Saturday, October 07, 2006

Chirpy God and the Reckless Man

Once upon a time in the heavens above, a new breed of Gods was being created. They were made to be up to speed with the modern world below which they were destined to control. Now as among every mass manufacturing unit, one of the Gods had a slight flaw. She was prettier, chirpier and more emotional than the other models. When the Gods were passed through quality check our chirpy God failed and was like all rejects replaced with a human form and sent to earth.

On earth the God spent her days happily as a human being. Her chirpiness was her charm, it won her many friends. People who moved around with her found her very intelligent, hardworking, dependable and irresistible. The days flew and the God couldn’t have been happier. Until one day fate struck its blow.

A reckless man joined the same organization where our God was working. Over a few months a deep friendship developed between the God and the reckless man. For his part, the man found the God a very good companion. And for her part, she found him a nice human being. She did not realize then that the man was reckless, not to others, but to himself. He never cared for life or death. He drank and smoked and partied at the cost of his health. The God only saw one side of the reckless man and so this other side remained hidden to her.

Many days went by and the two were very happy in each others company. The reckless man developed a special liking for the God and after several unsuccessful attempts he openly declared his feelings to her. The God said she was fond of him but that their pairing could never be. This left the man crestfallen and from then on he tried to keep his feelings buried in a dark recess within himself. But such feelings can seldom be held down. From time to time they surfaced and created many unhappy incidents between the two of them. The God noticed a very great change in the man. She noticed that he grew less cheerful and amusing with each passing day. The God knew the reason for this and she also knew that there was nothing that she could do for him. These were his demons to fight and fight alone he must.

One day the God invited the man to join her and a few of her friends on a journey to a magical land. The man readily agreed. He would have gone anywhere just to be in her company. Throughout the journey the man drank and smoked and contended himself to being in the company of his beloved God. But the God was not happy with his behavior. After the journey was over and when all had returned safe, the God exploded on the reckless man with unadulterated wrath. She neither spoke to him nor smiled at him for a couple of days. This really hurt the reckless man very deeply. He had misbehaved on the journey; he had acted as if he cared about no one but himself. For the first time in his life he realized he was reckless. But alas, it was too late. Things between the God and the reckless man had changed forever. He had wanted her to love him but he ended up winning her hate. There was no way he could turn back time and set things right. He begged, he pleaded and asked for her forgiveness. But what would her forgiveness do? Could it right the wrongs of his behavior? Would it recreate the magic that used to be there in their relationship? He knew nothing would go back to being the same ever again.

The reckless man started changing his ways. He gave up his vices and began living a normal life. Not for the God. No, he knew his changing ways would little impact her after the damage he had done. He changed to prove to himself that he was better off without these vices. And if ever the God was to look again at him with the same affection that she used to, he wanted to be ready to be all that she expected and not the reckless man that she so hates.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Under Ki Baat

Hello people. How you all doing? I’ve been ok…been very busy lately…working my ass off between Bangalore and Chennai. Literally getting my undies in a bundle trying to meet deadlines. Oh that’s exactly what this blog is all about. If you’re thinking deadlines, my friend I think you better read that title one more time. Yup that’s right, tidy whities, pink thongs, red brassieres and all the other bare essentials in their many splendor shapes and sizes, that’s what I am talking about.

Bad lingerie, I wonder why no one sees it as a wardrobe disaster. At least a majority of Indians – the socially active page 3 types seem to goof up when it comes to lingerie. Consider these situations. You go to this hep party and you see this foxy babe in a figure hugging pair of pants and a midriff revealing top. You size her up from top to bottom then bottom to top. Ok you can’t proceed higher from the bottom because you just saw something. It’s the stupid lining of her unarguably tasteless panty showing through her tight slacks. Your mind even guesses half a dozen brands like ‘Poomer’ and ‘Rasathi’ that might go well with her unders. I mean it’s the kind of thing that Helen or Mumtaz would carry off as a bikini bottom in the 70’s. Considering the kind of range and brands available in the market and considering the fact that we have FTV and Trendz don’t’ you think it’s time we brushed up our undressing sense? I don’t know about you guys out there but for me seeing spaghetti straps matched with a thick strapped brassiere is a major turn off. And so are the armor-like white brassieres that most women seem to be so dedicated to.

And before you think I am a sexist hell bent on criticizing only women’s sense in this matter, men are no better. Shaktivel better known as shaggy by close friends and secret admirers alike is known to be the hottest dressed stud in the whole neighborhood. I thought so too until he invited me into his dingy little bachelor pad for a drink one day. My sight was met by the most ghastly collection of briefs and vests, proudly drying away on a line under the fan. And what choice of colours they were. Brick red briefs with inch thick waist bands, Rin soap blue briefs with red stripes, vests with perforations. You can’t imagine my horror. It was obvious that shaggy bought his precious collection of privates from a factory outlet in Tirupur. I couldn’t believe that he’d spend a premium on his jeans and shirt but wouldn’t spend a little extra for a jockey or VIP even. I mean what if he got invited to spend the night with a hot woman? Would he feel comfortable dressing down and showing of his ‘Arasu’ under garments?

