The New Life Begins!

I've been largely quiet on my blog since the time I joined B school, and even more quiet once I had passed out. I took a while to understand my motivations and where I spend my time, and what I'd like to do. I had for a while, forgotten the who the 'real me' was, and it took my blog to discover myself. It feels good to start afresh, having sorted out priorities and committed to a long term plan. The lungs feel free, now that a mental insurance deal has decided to have a better filter to the putrid air. I am beginning to enjoy a few things that I have conciously missed over so many years.

Facebook, has taken a lot of my time, but this is my real identity-My Blog, My Thoughts unaffected by what others say, irrespective of a 'Like' or a 'Comment', and staying undiluted.
These days life is good with a new Digital Camera that I have purchased. Nikon D3100 was gifted by Janani to me, and it feels lovely with the power to capture some compelling images.

So the last day of my old life is in the twilight period with the beginning of the life with a newer perspective. Hope more such changes happen, and life is beautiful as ever.


Manoj Prabhakar gets candid about playing Pakistan in Sharjah

Quick results versus the Learning Curve

Today’s generation focuses a lot more on quick results and this article explores why such a methodology is not helping Indian cricket. The anxiety of performance during crucial matches and big ticket tournaments are wrong performance goals that some of today’s youngsters focus on, as a result of which the focus is not on basics, but on trivial short term interests. In an interview with the former Indian ace swing bowler, Manoj Prabhakar, what comes to fore is a sad disease that’s plaguing Indian cricket. Manoj Prabhakar is in Chennai as part of Delhi’s coach for their Ranji campaign against Tamil Nadu this week.

Manoj reflects on the sad fact that today’s pace bowlers have set the wrong performance goals like going after the pace gun on the pacementer and losing focus on important elements like swing and the right action. Manoj feels that for a bowler to mature, he needs to go through the complete learning curve where he experiments and always keeps coming back to check if his basics are fine. Today’s bowlers in India don’t seem to have the right interest levels to work hard and want to use the shortcuts to fame. He feels part of the problem is also due to the wrong set of people/coaches heading various committees for spotting grassroot talent in India, who use the wrong yardstick for picking youngsters.
Manoj reminisces the fact that there were many legends in his time like Lilee,Imran,Hadlee and he never missed an opportunity to speak with legends and credits them for passing over a lot of information and tricks of the trade. His interaction was them was more than just a coaching session, but an education into the techniques of what makes a legend and gives an insight into their work ethics.Today’s youngsters don’t seem to be wanting to learn and are more bothered about dropping their sunglasses than their kit, and the work ethic needs to be paid more attention. An interesting observation was made over why Ishant Sharma had lost some of his fire. Ishant non bowling arm shoulder was dropping, as a result of which rhythm,swing,bounce,line and length got gradually affected and he was like a snake that had lost its fangs for the better part of a season.

Manoj also rewinded back to his playing days where he still cant offer an explanation as to why India had the mental block of beating Pakistan at Sharjah and considers David Boon,Gavaskar,Sachin and Gooch as the toughest batsmen, he really doesn’t enjoy bowling to.

In Manoj’s time of the early 90’s India’s yearly international cricketing commitments were never more than 7-8 test matches and 20 ODI’s. In such a context, India’s national players were available for a large part of the Ranji season, and therefore could work on their shortcomings in the Ranji season, and also get to interact with legends. Today the shortcut to the fame that a legend like Kapil Dev has got for himself, are things like endorsements and contracts with IPL Teams which puts you on a high income category and the focus is more on remaining in the high interest category, rather than working on the game to remain an ardent student.

It’s a fine line players have between commercial interests and working on their game, in the times of grueling schedules and shorter cricketing careers, but its in their hands to choose their priorities for the long term. No legend today has risen on the basis of just 2-3 performance, but risen on a sustained run of good performances against adverse odds over time. Living examples like Sachin,Dravid,Sehwag and Kumble should be the role models for the youngsters to drive home the message that the movie ‘3 Idiots’ dwelled upon (Focus on Excellence, Success will follow) that once the runs or wickets are taken, the dollars automatically takes care of itself to fall into your lap.

Though India under Gary Kirsten have progressed to the top of the rankings, to be there at the top like Australia did, unless the BCCI focuses on an excellence program at spotting talent and nurturing them, India may not quite have the wherewithal to last at the top. So in the race to Quick Results, if you have reached there fast, keep the smile with you for a little longer, for braving the problems that soon follow, and once you have crossed the arc of the learning curve in due time, your gold at the end of the rainbow is waiting.

The complete interview can be downloaded/listened to at www.soundcloud.com/katchucrap

Kartik Kannan


Round The World Travel

I have always been very enthused by the very idea of Round-The-World travel, and realised the traveller instinct in me only 2 years, after I started working. I've done quite a few trips since 2006, but most of them have been the weekend or the 3 day weekend trips, with only 2 of them being a week long trip. I'd love the idea of long term travel, but would prefer to slowly settle into it. Maybe I could start with a three month long trip. Need to find a slot over the next 2 years, where I can also combine a great sporting event in a country. I've just started doing the research for that, and should share most of my findings here. The biggest challenge is the fact that once one is married, one has to convince a bunch of stakeholder's as opposed to just getting to the airport and calling parents that I would be away for a week. More problems being solved, is a gateway to a better future and so I am going to stand and let the naysayers drown me in their negative thoughts. Its my talent to swim through them and get to where I want.


Status Message Marketing-Part 2

I am participating in the Airtel Real Fans Challenge, and its been an interesting build up to the end of the competition. Here are some data that I observed for my video

  • It pays to submit your video the earliest, for a slight first mover advantage. This way you will also get clicks from Youtube reccomendations and the top videos when people come to the competition site. Add a few more clicks purely from the perspective of having spent more time in the gallery.

  • You need to really promote yourself really well to get many clicks. This is where the strength and depth of your social network matters. I generally participate in 2-3 competitions a year which involve public voting, but even then I guess my friends would be fatigued seeing my entry for some competition or the other.

  • I started my promotions with Gtalk Status messages, requesting them to share my link on their status. This helps as a status message stays for a longer time and pops up whenever you sign in and sign out. A Facebook status or a twitter status doesnt catch your attention quickly, as it may be submerged in a zillion other updates, but Facebook has a better hit rate when it comes to friends being influenced and perusing your link. Gtalk is incremental growth channel as it involves your friends only, and if it is compelling content, friends of friends may want to have it also as a status, while Facebook is an exponential growth channel.

