Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Brand Sense

30 August 2005: Today I attended Brand Futurist Martin Lindstrom’s thought provoking symposium on Brand Sense. His essential argument was that the brand should be able to survive without its logo and the visual is just one cog in the overall brand wheel. I enjoyed his convincing pronouncements on ‘Smash the Brand’. Sensory branding is a very relevant concept in an increasingly cluttered marketplace and it’s strange that not too many brands seem to rely on senses other than the visual. Later at home, I went to Martin’s website and downloaded his presentation (for keep’s sake ). However, one question remains unanswered in my mind: When does brand fatigue set in and a brand become a blind spot? Martin emphasised on optimising on brand building opportunities across the palette of five senses. However, where and when must a company draw the line and seek to reinvent the brand?
The symposium was organised by Indiatimes’ Mindscape and I must say that it was very pleasing to see the company encouraging a wide cross-section of its people to attend it. Knowledge sharing is important for a new media company and it’s good to see it being fostered here. In my previous company, however, it was restricted to the upper echelons of the corporate hierarchy which is a sad reflection on its mindset.
Take care, my friends…

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Work is Worship

27 August 2005: The headline of this post may sound bland and predictable, but trust me, it works. These days I am totally immersed in my work. I am consumed by a certain passion and feel a riot of energy run through my veins. When you make peace with your compulsions and become one with your work, you discover that you can cope with the demands of life better. No great philosophy this, and I am in no mood to pontificate either, but work can be a great healer as well as an aphrodisiac. To all my friends who may sometimes feel low and question the very basis of existence, I say: try Work Therapy. Here we need to define ‘work’. It has to be in the realm of value addition or value creation, away from the needless and mindless cycles of routine. That can degenerate into drudgery. The joy is in value creation. It need not be big, but it should strive to make a difference to our existing ‘workscape’. Well, if you would like to know what is my current calling, do take a look at this story in e4m. (Thank you, Karat, for also covering it at Content Sutra and being so nice about me.)
I thought I may introduce you to my friend Aekta’s blog: Whirlwings. She seems to be experiencing some sort of a cathartic awakening. And that is shaping her writing well. My sister too is going through a personal crisis and I hope she also discovers a strong ally in writing. S is on a different path and it’s gratifying to see that her intensity is back. Intensity has always been a part of her basic earth force. T has disappeared, and though she may not know it, I miss doing our ‘colab poems’ with her. Thinking of poetry, I need to get down to complete that stuff on Ms. Liz.
Good to chat with you. I shall be back soon. Take care, my friends…

Monday, August 15, 2005

Swades and more...

15 August 2005: Saw Swades on the idiot box, and I am tempted to write. I quite enjoyed the film despite its over romanticisation of the idealistic Mohan Bhargava and somewhat maudlin treatment. Having said that there is a Mohan Bhargava in all of us and I refuse to believe that there is no place for idealism in an increasingly material world. Though I am all for Prakash Jha’s kind of realism (it provokes you and hits at your numbness), and feel that India deserves not to be ruled by a motley of parasitical politicians and bureaucrats but by a ‘benevolent dictator’ who can set things right, I have not lost hope that individuals can make a difference. We all need to be vigilant and must not accept injustice and indignity against our fellow beings. Small gestures of an active citizenry can go a long way. (Incidentally, a ‘benevolent dictator’ is also an ideal type and a contradiction in itself.) Coming back to the film, I am most impressed by the acting of debutant Gayatri Joshi who essayed her role with tremendous dignity. Her poise and self confidence stood out against the bleakness of the agrarian backdrop and I feel that the lithesome lady has a bright future in Bollywood. Later when I was researching about Swades on the Internet, I came across a link on Wiki that pointed to Gayatri’s fan club. Check it out. There are some enterprising guys out there.

Talking of checking out, do also take a look at my beautiful and mysterious wife’s blog. Welcome to the world of Sphinxy Shelle. She is an intense person and I am glad that she has started writing again. Bet you will discover some amazing stuff.
I am filled with mixed emotions on the Independence Day. There is so much unrealised potential of my country and I just hope we shall be able to rise against the shackles of poverty, illiteracy, caste and creed politics, and pettiness and truly become a powerful nation one day. It is ironic that as individuals we are pretty good at what we do, we work hard and are committed to what we seek to achieve but collectively we draw a cipher and the sum of all parts becomes less than a part. What do you think?
Do take good care of yourselves…

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Random Thoughts

7 August 2005: What should I write today? Haven’t been in touch with my friends for such a long time. I guess I am in the throes of work, and the very real possibility of reinventing the largest portal in India in the multimedia environment is an exciting and consuming responsibility.
I haven’t written much poetry either. There’s still this unfinished work on Ms. Liz sitting pretty on my desktop. There is an upsurge of emotions within me and one of the tasks that I have set for myself is to learn to temper my emotional high tides at the edges, to mould their raw bludgeoning sharpness into something more malleable. I need to also get back to some serious reading. For the time being, the idiot box has taken precedence, and it’s not always a gainful way to spend one’s spare time.
I am happy to share that my little girl, Soven, is blossoming into a young woman with the right set of values. She is warm and friendly and values the right things in life. She shares my passion for the Internet, and if her blog is anything to go by, she writes like a dream.
What else? Cricket is back and I hope the Indian team lives up to its potential. (Yuvraj scored a stunning century against the hapless Indies today in the ODI at Colombo.)
I was saddened by the Mumbai flooding. The loss of lives was all so needless. Imagine in this day and age people dying because of poor drainage and governmental (read: monumental) apathy in the commercial capital of the country. There is so much we can learn from the Chinese. The Chinese nation is on the rise and they are investing a lot in building the infrastructure of the country, while ours remain largely pre-historic. Shame!
There is so much goodness in India but it is also a very sad place to live in. We are ruled by pygmies who have no interest in governance. They are devious in their ways, corrupt in their morals and have no conscience. Their existential mantra: self aggrandisement at any cost, screw the country! However, all is not lost. I have immense faith in our youth, they have self-belief and are growing in confidence by the day. The ‘remix’ generation is not confused at all. I hope a new dawn awaits them in a new India.
Well, that’s all for the day. Gotta go to the Anniversary party of Ashwani and Anki. May God bless the lovely couple.
Do take care all of you wonderful people out there…