Friday, October 12, 2007


I have often found it difficult to explain to others what I feel towards fashion ( specially when people say "But you don't look like a fashion designer" meaning you don't look like a wannabe) and the correct role of fashion in one's life. So I came across this article by Sally Singer in VOGUE India (which I have been glued to ever since I laid my hands on it) which according to me, gives the correct perspective about what it is to be in trend.

An excerpt from the article: What does Vogue, used as an adjective, mean? The vogue woman – and she has been around for 100 years—is someone for whom personal style expresses a love of life and a matchless sense of discrimination. (Style, in this sense, is not just about what one wears or carries, but about how one entertains, reads, travels, and, in short, exercises and takes seriously the choices that the world offers up.) She doesn’t buy everything that is on offer each season; she buys the right things; clothes and accessories that update and amplify who she already is and is in the process of becoming. This is not the same as being trendy, because trendiness is not the same as being on trend. Looking merely trendy is, at bottom, a manifestation of insecurity, of allowing oneself to be manipulated by fashion; to be on the trend, by contrast, is to have fun with strong, fleeting currents without ever getting dragged out to sea.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wishful thinking

Clicked this image of nearly 23 people in one auto rickshaw on the way to office. Outskirts of Delhi are spotted with such vehicles dangerously carrying more than the allowed limit. Add onto that, chances are half of the people are drunk. Travelling in and around Delhi in these autos and blueline buses is a commuter's nightmare. I'm just waiting for the time when the aam janta will stand up and force these people to get civilized. Will it happen during my short stint here? I surely doubt my wishful thinking.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Summer vacation is a time for reading, and my friends come to me to borrow books because I have most than many people. In their innocence, they have no idea what I go through in lending a book.
They don't understand that I think of myself as offering them love, truth, beauty, wisdom, and consolation against death. Nor do they suspect that I feel about lending a book that way most fathers feel about their daughters living with a man out of wedlock
- Something that I read at the Oxford Bookstore.

As I read it, I find so much truth in it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Footlong Kabab

Nizams ! Nizams !! Nizams !!! My tummy was chanting the magic word ever since I read the review in Timeout Delhi. So finally I landed up in CP last Sunday with the excuse to roam about in Delhi just to put my hands on a magically delightful Kathi Roll.

Tucked right at the beginning of the middle circle adjoining Plaza, Nizam's looks much smaller than its counterpart in Calcutta. Not having any idea about the ambience, the space inside looked crammed and noisy. Though small, the space is well divided between tables where you sit and eat and ones where you have to stand. I cant help drawing references to Calcutta but the white laminated cash counter resembles the one in Nizams Calcutta and the token display board also brought back fond memories of Big Max at India Hobby Centre where I would drag my parents to buy Hot Wheels.

The extensive menu with 18 different varieties of kathi rolls put up a difficult task for me. Running out of patience, I ordered the Mutton Sheek Kabab Egg Roll and waited while eavesdropping onto other people's plates. Looking around, I also found a few interested signages like "We will be happy to speak to you in hindi", "Discourage us from using plastic" and "Please flush as a courtesy to the next user" ( I wasn't ofcourse just looking around to discover that one ;-) ) which were sweet and crisp.

Finally after waiting for about 15 mintues and counting from 116 to 125 ( token numbers) my kathi roll was infront of my eyes. The characteristic crisp edges followed by juicy chunks of  mutton sheek enveloped in a layer of egg tasted divine and transported me to the lane between Chaplin and Stuart Hogg Market. But there was this one thing I wanted to ask the guy at the conter and I finally did. "Are you the same NIzam's as that of Calcutta"? Yes came the answer and I told myself no wonder where the taste came from.

All the more contended after establishing the connection, I walked out promsing myself to come back here time and again for another lip smacking footlong, just in order to be transported.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I don't really need to give an introduction about the state of traffic in Delhi. Though central and south Delhi may seem little under control, control itself is a missing phenomenon as you spread radially. Bad roads, poor street lighting, horrible traffic planning all add up to long serpentine traffic jams.

Well, this post not a crib-trip on Delhi, but how intelligently someone has used traffic jams to their advantage.

I had noticed this car while on the way to and back from office on NH1 before and thought its a great idea to have an ad scroller tucked behind the the rear seats.

By virtue of unending traffic signals this car manages to get noticed always by the people behind it.

Though I don't like the AD as such but that again is a sad story I leave for another post on my fanatically hibernating blog

Design Magnetism

I was munching a pack of Lays in office when I was asked to leave for some urgent work. Not knowing what to do with the packet I did something impulsively and left.

