Why Babumoshai? Why Dada?

Strange parallel this.

A company which sells fans and an insurance firm which aims to be different from other players in its category.
Both the brands are known for coming up with disruptive TVCs. Case in point, the ‘Let’s Uncomplicate’ launch campaign for Apollo Munich Life Insurance and the  Havells fansShock Laga series or the Answersheet (old  Teacher and spooky school kids) commercials.

Summer of 2012. Both these brands decide to rope in two ageing heroes to endorse their products- oh yes Bongs,let’s face it-our Dada will be 40 this July.

First-Havells and the Fans Forever campaign with Rajesh Babumoshai Khanna.

Rajesh Khanna will remain one of the legends of Bollywood-he made a comeback of sorts when he turned up at an awards function recently after a long ailment. He was expected to return to the big screen soon after-but a commercial like this? That was the eureka moment for R Balki and the team at Havells. They knew they had a killing imagery to make us sit up and take notice.
The only point that pains one deep down is the belittling of this legend. Did he himself not realize  the snigger everyone would have had at his expense? That he no longer had any real fan following for himself- that he had to resort to table fans (!) to give him company?

On to Apollo Munich and the Ganguly-the movie campaign.

It’s been almost five days since the teaser trailer was released across all Social Media platforms.It’s shocking to find so many people supposing it to be an actual movie! Must laud the agency for doing a stellar job at making the ‘AMLI productions’ font and the logo size as small as possible in the video. But now back to the story.
Each and every true blood Dada fan was found searching for a place to hide themselves after viewing the 4 minute video.What on earth was Dada thinking during the filming of the scenes?The camera focuses on his eyes, then zooms out- Dada is seen talking to a reporter/random person while sipping,hold your breath,plain water from a glass.
Ah yes, even the last remaining shard of the already cracked mirror just shattered collectively for all Dada fans. And the dialogues?  “Iss liye log mujhe baap nahin dada bolte hain”.Period. Even the decade old Hero Honda ‘dance’ feat with Hritik pales in comparison.

One cannot fathom why these erstwhile icons said yes to these scripts. Did they really need the money? Did the brands do such a stellar job of hoodwinking them to sign the dotted lines? Why is it so difficult for these icons to gracefully call it a day-off the field in these cases?
As for us, the hapless fans, we continue to be on the hunt for a place to hide our faces.



The Note got me thinking. Its tip which peeks like an iceberg from my shirt pocket and prolongs the stares from passersby- brought me back to the days when the insanely heavy Nokia 3315 hung like a stone in the same pocket about a decade back.


Following is a brief history of Time- as marked by all the phones which have been in possession of yours truly- from the game of Snakes to the Stylus and the S Note- it has been a study no less than Darwin’s 😉

Nokia 3315

The 1st ever.  The most well deserved- and surely the one I was most possessive about.  The year was 2004. Still remember how tightly I was clutching the 3350 bucks to the shop to buy the Silver 3315. I was possibly the 4th person in my Engineering batch to possess a phone in those days- how times change!

So true was that viralling pic on Facebook- the only place these early models of Nokia could be destroyed was the volcano in Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

What’s In It For Me: If you want to improve your typing speed and accuracy on a phone, this IS THE phone.  No iPhone, no Galaxy no Sony can help you with this. Even with all the letters having vanished from the keypad, boy was it fast! And the sheer joy of breaking one record after another of playing ‘Snakes’ on it!

Sadly Nokia has stopped its production now.

Nokia 2301

Year was 2007. The impulse buy. Peer Pressure got the better of me- the Silver 3315 had faded almost entirely to become an ‘All- White’. With the first few bucks from the 1st salary ever- bought the phone in Trivandrum, where the induction of TCS was on.

What’s In It For Me: Nothing. Don’t buy-ever.

Reliance-LG CDMA

The Reliance CDMA phone purchased only for the unlimited Reliance to Reliance STD scheme. Any guy/girl who has had a long distance relationship in India-will realise what I mean. Was difficult carrying this along with the Nokia phone too.  And that horrible tone which the ADAG group so loves.

