Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Allen Solly's campaign: Is it bad to be ugly?

"I Hate Ugly" cries out Allen Solly's new promotional slogan. (See the poster attached)

Just noticed it in an e-mail from the company. Was wondering why everybody is hell-bent on proclaiming ugly as bad? These are two different things - being ugly and being bad.

Ugly, by popular understanding - refers to something that is not very appealing to look at, something that is unattractive. The most popular reference being to that of looks (physical beauty). Most common usage being - She is pretty but her sister is ugly.

But again if you pluck the philosophical chord, ask yourself - What is pretty? This is all very subjective. I many find pink as a very pretty colour, somebody else may find it ugly. Right? So ugly or pretty - this classification is based on our social and mental conditioning like preferences, prejudices, experiences, upbringing, beliefs etc.


If you like blue and may be I just don’t like it, so should I hate blue? Another example - if a person is not very good looking (is ugly so to say), so should we hate that person?

This question is ticking in my mind ever since I've read "I Hate Ugly" campaign.

Don't think we need to hate ugly things, we just need to accept them, if not appreciate them at all. After all, the world isn’t all White and Black, it’s Grey. We need to have ugly things around so that we can value the pretty things. Isn’t it?

- Would you hate an unattractive person (ugly) person simply because he/she isn’t good looking?
- Would you shun ugly things only because you don’t appreciate them in your world.

Please post your thoughts in the 'comments' section.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Travel Tales: When strangers turn angels

This is one of my favourite memoirs. I was travelling to Shimla for a puja at home (PS: Shimla is my hometown, Delhi is my temporary hideout). It was the end of January and the temperatures were touching sub-zero levels. It was biting cold in Delhi. I was anticipating that it would be worst in Shimla. I packed enough woolens with me and covered myself from head to toe. I usually prefer an over-night journey to reach Shimla.

My journey started at 8pm from Delhi ISBT. I had booked a seat near window and was happy that there would be no disturbance. I plugged music into my ears and was lost in Smokie's "Who the f*#@k is Alice". Just then, a stranger came my way, pushing his huge rucksack against me and asking me if I could adjust it under my seat. He was mid-aged, well built man. There was some space at my end and he pleaded me to fit his stuff there.

I was irritated, and then mom's words hammered in my mind. "Don't speak to strangers, don't eat anything that strangers offer," are some of her favourite travel advices. I frowned at him and declined. He didn't say anything. I thought he was cheeky and decided to be at a distance from him.

Meanwhile, mum called up to inquire if I was comfortable. The journey from Delhi takes about 7-8 hours by bus. I had had a long day at office earlier and my head was aching. She adviced me to have coffee during the travel interval. I shrugged it off.

When the bus halted at Chandigarh, many passengers got down to grab eatables. I was dead asleep. My 'friendly' neighbour tapped my shoulder. He got coffee for me. He said, "I heard you talking to your mum. You have a headache. Please have this coffee. It will help you. I heard your mum saying the same". I stared at him. "No thanks. Please keep to yourself," was my curt reply. I cursed the damn Moto-Razer. This guy had heard every word of my conversation. "Thesh damn slim phones. You can overhear every word spoken into them. This guy has a glad eye," I declared in my mind. He left the place.

The journey re-started. Within 4 hours we reached Shimla bus stop. But boy.... it has started snowing there. It was 6am but seemed like midnight. It was pitch dark and dead cold outside. A sheat of snow covered the city. Amazing view, but I was stuck. How would I go home now?
I panicked and called dad. Initially my plan was to take a taxi back home, but then usually no taxis are available in such scenarios.

Actually, it becomes risky to drive in snowy weather. Shimla has very narrow roads, running up and down the slopes. Any vehicle can skid in bad weather conditions. In fact people prefer staying back homes .

Now this was true for dad as well. He asked me to wait for a while at the bus stop. He was hoping the weather would become clearer in next 2 hours, then he could drive down to ferry me. Most passengers had left the place. Most of them were families/couples and had figured some way to get back.

Being a lone woman traveller, I was stranded there. I picked up my stuff and stood in a corner. Along came my ‘friendly'neighbour. I had hoped that he too, like the others would have left the bus stop. He said," I heard you speaking to your dad. Your dad will take time to be here. Why do you want to wait in cold. My driver is coming this way. He's driving a Safari, a sturdy car. It won’t skid. If you wish you could come along."

I was in a hopeless situation. Be with him or stand alone in a bus stop - what could I do?
He was like an albatross. Before I could jump any guns, he declared "You are like my sister. She is married, now lives in the US. She studied in Delhi and often came back home in the night bus. Hence I can understand the challenges of a lone woman passenger. Therefore, I offered you coffee"

Before I could utter anything he left the scene. I was more troubled now. I had nowhere to go.
He came back after five minutes. I hadn't anticipated this. In this meanwhile he had spoken to one more family who were looking for a transport option. He offered them helped and then came to speak to me again.

I just couldn't believe that such people STILL exist. Now, it we were four of us. I felt more secured and agreed to be a part of this troupe. We boarded this guy's SUV. They dropped me first. I invited these people for breakfast and we feasted on hot parathas and tea. Meanwhile it had stopped snowing. The weather had become clearer.

After dropping me, these people left for their avenues.

After this incident, I firmly believe that ANGELS do exist. They are all around us. Just open your eyes, you will be able to spot an angel near you - in your office, your neighbourhood.

Till you find one, or try to be an angel to someone. If nothing else, just be polite to others. What say?


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

House's That

Here's a quick take on real estate sales. Have created this comic from a joke.

Do lemme know if it tickles your funny bone. ChoW!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Linking with the right people on Linkedin

Advertising is one of the finest and the cleverest form of communication.

Read somebody's profile on social media forum Linkedin. And couldnt help but conclude that advertising have gotten into the basics of life.

"Web-evangelist" said somebody's Linkedin profile. This person is a senior at workplace. For those who are unfamiliar with Linkedin, the dope is that Linkedin is a social media tool where professionals display their work achievements and add their colleagues/friends/acquaintances to their profile. This is called 'connecting' with people.

Anyway, back to the evangelist fellow. He is connected to me and I browsed his profile. "Web-evangelist" was just one of the few claims he had made of himself. There were other glorious descriptions like "experienced professional with deep understanding of the medium.... pioneer".

My heart sighed. Having known this person in real life. I know for sure that not one aota of this matches his real life persona. He is talented, no doubts about that. This is why he occupies an esteemed position in a reputed media company. Sadly he is nowhere the "pioneer and evangelist" material.

I mean its ok to use these words when required.. may be they seem meaningful in Ratan Tata or Azim Premji's profile. But they certainly do not justify any fool's CV. If he is a strategist then what should Narayan Murthy call himself - God.

May be this was his (my office chap's) way of advertising his profile on Linkedin. And he's not alone. Browse through any profile and it will talk of 'strategists, entreprenuers etc'

Wonder if these 'tricks' can help you create the right impression on fellows around. I personally have less than one drop of respect for this fellow. God bless the others in his tribe who use glorious words to describe themselves but do meagre little to justify it.

Have you had similar experiences? Do share in the 'comments' section.