  • When I started off, I did my math as follows to set the expectations.On Facebook- 700 friends, 10% of whom may want to pass the link(70 people). 70 people having an average of 400 friends, means reaching a potential consumer base of 28000 people views. Now given that reality lies between 5-10%, the page view numbers expected from Facebook could be around 2000. It now turns out that the total views are 2000 so far, and Facebook has contributed around 750 views. So just as every marketing launch plan, I over estimated the strength of the network, but nevertherless its interesting to go and see what makes a viral tick.

  • 18 friends shared my link on Facebook, I wrote on the wall of about 20 friends, and I gave 2 reminders on the contest on my wall. With my link shared 40 times, I have noticed Facebook contributing 36% of the page views. It matters at what time of the day friends post your link. It generally helps if friends post between 7 pm and 10 pm on weekdays and anytime between 4 pm Friday and 10 am Saturday(Post that, everyone is out for the weekend, away from the virtual world).
  • I noticed that having Youtube embeds helps, as opposed to just posing a short URL external link on Facebook. I guess the preview of the video and a short description helps in people click on the content.

  • Since You dont want to be the scourge of your friends on Facebook by spamming them, I did a few incremental activities to help drive traffic. I sent out emails to friends, sent messages on Orkut, Wrote articles for other social media sites with a subtle hint of my link, wrote comments on other cricket based facebook groups where I had to wait patiently in the conversation to provide my video as a relevant link.

  • One learning is that unless you have compelling content, its going to be tough to sell the video and get clicks and go viral. Promotion on Youtube is largely binary. It is either slow incremental growth( of about 150 views a day) or exponential growth of about 500 or more views a day. I belong to the former, where I see that the growth is linked to marketing. Initially heavy marketing, gets you page views and then any amount of marketing doesnt help, as most in your social network have seen the video, and your clicks come largely from Youtube reccomendations and from other videos.

  • Today, on Friday the 3rd September, I have about 1950 views, at number 7 and in reckoning for a trip to South Africa. The contestants who are ranked 1-6 have managed to do heavy promotion on youtube and through their social networks to get page views in the range of 2600-5800 page views. I realise its tough to grow further and even beat the guy who is 6, but I guess if my growth is just enough to be at the poistion where I am by Sunday evening IST, I should be and also hope that numbers 8 9 and 10 dont really scale up. If they do scale up, I'd just have to surrender to the fact that I have been washed away in this tsunami of page views, and I'd need to understand the web much better to manage a promotion, sustained for 3-4 weeks.

So here's hoping that I manage to win this contest and travel to South Africa for the Champions League Final. Meanwhile do check out www.fanlogue.com, a place where I have decided to write articles for this edition of the CL20. Its good to be in touch with writing articles all over again.


On Status Message Marketing

I had created a video, 3 days back(with help from Arvind and Janani) and my mandate was to get about 5000 page views by September 6th. for this contest. I have some interesting observations to share. Kept a target of 192 page views a day for the first 3 days, and I am so far on track. I would need to go home tonight and check, how can I increase this number. Its a new challenge I am facing, and I seem to be loving it, as I am partially able to track where I have got my viewers from.

The human social network is an interesting place for a viral to form. What will make it succeed. well that needs a different post with some data. Wait on for this evening and let me know, if my social media marketing needs a tweak


Come September

Every year around September-October for the past 4 years, something interesting happens in my life. Basically, life throws a few inflexion points which can make or mar the one year ahead.

Sept-Oct 2007- Got selected in Dream Job on ESPN, Got a fat pay-internship at B school and a pre placement offer.

Oct 2008- Quit Cleartrip to join Hungama. This time it was a bad decision. Should have persisted with Cleartrip. Quit, as there was no work, and in this enthusiasm to get started I joined Hungama in a leap of faith. It was a year of working with morons, but meeting some interesting folks, who are great friends!

Sep 2009- Made it to The RCB FFC Challenge in Bangalore, but couldnt win. Nevertherless, confidence levels were high then

Sep-Oct 2010- Lets hope its something worthwhile and gives me the power to be happy after the change.

Vote for me, Change my Life!

Hi Folks
Take a look at my application to the Royal Challengers Bangalore, in the capacity of a Chief Podcaster http://www.royalchallengers.com/cricket-online-contests/ffc3/kartik-kannan

If you feel, I deserve to make the cut, Go ahead and Vote for me, and write me a testimonial


The Good Life

I was just asking myself, what I wanted to do with my life and sometimes when I am honest with myself none of the answers match with the job description of my job. I admire the myriad consumer insights that my mind dissects whenever I am on the road, or watching a commercial, but what has really interested me is the spirit of long time world travel. Sometimes I ask myself, when is a good time to quit the job and do that, I realise that as long as I keep working, Murphy's law will keep giving you expenses and make you greedy with your money.

Secondly, What would be the impact on my career of a break for 6 months/year for activities that the world dubs 'frivolous and crazy'? Would it be tough for me to get another well paying job?

Thirdly, Do I need shitloads of Money for world travel?

Looking at these questions, I sense that somewhere down the line, education instead of enabling my mind, has actually blocked my thinking when it comes to a vocation. I guess when faced with a crisis, people innovate and try to find disruptive businesses that generates income. Why cant I think of what goes on in the mind of someone who has a food business, some one who is a bartender, some one who is a tour guide? I guess education has blanked me in making me a product manager who apart from high end systems, cant really think about what other facets in life can offer. I was thinking of the above 3 professions as avenues for meeting various people and also earning, and all of these 3 could be done while I am travelling. Living like a local in a different part of the world each year.

Do I really care that I dont have a house or a car of my own? Do I really care what my neighbour or relatives think of me? I probably dont and thats why I see an oppurtunity in chasing the life that one wants. I am beginning to get the feeling that the Life one wants is never far away. We just get entangled in the cobwebs of the mind, which has been trained to ignore thoughts from the heart.

In today's time, there are the outliers who have done this and are succesful in their lives, and given that the web is a lovely resource for connecting with people and shedding inhibitions, it shouldnt be a problem in finding such people. Its never too late to start living the life one wants. Myabe I should put faith in intuition and the heart a little more than the brain.

Yuhi Chala Chal Rahi, Yuhi Chala Chal..Kitni haseen hai ye duniya..Phool saare jamele, dekh phoolon ke mele...Badi rangeen hai duniya

Thhandi hawa hai thhandi chhaaon hai...Door woh jaane kiska gaaon hai....Baadal ye kaisa chhaaya....Dil ye kahaan le aaya.................................


Its been a while since........

Its been a while since I held on to the enthusiasm to write on my blog.I guess I am nearing the limit for uploading pictures on Google(Blogger/Picasa) and that has been bothering me for quite a while. I have decided that this blog will get back to its heady days of enthusiastic writing. I plan to book a domain and start writing all over with pictures. There is so much I think these days and some of these thoughts need to be documented on the blog. Happy Days are Back Again!