It’s time we paid as much importance to our under garments as we do to our other clothes folks. Even more than your outer clothes your inners reveal how conscious you are about your body and your looks. Undergarments aren’t just about holding up what’s hanging, it’s as much about fashion sense and personality as any other piece of cloth on your body. Outgrow the notion that nobody’s looking in there…what if someone does? Don’t you want to make the best impression at all times? Dressed or undressed? It’s definitely not undhar ki baat anymore it’s a matter of what’s under.

Friday, August 11, 2006

When the beast roams free

I hate being mean, but sometimes to protect your own dignity you just gotta be.

The thing that hurts the most at such times is the fact that your meaningless meanness turns out ruder that you expected and totally pulverizes relationships with people you care about the most.

I’ve been super mean these past two days. I’ve hurt a wonderful girl, poured generous amounts of lavacious wrath on my dad and mom, enjoyed the sadistic pleasure of hurting people who care…but hey that’s just me. Oh, and for the record, it’s like a cocaine trip, once the high starts dipping depression sets in. I really don’t wanna ramble any further. I just wanna post an old poem of mine here that, I feel, explains my being to the hilt. By the way it’s a dedication and the person whom it’s dedicated to knows very well it’s for her. Consider it my apology, even though it’s a bad one.

The Beast Within Me

I make you laugh, I make u cry
but that is not all there is to me
I can make you scream
and run for your life
so be careful and while you still can, flee

I am the agony man, the revengeful soul
who knows not what is to love
for love had deserted me
while I still was a child
and from thence hate has been my teach

yes I do laugh and I do cry
but not for reasons you might presume
I laugh at your pain
and cry when you're glad
this is me, what I've been made to be

I am not this way by mine own choice
it's what you've lead me to be
you've given me so much
of what I assume is love
that even a drop less is harsh to me

I don't really want to hurt you
with words or by act
but I am helpless against it you see
for the beast that you fed with tenderness and love
is now fully grown within me

its jealousy exceeds my will and power
so I cant control it, it's free
it takes the steering wheel
when my dial hits green
and drives my being to be mean

please don't read this and pity my state
for that is not what I expect from thee
all I want you to do
is to stay away from me
so I can be sure you're safe when the beast roams free

Afterword: I do not take responsibility for the beast.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Faith and the almighty

Hello my dear Sunday Christians, ardent five time a day mosque visitors and diligent weekly temple frequenters. Tell me something now, are you really going to these holy places to find god or catch up on gossip? Of course you don’t have to answer that without a lawyer onboard, I know I am overruled for this really sensitive Q but if I rephrase it would you answer me? Did you find god?

I am still waiting for an answer. Speak up bravely brethren, I can’t hear you. I suppose you don’t like the question but sorry I am not leaving until you answer it. What was that? I can’t question faith? Why not? How do I even begin to trust if I can’t have my questions answered? Honestly speaking I can boast that I am more religious or rather, more pious than 10 regular church goers put together. I don’t put a show by being a regular at church. I don’t take responsibilities for church funds and misappropriate them later. I don’t consider my space in heaven booked if I read the sermon to a gathering of so called Christians on Sunday; I don’t find falling in love with a person of different faith wrong. And I certainly don’t care for the political motives driving the modern church.

My mother is a pious woman. She’s a regular at church and an enthusiastic do-gooder. Yet, I find her faith rather alarming than heart warming. Why? Because I see her good nature disturbingly inclined towards a money hungry organization disguised in white, the church. Yikes! I can’t believe she’d gladly give thousands to the church rather than a rupee to a wayward beggar. Is this true faith?

I am told that god is everywhere; in speck and in splendor, then why seek him within a whitewashed encasement? I am told god is a father who answers his children whenever he is beseeched anywhere, yet we throng in thousands to the white encasement on any given Sunday to seek him. Odd I’d say. Are we stupid or are we stupid? Let me tell you this, I don’t approve of churches or mosques or temples yet I am god fearing. My god is in me and he is never away from me. I don’t want to stick a label on him that’s anything but “GOD”. I speak to him and he answers me whenever I want. I take my problems to him and he sooths my hyperactive heart. Isn’t that faith? I haven’t been in a church in almost 8 months now (I am forced to attend mass every Christmas at least). Yet I can confidently say I walk with god each day. Proof? You want proof? Well I haven’t any but keep your eye on me and maybe you might believe me.

