Thursday, March 30, 2006
This is flom all of us. Yeah, alpa, eela, gamma, monkey, nikky, daddy
and so. They say you all hot. You all best. I tust so.
Massa Smiley too say you all hot.
P.S: Massa Smiley Rocks.
Monday, March 27, 2006
If I am not exaggerating, we can call Indian Telecom ad campaign,
Before Hutch and After Hutch. Also, on the same tone, we can call
the telecom Industry, before Reliance and after Reliance.
When Hutch Came, it came. Hutch filled every city with its beautiful,
clean, white orange logos. When RajaniKanth's movie Baba was released,
Hutch basically painted the theatre in Chennai with white and orange.
Everyone loved Hutch.
When Hutch aired, it aired a pug and a boy. Pug sales in India grew by
4000% after the campaign. Everyone loved the pug. Teenage girls sang,
You and I and its a beautiful world.
Hutch basically revolutionalized an Indian ad campaign. Fortunately for
Hutch's ad agency, the ads won awards and elite acceptance.
Unfortunately for Hutch, the ads were never understood by the masses
and more importantly, Hutch ads never sold services.
On the contrary, Reliance came with boring, ads that are right on the bang.
Hey, our calls cost so much. Hey, these are our latest phone models.
It was the same ad, month after month. Month after month. Reliance never
won any awards for its ads.
Reliance is number two in India after three short years.
Hutch is a distant four. (After the purchase of BPL and Essar).
Now, the admen of Hutch came up with something new. Pink. So it is another
Adman's ad campaign, that would win more awards but would never really
ad to the bottom line of the company.
Like mint economics, telecom has its own rules. By rule, all technological
companies lead by differentiating the 'choice' of the customer. You love Hutch
ads. But at the end of the day, when you want to buy a mobile phone, you
would look at two things. Coverage. Rates. Period.
When someone offers better coverage, better rates, better options, you switch.
Dell differentiated by offering this choice to the customers.
In a telecom economy, you need to let your customer 'know' the options.
Brownie points to Reliance. Poop on Hutch.
So, I concluded to LoveMe that, I call Reliance, as a matter of fact BSNL (whose
ads all elite loves to hate), SBI are successful ad campaigns.
I call Hutch, its pug, its little boy, all those funny mint ads that make you
Airtel Vs Hutch.
Adevertising trends in Indian Telecom
The other day LoveMe suddenly said, "I absolutely love these new
SBI ads. They are so much on target and so inviting". I was kind of
amused. Because, atleast in the blogdom lot of people didnt like SBI
We talked about ads for a little then. We agreed that we love those
new 'mint' ads. As a matter of fact, mint ads are the funniest ads
with catchiest phrases.
Dubaraa mat poochna.
Dimak ka batti jalade.
Funny part is neither of us remembered the name of mints. I dont
know if its Mint-O-Plus or hey what is that other mint?
But hey, A mint with a hole, a Polo is something we would never
forget. I must say, Polo is the most successful of all, when it comes
to 'Product Differentiation'. Someone designed the product so well,
it doesnt really harm Polo if their ad people screw up the campaign.
Polo ads suck. But can you ever forget Polo.
Dimak ka Batti Jalade is funny, but which mint is it for? This also
brings us to pay attention to mint economics. Mint atleast in India
is 'small currency'. Every time an Indian buys a cigerette in all likely
hood he gets a mint back.
The success of a mint lies in its distribution strategies and its margins
to retailers. So it makes sense to spend money at retailer level and
not on national TV. (Around 97% of Indian mint sales happen at
This points us to an important factor of all. What is the job of an ad?
Is it to show the creativity of the ad agency or to sell the product?
The answer is quiet obvious. Right?
But, not the practice.
It is surprising how everyone from Brand Equity of Economic Times to
Cannes Lion, discusses and awards, 'How Good An Ad Is' rather
than how successfully an ad sold a product.
There are million different awards for 'Good Ads', what I call the AdMan's
Ads. But none, I repeat, none to award an ad that increases the sales.
Now let us scrutinize the mother of all cute ads, Hutch.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
In other words, whales kind of talk, through songs.
This also reminds of an interesting argument I had with my
friend LoveMe. Bottom line is, life is smarter. Animals are
smarter. We are not that smart. I have an interesting theory
on 'proliferation' which I think is purely a chance event.
Human 'thought' proliferated lately. Ofcourse its manifestations
too. I think thats just a chance event. Nothing too great about it.
Anyway, the whale songs remind of an argument made by
Bruce Chatwin in his brilliantly original travel book Songlines.