What’s In It For Me:  LoL

Nokia N85:

Got this as a prize at a quiz in Ahmadabad in 2009. Initially it kinda converted me to a Nokia loyalist for life. The Carl Xeiss Camera-like in most Nokia phones was exploited to its best- so was the music player, and the storage space- a monstrous 16 GB. The gaming experience was good too, it had a front camera- remember making a few video calls during those initial free 3g months.  But did the phone hang! The more I used it, and the more I learned of the BBs and the magic of Android, the further it made me move away from Nokia and all things Symbian. No wonder how the fortunes of the Finnish company have changed over the years.

What’s In It For Me: Quite a lot. Unfortunately, Nokia has stopped its production.

Samsung Galaxy Note:

The most researched buying decision I have ever made.
Consulted self proclaimed cell gadget guru-s- surfed each unboxing video, each online review video and relevant blog post on the net. Contacted users abroad before buying ‘The Phone’. Oh yes, it does live upto its tagline: ‘It’s All That You Need’. It’s not a regular phone- quite cumbersome to hold this near your ear for long. But then-you lose some, you win all. Currently it is the best smartphone in the planet.

What’s In It For Me:  If you have the Note, you won’t need a tablet-ever.

2010 in review-blog is alive and kicking :)

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,200 times in 2010. That’s about 13 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 5 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 41 posts. There were 15 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 8mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was February 22nd with 90 views. The most popular post that day was Please pay attention-the Sealdah bound R….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, linkedin.com, lmodules.com, google.co.in, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for wall-e, buy n large, walle, bipasha basu in saree, and sreelekha.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Please pay attention-the Sealdah bound R… February 2010


Wall E,Google,Virgin and the Death of Branding? December 2009
1 comment


Where have all the Bong beauties gone?(The Telegraph-25th Jan) February 2009
1 comment


CV October 2009


Likhte likhte..love ho jaye.The mast mas… May 2010

They say great quizzers,read a lot.They …

They say great quizzers,read a lot.They say great quizzers have special abilities to think laterally.They are supposed to think at the speed of light,and all that jazz.
Possibly for the first time ever,I will share a first hand account of a hair raising,no make it ear splitting,discovery,great quizzers snore like no other-I repeat,their snoring habits are monstrous to say the least.And here comes the account of the sonorous encounter with this unique breed-based on a true story.

The location:one of the older IIMs-the biz quiz that was being organised as a part of their annual fest.The usual mix of corporate and b school teams had thrown the top 6 teams from across the nation after 2 online and offline prelim rounds.This was going to be one of the coldest quizzes one had ever been to-and in possibly another historic first,the quiz got postponed by a day,thanks to the aircraft of the QM being unable to land in the city due to intense foggy conditions!

As luck would have it,our schedules,after much grumbling and growling had to be redrawn,and we had to put up for the night at the campus itself.Now for the characters’ credentials.One of the teams boasted of one of the most feared names in the corporate business quizzing circuit-a Brand Equity national champion
himself.Partnering him,an erstwhile BT Acumen National champion and Tata Crucible national runners up.It wasn’t all-there were 2 others who were BT
Acumen National champions too,and sandwiched in this gliterrati-the 2 of us,my happy Surd partner Karan,and myself.

Post dinnner,the usual round of banter began-the same sharing of own exploits around the nation,asking some real top draw questions-then scandals and rumours and latest updates from the world of quizzing-the quintessential chat that typifies quizzers as ‘nerds’ in the eyes of bystanders.Karan had to leave around midnight,to accompany his 2 other classmates in another event he was participating in.The cold refused to relent,and the rest of us decided it was time to crawl into the warm shelter of the cosy blankets of the room.

10 minutes pass by.I sit bolt upright with a start.The BT Acumen champion beside me grunts like the world is coming to an end,in between each of his very
lengthy pauses of snores-the Brand Equity National Champion shows his true mettle.Not to be left a single inch behind,he follows each of the
former’s snores with 3 of his own.And with increasing decibel levels.
I turn around,eyes wide open,hoping that the other 2 on the apparently silent side are the quiet on the buzzer kinda folks.Ha!Man proposes and the quizzing God disposes with style.The two team mates,eject the loudest snore I have ever heard almost in exact unison-as if they were going for the buzzer on the last question for the National title.