On returning I reailsed that what I did was actually a cool application of my memo board which is otherwise very boring and office types.

Since I am working with a company specializing in stainless steel products thus my boring memo board is by default made of steel and is heavy and very cold to touch. So other than the papers nailed to it by magnetic bullets, the packet of chips looked different and interesting.

Soon I found more applications by what we in design terminology call explorations.

Others in office soon took notice and said " Cool !!! Abh ho gaye na tum sahi designer !!! "
I was left wishing if someone took notice.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Snakes@middle of night

Oops!! Too much of this place is growing upon me that I am picking up the local accent... lol... guess you have figured out both the puns by now. Sorry Mr. A, no offence - just pulling your leg as usual.

Its just that Mr. Diamond was hungry last night at 3 so he, me and THE MAN went out for bun omlette to Jamalpur. Though only Diamond was hungry but the rest or us built up the appetite by walking quite a bit. Debating over topics from movies to current affairs to girls and indulging into their favourite passtime - I guess we did it all on the way up.

With food in tummy we decided to move our bummies - and landed up in a Sabji Mandi hustling bustling at 4:30 in the morning. Already telling each other how much of the city we left unexplored in 2 years we stopped over in the middle of Sardar Bridge. Design students turned environmentalists suddenly - commenting on the much much much hyped Sabarmati Riverfront Project. If you ask me, the riverfront is so prominent that I wonder where is the Sabarmati at all. Guess its hurts more now as I have been in the habit of waking up with the Sabarmati reflecting the sunlight on my face every morning. With all the ups and downs I have gone through in 2 years, the river has been a silent reassuring friend.

With the glow of dawn we headed back home - the three sleepy heads - three people who got to know each other a little better before they went their own way. Truely better late than never.

P.S. If you still havent figured out replace Snakes with Snacks ;-)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Brand and Personality

Post jury we had a course on Branding conducted by Dr. Hemant C Trivedi, Head – Retail Academic Area at MICA. As a part of the course we did a writeup on celebrities endorsing certain brands and how much does a particular celebrity justify him or her endorsing the brand.

Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind - Walter Landor

“Aiye, aiye - kya lenge? Thanda ya garam?” This is the most common question whenever an Indian welcomes another - may it be at home or in office. Coke has been smart enough to capture this and turn it to their advantage where Coke and thanda are synonymous today. Coke also has been even smarter by not targeting urban India but rural and semi urban India and popularizing the culture of soft drinks there.
Aamir Khan has been a brand ambassador for Coca cola for quite a while now. Though as an individual (Aamir Khan) I do not think that he would be my first choice for the brand, but there is more than the individual which connects with the philosophy of the brand.

Aamir Khan in all the Coca Cola ads has comfortably and dexterously donned regional personas which have targeted different regions of India. These ads connect with the targeted region and the country as a whole and the wit factor added to the idol like status of Aamir Khan hits the consumer spot on.

Lux has for always had this association in our minds that it is the soap of the filmstars where they once had the catch phrase “We bring out the star in you.” Lux surely could have had better ways to celebrate it’s 75th anniversary but chose to cache in on the rising metrosexual phenomenon, yet keeping Shahrukh’s masculinity well hidden below the water lined with rose petals.

Probably Lux wanted to get a good amount of publicity on its 75th birthday that it came up with something which would be more talked about than followed. As for a product which has little differentiation from others in it’s category, quick publicity was intended and thats what they got as well.
Talking of reality, Lux will have to fall back on it’s angels sooner or later - thats if they want business.

BSNL - The country’s No.1 telecom service provider with maximum coverage was for long using modes of communication which were cliché. May it be the drab print ads or the TV commercials where the connection happens through the transformation of umbilical cord to telephone wires, BSNL was just not being aggressive and to the point.
With its competitors sporting Ajay Devgan & Kajol and Shahrukh Khan, BSNL was badly in the need of an young indian who the youth could connect.

Roping in Preity Zinta for a 2 crore deal, BSNL has given its brand a new face and has built a much younger brand image for itself. In one of the ads which is on the lines of Salaam Namaste, the use of vibrant colours and catchy tune along with crisp communication makes the brand image much more youth oriented.
In the BSNL broadband ad, keeping aside the weird samurai costume, the speed of the communication acts as a metaphor for the high speed internet that they are promising. In this 19 seconds spot, it talks about GPRS, datacards, picture messaging and the likes thus bringing out the multi benefits of BSNL broadband.

Our success is a direct result of knowing how to market a brand and having the right people representing the brand - Greg Norman

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


an incomplete in the complete,
seeking presence of the present,
i look here and there looking looking for the last jigsaw piece,
least realizing that the last piece is within me.