Image by EllenRussell
Chatwin studied the curious tradition of aboriginies singing
songs. They basically sing the landscape. Aboriginies own songs
and exchange songs. They think the Earth was sung in the
beginning. Anyway, the argument is that it was song first
and language later. I dont know the merit of it, but it was
a brilliant argument.
Ofcourse, this Dane has a theory called Sing Song theory. Yeah
it was song and merrying first and language later.
(Confession: When no one is around, sometimes I watch Oprah :-I)
It was about "your wildest dream coming true". Just like in every
episode, Oprah had a list of interesting candidates. Of all, an
eighteen year old black girl caught my emotion.
She was deserted by her family three years back. She is been
living on the streets since then. She was harassed several times.
She occassionally gets shelter from a cousin or a friend. All she
wants to do is finish her graduation. No one from her family
ever graduated. She grew up the last three years idolizing
Oprah as her mom. She has this fantasy, if you can call it so,
to hug Oprah atleast once. Hmm She also wants to look pretty
once, for a change, because she thinks, she is pretty. She is
tired of her blue jeans and blue coat.
She was innocent and honest in her intentions.
On Oprah's request America's top model (dont remember her name)
went to her college to surprise the black girl. Model met the girl
and offered free classes in modellign by top dogs. Top dogs took
her photos and made a fantastic portfolio. Model also gifted her a
designer wardrobe that would last two months if she doesnt wear
the same clothes agian. She was called on Oprah' s show and Oprah
hugged her. Her portfolio came out so well, she was offered job as
a model by a top agency. A women's magazine offered to put her
on her cover. And they did. A white woman offered to adopt her
to see through her gradutation. Ne need, said the university. The
university paid for her graduation. All this happened as a surprise
to that girl.
She hugged Oprah and cried.
I cried too.
I suddenly came to senses, wiped my tears and looked around. I
was so embarassed, I didnt know what to do.
So I called Vinny.
Dude, when was the last time you cried?
Whats wrong with you man? I told you not to stay at home alone.
Please, when was the last time you cried?
Err. I was watching Oprah and cried.
Why the fcuk are you watching Oprah?
All those chicks cheering and shouting Oprah turn me on man. I lied.
You know what? There is a hot anchor who is doing Tring Tring Top Ten
in Gemini TV. She is wild in bed it seems. Shall I book her for you?
No thanks, I can take care of myself. Tell me, when was the last time
Ok. But you shouldnt make fun later.
Finding Nemo. When Nemo gets stuck in that tube I got so upset, I cried.
You gottobe kidding. Oprah is Ok. Crying in a Pixar movie?
Hello? I thought we agreed on something.
Yeah. Yeah. Yes, sometimes movies make you funny.
I have another confession to make. Remember Lakshya? When Hrithik makes
that call to his dad, I cried so much.
Thats nothing. Remember Chalte Chalte? When Shah Rukh slaps Rani, I had
tears running down like a leaking pipe, down my cheeks.
Worse. King Kong. King Kong man. I cried when King Kong died.
You think this is normal? I mean, are we normal?
I dont know.
Ok. Hang up. I want to call Eddie.
I want to know when was the last time he cried.
Are you out of your minds? If you tell this anyone, we will be fried for the
rest of our lives.
You think so?
I swear so. This is between us. To the end.
To the end.
Sigh. I feel a little lighter man.
Sigh. Me too.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
- Here is a list of worlds top selling drugs. Whats interesting is they ALL are lifestyle related. So its just the environment that we are putting under pressure. :-)
- Looks like this is the season of lists. About future stuff at wired.com. In 1997 I dreamt of a device thats basically a mobile phone, wirelessly connected to the broadband, involves flippable, foldable epaper and auto language translator. Most of the stuff became a reality. Just somehow, someone needs to figure out that foldable, flippable electronic screen.
- I dont know where these guys come up with this stuff. But this is seriously cute stuff.
- These guys have something say about how to succeed in emerging markets, yeah, they mean, in India and China.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
But out of curiosity I used Google's page creator.
There are couple of posts that I wanted to finish.
One is Know Thyself, which is kind of Pseudo philosophically
comically surrealismistic post.
Another one is Green Apples. Green Apples need some
illustrations to tell.
Hopefully I will tell these stories one of these days.
Monkey, you are welcome to come up with your whacky
Here is the theme.
Master Smiley ordered Shredder to shred world's
information. Every time Shredder says 'woof' he turns
into ShredderMan. Nothing can stop him but an order
from Master Smiley.