I try not to give up-tossing sides,from the Brand equity champ to the Crucible runners up to the BT Acumen champions’ pair-but to no avail.To add to my predicament,it was too cold outside to venture out to escape the torture my ears were being subjected to.I silently curse Karan-that he was not audience to this masterful cacophony of sorts.At one point I begin to secretly desire to snore like them too,even if I never match their quizzing abilities myself.

I check my watch,it’s 3 in the morning-i cannot believe I have spent 180 minutes amidst the most horrendous orchestra ever imaginable to mankind.
About 15 minutes later,the door is creaked open,Karan strides in,and the shock and awe-filled silent ‘Duddddddddde!’ shout from him fetches the first smile
on my face in about 3 hours.I close my eyes in peace,the 4 different grunts and Karan’s mumbled abuses almost like the 9th symphony in B minor 😛


Cerebrations in its purest best.Quizzing…

Cerebrations in its purest best.
Quizzing,when conducted in its true sense,tests the cerebral abilities of a person by stretching it to its ultimate end.

So much of gyan-now right down to business.

Always wanted to chronicle some of my favourite quizzing moments in this blog=no better time than this-a self imposed exile from quizzing to gather my thoughts all over again.
Starting off,with the first big taste of success that I had on the open quizzing format-and what a beginning it was!

The day is still fresh in my mind,Holi of 2001.The occasion-a open cricket quiz organised by the Times of India at The Park Hotel,Calcutta.The quiz ad gave some unbelievable add on-s to the quiz-Harsha Bhogle as the guest quiz master along with the actual QM of the day Barry o Brien,with father Neil making a special appearance in the quiz too.But the real humdinger was in the form of the 2 star QMs of the night-Adam Gilchrist and Glen McGrath-stumped?The occasion was actually the soon to be historic Eden test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy of 2001.Gameplan,the sports management agency,had pulled off this coupe of sorts to organise this stellar event in the city-and the turnout on the day,in the glittering banquet hall of the Park Hotel even beat the desert like traffic on the day of Holi in the city.

India had been badly trounced in the 1st test,and there were nearly no hopes of an Indian comeback in the Eden test or the series in the minds of anyone in the quizzing arena that night.All they wanted was an evening of pristine fun,meeting unarguably the best wicket keeper batsman of all eras combined,and possibly the best fast bowler of the generation.There were teams galore-the usual suspects of Calcutta quizzing glitterati were all there.Add to that the newly crowned 1st ever ESPN school quiz champions St.Xavier’s Calcutta-Shayak and Arghya.The National finals hadn’t been aired by that time then,but the effusive praises of Harsha,the moment he saw the 2 boys,made it amply clear to me that they had emerged the National Champions-and clearly made the competition tougher on the day.

To add to that,my regular quizzing buddy,Sidharth,couldn’t make it to the event owing to some family commitment-and I had to team up with my erstwhile school teacher-cum-friend Gautam Sen.He had made it clear at the very outset that he knew near zilch about cricket quizzing,and that I shouldn’t expect much from him in terms of answers :)I managed to drag him along to the event by dangling the Gilchrist,McGrath carrot(s),and found that he won’t have to rue the decision later…more on this in a little while.

The prelims began.Barry somehow didn’t seem to be at his usual humorous best,and it seemed Harsha was doing a better job at conducting the prelims of the quiz.Harsha,at that time,still was his real motor mouth self and seemed not to be at as much ease in front of an audience as he was behind the mike.The questions themselves were pretty top draw,and the graphics were cool too-I have always enjoyed quizzes which are loaded with visuals,connects et al,and this one didn’t seem to disappoint me with its generous dose of the same.My sir was super tensed all through the prelims,as he could answer only one and was anxious that he was letting me down.I was amused and asked him to relax as I had the usual feeling of doing really well in the prelims when you kinda feel good of making it to the finals.