Monday, March 05, 2007


The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses, behind the lines and the gyms out there on the roads long before I dance under those lights - A quote by Mohammed Ali which I came across while reading through an interview with Dada.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Time = Money? Urs or mine?

"ok.sire..ur time is my money" - Someone messaged me while chatting on Gtalk.

Thinking over it, I guess its such a true statement going by today's standards where one is paid for the time he or she spends on charting the growth plan and strategy for a company.

We designers will surely be smiling and patting ourselves on the back when we look forward to entering the industry which will be paying us for our ideas, where we are the people who will make others make money; well hopefully atleast. Amen !!

I have my fingers crossed till I cross the Major !! ;-)

Friday, March 02, 2007


Demented thoughts of an infected mind,
Abuzz with thoughts of any kind,
Social or contextual - I dunno,
Trying to capture ideas that come and go,
Dustbins or chairs - which is the need of the hour?
Remember !! you have to raise your bar,
Which is the major one - I try to find,
Demented thoughts of an infected mind.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Jari Mari: Of cloth and other stories

A review written by me for a documentary shown to us during our Science and Liberal Arts (SLA) class this semester.

Documentary Name: Jari Mari - Of cloth and other stories
Hindi/ Colour/ Video/ 74 min./2001

Director, Producer: Surabhi Sharma
Photography: Setu Pande
Editing: Jabeen Merchant
Sound: Gissy Michael
Music: D. Wood, Vipin Bhati

Set in the slum dwellings of Jari Mari, an area adjacent to the International Airport in Bombay, the film Jari Mari talks about the inhuman living and working conditions of the people living there.

The film starts with an image of one of the old mills of Bombay where the masses used to go to work every morning but now only a minuscule fraction of the staff come for work to the mill which looks ghostly and deserted.

Moving ahead the subject shifts to a mill worker originally from Bihar. Recollecting glorious days of the mills in Bombay he cites reasons why such a huge and flourishing industry is today broken down into a network of narrow lanes filled with sweatshops. According to the government’s laws, any company with an employee strength above 100 people cannot stop it’s employees from forming an union. This is the main reason why the garment export industry today is fragmented into dotted jobworkers where the employee strength is weak and their pay devoid of any perks, provident funds or any such basic facility.

Shifting focus on a jobworker’s workshop, we are appalled with the huge difference between the money that a tailor gets for stitching a shirt (Rs.10 - 15) and it;s actual retail price abroad ($9.99)

Though the documentary starts with the aim of bringing to light the depleted state of the once flourishing mills but I think the focus gradually shifts to the lives of the people living in the slum colony of Jari Mari.

The first person accounts bring us close to reality and hardships of life. In one such account a lady talks about the hardships she went through while working as domestic help in one of the middle east countries. Away from home for years this widow had to raise money for the upbringing of her three children and later on their marriage as well. As she expressed her desire to go back to the middle east and not be part of inhuman living conditions in Jari Mari, it leaves us wondering that gradually people are losing the pride and pleasure of living in one’s own country.

The documentary is an eye opener for all of us who are happy in our own world of living in the present and not bothering about the future. Nobody today questions as to why did the mills actually shut down? Who are these people who have not paid these workers any compensation and are scot free today? Rehabilitation is promised as usual, but today rehabilitation is just a promise to earn votes and the traces of it remains only in blueprints but not in geography. We hear of lots happening for the ex-workers of mills but none of it gets a tangible form. With shifting timeline and builder’s pressure, soon the landscape of Bombay will change with lesser public spaces and lesser wetlands which would soak up water, leaving Bombay to the continual fate of yearly floods.

Summing it all up and having attended four SLA classes in four semesters, I am left wondering that how much we as designers are doing for any social cause? We probably only cite examples where we feel that a problem exists and leave it there without a solution. It is quite a pathetic situation when we are blind all six months in a semester waiting only for a one week SLA course to open up our eyes about what is actually happening around us. It’s time we ask ourselves, “Are we really needed or are we just satisfying our egos”? But I guess we need to be optimistic for atleast we have started asking the right questions.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Individuality ???

" A true artist should never be bothered about what anyone has to say about him"
- quote from a film I saw recently at NID. Directed by Alan Parker, the movie Fame is about the life of students in a performing arts college.

Probably in this world of artists there are very few who actually do what their heart wants to do and not what others want them to do. Being in a design course at the so called premier institute of the country I am so appalled to find the acute crisis of individuals where individuality is supposed to be one's USP.