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Posts tagged ‘entertainment’

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!

Amul billboard ad

What are your favorites this year?

Justice shining?

I am trying to stifle the fan within me as I write this post, because objectivity is important. There is a 4-letter word doing the rounds on Indian news channels and I cannot hold my silence any more. My intention here is merely to weigh the arguments I have been constructing in my head since June 16, rant about the media, and assess the state of affairs in my dear country.

If you haven’t figured out yet, I am talking about Shiney Ahuja. The 4-letter word is rape.

I quote from Wikipedia (which I am way more tempted to trust as a source than everything that appears as breaking news on CNN IBN, NDTV, Headlines Today and the like):

On the evening of Sunday, June 14 2009, a household maid working at Ahuja’s house lodged a compliant with the Mumbai Police alleging that Ahuja raped her when they were alone that same afternoon. She further claimed that he threatened her life to prevent her from disclosing the incident.

At first glance, or if you have already been victimized by the media’s daily rants during the initial days of his arrest, the case might sound straightforward. He’s a celebrity and a guy, she’s female and she’s poor. He HAS to be wrong.

Before you cringe at where this post might lead, remember that I belong to the weaker sex, and I am very aware of the extent to which mankind is capable of stooping. I know that everyday, our country witnesses a shameful number of rape cases, in the Capital, in The Valley, even in our City of dreams.

In a country so frequented by this heinous crime therefore, an accused person is deemed guilty until proven otherwise. And of course, our media ensured it stands by that.

1. He is a celebrity: Weakest argument. Think about it; given his status and physical appearance, he could, forgive my candor, indeed get paid for the act that he allegedly forcibly performed on his victim.  In fact, the very celebrity status makes it that much easier and tempting to frame him.

2. The victim’s testimony: Gone are the days when a woman’s dignity, her pride in her sanctity, could be taken at face value and her word accepted as evidence. The greed for money has darkened even the virtue of innocence our society once hailed as sacred; undoubtedly we have progressed, and going by the case made for The White Tiger, it may even be justified. A conspiracy theory about the victim’s boyfriend being in huge debt is already breaking the news.

3. He confessed: So says the media, as tipped by the police. I hate to say it, but if the prevalence of corruption among our safe-keeping force is to be believed, my best guess is that it couldn’t find a better source of income than demanding bribe of a celebrity. According to his lawyer though, he has made no such confession. Either way, any confession made out of court is not accepted by the law as evidence.

4. His marital relationship: This is when the media retracted its endless accusations and began considering the possibility of Shiney being framed. So far, he was also being accused of a failed marriage, by you know who. But in what I can only describe as a brave press conference, his wife gracefully stepped into the limelight and vouched for her husband.

I would love to hear your take if you have been following this case as closely as me.

I must agree and admit that in an accusation as sensitive and private as rape, evidence is hard to accumulate, and therefore justice hard to administer to either of the involved parties. I sure hope that the truth will surface in this, and in all such cases.

May justice prevail.

PS: On a lighter note & like my friend aptly said, Bollywood is fast!

Viva la vida!

Good days are here.

I am off to Malaysia early tomorrow morning, to scale the 4th highest peak in South East Asia – Mount Kota Kinabalu

Coldplay is coming to Singapore! Yes, finally. I’m ecstatic at the thought of hearing them play Violet Hill live! 23rd March, here I come.

I have 2 subsequent Malaysia trips brewing! Tentatively, Malacca and Cameron Highlands

I am working on a community service expedition with Habitat for Humanity, to build homes for slum-dwellers in a village near Bangalore. We are in the midst of launching a social media campaign to create social awareness. Look out!

And in the middle of all this excitement, I’m turning 21! 

“The future looks so bright, we’ve got to wear shades…”

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:

Wish upon a shooting star

Shooting stars make a spectacular sight in the night sky. I saw one last week, when I was out star-gazing with a couple of friends. None of us seemed to be able to trace the history behind shooting stars and wishing upon them, so I thought I owe this post to my blog.

shooting starFor starters, shooting stars are misnomers. These streaks of light are actually broken little pieces of rock and dust, which, when close to the Earth, enter its atmosphere at blinding speeds, and heat up, glow and burn down. Apparently, on any given night, a shooting star should be visible every 10-15 minutes. This holds especially at the time just before dawn, when we face the direction in which the Earth moves. The frequency of shooting stars increases at certain times of the year, when the Earth passes through a region particularly crowded with dust and rocks (Meteor shower).

Legend has it that wishing upon a shooting star makes the wish come true. It is believed to have originated in Europe, when Greek astronomer Ptolemy, around AD 127-151, wrote that the Gods occassionally, out of curiosity, even boredom, peer down at the earth from between the spheres, and stars sometimes slip out of this gap, becoming visible as shooting or falling stars. Since the Gods are already looking at us at such a time, they tend to be more receptive to any wishes we make!

The Greeks, however, fathomed shooting stars to be rising or falling human souls, while Jews and Christians believed them to be fallen angels or demons. Aristophanes, a Greek playwrite, had a more fancy imagination. According to him, shooting stars were “souls of poor people, drunkenly walking home after they had dinner at a rich star.”

Even contemporary culture is abound with superstitions related to shooting stars. In Chile, for instance, when you spot a shooting star, you must pick up a stone in the same moment, while making a wish. (Quick thinking, I must say.) If you’re in the Phillipines, you must tie a knot in your handkerchief instead. (Too bad if you don’t carry one around.)

Personally, I became familiar with the wishing-upon-a-shooting-star-concept because of a Bollywood movie! (No prizes for guessing.) The first time I saw a shooting star was a year ago, at Tioman in Malaysia. It was a fascinating sight, but I can’t remember what I had wished for, so I can’t claim if it came true! It’s too soon to tell the fate of the wish I made upon the shooting star I saw last week, but I shall use it as evidence in accepting or refuting the legend.

Tips for the next time you go star-gazing:

  • Keep a wish handy, always.
  • Remember Murphy’s law. The moment you look away from the sky, a shooting star will appear.
  • The moment you see a shooting star, you will impulsively point at it and scream ‘Shooting star!’ Keep that for later. The wish must come first.

Have you ever wished upon a shooting star?

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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 to follow in McCourt’s footsteps. If you’re neither, you’ll want to become either one. Go read it, while I try to get my hands on Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis.

RIP Frank McCourt aka Teacher Man [20th July, 09].

happy diwali

To ye and to all, a Happy Diwali!

Celebrations galore. Let there be lights and diyas, firecrackers and sparklers, and delightful, irresistible food. May the good in all of us taste victory over evil temptations, an end to an exile of hardship, pain and oblivion.

It’s that time of the year again. The time when families come together and pray to the Goddess Lakshmi and the Lord Ganesha, for good luck and wealth, to our creator Vishnu, for happiness, and to Indra, for satisfaction. The time when homes, shops and streets glow with lights, hoping that the gods will find their way to our humble abodes. The time when evenings roar with crackers and the sky crackles with mini rockets, and kids jump around dancing sparks from anars and chakris. The time when all our world unites in a bright, loud, happy celebration.

May this festival of lights enlighten our lives!

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?

Wordle: Funky text designs

If you’re bored of monotonous looking text, or just plain bored, check out Wordle. You can write a bunch of text and it’ll convert the text to some funky patterns, with the words repeated more often appearing more prominent. I spent all of last night playing around with it! I’m considering using it for my presentations soon.

The good things in life.


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