Top 6 teams would make it to the finals,to none’s surprise,St.Xavier’s Calcutta made it to the finals-with a generous(unsurprisingly) introduction from Barry o Brien,with Harsha chipping in too-they were introduced as 2 brilliant kids who had made it to the finals of this real tough open quiz :)TCS,with Sabyda(the future 4 time Tata Crucible champion,and Brand Equity champion) made it too.Also on stage were Soubhadra da,one of the most talented quizzers in the Calcutta circuit,and an erstwhile BBC Mastermind finalist.I remember one more Tata team-do not remember the exact name,and one more team which I cannot just recollect,and of course us-Barry kinda got emotional while introducing the ‘teacher student pair’-and since I had given the Holi colors a skip that evening and my sir was resplendent in deep green Holi Hue-s,Barry had a tough time identifying the Teacher between the 2 of us 🙂

Then Gilly and Pigeon strode in,it was like sheer magic-for a brief moment all of us on stage forgot about the quiz at hand and were mesmerised by the 2 cricketing geniuses who had just mauled us in the 1st test at **Nagpur a few days back-and they both seemed super reserved and friendly.Especially Gilly seemed to be a real popular un,what with his affable ways he seemed to have already won everyone’s heart.
A quick round of intros later,and after Barry had satisfactorily made enough fun of the 2 by making them play Gilly-Danda(no prizes for guessing who was who),we moved on to the real action on stage.

Father Neil(not just Barry’s but of Indian quizzing as the 2 O Brien scions would make us believe before,during and after each of their quizzes),conducted the 1st round-it was more of a round full of usage of English terms in the game-I got no recollection whatsoever of who scored of how much.The only thing I remember was a general agreement that we couldn’t wait for the round to end 😛

Harsha came into the picture next,just as in the prelims-he was co hosting this final with Barry.It was here that the real battle started,Soubhadrada went ahead with a few cracking answers,then I got 2 visuals on the trot to catch up with him.The Xavier’s team got 2 as well.The 3rd round was to be a special round to be conducted by Adam Gilchrist in honour of his New South Wales icon-the legendary Sir Don who had just recently passed away.It was in this round that I gave one of those sheer gut feeling answers,which got us into the reckoning for the top spot.The question went something like,’Sir Don had once been to Canada on a tour of 80 days and during that he played tour matches on xx number of days..blah blah.Why Canada?’All I could recollect was Brockton Point at Canada being his favourite cricketing spot,cos it was the same place he had his honeymoon in-thus the answer blurted out a split second later-for his honeymoon.In my hurry I forgot to double and get extra points-which Gilly reminded me through his advice,”Sorry mate,know the rules!Great answer though-6 points”I grinned and then just enjoyed the rest of the rounds which kind of established Soubhadrada as the sole leader in the quiz,with almost a round to spare.with us a somewhere distant second,and the Xavier’s guys still way behind us.The other 3 corporate teams gave some truly brilliant answers but were never in contention for the top 2 spots.My sir had had his moment in the quiz-he answered one question regarding the common sun sign of a few famous cricketers-he worked it out well,cos his all time favourite Sunil Gavaskar was in the list,and he answered it pronto.I was delighted that he could answer one in the finals and egged him on to get a few more.

Pigeon(McGrath’s nickname) turned out to be a more quieter fellow than Gilly but he conducted his round quite professionally too-like his usual line and length stuff-stifling us here on the stage instead of the usual hapless batsman for a change.The quiz ended thus.Soubhadrada’s team finished on 110 odd.We were nearly 80.Xavier’s 50 odd,and the rest 3 I don’t recollect.There were no major comebacks-the quiz had pretty much the same standing right from round 1.

The prize distribution followed-with God’s grace,I have won many an accolade in the quizzing battlefield later on in life-but that one moment when Gilly handed over that double autographed(McGrath and himself) Test match ball to sir and myself was too good to be true.My sir,pretty silent all through the quiz,became super active during the presentation ceremony-these pics will stand testimony to the same ;)He is one of the most endearing persons I have ever met,and till this day,I still believe it was because of his presence that I felt so relaxed and could pull the result off like that.

We asked Harsha to pose with us,the photographer who clicked the pic was a real dumbo,also the motor mouth Mr.Bhogle didn’t do us a favour by turning his face towards us to blurt out his next 50 word congratulatory sentence at the very second that the pic was being taken.

I was almost not at all surprised when the names of the Xavier’s boys were given the loudest cheers and both Barry and Harsha showered more praises on them than even the winners.Again it was totally according to expectations that the special mentions were reserved for the duo next day in the papers,with a cursory mention of the names who had come in 2nd :)Sour grapes?Not quite-this was just a sign of many of the discrepancies and blind favoritism that I was going to discover in the world of media and even in quizzing.