A panel led by Master Yoda assigns Minor Yoda to embark
on a journey that involves travelling seven seas to reach and
protect The Oracle, which is Shredders final destination.
Whether Shredder shreds Oracle or not depends upon what
Oracle tells him.
Update # : What else? Shredder's page updated.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Monday, March 13, 2006
10 things for Web 2.0 in 2006.
His prediction number 2: 37signals.com will register million users.
37signals famours product whiteboard didnt exactly set the web
on fire, but its competitor writely.com did. Google.com bought writely.com
Why million I am sure, its gonna get atleast 2-5 million registered users
by the end of this year.
His prediction number 3: Microsoft will go live. Well, go to live.com
His prediction number 4 & 7: BarCamp is happening in Hyderabad and its
theme? Web 2.0
Prediction number 9: Provider Switching is becoming everywhere.
I am beginning to respect this guy.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Lets say for the sake of a fantasy, I get what I want.
I would get this island. (Roughly 110 Crores). I will take her
there on a surprise blindfolded helicopter ride.
I would tell her, I love you.
And what do you think? Is this an ideal nest for us to
(The above shown island is for sale. Its in Fiji. Now all I need
is a girl that I love. A girl who loves me.)
I watched this movie titled 'Apaharan' and fell in love with it
instantly. Its my movie of the year. Forget Crash, forget Capote.
This is true stuff. So wonderfully unbiased stuff. I loved the movie.
I enquired about the director and came to know that there is
another movie of his titled Gangajal. I brought that DVD home, but
ended up watching the match between South Africa and Australia.
I eman Fcuk! That was the match of the decade.
I am saving Gangajal for tomorrow.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Monkey, I think I have the toughest job in the world. Explaining
myself to a bunch of girls.
The reaction to my post Vaishali was rather strong.
So was the reaction to a comment I left on Megha's blog. The responses
made me laugh. And also think. So I left a comment there.
It got mysteriously disappeared. This post would have never
happened because I dont care about what ZZ, Huh had heh or Megha
think about me.
But I do care about what alpha, Leela or nonick think about me. When
the reaction was strong enough for my friend to email me saying
"Somehow I felt there was a certain insincerity when I read it. The
'Gross Smiley' act has become so much a part of you that it's hard to
believe when you mean otherwise."
I felt bad after reading it. (Hey surprise! Men have feelings too). But
I understood the gap I am creating with this Smiley style. I was also
surprised none asked me the required question "So what have you
done to better Vaishali's life?". Honestly I thought my readers are
smart enough to understand that I sympathized with Vaishali's
situation and helped her. I was wrong. Only Monkey and Patrix
looked like they knew me.
If I told you that after our first meeting Vaishali and I became good
friends, that I helped her financially with her health, that I
encouraged her to keep her girl in the school and helped her with the
school fees, that in our last meeting Vaishali broke down into sobbing
and I told her how much I admire her as a person, that even well after
an year every time I visited the manufacturer I made it a point to
visit her and encourage her, would I stand corrected?
I hope so.
Now here is my response to the dudes on Megha's blog (wait..I am trying
to recollect what I wrote on her blog)
My apologies for coming up with a bad example. That pinching butt stuff is
a bad example. I thought I was pointing towards an incident that happens
on a daily basis in this nation, to highlight the attitude behind that act.
Agreed. Raping is crime. Ogling is indecent. Pinching butt is vulgar and crude.
Smiling at is kind of ok. Using endearments is civic. I get it. I think everyone
should get it.
But why is this harassment as common as air in India? Why is it happening
everysecond to every mother, to every child in every street and in every
public place? Gurudwar to city buses why the butts are being pinched?
It feels good to thrash men. To condemn these barbaric acts. You think
a) there is something wrong with the upbringing of these men
b) all these men are emotionless beasts.
But that doesnt solve the problem. Why are men doing it?
a) They think they are having fun
b) Thats their 'making a move'
c) They are beasts who are taken over by their insincts
d) They think the receiving woman actually enjoys it
e) They dont understand they are making the other person uncomfortable
f) They dont care.
Whats happening on the receiving end?
a) In general women dont like it and dont enjoy it.
So where is the solution?
Make enough noise for the appropriate laws to be passed to punish harassment.
Make enough noise for the machanisms to be built to implement those laws.
Make enough noise for every girl child to understand 'harassment'.
Make enough noise to educate every girl child to understand how to react/
report to a harassment
Make enough noise for every uncle, teenager, rowdy, wise ass to understand
the scars they are leaving behind.
