Friday, December 31, 2004

welcome 2005!

at the start of a brand new year, i wish everyone a very happy and safe 2005! may all you dreams come true.
good luck all!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

salaam red cross!

red cross centre
Originally uploaded by degreecopy.

my wife and i visited the red cross on wednesday to make a donation. in chennai, red cross is next to ambassador pallava on monteith was a very humbling experience. from the huge piles of relief material donated by individuals to the two red cross workers quietly going about their work far from the glare and glamour of 24/7 tv channels.

relief van

relief van
Originally uploaded by degreecopy.

relief materials collected by red cross set to be dispatched to the tsunami affected areas.

red cross volunteers

Originally uploaded by degreecopy.

two red cross workers attending to individuals who've come to make a donation.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

more on tsunami

i stumbled into a blog that's devoted exclusively to the tsunami 26/12. tsunami help (courtesy: jeff jarvis) provides information on the situation in every tsunami-affected nation, casualties, how you can volunteer, how you can reach out to a friend/relative stuck in one of these countries and lots more.
for chennai residents who'd like to help, foodworld is setting up help centres where you can donate clothes and other stuff for the victims. you can also check this site. (via: kiruba)

Monday, December 27, 2004

tsunami 26/12

may the souls of over 24,000 rest in peace. may their families find the strength to see the ordeal through. my heartfelt condolences to the victims of tsunami 26/12.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

check out my work

bhaiyon aur baheno, you can now visit this new blog i've created exclusively for my portfolio of ads. the blog's called karthik's portfolio. i've put together select works from a diverse range of ads i've created for clients such as citibank, sony, sify, aircel, general airconditioners, council of leather exports etc. i will update this blog every time i feel a certain piece of work deserves an entry into this cool club. i've also added a link in the list of links ('on the menu') called 'my portfolio'. pleej feel free to give it a dekko!

santa's hat

santa's hat
santa's hat,
originally uploaded by degreecopy.
this is the ad i had written about in my previous post. so, go ahead, people, head to the taj and have a blast! :-)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

my hoarding on cathedral road

yippee! it's my first hoarding for taj! there's a poster i did for the taj coromandel, chennai. the client has adapted it to a hoarding. the hoarding is opposite gangotri near stella maris college, on cathedral road. i took one look at it, and aw, my baby looks sooo beautiful! it's big, well-lit and really...nice. go take a look! :-)

Monday, December 20, 2004

you just can't beat a bajaj

you can actually arrest one. i'm referring to avinash bajaj, ceo of who at this moment is enjoying the hospitality of one of delhi's jails. courtesy, a transaction carried out on the website. it all started when a delhi school kid recorded his escapades with a classmate. the fellow then sent it around to like-minded friends, one of whom was struck by a brainwave. and abracadabra, it's up on

so here's the question: is mr.bajaj guilty?

i think he is guilty. for the simple reason that bazee conveniently washes its hands off transactions that take place on the website. bazee's justification that it helps simplify the whole process and keeps costs down is all very well. upto a certain point. bazee's terms of use ensure there is zero accountability for the website. it is assumed that you will just follow the rules and be a good boy.

get real, fella!

bazee claims that it is simply impossible to monitor so many transactions. that's a nice way of saying that people can sell and buy whatever they fancy, just make sure bazee gets its pound of flesh.

not on, mr.bajaj. is a fabulous idea. but they should've imposed limits on exactly what kind of products can be bought and sold. by not doing so, bajaj allowed a bunch of idiots on hormonal overdrive to almost crush a good, solid idea. and unlike most of his customers, mr.bajaj's paying a very heavy price for the choice he made.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

chimpus automaniacus

darwin and his friends have screwed up big time. it appears that on the evolutionary ladder, specifically between chimpanzees and homosapiens, there does exist a species gone unnoticed by science. called chimpus automaniacus. better known to you and me as - the autodriver.

biologists agree that this is a fascinating species. externally, they look astonishingly like humans. the two hands, legs, fingers, what appears to be a head... everything just like you and me. but here's where mother nature showed her genius: on the inside, they have the brains of - yup, 10 points to you!- a chimp!