This must b the longest 1st post in any blog 😛

Likhte likhte..love ho jaye.The mast mas…

Likhte likhte..love ho jaye.The mast mast svelte Raveena Tandon swings her ooh-so-perrfect hips and teasingly brushes the rotomac pen against her silken smooth cheeks.Back in 1995,that single visual was enough to induce the intention in us hapless teens,to switch from the perfectly functioning Reynolds 045 ball point pen to this new entrant in the market.

Cut to 2010.”Aur kya sir?Likh kar Far denge!”So says the new age angry young journo(not a man,no way) as he promises to bring down the politician in true Modi-sque(read Jaago Re)style in the latest Rotomac pen ad.Sigh.My mind rushes back to the innocent(and sexy) Raveena ad 15 years back-when this adulteration of the idea of the Gen next,or the understanding of the needs-wants were no where there to be felt.The pseudo marketer in me tries to compare the 2 ad-s-which one is more capable of arousing an intention to buy in the mind of the TG(hee hee,couldn’t resist this)Ok,the TG of 1995,was aroused enough(pun fully intended),to try this new brand while divorcing the faithful and wonderful Reynolds-so much for loyalty to the Reynolds brand.
The current TG is not so sure of switching-at all.May be the reason varies from 1.having too many options in the marketplace today;Linc,Parker(it was present back then too,but is a lot more affordable now),Cello etc; to 2.being more prone to using the keyboard than a pen for writing stuff and many more.
Still the understanding that stays with me is-this brand evolution is not too welcome-at least in the case of the ‘Non-size zero Bollywood heroine loving male’ TG(now that’s a segmentation!).and let me tell you-that is a number the brand manager will ignore at his/her own peril.

Likhte Likhte..love happened.And we are living happily ever after.