To me god is a friend unseen. Always nearby. There’s no set way to speak to him. Call him what you feel like; father, brother, dad, papa or even dude (that’s what I call him). He’s not really picky about it. He only wants you to acknowledge his presence. That, I can confidently say I do every single day. What more do I want? A membership at the local neighborhood church so as to ensure a 6 by 3 resting place for my shell when life leaves it? Nah…not interested. I really don’t care if I was buried or burned. All that matters is that I live my tenure on this earth as a good human being. And I am sure that that’s what he expects too. Well brethren, I really don’t know if I am right or wrong in following this path I find right. But I have no regrets. When the day of reckoning comes we shall know how it has turned out for you as well as me. But till then, I really don’t see why I must change my way of faith for the world. I won’t do it just to belong; I won’t do it for better marital proposals and surely not for decent burial ground. That would be so against my faith. I know my mom won’t approve of what I’ve just voiced here, but then my faith isn’t her call. I am what I am today because of my mother. Though she didn’t mean to, she’s the reason for what my faith is today. And I don’t see anything wrong with it and neither has the dude hinted at a change of course. I guess this path that I walk will one day lead me to an answer that may turn out favorable or sour. Till then I can only say this…Amen.

Monday, August 07, 2006

You have the right to remain numb

Well its amazing how people around me assume that I have no feelings (all inclusive), no emotions (again all inclusive) and no home at all. I spend most of my time in office because there is something or the other that I have to finish up and I can’t go back home with a peaceful mind if I don’t finish it. I never realized until tonight that this habit of mine has made people think that I am absolutely jobless and that I come to office to while away time and waste theirs at the same time. Ha…ironic isn’t it, as if I get paid for doing my personal work at office. Wow you must have seen what happened tonight. First early in the evening one colleague of mine strikes me fangs, claws and all because I was having the art guy do some work that was assigned to me and told her to come back a little later.

At this point I will have to tell you that this particular work is for a really big client who unfortunately for me, is celebrating its 100th year of existence in the next week. As usual this client has been lethargic and has suddenly woken up from slumber and realizing that the big day is near has drawn its horse whips and flogging us (the agency) to do absurd amounts of work in a short span of time. There are about three of us actively involved in this job; an account director with no juniors sitting at the client’s city, a busy production manager and yours truly, i.e., me, the copywriter. This team of three is all that is doing all the work for this client. No complaints though, we’re managing the show pretty well. But what’s really frustrating is that even though this business is worth a few cool crores of rupees, no one else really seems to bother. They don’t seem to even know that such a client exists in our roster. Well to hell with that, that’s not what’s driving me mad. It’s not the work, the late nights, the petty squabbles over changing the copy according to the whims and fancies of the client or the blissful ignorance of my colleagues that drives me mad it’s the attitude.

Having seen me work relentlessly to gain ground with this client has made people around me think that I am personally profiting from this job or something. Let me tell you I hate working on this account, but its work, and I don’t mind having to do what it takes to get it over with. My colleagues somewhere deep in their minds have watered and raised a feeling that I am working full time and over time on this client because, this particular client is from my hometown. Bah! How childishly ignorant.

Tonight one of my colleagues really got upset that I got a little, just a teeny weeny bit, frustrated when she said she wanted her small job to be done before I carry on with work for this client. She just up and walked away without a decent goodbye. Well, see what I am paid? For being enthused in my work? A lot of flak and no perks. I don’t need the perks and neither do I need the flak. This has really made me think, am I not entitled to a little frustration myself? When all around me I hear whining and grumbling that work is so bad and hectic, don’t I deserve a turn to be frustrated? What am I? A machine in the world’s eye? Do I only have the right to remain numb and nothing else?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

It’s different

When I say ‘I dread the word DIFFERENT’ I am sure my brothers and sisters of the creative fraternity across the globe are nodding their heads vigorously in acceptance. I mean…what is it with this word that is so “different”? What is “different”? What exactly does it mean to be “different”? I am sure the one who unravels the mystery of “different” would rule the world.

How many times have you heard these random requests?
“I want something different”
“Do something different”
“Let’s differentiate ourselves from them”
“Do a different take on the subject”
And on and on and on the requests go.

Does different have a definition that one can confidently put a finger on? I don’t think so. It’s just an easy word to say that you don’t approve of something and that you want something else. In other words you don’t know what else you need and hence you get away with the most obvious explanation…different.

I cant tell you how many times I’ve felt like strangling a client servicing executive or a client even, when I heard them say “I want something different”. People why don’t you go do a research on how you want to be different and explain it to me rather then just blurt out “different”? I am telling you, if I ever got diagnosed for ulcer or blood pressure or depression it’ll only be because of “different”.

Well that kind of helped simmer the steam a bit. So here’s my take on “different”. To me being different is to be me. I am myself and that’s what segregates me from the crowd. I know what I am and what I am capable of and that’s what makes me a unique being. If I wanted to smear my whole body with jello and run naked around the block shouting “ooga booga boo”, that’s different. That’s what separates me from the other homosapiens in the world. And just like me every brand or product has a unique differentiator. That’s what separates it from the clutter. That…is different. Why do people not understand it? Why in the hell do they go about ranting about “different” without a clue what they mean? Different isn’t outside the box, rather different is something within the box that just needs a little probing to understand. And I am shocked to know that many don’t really care to understand it. I mean think about it…how much we could do as creative people if only the brief was “here’s what’s different, now say it creatively” instead of “do something different”. India Search