All posts tagged: art

The Tempest – Singapore Act

Kudos to Sam Mendes & the traveling cast of The Bridge Project. Singapore is one of the 7 cities to be stricken by The Tempest. If you are or were ever into Shakespeare, watch it! Watch it for creative, insightful direction by Sam Mendes (of the American Beauty fame). Watch it for a mind-blowing performance by Ron Cephas Jones as Caliban. Watch it for Prospero’s ardor, Miranda’s innocence, Ariel’s fragility, Trinculo’s humor, Gonzalo’s frailness. Watch it for the love of theatre. In exploring the Shakespearean themes of betrayal, love, power, wisdom, sacrifice, forgiveness & magic, The Bridge Project team did every bit of justice (and more) to the written version of the play. The actors breathe life into the characters with oodles of imagination & emotions, backed by stunning sets, and an apt selection of sounds & music. “These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air, And, like the baseless fabric of vision, The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe …

Pen, paper & poetry

Poetry can truly transcend time and geography, and make you believe in the equivalent of a fairy tale for adults; a kind of serene, beautiful existence where words can smell, touch, smile and cry. The Street: Octavio Paz A long and silent street. I walk in blackness and I stumble and fall and rise, and I walk blind, my feet stepping on silent stones and dry leaves. Someone behind me also stepping on stones, leaves: if I slow down, he slows: if I run, he runs. I turn: nobody. Everything dark and doorless. Turning and turning among these corners which lead forever to the street where I pursue a man who stumbles and rises and says when he sees me: nobody [Original: La calle] Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my lids and all is born again. (I think I made you up inside my head.) The stars go waltzing out in blue and red, And arbitrary blackness gallops in: I shut my …

Advertising bites, 2009

Creativity can never be drained out of advertising. I don’t know if sales will increase post these ads, but smiles definitely will. An incredible Incredible India TV commercial by Nirvana films. A wonderfully executed TV commercial by TATA Communications for its foreign markets (hence not featured on Indian TV). A glocalized Intel ad for an Indian audience. An Amul billboard I spotted in Bombay, targeting the 90% reservation proposal for SSC students by the Maharashra government. Never doubt the power of the freedom of speech in a democracy! What are your favorites this year?

Perspectives

As adults, we often train ourselves to think in ways that favor us. Instead of rotating thoughts, ideas and opinions through 360 degrees, we fix them at an angle and refuse to twist them. Gradually, everything starts to enter a region of grey, and we reach a point where it’s hard to seperate good from bad, right from wrong, and black from white.  I guess my point is that as we make our transitions into adulthood,  it is important to open up to perspectives. We are often ingrained with opinions about people and ideologies, and it can never hurt to switch shoes and re-evaluate them. I didn’t mean this to be a motivational post, I promise. All I wanted to get across is that the world is full of perspectives, and if only we loosen up, we’ll start to enjoy the 360 degree view. Here’s a video on perspectives, courtesy a friend. If you aren’t wowed yet, watch it again. The words, when read forward paint a picture of negativity. The same words, when read …

Post Secret

For years now, I have been following the Post Secret blog, started by Frank Warren in 2005. An ingenious idea, the blog is a collection of real secrets mailed anonymously by real people. Whoever you are, whatever it is that you are hiding, Post Secret ensures that you are not alone. The world is stranger than we think, and somewhere in it, we all find a place to belong.  One of my favorite songs, Dirty Little Secret, by The All American Rejects, is based on Post Secret:

Teacher Man

Frank McCourt has given a new dimension to teaching in this non-fictional account. He writes about teaching and learning and teaching to learn and learning to teach. McCourt’s journey is rooted in Ireland, from where he seeks to rise in the minds and hearts of the students in New York’s public schools, through his unconventional, inspiring approach to teaching. As he explores his own identity, he accepts that teachers don’t have all the answers, and that is only human. His creative writing class reads and sings cooking recipes, his English class discusses Little Bo Peep! Even when we don’t relate to the Irish life or the NY adolescents, we end up becoming a part of the Teacher Man phenomenon. The racy, decryptable writing makes you belong in McCourt’s classes. His humble, inquisitive approach to teaching makes you want to learn, as though it comes from choice and not force. Great teaching, great writing and very inspirational. If you’re a student, it will give you a new perspective on learning. If you’re a teacher, you’ll want …

Advertising archives from India

Indian advertisements have a nostalgic, patriotic charm about them. Here’s my collection of some timeless Indian TV commercials: The Airtel ‘Express Yourself’ Campaign, always a classic. A brilliantly funny, witty, creative Camlin ad. A really, really old one from Cadbury, something special :) …..Can’t say anything about the next one… A recent ultra-creative ultra-funny one by Happydent. Another Airtel classic. Of course, the list will be incomplete without this HA-HA funny one by Orbit White :D What’s in your Indian-TV-commercials’ memorabilia?

The 3 best graduation speeches

Words can be ‘weapons’ of mass inspiration, especially when the right ones are found at the right moments, moments which tend to define the rest of our lives. The following three graduation speeches inspire me most as I prepare to undertake the journey that lies ahead. One. Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple, to the Class of 2005 at Stanford. Two. Chetan Bhagat, an IIT grad and the author of Five Point Someone, at Symbiosis (India) Convocation 2008. Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated. The first day in college is one of them. When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are …

The Arabic Language

Arabic has long fascinated culture-seekers and artists from the west. The language is reminiscent of an ancient setting, and has a crude, poetic aura about it. Despite all the unconventional stuff I fancy myself doing, I never thought I’d be learning Arabic someday! It’s an absolutely brilliant language, though the non-artist in me can barely do justice to the creative strokes of the Arabic alphabet. I learnt my first few today (alif, baa, wow…), together with some introductory greetings (sobah-ul-khair, masaa-un-nuur) so often heard and ignored in hindi movies. Here are some interesting facts about the Arabic lingo: Arabic is written and read from right to left. In fact, books and newspapers are binded on the right, unlike conventional reading material. Check out the front cover of my Arabic textbook and notice the right-binding. All letters are connected when writing in Arabic. Unlike English, this does not vary by handwriting. For example, in print like this, the English letters are all disjointed. In Arabic, even in print, these letters are connected. There are a few …

Game theory lessons in life

In yesterday’s class of game theory, I learnt one of life’s most important lessons, proven mathematically. It is a generalization of the Shooting Game to life and business, and I’ll try to keep it as non-technical as possible.  If you’re not already familiar with the term, game theory is a subset of economics that assesses the behavior of people in situations where the result (outcome) of their actions (strategies) is influenced by the actions of other people (players). The most widely known example of a game is the Prisoner’s Dilemma. The Shooting Game is a zero sum game, implying that co-ordination is never possible. When one player wins, the other always loses. The game takes place as follows: “Each player has a pistol loaded with only one bullet. They stand 10 steps apart and walk towards each other, at the same pace, one step at a time. After each step, they can choose to fire their one bullet at the other player. The probability of an accurate shot increases with each step, as the players …