Make enough noise for every man to understand how devastating the
punishment would be if they get caught.
Blank noise is as good as no noise.
If I still sound insincere,
My organization is committed to the prevention of child abuse.
We regularly contribute to orphanages and education programs.
Not just contribute but monitor the implementation too.
I personally contribute to the education of three girl children.
If I still sound insincere, the 'Charity' and 'Charity Activities'
of my account heads are submitted to the government of AP
every year to make them tax deductable. You can always
I want to be a part of this noise. That is the reason why I am
entertaining this conversation in the first place.
The only mature response I got was a private email which actually
tried to understand the situation. To quote her,
blog about Vaishali.
just that the hormones are too overwhelming for one to identify that.
The problem is that there is too much logic, explanation and the stating
of what is 'reality' as it may seem. Maybe men are not always thinking
about sex, maybe women are not always that touchy-feely. What's the
point in refining one's judgement of what men, women and this world
actually is? What's the point in analyzing the two genders so closely?
It yields nothing too great, excepting a sense of control and
understanding (hence, maturity). I believe that over-analysis and
generalization is a manner in protecting oneself in actually feeling what
they feel. So yes, you wanted to sleep with her..but is that all you will
identify? That men have a goal to reach (literally) and a benchmark
for their performance? Come on. You, Smiley, are a better man than that.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Three weeks back
So thats my plan. I gave the rough sketch to Vinny. Vinny who usually would
jump into it, quiet uncharacteristically gave me a sarcastic smile.
Its not going to work.
I was disappointed and hurt. Why not? Atleast half of it can be implemented.
No. I am not tempted. Its not going to happen.
Three weeks minus one day back
So thats my plan. I gave the rough sketch to Zee. Zee donning his wise man role
just nodded. Now Zee, tell me how it cannot be done?
The total cost Smiley. We need fucking one and half million dollars, all in cash to
do this. And you are so broke right now.
Yeah, cant we raise cash?
Let us be a little realistic here.
Two weeks back
Thats my plan. I handed it to Dr Rao. He pointed out to couple of blanks. If you
can do this, this and this, then it can be done.
One week back
Zee, do this, this and this. I have done the ground work. Now its your turn.
Four days back
Smiley, this and this are done. We still have this to do. But its impossible.
Two days back
I shook hands with the CEO of one of the subsidiaries of a three thousand crore
(3000,00,00,000) Indian giant. Then I sat in their Directors room explaining
COO why they are so lucky to get me. Then I told them, Not just one. I want
them both. Both the projects. And of course exclusivity.
I cant believe I am signing on this document. You are so inexperienced.
COO shook his head. Sign it. I encouraged.
On my flight back
Zee, I signed on both the projects. Not just that, I gave them post dated checks.
Now, you have get that this done. We have no other go.
Holy fucking shit. Congrats. But I mean holy fucking shit.
Yeah lots of holi fucking shit.
One day back aka yesterday
Its done. Said Zee.
But you will have to convince them tomorrow evening. I have arranged a meeting.
Convince? I am going to make them beg us. Now, rest your soul.
The Dream, I said, The Great Indian Dream has arrived.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Sigh. I am on. I got so tired of not being able to connect to the net.
I initiated this 'I should always be on' policy and unveiled it on, who
else?, my allInOneKrish.
So I am on. Always on now.
A Dell Inspiron connected to the net by a Reliance wireless modem
when I am on move.
A Toshiba connected to BSNL broadband at home.
Another Toshiba connected to Airtel at work.
(*Grin* Yeah, I have three laptops now. Because I hate disconnecting those
My IPaq always on with GPRS from Airtel.
Sify broadband connected to a locally assembled computer at the
other work place.
Tata Indicom broadband, once again to an assembled computer at my
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Vaishali stood out in that crowd. She stood out with her large happy smile that
revealed a surprisingly clean (for her class) and white set of teeth. Her smile was
pleasant and motherly. She stood out for her skin too. Not exactly an unusual fair
but hers was a smooth natural hairless skin. She was the head mestri for a group
of 40 laborers.
All of them were women.
It was three years back. I was working on a leather export order. To personally
supervise the quality and design I decided to get into the thick of action and went
to Chennai to make sure these women understood the design.
The owner of the leather factory was a muslim. He had a brother in law who was
in charge of design and prototypes section. It was a shed roofed with asbestos. I
daily used to go there with a laptop, digital camera and Reliance phone for my
Trust me, sitting in asbestos shed during the
faint hearted. You would sweat your digestive juices out.
