake a soul
wary of the last goodbye.
Of vows and promises;
& intentions of meetings
emptier still..

This need be my journey , my alone,
to each assigned a burden of his own.
So stealthily shall I remove my presence,
slipping from minds & hearts ;
 easily forgotten, an evanescence.
At dawn it shall be,
as though never existed me.

Wonder as I cross the threshold ,
how my absence each remaining will behold.
Should I be missed perchance;
would it be a memory stark,
or more so a blurry backward glance.

To the nomad within self do I now hearken;
& aver thus to attentive none,
from the melee there shall soon be missing;
 only one.


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