allow me to elaborate. these animals are bereft of reasoning capabilities. attempts to communicate about the presence of a meter to measure distances travelled and corresponding costs incurred ended in abject failure. it appears the animals employ methods which are yet to be understood by humans. valiant attempts to understand these methods leads to any of two possibilities: the rest of the herd rushes to the protection of the poor chimpus automaniacus, or the spoilt animal ignores the presence of humans.

however, the real threat to humans arises when the chimpus are in motion. much like bananas are to chimpanzees, the traffic signal is to the chimpus. it is a rare chimpus that doesn't go joyfully bouncing and deliriously screaming past a red traffic signal. an instinct developed over years of unmonitored breeding among the chimpus. this has led to considerable extinction among homo-sapiens in the vicinity of the chimpus on a joyride.

much to the delight of animal-rights activists, this is one of the few species that faces absolutely no fear of extinction. far from it. it is one of the few species in the animal kingdom to boast of a labour rights union! in fact, a few years ago, a leading film star even danced to the tunes of a song written in honor of the chimpus automaniacus. it was a blockbuster!

go figure.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

2005- year of hockey's resurrection?

is hockey coming back from the dead? will cricket face its comeuppance in india? these were some of the questions that struck me as i read an espn-star ad banner on the ad said something about chennai veerans and maratha warriors, followed by Premier Hockey League. enough to pique my curiosity. so i checked out espnstar's website. and, bleddy hell, yes! these fellows are trying to revive the game.

the Premier Hockey League is the brainchild of the indian hockey federation! now, now, none of us would ever accuse them of having brains in the first place, would we? so where the hell did the child come from? guess, with some help from espnstar( no doubt, disgusted with one mr.jagmohan dalmiya!) so anyway, the two of them get together and create this fancy little league that's loosely based on the english football premier league. with two tiers of five teams each. after each season, the bottom team from tier1 gets relegated to tier2, while the top team of tier2 gets promoted to tier1. there are a whole bunch of other rules, as well. all in the fond hope that you and i give hockey's new avatar a second look.

you know, it actually seems interesting. but will it actually work out? will this new avatar of hockey actually grab public attention? i don't know. i started the post with questions. and i'm ending it with questions. come 2005, we'll hopefully have the answers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

the dum dum bullet

i'm currently reading the 'dum dum bullet (ddb)' by sandeep goyal . he's the chairman of the indian arm of dentsu, the world's largest ad agency.

i've read quite a few books on advertising and liked most of them. of these, ddb is the second book i'm reading that's been written by an indian. the first one being 'a double life' by alec padamsee, which is quite crappy.

sandeep's book is different. you can breeze through it. written in simple english, with absolutely no pretenses. what-you-see-is-what-you-get kinda style. which has worked well in this case. it's a ringside view of how the industry works in india. i like this book for a very simple reason: as an indian ad exec, i effortlessly connect with most of his experiences. the enthu, the tension, thrill, the frustration, the weird characters one comes across, the exhilaration... the whole gamut of emotions that make advertising a crazy way to earn a living.

reading it at the end of a rather tough and confusing day actually made me feel better. and happy to be in this industry.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

sachin takes time off waiter-giri

ah, so it took the bongs on the other side for us to rediscover the genius called sachin. a few years ago, sachin was more generous in treating the world to a glimpse of his talents. those days are long gone.

nowadays, the poor man has other things to worry about. like running his little chai-paani joint in mumbai. after all, when that short tempered baboon at table six screams about his butter chicken, do you really care about scoring runs? customer is king, no. actually, baat aisi hain, cricket isn't fun anymore, yaar. and you know what, despite all the money, sitting next to a two-year-old and saying "boost is the secret of my energy" is not very spine tingling. hell, his own son creates a big fuss over it! and, let's face it, how long will one keep doing the same thing? life mein kuch variety hone ko maangta. that is why chai-paani shop.

of course, once in a while, one can always catch hold of a bangladesh or papua new guinea and try out a few strokes. but never give up the day job at the chai-paani joint. certainly not when dada has set up his very own hilsa inn.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

writer's block? oh, no!

this is the limit, really. i've been sitting here for fifteen minutes wondering what to write about. it's not that i can't think of a topic. far from it. it's just, you know, there's so much in there that waiting to gush out. it's like one of those traffic jams near chamiers road at peak hours. after running one thumb against the nail of the other( the tell-tale sign of my being stuck for words) for 15 minutes, i thought i might as well write about my writer's block!

in a way it pisses me off that for some reason i can't put my thoughts down. but, bloody hell, it's just a blog. not a fucking exam paper that's going to decide my future.

hey, it only means no one is going to comment when they stumble into this blog. so they won't talk about it on their own blog. and visitors to their blog won't know about my blog. which means i can't lure their commentators onto my site. and i will never get those 200-odd comments. no differences of opinion, fights, rants, raves, none of that....

gulp! suddenly, that digital circuits exam paper seems much less daunting!