I fell in love with Vaishali on day one.
Vaishali spoke Tamil. I understand Tamil but cant speak. Razzaq spoke Hindi and
Tamil. My Hindi is extremely rusty. Razzaq understood neither Telugu nor English.
Vaishali never looked into my eyes. She always used Razzaq as the mediator.
On day three I guess, Razzaq was absent. Vaishali finished a prototype and just
placed on my table. I looked at it. Didnt like it.
I said, No. I showed the model to her and said No.
I need a clip on the back. The edges should be of light colored leather for contrast.
By the evening we grew comfortable. One thing I noticed about her was she did not
sweat while I soaked.
On fourth day she asked Telugu? I said Yes. She said in Tamil that she understands
Telugu but she cant speak Telugu properly. I told her that so is my case with Tamil.
Our deal was I will speak in Telugu and she will speak in Tamil and that we can
The women did a laborious and boringly repetitive job. The run starts around 9 in
the morning. All they have is a chai around 11. A twenty minute lunch break in the
afternoon and close of the shop at 6 in the evening.
On the next day she looked a little special. She wore a saree. Almost instinctively
I said Wow and smiled at her. She smiled back. She joined her women and they
Even after an hour when I was talking to her about a new design she was giggling.
Why are you laughing?
She looked back at her team. She covered her mouth still giggling. The team was
Whats the matter?
Those two girls think you look like a cinema hero.
Really? I looked at the girls. Those two girls covered their faces.
Stop this nonsense. Razzaq erupted. Get back to work.
But nothing stopped Vaishali from giggling till lunch.
Just around lunch she finished a design and placed it on my table. I didnt like it.
I also wanted to her work on two more prototypes. The lunch bell rang.
I will come back after lunch. She said.
I cant wait. You can bring your lunch here.
She said, No no, I will eat later. I explained my design to her.
She worked on the prototypes. Around four in the evening. One of the prototypes
came out just right.
Good. This is what I want. I said.
I took pictures and uploaded them to my laptop.
What is it? She asked.
Its a computer.
By the way, did you have your lunch?
I am sorry.
No no no. Thats alright.
You can bring your lunch here and have it.
Show me your lunch.
It was a double decker. Pickle and rice in one box. Curd rice in the other one.
Thats basically crap. Dont you cook?
She giggled again. She said that she cooked some curry in the morning but after
fixing boxes for her kids and husband nothing was left for her.
I got shocked.
You have kids?
She got shocked.
I am married.
How old are you?
And you have school going kids? You don’t look like that. You are actually
kind of good looking.
You dont have scars on your stomach.
She was little offended and covered her stomach with her saree.
Go ahead, eat your crap.
Are you married?
No. No girl is interested in me.
You are a liar. Girls will like you.
Aha. How do you know? Do you like me?
Will you marry me?
Shut up. I am married.
Lets see, what is your husband like? Handsome? Smart? Rich?
No. She said. I noticed sadness in her face. I realized she was not comfortable
talking about her husband.
What about your kids? Are they cute?
My son looks like my husband. My daughter is just like me.
Lets keep your daughter. We can sell your son to an orphanage.
She laughed hard for about a minute.
You are crazy.
Where does your husband work?
At the port. But not on all the days.
How much do your earn here?
Fuck! How much does your husband earn?
He doesnt give us any money.
What is this us thing? What does he do with his money?
He drinks a lot.
Nice pick. Not handsome. Not smart. Not rich. Drinks a lot. Ha!
She got offended again.
Next day I asked her.
So have you thought anything about it?
About coming with me.
Why are you teasing me?
By the way, I cant marry you. I can keep you.
She put her hands on her hips and gave me a strong stare. She waved her index
finger and uttered something and broke into a wild laugh. She ran and joined
Vaishali wakes up at 5 in the morning. She fights for four buckets of water with
about 60 other women. She fights for three jugs of drinking water with another
60 women. She wakes and make up her children for school. She manages to
cook a breakfast and lunch meanwhile getting herself ready for the job. She
leaves house around 8 AM. She takes two buses guarding herself from men
from 15 years to 55 years ogling at her,trying to touch her, making comments
at her. She works nine hours non stop at the leather shop. She reaches home
around eight in the night. She prepares dinner for the family. Once or twice
in a week her husband arrives in the midnight. If he arrives in a love making
mode, he rapes her once or twice. If he arrives in an asshole mode, he
which factories run, institutions spread and intellectuals feed.
Her greatness belittles me even today.
This post is dedicated with immense respect to the great Indian working