The Konkan Monsoon is Calling, Where are You?

The Konkan coast has held my attention, because it allows me to escape into a world, which is as Indian as it gets, but it’s a little far from the India we know in the cities. Goa makes you at home, by showering on you the basic amenities that you are used to at home and allows you to get a bohemian feel across cultures.

India has largely been a tropical country and rain here is sometimes seen as the ‘manna’ from heaven. The memories of rain always evoke feelings of happiness, unless and until the rain converts your area into Venice. From Childhood, rain in India meant a respite from the hot weather, a different paint applied to your natural environment, a time when the family bonded cozily over some warm samosas, a time when you just wanted let go off the mask and get wet in the rains, a time when you relax over some tea and biscuits admiring the sudden sprout of greenery around you, and a time when sensual pleasures run high.

The wet earth smell, almost always smells the same, wherever it rains for the first time, but as a compliment to the smell, the eye needs its visual appeal to go with the smell, and so the greenery all around in the first rains, just adds to the appeal of the monsoon. My dad chides me, almost always what’s there in visiting so many beaches, when the sand is same, and what’s there in doing flash air trips from one side of India to the other to witness a monsoon? Logically correct, but there are a few things one must experience with the place to feel one with the surroundings.

So what’s with Goa, that makes me run a thousand kilometers from the east to the west, every time? I just counted my trips to Goa. I have done 11 trips in 53 months. That’s one trip in 5 months. (Earlier the numbers were 10 trips in 38 months, which resembles a quarterly commitment to Goa).I have been in that same time period, twice to Mahabalipuram and thrice to Pondicherry, which is a couple of hours from Chennai. So the numbers speak for itself, and as I research why, I am realizing I may have a long list to share.

Being born in the 80’s and growing up in the 90’s necessitated travel only on Indian railways and now being habituated to travelling that way, it’s a nasha that still lingers on. Aviation has made travel quicker, but nothing like the lazy joy of conversations with friends/family in a cozy compartment as you crisscross the country on rail, seeing the real India in its farms/towns and its railway stations. Now having developed this natural love for Indian railways, how can you miss a journey on the Konkan Railways? You could try doing a Mangalore-Goa by the unreserved (KR 2) which allows you to sample the people of this region, their interests, and their way of life. It’s a bit like pre-reading for a classroom session, which helps you see your destination, being better informed. Travelling the KR2 educates you and gives you more Konkan vibes than a guide book would. You should do a monsoon ride from Mangalore to Vasco or from Bombay to Madgaon. Its one of the most scenic rides, where the monsoon paints a sense of expectancy in you, after seeing the clouds painted grey and the grass painted in various shades of lush green.

When you finally set foot in Goa, you see some places that nature has decided to side with and with the charged feeling of expectancy; you enthusiastically chase the paradise that the good weather promises. Its not that every part of Goa, resonates with the same frequency in the rains, but finding the right part of Goa, to relax you is what makes you explore the little state with more gusto.

The Goan monsoon has a certain fury, which is unmatched in other parts of the country. I remember being caught in a huge downpour in the Chaudi bus stand at 5 am(Near Palolem). The rains were so heavy, that my friend and I feared that the roof in the bus stand would collapse in this onslaught. The monsoon had made its mark right away, by making me its slave. The best way to enjoy a Goan monsoon is head to Palolem, put a chair near the beach with an umbrella, pick a book, feel the winds and the rains attempting to spoil your peace, and look at the raging ocean that may show signs of regurgitating in the enthusiasm of the monsoon.

If you want another experience of the rains, stand at the footboard in a train that whizzes past the country side, have a water proof MP3 player, switch the music on and feel the rains caressing your face from an angle and the wind that leaves your hair disheveled.

If you want more experiences like this, then get into random conversations with go and Goans in the trains, at tea shops, at bus stops and ask them about their lives and the places to head, once you’ve been able to strike a basic conversation with them. The Goans are the most friendliest people around, knowing fully well that Goa blooms in the monsoon, than in the high season, and they are your guides to finding the most exotic and unheard gems that Goa has to hurl at you.

As you explore the real Goa, you will come across simple Goan Ladies in their 20’s who would either be on a walk or would be at household chores. Their sense of dressing sometimes defines how I’d like to see a woman. Ladylike and simple with no sense of ostentation, with a short colorful skirts, low necklines, perfect waistlines and beautiful legs! This combination along with the monsoons can run quite a riot with increased blood flow to the lower part of your body.

To add to the colour are the Portuguese houses in its various shades of Blue, Green, Violet, Pink and Orange, which you thought were colors best reserved for paintings. Goan houses and bright colours indicate a certain boldness in experimentation and add to the existing enthusiasm that the monsoon brings with it.

Goa has a vibe attached to it, which is Konkani blended with universal spirits all over. You head to Panjim to get that Portugese feel, go a little east towards Ponda and attach yourself spiritually with the Hindu temples, while going north towards Morjim and Arambol, you find yourself in a Russian and Hebrew environment. And to add some more data, if you are the typical Indian tourist, with kids in both hands, and a wife to boot, and a budget to be tied to, Colva and Calangute, are your Goan value-for-money places. The more discerned European traveler trades for some ‘Sussegad’ in peace in the southern hamlets of Agonda and Palolem. Goa, is like an MNC bank, ruthless but provides great service, and is always in the minds of the consumer, wanting to provide a WOW service, completely straying away from being conservative, providing irritable service, taking its customers for granted.

The last one hour, I have been trying hard to put pen on paper and conjure more thoughts of the monsoon. I just realized, I enjoy feeling the monsoon than talking about it. So I am going ahead planning my next Konkan trip across the Sahyadris, before the monsoon runs out of steam. See you in Goa!


Sales of Media at Cinema Theatres

Sale of ringtones/Audio CD's/Cassettes and memorabillia are generally assosiated with the retail format in a showroom specifically meant for selling a range of Musical collections like a Musicworld or through a book store like a Landmark or a Crossword. I have always wondered why these shops dont set up licenced outlets in cinema halls for selling music/ringtones as an additional channel on a revenue share basis with Theatres.

I am more likely to buy the Audio CD of Raavan after I come out of the theatre, if I found the movie or the songs a great experience, while I walk out from the hall to the parking lot. This pathway is monetised currently by painting the walls of some brand, but a more related monetisation is through the sale of media related to the movie being screened.

If I attend a Raavan movie, its high probability that I am a fan of Mani Ratnam's previous works or A.R.Rahman's previous audio masterpiences, which would command an impulse buy. This is a wonderful window of oppurtunity for theatres to also increase their revenue base, especially if the theatres have a national prescence. This platform could sell movies/audio CD's, pen drives of ringtones and MP3 Music(if piracy hurts, then put it in a DRM format).