Monday, December 06, 2004

wins match, loses life

it's shocking. it's shameful. the way the mohun bagan goalie, subroto paul went after the throat of that brazilian chap, christiano junior. the incident took place during the federation cup football final, in bangalore. christiano collapsed almost instantly, and died on the way to the hospital.

replays showed subroto willfully going for christiano's neck instead of trying to stop the ball. the bugger's ass must be taken for his atrocious behaviour. it is so bloody infuriating that players actually resort to such means to prevent goals being scored.

it's another issue that subroto 'scoundrel' paul couldn't stop the goal from being scored, and dempo won the game. but, bloody hell, this is no way to behave. to make matters worse, the karnataka football association officials drove christiano to a hospital 2kms off, while there is a perfectly good hospital bang opposite to the stadium.

i wonder who should be blamed for this. the players themselves for believing anything goes. or the officials who obviously lack the basic skills to conduct such games.

arre, with fellows like this, we shouldn't even dare to dream of putting up a decent performance at the asian level. let alone bigger events.

buggers should hang their head in shame.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

a little chest thumping

so the whole of last week was spent on that one client. kind of irritating that it didn't involve any ad campaign. but lets see. it's early days yet. hopefully, things will settle down after this week. i've never struggled so much to try and understand exactly how a product works!!! that's the worst part about an engineering product. and, bleddy hell, there are so many of them..grrr. but dekthe hain how things turn out. atleast, there's always the thrill of knowing that i played a huge role in bringing this piece of business home. this project is one success i can singularly claim as mine:-)))). modesty can go take a hike!

the dust settles

normalcy seems to have been restored on the whole 'it's-my-site- it's-my-freedom' thingy. but great to see folks firing opinions and beliefs at one another. that's what makes blogging interesting anyway. as karthik says, it's status quo. for now, that is!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

freedom of expression and all that

so, the bade bhai sahib of india's blogging world got a little carried away. ok, it's his blog. he can post whatever he wants. he has a right to his opinions, his feelings... the usual. except this time, his idea of freedom of expression was to take someone's trip.

it's a pity, really. his blog is one of the most widely read blogs, and for all the right reasons. then he does this. i hope it's only an aberration. he's taken the hard way to getting to where he is. with great posts that have accumulated readers over time. none of which, incidentally, got 200-odd comments. which is an interesting comment, in itself!

he's got a good blog. one silly post will not shoo away folks looking for a good read. and as his next post overwhelmingly confirms, it will certainly get rid of the others!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

what do you think of this person?

i was recently asked for my opinion on a potential recruit to the agency. it was, yeah, a little uncomfortable: to rate someone. to weigh the plusses and minuses of someone, and, well, 'judge' someone.

it's like shopping at foodworld, you know.

where you amble down the aisles with your trolley , looking at the shelves, and then ... you spot something new. so you pick it up. take a close, hard look at the stuff from all directions. check the brand name, the price, the ingredients. you toss it around in your head for a few seconds. it seems ok on all counts. aw, what the hell... just take it. you put it into your trolley, pay your bill, pick up your bags. and get on with life.

is it really any different with recruiting someone? not really. i guess every company does more or less the same thing with potential recruits. phone calls and meetings peppering the whole process. price tags, clients, designations, workloads, they all go through the scanner. and then, only then will you see the trolley appear! no two trolleys are the same, of course. it could be anything- better pay, clients, portfolio, working hours, you know, a whole range of stuff.

so, what do i want my next trolley to look like? i don't know. i only hope i can work out the answer pretty soon.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

hectic day again

major assignment from a brand new client. no time to even understand the products and the business. some how managed to read up on the products, and got a hang of it by the end of the day. must take a closer look at it in the days to come. well, at least it seems like these guys are very clear about how their communication's going to look. time will tell whether any of it will make it to my portfolio.

the copy drinkers