Please pay attention-the Sealdah bound R…

Please pay attention-the Sealdah bound Rajdhani is late by 13 hours.Sorry for the inconvenience.13 hours!@%f*@#-the choicest of abuses were jostling for space in memory to be directed in turn towards the Indian Railways,the weather,the fog(wait that’s a part of the weather itself,right?)..not necessarily in that order.More importantly I just realised-I was screwed.Or was I?I weighed the options.
1.Rush back 2 campus in Ghaziabad.Come back early morning.-Costly,energy and money wise.
2.Seek shelter from some buddy in Delhi for the duration.Tried-but realised all were on campus tonite.
3.Stay in and around the station.
Option 3.Hands down winner.
I drag my suitcase along to the metro station-it is not an easy task I tell you-the wheels are weary,nearly 3 years of service now,coupled with the lack of escalators at the most steepest places you beg for it to be present in.Somehow manage to reach the next station in Connaught place-drag my feet to the park alongside Palika Bazaar.Suddenly one single scene lit up my mood.This 13 hour wait wasn’t going to be that bad after all.
D Chinese kid
A Chinese kid was almost effortlessly exhibiting his juggling and balancing skills with queer objects of all shapes and sizes,strange as it was,I seemed to be the only audience to his amazing skills-and he didn’t mind the lack of an attentive audience at all-he played on,with a serene smile on his visage.I continued to be spellbound at this spectacle as I occupied a corner of a green bench at a corner which provided a panoramic view of the surroundings.My huge suitcase panted alongside,relishing the respite from the torturous journey from one metro station to the next.
I looked around-the next thing that struck me was the presence of couples,of all types,ages,shapes and sizes.This was strange cos some were positively married,but their definite attempts to ‘you know what’ made me wonder whether they were indeed married to each other.The next type was the strange combination of the guy in a suit and the gal in a salwar kameez,providing a near perfect example of chalk and cheese out there in the open.One such suit guy was so deeply engrossed in the,well,eyes of his salwar gal that he totally disregarded the gooey freshly released excreta of a
bird on his shoulder.
My voyeuristic observation was broken by the ‘excuse me’ from a high school kid who asked me to shift on the bench.I did,but then realised he wasn’t alone,he had his coochey coo high school girlfriend with him,and a real plump tag along girl too.So there we were,from right,the tag along plumpy slurping on an ice cream bar,the coochey coo girlfriend finding the most impossible of angles in the corners/angles of the hero,who was 3rd in the row-and finally me.Some scene we made,I thought as I desperately tried to focus on anything but the happenings beside me.
But horror of horrors,the two beside me turned out to be bongs too-and how could I miss the guy assuring his girl that the guy sitting on his right wasn’t a bong,and they could continue their intimate conversation and practical case studies in bengali in the fading evening twilight.Holy hell,didn’t I look like a bong?They all said back in college too,high school kids are all stupid=I concluded and then tried to form a new playlist on my phone.
The 2 slurp slurps continued for the next 30 odd minutes,the plumpy on her ice cream bar,and the two cosy kid bongs on each other I ‘logically worked out’.I had had enough,also the golden arches in the distance gave that all familiar feeling a new fillip.I call this the ‘hungry for the sake of being hungry’ feeling in your stomach.This is the feeling that all KFCs,McDs.Subways,Burger Kings and their like thrive on to continue their business.I wheeled my reenergised suitcase into Ron Mac’s CP store and grabbed a corner stool to munch on the fries and sip coke.
30 minutes later I was back to the station.The waiting room was stuffed beyond imagination,the cloak room being closed it meant I had to drag my suitcase into the waiting room itself.The man on the PA system seemed to have mistakenly stepped into the railways announcement system from his usual IGI airport office-with his anglicised accent,his pronouncing ‘doo-rawn-tyo’ and ‘sam-park-auntie’ just furthered my suspicion.
The waiting room was a classic study in human behaviour all over again.All the seats were occupied,the vacant ones had strange handkerchiefs,tissues,newspapers strewn on them-much like Armstrong’s proud star striped banner on the moon-‘the passenger was here’.
Incredible (?)
One almost ironic image was a half hanging ‘Incredible India’ image on the wall in front of me.I stood and surveyed any sign of weakness-where could I pounce upon at the slightest sign of a vacant spot.It was then that I saw it-the faint glimmer of hope.
One man had clearly misunderstood an announcement for a 6 hour delay of his train and was rushing his family of 2 along to join him to catch the train in time..as he lifted his enormous luggage,I swept past him,cornered the spot smoothly and settled on my newly found throne.The man didn’t even notice,sad thing-he had no clue that he was going to be receive the biggest thrashing from his better half in a few minutes time.Shit happens-I sweetly told myself as I closed my eyes in delight.
One more bong family was there beside me,they were happily chatting in bengali criticising everyone around until I arrived there.Somehow they felt the express need to start conversing in english about the tiniest of details.Poor illiterate me.One family of 5 from Bihar arrived next.They were totally prepared for the adverse conditions it seems-what with all the mattresses,blankets that they had brought along,they set up a mini refugee camp in 5 minutes flat right there before me.All 5 members seemed totally unconcerned of the presence of people around them-in their own little ways.The wife decided to promptly lie down using someone else’s bag as pillow for her well oiled head.The husband was busy terminating a pack of mumfali,deriving real joy in spraying the empty shells on everyone around.The youngest of the 3 kids seemed hell bent on trying to pee on the corner of the room-while his slightly older brother patiently chewed on the chain used by a passenger near to him to tie his suitcase to a chair.
Hail Lalu,Rabri-I could totally see why they were idols back home.Meanwhile a new predicament stuck me-how could I go and visit the restroom without giving up my seat to the next predator in waiting.Somehow managed the impossible,asking one of the 3 bihari kids to lie down on my seat for 10 minutes-he obliged,only after I handed him an eclairs.
As the night went on,the trains started to saunter in-6 hours for the train to rest and get ready for the return journey.One smart alec couldn’t help quip that 6 hours was too long a time for the train to get ready,it was especially significant as he gave meaningful glares at his wife alongside possibly drawing a similarity to the numerous delays imposed by his better half in getting ready for all the social gatherings over the years.
People slept,in all sorts of torrid angles and ways.The sheer cacophony of snores all around me,made me believe I was this new Sivamani composing for the next Rehman Grammy winner.I refused to sleep-less out of choice more out of fear of missing the train when I was this close to surviving the 13 hour ordeal.I kept the music on at its loudest,had the umpteenth cup of coffee-the clock ticked on-finally the misplaced airport wala anglo announced ‘Sealdah Rajdhani leaving from Platform no xx in 30 minutes’.
As I wheeled my faithful suitcase to the designated platform,I suddenly realised that I was going to kinda miss this ordeal.
Willing to swap places,anyone?

