May 29, 2007

May 23, 2007

Diamonds are forever

Finally! After more than 2 days of grueling, around 10-15 'fresh' concepts, and hours of introspection, one of my concepts was finalized…phew! Firstly the clients are never clear about what they want :

"You make something that gives a corporate feel." Eh…what do you mean by that?

"Ok, make something that talks greatly of our company". Well…that’s what we are paid to do anyways

"Oh, then why don’t you think about some concept and show it to us after 2 days." As usual, not at all focused.

Anyways, when I did make a few concepts, they said,

"Well, this is not what we want." Is it? Then why don’t you just vomit out what you want?

"Value - yes, make something on values." Hmm…that doesn’t help either but atleast something is better than nothing.

So another 2 days, loads of brain storming and at the eleventh hour my muse gets active and I hurriedly write a concept. I show it to my boss, he looks at me, and says, "Wow! That’s nice…that’s one of the best concepts I've seen lately. Minimum words, great impact!"

Whoa! I never expected a compliment like that from my boss. And then he adds, "Well, the client wants the complete film in 4 days. Just wish that they approve of it." BANG. So the grueling is still not over. I just wish the client likes this one, not because I've worked really hard on this but because I think this will really look great visually. Well, I forgot to tell you about the client - they are one of the biggest diamond dealers of Gujarat! I don't mind getting a solitaire as a reward for good work ;)

May 18, 2007

Coffee and conversations

In a country that thrives on tea-drinking populace, a coffee joint would have never been a profitable venture. Or so we thought. Just look around and you will see the shift in the 'drink' that people prefer now. Coffee joints like Barista, CCD, Mochas and others have given rise to a whole new culture- the coffee culture. They attract teens and college crowd who are purely after making an impression . So you would hear pseudo accents, narrating pseudo stories among pseudo friends - all at an attractive price that brings you the not-so-good coffee.

I have been to this new generation coffee joints but I loathe the coffee they offer. With all its fancy names and sky rocketing prices, what they offer is least impressive. I'd rather have a coffee at the nearby tapri for something less than Rs. 10 and still be satisfied. And weren’t coffee joints meant for some quiet time with friends and more so with yourself? Ah, ofcourse these joints offer you that facility - with games, loud music, the guitar kept on one side, the cozy couches and the fancy snacks, they do make sure that you spend quality time out there.

Nonetheless I do visit these places at times just to observe the crowd - they are young and hungry for attention. Clad in the latest fads and lingos, the girls and boys try their best to look upbeat with the cuppa coffee in their hands. The place compels them to behave in a particular manner and that inturn turns out to be a complete turn off.(too many turns here!)

But you cannot deny the fact that these places have surely been successful in spreading a culture that goes beyond the drink. So, if you are at some place where you are asked "coffee or tea?" and you answer "coffee", it means you are the young and restless, cool and happening kind of person, image-conscious, fashion savvy, intellectual types. And if you say "tea", it would mean you are like any other local round the corner, who works and sweats and comes home and has tea and is not aware about the latest fads and book releases.

In an attempt to make even tea-drinkers look hep, a tea joint was set up here in Ahmedabad, called 'Tea Centre'. The greatest irony is that this place is set up right above a Barista. Next to the most popular coffee joint there are almost invisible stairs which take you to this small and cozy place. I believe I must have been to this place more than I have been to a coffee joint. I simply love the interiors of this place - white and light green in colour, it gives you a feeling of freshness. You can watch the busy crossroads from its glass walls while you sip one of the 20 plus variety of teas this place has to offer! Though the strategy of both the places is the same - cool interiors, great variety and not-so-humble prices- the 'Tea Centre' still breeds the kind of people who come there for the love of the national drink rather than being seen as a part of a status symbol.

But there is nothing that beats the simplicity of the old Iranian coffee joint in Pune called 'Good Luck'. Situated on the road which gets its name from the famous college on it - Fergusson- 'Good Luck' has been serving for more than 5 decades now. It rests on a crossroads little ahead of Barista and CCD and still throughout the day it throngs with people who have literally been fed on its coffees and muska buns over the years. The many windows draw in the traffic noise, the waiters run hither thither in sweaty uniforms and the people walk-in in bathroom slippers and a worn out t-shirt. Still, this place is more genuine than any of the new coffee joints. A steaming cup of coffee served with maska bun loaded with butter that melts in your mouth after being dipped in the coffee….ummmm. Absolutely divine.

And as I walk out of this place I spot a Mochas round the corner. The dim lights and the smell of vanilla and strawberry flavoured hookahs make it look like some suspicious place. I read the phrase "coffee and conversations" and ask myself "is it?"

May 16, 2007

The Broken Image

In January 2004, I attented the first literary seminar of my life - the Katha Seminar. By far, it has been one of my most memorable trips to Delhi - the literary talks, the many movies at the film fest, the Delhi winters...I enjoyed every minute of it! The seminar opened a whole new world for me and I realized that there is life beyond classroom lectures. Not that I didn't know about it earlier, just that it hit me the strongest during this seminar and compelled me to take a step ahead. It was precisely at this point that I decided that I would pursue my Masters in Media Studies.

I attented several workshops at the seminar and one of it was a workshop on poetry writing conducted by George Szirtes - a renowned poet from Europe, who has also extensively worked in the field of translation ( During the workshop he asked us to think of an object, personify it and use it as the subject of our poem. After 15 minutes I had in hand the first poem I'd ever written. This one holds a special place for me. Let's see if you can guess what is the object that is personified here :)

But once I was
Loaded with images
like books stacked
shelf after shelf,
I could see everything-
yes, everything
But myself…

The hidden tear
The child's fear
The first grey hair
Following an unknown path
Leading nowhere

But now,
A thin line cuts deep through me
Like a once bountiful
but now dried up sea
And I can still see it all..
The hidden tear
The child's fear
Alas! I'm hacked in two
They don’t come near...

May 15, 2007

The first step...

it's just a matter of minutes and it's done! why the hell did it take so long for me to start my blog? i was always looking for the 'right moment' - don't know what that means 'cos i just had to click a few buttons to start blogging. Today, finally i said- well, i have to start blogging, no matter what. So, here i am finally with my blog. I've got loads to say, loads to write and loads to share. And finally i have a space of my own to do this...i'm so excited! :)