I dont know if there is any entry barrier for Theatres to start this line of business, but I'd defintely be more curious to know more on this topic.


Estimation of Work

Its amazing, to realise how much enthusiasm can dictate the way we think about work. I've had this problem for a while, where I estimate that a particular work would take 'x' hours to completion, then realise that I didnt budget a couple of other factors, and that 'x' is now 1.3x in terms of time. Over a period of time, when the effort put to output obtained doesnt show a steep increase, we start to over estimate the task at hand. I've seen an example of that with my friend who was to send his wedding invite to our batch, but didnt do so, as he was waiting to scan his invite and get a nice byline in the email invite. He took 2 weeks to scan, and was still sitting on his invite in his draft folder. I realised this, when I spoke to him. All it took was an email from me, helping him out on the content, and lo, in an hour, his marriage invite was complete.

I see that a lot of such tasks have mentally acquired a lot of imaginary cobwebs, and I need to spend sometime, blow them off and stop worrying about the cobwebs. Life is calling, I am on my way :-)


Nice Ad about Overcoming Odds

Liked the Haywards 5000 Ad where the hero of "Aamir" says.. " Jab faslon se zyada ho Hosla, toh Life Banta Hain". So true.. we should not allow situations to define us, but must allow situations to become better by conquering it. The last 1 year has been one such learning.

Everytime I am about to throw up my hands, I remember this AD and get back to work. Life is one nice strategy game where you need to keep traversing through the maze, and absorb your surroundings, adapting to the needs of the environment.

India off the Boil

India were knocked out of the Micromax cup yesterday. It was sad to see the side lose the way it did. India have often lowered their guard after starting to get the momentum. There isnt a problem in the strategy to send a second string side, unless they are ready replacements. There is a fair degree of difference between the gods of domestic cricket and they need a certain protective entry on the international stage, with the seniors supporting their prescence. It is unfair to blood youngsters, where 2-3 players make their debut together.

India needs to get back to playing more 'A' side tournaments with other boards, and players from such sides need to be picked after consistent performances at that level. Australia have a consistent system where their academy trains the Australians for attitude,mental toughness and skills. Indians are naturally talented but dont quite have the wherewithal to last at the international circuit, because they are not exposed to the science behind prolonging their careers through a mix of skill and attitude.

Skill and Talent open a number of doors, but beyond a point, its attitude that determines the longevity. India need to pay importance to this fact, as most of the matches that they have lost since the IPL has been because they have been off the boil towards some of the matches and have lacked the intent to win.

Its time we started to look back and observe our attitude and mental toughness towards the game, and maybe that can be the right step to focus on a bunch of 30 talented youngsters to build a team for the future.


An Active 'Volcano' experience!

Today it rained, and it rained cats and dogs. Had lovely weather, but the mood was offset by the continuous power outage. The transformer next to my house seemed to burn even more, as the rain kept on pouring. Its scary to see the transformer burn and fume about. Its a bit like living next to a volcano, you never know when the next interruption is going to impact your daily life. Being disconnected from the internet because of the frequent outages seemed to irritate me. A lot of that feeling has gone away now. The 'volcano' is quiet, and the rains have stopped, so I have taken the brave step of switching on the television to entertain me for night, until the rains start again.


Dont Drop MSD

The Indian cricket team's performance has been a rude shock, that was long coming. This was required for the men in blue to remind them that there are areas in their armoury which has a gaping chink, and such chinks need to be corrected if they need to win the war over the long term. Australia have been a succesful side, because they objectively looked at the areas they were not doing well, and strove to become better. Australia a few years back, had been accused of choking in the newer formats of the ICC Champions trophy and the T20 World cups. They won the champions trophy in 2006 and 2009 and have looked the side to beat in this edition of the T20 world cup.India need to use this oppurtunity to iron out the flabs and go ahead in picking themselves up. I dont quite think, relieving Dhoni of the captaincy is going to solve a lot of issues. He has had a great run as a captain and has done justice to the role by having a stupendous 60% winning ratio in tests and one dayers. The T20 bit is where India need to pull up their socks, and have horses for the courses. What India missed in both the T20 world cups are batsmen with some technique who could settle down and handle the bowling. Their approach to playing the bowling was the suicidal bit which let them down. If the selectors do decide to do away with Dhoni and bring in Sehwag to lead, it would be a reactive and retrograde step.


Baby Shower!

I had been to a Baby shower party today at work. It was a lot of work by the organising team in arranging decorations and planning the event by inviting and reminding everyone, but somewhere the cynical me, thought it was boring. Nothing against the party, but in a corporate setting, it somewhere loses its sheen of a nice get-together. I felt sorry for the organiser, who spent a lot of her busy time in trying to get this done by doing all the coordination. I hear she is the party organiser for most of the parties at work. Just shows the importance of passion over coming all other hurdles. Wish I get to that state. A lot of my passion for doing a bunch of things are in semi dormant state, due to the demands of corporate and family life. So the not-so-interesting thing was the dull event, but the thing that shone like a diamond was the lady's attitude in continuing with the festivities and planning games for people who had assembled there. I admire her passion for doing things inspite of a busy schedule. That's the way to livev life. One lesson for life learnt!


Mahalo Folks!

I just had an awesome time in Maui(part of the Hawaiin Islands in the Pacific Ocean). Its the perfect unspoilt paradise, that thankfully has not yet been affected by large scale commercialisation. This trip has opened up new vistas for me to travel on road, which I have never done in India. I have largely used public transport to get around places, but have never ventured out in my car. In Hawaii, I decided to rent a Buick car, and went around Hana and Haleakala, driving at speeds over 100 km/hour. It was the trip of a lifetime and the best part was the sunset last evening at Makena, along with the sun-down drum party, that welcomed the sunset. With 200 odd people, waiting for the sundet and celebrating it, it was a lovely moment as the sun descended down.

I am guilty of not posting much, but I plan to include a brief summary of the 8 weeks that I have been here in the United States, capturing some of the travel titbits that I have learnt.

Yet to recover from the Hawaiin holiday mood. A weekend trip to Hawaii is like a orgasm gettinig nipped in the foreplay. Nevertherless, I plan to visit it once again later this year, and for a bigger time period. Till then Mahalo, folks from Hawaii(Mahalo means Thank You)


Lovely Drive!

