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Tuesday, May 24, 2011


We are fortunate to be living in an era of creativity. As a kid, I remember myself being a fan of advertisements blessed with catchy jingles. Advertisements weren’t in vogue those days. It was a period when the ad film makers and the IT professionals were not so cool, a period marked by a stark contrast to the economic policies that made Indians poorer and India richer. Now almost two decades after the “revolution”, here we are in the era of Zoozoos, with levels of creativity reaching dizzy heights.

But there are a few advertisements I stumbled upon in the recent past that made me think if the human race is travelling back in time to the days of the early men. I mean, how can a human being be so sterile in terms of imagination and creativity? The following is a list of ads that annoyed me to the hilt:

Docomo: I was highly impressed by the simplicity and the creativity in the Docomo ads initially. Be it the use of stick figures or the cute “tu toothu” jingle, everything worked for the ad. Then they slowly started overdoing it. They tried an emotional connect with an ad set in a train and it bombed big time. It used to be aired during the over breaks in the indo-oz series and I remember my friends booing loudly in the hostel common room every time.

But Docomo hit an all time low in terms of innovation and judgement by employing Ranbir Kapoor as their brand ambassador. Watching him onscreen is a pain in itself and I wonder how a sane person can possibly entrust this kid with the responsibility of endorsing a brand. Ranbir is supposed to be doing stand up comedy in this series of ads. How the hell did the makers find this funny? The people laughing in the background have to be retards of the highest order! And Ranbir, go drink milk kiddo. Try knocking on Amul’s doors. At the moment, you look like Docomo’s Zoozoo. It’s just that you’re not funny.

Idea: I have no idea how the makers of this ad could have made a front door entry into the world of ad film making. Film critics had unlimited fun mocking at his histrionics in Raavan in the hope that he wouldn’t try his hand at anything as silly as that again. He’s back with a bang though. People had the easy option of skipping Raavan but the nature of AB’s new Avatar is such that there is no way out. To add to the misery, as if one AB wasn’t enough, we get to see three Abisheks in the ad, as if one was not enough.

JK Lakshmi cement: This one is quite old but I’m sure it’s still fresh in everyone’s memory. Remember the horrendous sight of a pathetic model clad in a single piece bikini walking out of the sea towards the shore? I’m sure that not a single person who’s watched that ad has deciphered its relevance to the product and it doesn’t look cryptic either. If the idea was to titillate, why didn’t they go for a better model atleast?

Parryware: During the Wc, every ad maker wanted to capitalize on the cricket craze in the nation. This resulted in an atrocious series of ads. The worst of the lot was Parryware. I am out of words!

The aforementioned ads have two things in common: 1. All of them are horrible. 2. All of them shared the purpose of promoting their product and most importantly, they had a product to be advertised. But I considered excusing all those ad filmmakers when I saw these. No purpose, no product, what the hell is your problem? can't say these are advertisements, but what in the world are they?

Monday, May 23, 2011

IPL 2011: Lessons and Ideas

IPL 2011 has been a colossal disappointment for cricket fans all over the world. One of my friends rightly pointed out to me the other day that the first and the last league matches were unbelievably close encounters where as all the matches that happened in between super duper duds. This IPL has witnessed some amazing individual performances but in terms of nail biting finishes and edge-of-the-seat thrillers, it has been thoroughly dissatisfactory.

The latest edition of the IPL was definitely not devoid of outstanding individual performances and “WTF?” moments though: Chris gayle’s blitzkrieg, Gilly’s answer to the same, Tendulkar’s hundred festooned with his own version of the helicopter shot, the emergence of Valthaty as a noteworthy T20 player, Lasith Malinga’s toe crushers, Ishant’s five for, THE RETURN OF DHONI OF THE OLD, inspiring performances from Badrinath and Rayudu, Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja’s performances, Rahul Sharma raising a few eyebrows with his unorthodoxy, Aravind and Wagh troubling the best in business, Iqbal Abdulla and Shaun Marsh among others.

The big problem for this year’s IPL has been the fact that all the individual brilliance that this edition witnessed was seldom counter-balanced by an equally motivating rendition from the opposition. Gayle and gilchrist got sensational hundreds in different matches. Had they scored hundreds in the same match, had Gayle’s hundred set up a mammoth chase against the Gilly army, cricket enthusiasts all over the world wouldn’t be complaining now.