Wall E,Google,Virgin and the Death of Branding?

This is not to reach any conclusions.This is an attempt to connect some seemingly unrelated dots-to raise a few questions to ponder over.
Wall E
Wall E-the hugely succesful 2008 animated science fiction movie  won multiple awards across the globe.The story essentially follows a cute robot named WALL-E(Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth Class), who is designed to clean up a waste-covered Earth far in the future.One curious aspect of the movie is the concept of the Earth being governed by the Buy n Large megacorporation (BnL),causing mass consumerism and covering the planet in trash by 2105.
In an attempt to resolve the situation,Earth’s population was evacuated on fully automated luxury BnL starliners for five years while an army of trash compactor robots called WALL-E’s were left behind to clean up the planet.
Cut to the synergistic story of the two of the most dissimilar organisations on the planet-Virgin and Google.Ever heard of Virgle?(http://www.google.com/virgle/) You better do,for chances are,a few decades in the future you might be in the belly of a container being sent to our un(?)-friendly neighbourhood red planet as the Plan B to secure humanity’s future.Didn’t get that?Fair enough-the official invitation from the website is reproduced below:
An invitation.
Earth has issues, and it’s time humanity got started on a Plan B. So, starting in 2014, Virgin founder
Richard Branson and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be leading hundreds of users on one of the grandest adventures in human history: Project Virgle, the first permanent human colony on Mars.
Cool.But how do the two ideas relate?For a marketer,or to be very specific a brand manager-it most certainly does.Ask any marketer/brand manager-what his/her greatest fear is.The most likely response would be- commoditization-the death of branding altogether.In organizational context,all products of all SKUs/flavours will be sold by the ‘single corporation.’ To put simply,imagine your shopping experience as a consumer,when a soap is just a cube marked a ‘soap’- no Lifebuoys,no Doves,no Lux and so on.Or for that matter,to satisfy your need of buying your own means
of transportation-you buy a swanky car-yeah,just a ‘car’-Mercedes?BMW?Audi?Volkswagen?What’s that Hebrew?And the same organization will sell you the car and the soap-depending on your need.
If that was scary,think of this next step,which,going by the eerie subtle warning in the movie Wall E is a distant,but highly probable situation.Owing to the extreme convenience given to the human race by Buy n Large(the only corporation),the Humans end up as ‘human gels’-a supremely obese,lazy clan-the effects of atrophy and prolonged weightlessness.All the actions in their day are involuntary,chosen by the BnL corporation’s robots-sent to maximise his convenience and ‘choice’-as if he has one.
I leave you with these 2 thoughts-the climate changes and the population explosion-will they force us to take shelter under some such Virgle mission to inhabit another planet?And what is the future of marketing and branding in a future ruled by commodities and only a few all-pervasive organizations?
As for me-I am on the lookout for my own Wall-E. Trash or no trash.

Dummies’ guide to win Online Quizzes

1.Sit in teams,not just your own team of 2-but with as many teams as you can gather.
2.Give a clever sounding name to your team-it might border on the lines of queer,cute,to some pretty loaded ones.OR give a name which makes you appear to others as if you couldn’t care less for the name.
3.Each one should have his own laptop in front.
4.Flex your index fingers and thumbs,they are going to be exercised vigorously over the next 30 minutes or so.
5.Keep 2 windows constantly open-one for Google and the other with the images search option of oogle.
6.Log in for the quiz in time.(:D)
7.For text questions copy the entire text and place in the Google search field.If you do not find satisfactory search responses,proceed to step 8,else go to step 9.
8.Pick up some key words from the question:mostly proper nouns,or quotes,and place only that in the search box.This should almost certainly do the trick.
9.For image (the quiz setter’s failed attempt to set a non-google-able one) questions,before proceeding to search,never forget to place the cursor over the image.Chances are pretty high that the quiz setter forgot to change the name of the file-thereby giving you a dolly.
10.In case the cursor trick doesn’t work for the image,try to identify some text/numeral in the image,and type that in the image search option of google.Most often,this is likely to give you the clues to the right answer.
11.Submit your answers all at the same time.Click at the same instant.
12.Remember to share the revenue,any if earned,with the teammates that you sat with.You lose some,you win all.
Happy Goog..err..quizzing.