I rented a car out and went on a drive, yesterday between San Jose and Monetery, with a stop at Santa Cruz. It was a beautiful drive, and I am in deep awe for the engineering marvel that the American highways are! I havent been too descriptive of my trips on my blog, due to the lack of time on this trip. I've been trashing the photos to Facebook as its been easier that way. But, I guess I enjoy posting it to my blog more than Facebook, and I should take the time out to do this later this week. I've managed a few trips, since I came here. I've been to Lake Tahoe(official trip), San Francisco(walking between Fisherman's Wharf and Baker Beach), Mystery House-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Beach and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I've also been wanting to speak to some friends who live in San Jose, but havent been able to do so because of not making enough time. I should be reaching out to every one of them this week.



I have finally completed reading 'Simplyfly' by the former CEO of Air-Deccan-Captain Gopinath. To me it was fascinating read of a simple man, who had very strong observation skills and was task oriented to the hilt. I started reading this book at a hotel(Center Point) near my office, during lunch hours. Every day, as the tasty masala papad and the soup went inside my mouth, I gobbled up 20 pages of this book every day. These 45 minutes were my inspiration to realise that life is never really about haggling for that salary raise, or playing petty politics for that elusive promotion at work. Reading his book, I was empowered to think that as long as my observational skills and rational mind, were working properly with the curiosity to learn, I could feed myself pretty well. For the wealth of information that is there today, one can actually channelise all the required info easily, but doing that amidst the glut of info, is also a challenge.

So I decided, I would make short term goals for work and personal life, and try and build on my abilities to observe and expand within the ambit of what I had set myself. There are the other long term goals, of ideas and things I wanted to do. Documenting my thoughts over the last few weekends, I have done well to capture all that I wanted to. I dont think, I will be distracted now for a while, as I have observed every corner of my mind, to ask myself what interests me.

Life is a lot interesting after reading his book. Its certainly not a flash-in-the-pan thought that goes and comes after every feel good moment via books or movies, its a realisation that the path to one's pot of gold at the end of the rainbow may not be that close, but its worth the walk, and the belief is what takes you to the pot, more than anything else.


New Phase in Life

It feels good trying to be organised. A clean room is indicative of a clean mind. It is a little tough to change oneself completely and that change is slowly taking effect. It feels good to go to bed, having the vessels cleaned. Its quite a job trying to cook and manage the resources at the hotel(vegetables and other persishable stuff). I guess a trip to the US, is a course in DIY(Do-it-yourself) way of management. With the non stick cookware as my latest addition to my kitchen kitty, a lovely omlette, looking like one, and tasting like one, was born and devoured instantly. Making a proper omlette and a decent Sambhar, have so far made my weekend. Looks like, I should get better in staying more organised and cooking-basic dishes. Life is beautiful!


Back in a Studio Setting!

My hotel room in San Jose, California largely resembles the 180 sq feet room that I had rented out in Pali hill,during my stay in Bombay. It sometimes, is very comfortable having just your little space, where everything that you 'just' need can be accomadated. The only boring factor is that its a little lonely. There are people around from work, but having to forcefully get into an activity for not feeling lonely, is not a recipe for feeling good. I am better of being alone at home, doing my own stuff. Have a few books to read and am slowly using that as my comfort factor here. The internet and the telephone are obviously there to keep me connected to wife and family, but reading a book, somehow keeps me entertained.

Its so far been a dull couple of weeks. I have just been going to work, and back to the hotel. Havent explored the town around. Ideally I would have loved to explore the places around, but I thought it should be better once the workload stabilises. My to-do lists do run on for ever, but still there is a stable phase that should come soon, and that would mean, I can do my trips without the nagging feeling of work surreptiously interfering with my observation skills while exploring the country side.

The US is a pretty costly place, and here a lot of things look cheaper by the unit, when you buy in bulk. I am yet to cut costs by the cent! as I find it too laborious managing a bunch of things on my own. Its interesting for many reasons. I shall include a series on how the transport system is, how I manage my daily life here. Right now, its time to head back to work. Its 5 am in the morning, and I am just fresh out of a nice hot water bath. 44 Hours of my weekend remain to be claimed!


Random Trip- Nellore

I headed to the central railway station at 2 30 pm, and met my friend Madhan, who consented to my idea of travelling to some random place, without any expectation from the trip. We approached a guy in the line, and asked him to buy us a ticket, to some place, at a value of 150 rs. It was not the greatest of sales pitches, and needless to say, the guy stared at us as if he saw Hizbul Mujahideen in me. This happened with 4 more people.

Finally Madhan was able to speak to one passenger who was in the line, who didnt suspect us, but was still confused as to what we wanted. We lowered our pitch to this " Hi, Can You buy us a ticket to where you are going? Dont tell us where you are going? Just buy us the ticket, tell us the cash involved and the platform number in which we need to board the train. It helps if you could ask the time, as you could potentially board the wrong train on the right platform and could get caught for ticketless travel.

The person buying the ticket, can buy tickets for us only 1 physical ticket, so we were tagged to go along, wherever he went. We couldnt get down, randomly in between. As soon as we boarded the train(and I tried my best not to look at the train name/number), My eyes fell on the words Yercaud, in the name board next to our compartment. Once I was in, I heard people speaking, and to avoid their rattle, I switched on my ear plugs and gazed at people around me in the compartment, observing every sinew of their anger, joy and dissapointment. Some preferred to bask their sorrows along the window of the compartment, while seemed to dream "Mera Number Kab Ayega", as the train slowly chugged off Chennai Central.

In between, we had some samosas, which had a generous overdose of oil on it, and was waiting to get converted into cholestrol :-). I also spotted a man with a glaring green colour dress, which confirmed my suspicion that were travelling in the direction of Andhra Pradesh. One of the advantages of travelling from Chennnai is that 3-5 hours in any direction, you would be in a different state(Kerala/Karnataka/Andhra Pradesh) having a totally different linguistic culture. So it didnt take us long to see that we were heading towards Gummudipoondi, and Andhra Pradesh it was.

Madhan and I had a blissful hourlong nap, which was amidst the crowded train, which had 23 people occupying a potential 8 seats(if you came in the reserved compartment). The train journey was beautiful in the un reserved compartment, with the conversations with fellow strangers. One guy had a xerox shop in Adayar, one was a student looking for a job, one was a husband deprived of sex(he , one was a young man going home for his holiday from Pondicherry and many more such stories, that one gets to hear aimlessly, when travelling with strangers. Not that one cant get this in a reserved compartment, but with a little comfort comes aloofness, and I have often observed that in the AC Compartments, people are very snobbish and all they care is about sleeping and charging their mobiles.

This compartment was crowded to the brim, and people had to talk with each other or stare out of the window, with the lovely evening breeze to pass time. This is the beauty of either un reserved or second class travel, where you can easily socialise with people, than in a comfort driven train. No bloated ego's to protect or no image to hide. You can just be yourself, without the fear of having to transform yourself into a snob!

