Who you idolize is who you don’t become!!


It isn’t wrong English or grammar. It’s the truth as I’ve observed. I’ve believed for years, rather grown up with the notion that role models are a benchmark of all things you want to be. Partially true, as I had many role models for I realized I wanted a little bit of ‘many’ rather than just ‘one’. I suspect that’s the case with you too. What’s interesting to note is this: I wanted to have the presence of Indira Gandhi, the free spirit of maverick Howard Roark (Fountainhead), the speed of athlete PT Usha & Florence Griffith-Joyner, the power in my chords like Toni Braxton & the style of Zeenat Aman. Aaha! That would have turned me into a sci-fi hero. ‘Coz it meant picking attributes from different decades…even fiction and creating this unique…
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Optimistic Storytelling


Well what could’ve prompted this title? All advertising is optimistic about the manufacturers’ product or consumer’s future right? At the end of the day it plugs a need gap, sometimes gives an average product a second chance, makes bald people buy hair fortifying shampoo and so on. Of course most advertising is full of bubbling optimism. But there are a few that catch your eye and well just make you feel like you are reading a news article through rose tinted glasses.

This video came from a colleague (thanks An Roy) & triggered me really. I couldn’t resist sharing how simply they have woven the burst of happiness that comes from glugging a Coca Cola, into  something endearing. It is merely another perspective. lighter, more evocative…and countering a very palpable and aggressive daily bombardment…
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When Harry Potter wrote a 29-yr olds’ screenplay


I had a teammate who told me that we live by scripts. Not like the Truman show, but more like little chapters that get ingrained in our minds from our childhood which dictate our behavior & expectations. These are based on experiences, stories we’ve heard at bed time, encounters in our social space, tales that others have told us…all of which has built our life’s screenplay.

I can’t argue that. Because a few years ago when I was making a point on a skin cream brand, I chose to use ‘Snow White & the 7 dwarfs’ as an example to visualize the power of bewitchment. And one woman’s war against the other to be the fairest of them all. It was also to reiterate the way many of the brands’ consumers possibly stereotyped women.…
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When will women truly come of age?


How I wish women said this poem aloud as they waltzed through life. But the title above is the reality, especially in Indian advertising. And that coming from a woman, i.e. I, me, myself. says a lot. Not about me, but the scores of learning that I’ve gathered from so many women chat ups across India. Big towns, small towns, metros, urban corners of cities, suburbs… Of course women have progressed in leaps & bounds. If you slot them in the ‘being independent’ & gaining confidence’ arena, there is tangible difference for the world to see.

But when it comes to comfortably co-existing & even flaunting their feminine power, the stereotypes play truant all the time. Why is femininity always depicted as the docile or then belligerent or then vampish or then independent woman…
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I love Dad’s wallet: The curious case of home loving Boys & Girls


Strange title I agree. But what propelled me to even consider this a subject as worth pursuing, was something I read many moons ago about Italians and their love for home stays. Not like the home stays when travelling by yourself, but the ones that mean staying with folks simply because you just so love the comfort. An excerpt from GUARDIAN, UK went like this, “More than 50% of Italians aged 18 to 34 still live at home with their parents. This state of ­affairs has prompted one minister to call for a new law forcing “bamboccioni” – mummies’ boys and girls – to leave the nest at 18.” Since it emanated from a European culture, I found it quite surprising, though Italians particularly are known to mirror some Asian family values.…
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Lights, camera, action in your pocket


I love the phrase & the song titled, ‘Pocket mein Rocket hai’. So very true given that our most valuable accessories are tucked in there. Wallets & wads of cash, car & house keys & the multipurpose phone-cum-camera-cum-emaildepot-cum-executive assistant… The last one particularly amazes me. And I am waiting to see the final frontier being crossed, with the phone being the single convergence point.

What piqued my interest a year ago and continues to excite me as I lap up the exciting world of technology, is how people have started building their lives around their phones. More accurately how it seems to multitask especially in making many other products redundant. As we all know, the smart phone is now a camera too. Whenever, wherever you need it to be. It just lets you enjoy…
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Of monkey balloons, kulfis, tonga rides and the ferris wheel


Any one who has grown up in Mumbai and is even in his/her early 20s today would resonate with all of the above. In fact folks from Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore… would all have their teeny memory boxes stuffed with some of life’s simplest pleasures.

Why I quote the cities is because these very metropolitan shiny spaces have lost much of their sheen. What with most of these small sweet treats becoming almost extinct or even relegated to pockets of the city! Why does urbanization wipe out the real joys of life? And bring in pleasures that surely surprise, shock & awe and wow us but don’t build sweet bonds? Will the 9-yr old city bred of today remember (15 years from now) standing inside the airport waving goodbye as his Dad’s flight took…
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When bikini babes became the face of contemporary India


What inspires this post is a back to back run of two films. One from the 1970s and another from 2008. Glad that I had the sensibility to enjoy both & be non-judgmental. However, other than the storyline, settings, benchmarks of affluence, contextual happenings etc…my curious mind picked up a dramatic shift in vastra (apparel) worn and the personality thereof. It reminded me of how comfortably we as Indians, have settled to a new code of style in our grooming, albeit at a price. Price of shedding Indian and donning Western as our drape of beauty.

Let’s imagine the two time zones separated by economic, social, cultural realities. In both these zones, are two personalities of women that have flourished. One is a ‘Seductress/Apsara’ and the other is a ‘Poised Beauty/Goddess’. They both exist…
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Is ‘mid-life crisis’ only a MALE thing?


Porsche based a campaign on this insight and reaped the fruits of stoking, ‘the return of the Alpha male’. In fact the world of the Alpha Male never really disappears from the male psyche. It merely diminishes, albeit for a short while. As boys & and in their transition to adulthood, life is a series of conquests, events, discoveries…some in life and some others at work. During this time the strongest bond is often between men. As buddies. Forgiving. Ever evolving and accepting. With a common cause. Driven to succeed.

As and when the next stage of conquest is achieved….dating & marrying the girl chased, enjoying the initial months or years of becoming a father, becoming a senior executive in charge of a team….the Alpha Male starts prowling again. By middle age often, the adrenalin…
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Will Indian women ever renounce their kitchen duties!!? Myth of Convenience & Myth Breakers


I was watching Nigella Bites and was tempted to write this post. The joy & passion (and tons of sinful ingredients) that she uses to create any bite, virtually erases the very thought of taking short cuts while cooking. But the reality is that I don’t host any cookery shows & I wish every day had 48 hours. So shouldn’t ‘foods that ease the cooking time’ help??

In the garb of convenience, a slew of products have been launched in India over the years to simplify the woman’s life. From ready made atta (flour) to ready-to-eat. But a walk down the shopping aisle & a look at shelf movements, clearly indicates that every wife and mother is quick to separate the concept of CONVENIENCE from OVERSIMPLIFICATION.

When there are conversations about partnership with nurturers…
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