Decisively, the heroic acts in this IPL reminded me of the protagonists in masala flicks: the villains simply couldn’t decipher a way to strike back. Sehwag and Gayle simply shut the door on the opposition before they got out in their respective innings; Gilly started celebrating on his way back from the centre as he had already made up his mind that the match was over, Ishant was found memorizing the lines to be spoken in the presentation ceremony after his first spell against Kochi.

According to me, the biggest problem with this year’s IPL is the devolution and the decentralization of the resources. The addition of two teams has lead to dilution in the concentration of quality players in a single team. This problem could be addressed by allowing an extra foreign player to feature in the playing eleven. It’s just not acceptable to bench a world class spinner like Murali.

Questions maybe raised regarding the subsidized chances of an Indian talent featuring in the eleven. I think this is where the BCCI will be doing itself a favour by adopting the EPL model. The number of teams can be significantly increased and the system of divisions and relegation can be brought into the picture. For example, we can have an IPL team for all cities in India with serious cricketing talent and put each of these teams in divisions according to their potential (The best 8 teams play in the 1st division and the next 8 in the second division and so on.) At the end of the league, the bottom two of the 1st division gets relegated to the 2nd division and the top two of the second get promoted to the first. The same logic applies to the subsequent divisions. This way, all the cricketing talent in India can be unearthed and the viewers will also get to watch the best cricket at the highest level. This system will also encourage the participation of county cricketers of non-Indian origin in our league and cricketers from non-associate teams like Dockrell, the Brian brothers and Peter Seelar can dream of pursuing cricket full time. The chances of them making it to the big league< read first division> will also increase>

P.s: inputs from my friends< Chris sud Nolan and Adarsh Ganesan> helped me improvise this article. Thank you guys.

Saturday, May 21, 2011



• What happened to the jan-lokpal bill and the common man’s crusade against corruption?
• Why has the media stopped extensive coverage of the proceedings pertaining to the bill and the lokpal?
• The massive uproar, as they used to call it, was perfectly sandwiched between the IPL and the WC! Finger pointing is useless because the media resorts to the famous dialogue from the Rajini starrer Sivaji: “It’s a coincidence, damn it!”
• The elections, the results and the high profile arrests that preceded and followed the elections were important but why does the media have to dump one sensational story after another as soon as the pursuit for the next big one ends?
• Why did the media ignore the fact that the proposed lokpal bill was undemocratic? Why does it constantly assume that the voters are fools?
• Am I the only one who feels that the media is deliberately highlighting the issues that strike a chord with the middle class and the affluent? I don’t remember seeing farmer suicides and oppression on the first pages of newspapers or on primetime recently while I come across millions of posts on the aforementioned issues on the internet! Excuse me if I am wrong.
• Who are these crusaders btw? Film stars who don’t miss an opportunity to showcase their opulence in style, but transform into aam aadmis during tax raids, students who exhibit their patriotism only on facebook and during an indo-pak cricket match, foolish youngsters who satisfy themselves by believing that missed call campaigns and sms-propagandas are enough to win the second war of independence against corruption, the graduates lazing around in pursuit of the requisite documents to fly to the US and parents making the occasional financial “compromise”(read ‘bribe’) to send their sons/daughters abroad or exercise their illegally doped up financial might to push their offspring into a “reputed” engineering or medical college so that he/she can get placed in a MNC.
• Oh, I almost forgot the IT professionals and the call center employees who massage the egos of their foreign bosses, the sycophants who are ever-faithful to the western corporate world and the NRIs who innocently ignore custom duty!
• What is corruption? Paying off a traffic cop is not corruption, bribing a clerk or a queue supervisor for “fast service” is not corruption, manipulating salary slips and re-imbursable bills is not corruption but a minister swindling a “few” crores for the upcoming elections is corruption! Sorry if I sounded like a Shankar-film protagonist! In simpler terms, FUCK YOU HYPOCRITES!
• The solution: Stop complaining. No idea! Let’s laugh at Abhishek Bachchan instead!