When the train halted at Nayudupeta, I wanted to get down at the quaint station, and explore the village for a couple of hours, but since our ticket was tagged to the guy who bought it, and he showed no signs of getting down, we couldnt get down. If we did, it would be a case of ticketless travel, and its easier getting caught at smaller railway stations. Naydupeta holds special memories for my family as my mother and I were stranded at this railway station in 1985/86 for three days, due to a bridge collapsing amidst heavy rains. So for memories sake, I took a picture to show my mother the station.

When the train neared Nellore, we saw a huge mass of people getting up, and fighting their way to the door. Our man, Srinivas, was also in the crowd, so we too prepared to get down and chase the guy for our ticket, which he gave us once we got down on the platform.

Madhan and I decided to explore town, and have some thing very central to the Andhra Pradesh palate. We went to a hotel called Simhapuri and ordered some hot-spicy starters. I wanted to have the typical Andhra meals, but since Simhapuri didnt serve Andhra meals, we had to get local information and move on to Komala Vilas, which we heard serves the best Andhra meals at a reasonable rate.

I generally never have powdered rice, but i guess, I was very hungry that night, so I gobbled the powdered rice, along with Ghee and had a sumptous meal. We walked back to the railway station, and bought a ticket to Chennai. We were told, our next options were the Dhanbad Allepey express at 11 20 pm, and the Howrah Mail, which would go to Chennai. If we missed either of these trains, we had to wait for the trains from the national capital, which reached Nellore well past 3 am. The Dhanbad-Allepey express was very crowded, and I didnt have the mood to get in and reach Chennai at an untimely 3 am. Nevertherless, we were enjoying our conversations on the bench seat, under the moonlight, watching the numerous goods trains that slowly chugged past us.

The Howrah mail came, and the unreserved compartment was again crowded, so in the limited 2 minutes we had, we ran to the other end of the train and found that most of the compartment doors were locked, except for 1 sleeper compartment. We waited near the toilet, until the TTR came, and we requested him for any berths that may be free. He gave us a couple of berths after the train reached Gudur. The next 3 hours, I had no idea, how it went. I slept like a log and woke up to people and porters noisily bargaining.

The trip wasnt over just yet. My friend Madhan suggested we go to the Eliots beach and sit there near the sea, to watch the sunrise. We reached the beach at about 4 20 am, and were there till 5 30 am, after which Madhan discovered that he lost his bike key on the beach(through a hole in his kurta). We couldnt do much about it, and at 5 45 am, there was no bike mechanic, one could go to. Madhan decided to head home and sleep a while, before waking up and finding a mechanic. I took a share-auto from the beach to the Indira Nagar railway station, and just as I imagined, Sunday meant lesser frequency of trains. It was 6 0 3 am, and the next train was scheduled to arrive at 6 32 am, so I waited by walking across the tracks uptil perungudi, and then walked back to Thiruvanmiyur railway station, where the train arrived.

Short but nice trip! but the real spirit of random travel happens when you decide to get in some random train and get out at some random station. To do that, you need a pre-paid ticket card/pass thats valid for a certain number of days. Foreigners have this provision of an Indrail pass, which allowes them travel across the country for a certain class for a period of 90 days. I need to check if such a provision is available for Indians, in our own land :-)

Images from the Trip

Bags queing up, before the passengers come in!

Mera Number Kab Ayega?

Zindagi Kaisi Hain Paheli Haaye?

Bought a Chinese Pencil as a gift for my wife

My Ticket to Nellore!

Food Rates at Komala Vilas- Authentic Andhra Meals

We were here!

Train Gazing in the moonlight, past Midnight- Lovely!

Nayudupeta- Photo taken for memories!


Random Trip-Modus Operandi

Inspired by KCK, I'd like to go on my random trip to somewhere. Why a random trip? I am tired of expecting things a certain way, and then forcing myself to like it. Instead, once in a while, I'd like to go with an empty mind and be the water that forms in a cup, be the boat that drifts according to the waves in an ocean. Such trips makes me aware to a lot of things that I otherwise miss while travelling. When you have nothing to lose, you only start gaining. Random trips are pretty similar to fasting, which cleans the entire process of thinking and judgements gained over time.

I have no agenda to do, no worries that I need a proper hotel to stay, no worries on whether I will get reservation, no worries on purse being looted, no worries on quality of food. Just out to enjoy travel, the way I can actually enjoy it, in its purest form. I've done 3-4 such trips by accident, and I've enjoyed it despite Murphy's law going against me.

Trip Zero- Bangalore-Gokarna-via Bus in Oct 2007(Lovely Monsoon Trip)

Was feeling dull, during my internship,so
Trip One-Chennai to Goa Unreserved-Nov 2007-Alone
Trip One.1- Chennai to Mahabalipuram-Some forest near Pondy-Dec 2007-Bus Trip(With Ankur and Arun)
Trip Two-Chennai to Goa Unreserved- Feb 2008- With Friends from B school
Trip Three- Chennai-Portblair-via Air and ship April 2008
Trip Four- Bombay-Goa Unreserved-Train with Kishore, Aug 2008
Trip Five- Bombay-Daman- Unreserved-Train to Patna-with Logendra-Dec 2008
Trip Six- Bombay to Cancona(Goa) Unreserved-with Nischal, Jan 2009
Trip Seven- Bombay -Daman- Unreserved Train-with Vinay- Feb 2009
Trip Eight- Bombay (VT-Karjat, 12 38 Last Local), with Vinay-Feb 2009
Trip Seven- Bombay-Sawantwadi-Vengurla(Maharashtra)-Arambol(Goa)-Kerim(Goa)- March 2009
Trip Eight- Bombay-Kerim(Goa), Unreserved Train(Alone)-April 2009

All the previous three trips(oops I have done 8 now, Updated: 10) have happened over a trip to the western coast. This one shall not be that long, but it should be something that I relax, forget about work, family,home for a while.

Rough Plan

  • Head over to Chennai Central
  • Speak to some lady to buy a ticket in any direction, wherever 150 rupees would take me. If I give it to a guy, he would think I am a mad man, and call the police in his culmination of machismo bravado!
  • Not look at the ticket, Not look at the digital signage about train departures,and walk along to the platform(which I would need to think how am I manage this one)

I cant plan beyond this. May have 200-300 rupees as my cash back up. No Purse/credit cards or watches. Will have the mobile for company though. It may be a great/dumb experience, but the key is to soak into the experience. Time for 'Fasting'.


It Happens Only in Chennai!

Its Dal Tadka, and not Dal Dadka
Spotted this at Centerpoint, a restaurant near my office. Some of these hotels on OMR need to pay attention to their spellings, else they are going to drive customers away :-)

Centrepoint is a decent business hotel, with comestible food, that sometimes also borders on being tasty. After cooking the food right, the last thing they would want is a spelling to put them in bad light.

The worst I have seen till date is Dhantoori cuisine(Tandoori) in a hotel near Rajapalayam Railway station( small town in south Tamil Nadu).
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Time to Scale Up

Over time, I have never realised that I have grown up. The last 3 years, I have seen too many processes, loved quite a few, and was dissapointed with not being able to lap up as much as I wanted. Some due to laziness and some due to lack of discipline. If things were lapped up, only by periodical revisiting does it stay in the mind, so I lost out slowly on that front also.

Major Lesson- Learn to keep what you have, maintain a process and learn to scout for new additions. I havent done either of the three activities well, and thats why I sometimes get disillusioned with life. People sometimes, think me to be either a superman or a dumb ass, and getting to the extremes just means that all the buzz inside my brain needs some organising. I need to find which buzz inside my brain is worth listening to. I guess I got all excited that from no buzz, I suddenly have so many things working and buzzing, but now, I need to deal with the problem of plenty.

Just started making a mental map, of what all I do, and whether I can categorise it into buckets. A little bit of organised life and disciplined life, I feel, would help me in the long run. Whats the point of being the big lorry which transports water, but has a gaping hole which leaks the water as it travels? I am just getting to that stage, where adhoc planning needs to take a back seat, and I start to recognise that this is the next stage of life. One needs to scale up planning, so that every activity can go seamlessly and its easy to change things.


Hey! What was that?

Spotted in Chandivali-Powai Road, Mumbai.

Love the Spellings people use!

Spotted in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai

When I first saw this, I only saw it as "Free Virgin" and stopped my vehicle midway to spot this. Now dont ask me, why I did that :-)

Spotted in Madipakkam, Koot Road

What? A ministry for Holy Spirits also?

Spotted in Bazzar Road, Madipakkam in an electronics shop

Now thats a easy fake to identify! Sony Vaio laptops, I've heard of, but what's with Sony Vaio earphones, and that too one's that come with NUDEx technology! Look closely in the bottom panel of the hanging box, it says N U D E ex technology. So here we have porn earphones! Can some one call Shakila Khan to sell this :-) ?
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Valentine Weekend!

I usually assosiate Valentine's day with a day, where I write articles on how cool it is to be single, and basically not let the world know, that I happen to be part of the brooding singles club. Well, post marriage the only aphorism that comes to mind is "The Grass on the other side is always greeener" :-)

My wife and I examined a few options on 13th feb, and I got to know that Valentines day features Valentine's eve dinner and Valentine day brunch only. So, I decided to spend the Saturday night at Radissons, a decent hotel quite close to my house. 20 minute drive and we were at the place, without any of the usual tensions we have in getting ready, getting stuck in traffic, not knowing the route etc etc. The mood was great entering in and it stayed so for the whole night(and even upto the next morning :-) )

That's Janani, having a look at the red heart shaped baloons and the swimming pool around us. It was a nice setting at the Radissons. Not too many couples. I remember seeing 12 couples out of a probable 50 seats, which meant I could spend some time peacefully without bumping into people.

I still remember, heart shaped baloons meant extreme laughter for me, especially after watching Saif Ali Khan, bitch in 'Dil Chahta Hain' about the guy who tried wooing his love interest. Now the times have changed and how dramatically!

They served us some golden wine. Too Bitter, just that it makes for photographic memories. So thats why it features here

The hotel waiter's took a picture of both of us, and gave us a print copy of it in about half an hour. What was so coincidental is that such impromptu photo prints have happened when I have worn the above shirt. The last time it happened was in Bombay, at 'Hawaaiin Shack' when we got a instant print at 1 am.

We were one of the active couples, who danced a bit, answered quiz questions and so the host, gave us another Radisson Lunch coupon worth 1200 and a optical shop voucher worth 1500, which kind of gave us back in kind, the money we spent on the valentine eve dinner(2500). It was a nice experience basking in all red and pink around us, while we soaked into some pleasant romantic music. It was a nice experience.

Next weekend(which is Feb 21st) will be another long dinner/lunch with my wife and mother, as by sheer coincidence, my parent's wedding anniversary and my birthday fall on the same day. By the time, I enter office next week, I would have grown 27 years old and a little poorer on the purse :-)
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Kumbakonamed-Part 3

Like Son, Like Mother-My mother sleeping despite the loud pomp and noise made by the musician inside the temple. She had bouts of vomitting the previous night and had an improper sleep, so the effects were visible the next day. I liked this shot, as the way my mother bends while sleeping is pretty similar to how I sleep, when I sit. The difference is that I do it day in and day out, ireespective of where I am. If I sleep next to you, while you are speaking, it means you have bored me or spoken something intelligent, that I couldn't comprehend.

Garlands were all over me, during the trip. One garland for welcoming us at Kumbakonam, at Janani's grandparents place, one at some random temple, one during the pooja in their village at Kadalangudi. Hung this for a shot, while belching post a heavy lunch at Janani's ancestral house.

Consumerism at Kadalangudi- Dont know if this existed or this is a move post recession,where the local sabzi wala comes to your street in an auto and announces Walmart like fares on vegetables to get people interested. His only mandate must have been on clearing the stock somehow.

Spotted this in Kumbakonam, near the Bayiravar temple, where a person has inked his name in stone, along with his company. These days, rarely do I see someone in the same company, and wanting to carry that assosiation further. Those days, there was a sense of pride, in belonging to 1 company and a goverment one at that, and was worth 'Flaunt' value, when it could be used in augmenting the normal respect neighbours had for you.
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Kumbakonamed-Part 2

My Mother, Mother-in-Law, Janani and I went temple hopping on Saturday. This was taken at the west end of the temple at Thiruvidaimarudur. It was a warm day and despite the heat, everyone except me seemed to feel ecstatic at visiting the temples. I was more interested in knowing more about the temple and the stories that surround it. I seem to want to know more about cultures, but I dont really take interest in following them fervishly until, I believe in them.

One of the ancestral houses in the village of Kadalangudi. One thing I notice is that most houses have bright-in-your-face paint adorned on the walls, and the door entrances are favoured for people with short height. Every step in the house had to be taken carefully. I am vertically higher than the height, and my tummy-post marriage is showing signs of unprecedented horizontal growth

Most of the houses, have a huge hall, with a single room for living. That kind of explains with the little privacy the couples got then, they made good use of it with a production line of kids every quarter(assuming many couples lived together as a joint family).

When we were in the temple, my bowels suddenly wanted to burst open and since I had to heed nature's call. I had to trek almost half a kilometre, and find a spot in the fields which could camouflage me from the people in the temple. I went and collected leaves and I was lucky most of the leaves had the mositure from the previous night, that helped me wipe my arse a little cleaner than a dry leaf would. The colour of the fields felt like the one shown in 'Jab we Met' where Shahid and Kareena speak meet at the tractor.

There was a tank nearby and I washed my hands there just in time for the pooja(prayer) to end. Lovely prasadam of Sakkara Pongal, Sundal and something else, which I enjoyed filling my stomach with.
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You that the 'Chappel' stand was at the Adelaide oval? Time to change. There's a 'Chapple' stand at Vaitheeswaran Koil. Greg and Ian Chappel should be proud of their fame spreading to the remotest corners of India. My wife's family deity resides at Vaitheeswaran koil, 5 hours from Chennai on Road. We had been there to pay our obeisance to god. The temple has a strange tradition where you buy pepper and jaggery and immerse it in the pond and save some for a basket. I dont know if the temple has any means of cleaning this pollution.

This photo was taken at my wife's grandparents place inKumbakonam(Bharathy Nagar). There was a grand welcome for the two newly married grandchildren of their family (Wife and her cousin brother). Every day out there was a grand feast, with food served on the banana leaf. This place was away from the madness of Kumbakonam town, so there was a lot of peace and calm around the area. We also visited a couple of temples that was a hop skip and jump from the house.

This was taken in the morning of Saturday, at Thirunageswaram, a small town close to Kumbakonam. This town is famous for the 'Rahu-Kethu' temple and is believed to cure your problems. The more money you pay, you get a better view of the idols. The economically less priveleged, have to wait for a while in the lines, and have a gallery view(Door Darshan), while the richer ones, by the virtue of money come closer to the idols. This class divide was sick and I was thinking, why even have relegion and caste in the first place. I was all along thinking that if a VC had a chance, he should invest in a temple fund and become a trustee than put it in media/real estate/start ups. You would get better returns on your capital employed, as its easy to extract money based on the insecurities that plague people, making the devotess seek refuge by bribing god.

This was taken at Thiruvadaimarudur, a small town 15 kms from Kumbakonam. This was my mother's ancestral town, and her birthplace. She seemed all excited to visit the place, and even met a temple priest who was my aunt's classmate way back in the 1960's, when they studied at Thiruvidaimarudur. The temple was a nice place to doze off and also admire the artwork on the temple. This image in the temple shows how people blindly use charcoal to put their exam hall ticket numbers in the hope that God scans these numbers and sends a 'supari' to the examiners that these hall ticket numbers need to have higher scores than the pass mark. More higher scores are believed to be obtained, if you write in a bigger font, or perform some puja whose economic value is supposed to be proportionate to the marks you would want to bribe god from.

This was followed by an evening visit to Thanjavur to meet one of Janani's aunts, and spend some time there in their house, which had a lovely garden. I tried out Idli with Ghee and Chilli powder. Seemed a welcome departure from the normal oil and chilli powder.

There ends part 1 of this travellogue. Wait until Part 2
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Festive Times

The last 1 week has been a crazy week with post marriage festivities and my wife's cousin's marriage and a trip to her ancestral village, with the whole family. So much of attention and feasting over the week, that my paunch is threatening to blow up. Had a nice time visiting a few villages, and enjoyed rural Tamil Nadu, near Kumbakonam. We had also been to many temples and bribed god to give us a good view of his idol, and pray for good health/wealth. Its a little sad that I had to miss Saarang 2010, for this trip.

For the next few weekend's I am out again, either visitig relatives, or attending parties with friends. I am yet to get that 'Me bonding with my soul' time, thats neccesary to check if 'All Izz Well' in this mad life that I run everyday.

An interesting travellogue on my Kumbakonam trip should be on its way soon enough. This has been the first trip(oops, second) with the trip tracked by GPS and geo-tagging. So its easier to describe, where exactly I took the photos. Will add all of that in a while.

Its been a manic monday which has been painfully slow. 6 o clock is taking a while to come, like Windows Vista loads on a 500 mb Ram cache! Waiting, Waiting, Waiting!


Introspection Time!

This weekend, since my mother-in-law is in town, my wife is to go visit her mother, and as a result of that, I don't have any plans to go out as such. Probably the first weekend, that I haven't made any plan(oops, I forget...meeting my wife's uncle on Sunday). But apart from that, I don't haven't made any plan for going out or visiting relatives. I seriously feel the need for introspection in life and setting a few things in order. I feel like a can of water(with a hole) that is full upto the brim, and is always overflowing, and is also losing water through the hole. Water is largely analogous to my mental space,as I am involved in too many things on the periphery and I need to sit down and look at how much I am actually processing. I need to sit back and organize email/files and do a bunch of things that I have postponed indefinitely. I am in the process of jotting down the specifics, so that I am able to measure the extent of content I will have post completion.

I have put my attention in too many baskets and need to prioritise the attention levels and involvement levels. I seriously believe I can don many hats and do them well, its just that beyond the level that I am in, enthusiasm alone doesnt work, it needs some organised planning and honest answers to move ahead.

So till Saturday, I'd be busy trying to see what are those things that I avoid, what are the things that I forget, what are the things that would make me breathe easy and feel better.


Nice New Year Message

My friend Ashustosh, sent me a message last night, and I loved the message, because it wasn't one of those boring sugar coated new year messages that were sent in bulk

I wish you Peace,Love,Health,Blah Blah

I wish you Sex,Alcohol,Orgasms and
I hope you win the fuckin' lottery

Happy New Year!

Consumer Engagement

I happened to watch ZOOM on Dec 30th, and Fastrack watches seemed to have got a bulk inventory of the adspace at Zoom. They ran a series of 45 seconds commercials in serial order, and I thought it was a fantastic idea. Here is why

Fast track stands for trendy watches for people who want to try out something wacky and cool!So they ran a series of commercials bordering on relationships and sex(what else do youths keep thinking about? ) to bring the connect to the consumer. Once the connect is estabilished, they manage to show that the advertisement talks about a urban youth who learns to move on, which is the underlying message (Moving On) that they want to show.

One of the advantages of the web is that it gives a great consumer connect and engagement opportunity as opposed to other forms of media via sms/television/radio. Users can also upload their videos of 'moving on' and connect with the theme.

The moments in the ad film that caught my mind were

a) The guy who describes his marriage proposals and how his mother rejected them. Liked his expressions in 'Idhu laan venda rajaa' and the Tamil Slang. View it here

b) The woman, who uses her middle finger as a third count, to say she slept with Bunty. View it here

c) The ad where where the young chick says " Sex on the Beach is actually a Cocktail and G-String is not the string on a guitar :-)". View it Here

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