Thursday, April 26, 2018

To my mom

Mom, you mean the world to us
Loving, caring and giving so selflessly

Mom, you teach us by your ways 
Living your life so righteously

Mom, you are always there for us
Guiding and chiding in your own way

Mom, you lead us in the right way
Moulding us in faith & spirituality

Mom, you inspire us by your active life
Showing us that nothing can slow you down

Mom, you are perfect just the way you are
Like dad says '99.99%', which is the best any mom can be!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tribute to Dad, on his 70th Birthday

As you reach an important milestone in life
I want to say, that all along, you’ve been a great dad;
From childhood to adulthood to parenthood
You’ve always been there, telling good from bad;

You may have never sat beside me
Or listened patiently to my joys or woes;
But I know you’ve watched me from a distance
Allowing me to blossom, without standing in the way;

You have taught me to stand up for myself
Do things and go places on my own;
So never have I felt more free and independent
Than under the safety of your wings;

Not one who cared much for outward expressions
You led us by unspoken words and unwritten rules;
You held the unseen reins, that has shaped us
And allowed us to grow, head over our shoulders;

Your actions have always spoken louder than words
Your principles have greatly moulded our character;
And with mom by your side, to fret and fuss over us
You struck the balance, that has made us stronger;

Though you didn’t chase us to chase any wild dreams
You took pride in our every achievement;
And every time you bragged about us to the world
It boosted our confidence, yet kept us grounded;

You’ve never interfered in my choices
But have greatly influenced my decisions;
I am who I am, I’ve become who I chose to be
Because you’ve let me be me, happy and free;

Thank you dad, for such memories are plenty
As I now wish you a happy seventy;
May you stay blessed with prosperity
And remain happy, hale and hearty!

Your loving daughter

Friday, February 10, 2017

Take just a moment

Take just a moment to look around
Appreciate the beauty that does abound;
Why then do you keep that frown
When everything is fine from morn to sun down?

Take just a moment to look inside
With the dearest of family beside;
Why then do you sweat and fret
When you have everything you can get?

Take just a moment to listen
To the rain splash on your window and glisten;
Why then do you in summer cry
Of water, power, all and sundry?

Take just a moment to hear
To your heart and to others’ tear;
Why then do you want to weep
When the going gets just a little steep?

Take just a moment to smell
The fragrance of roses you can tell;
Why then do you crib about a little sneeze
When your blessings never seem to cease?

Take just a moment to breathe
The symbol of life in you indeed;
Why then do you complain of life
When you have just no strife?

Take just a moment to speak
To those who are down and meek;
Why then do you forget to call
When you have not felt a pall?

Take just a moment to talk
With sweet words that can melt a rock;
Why then do you end in yell
And feel like you’ve just been to hell?

Take just a moment to touch
Those who need you much;
Why then do you not understand
When you have above a mighty hand?

Take just a moment to feel
The joy in reaching out to heal;
Why then do you run away
Instead of making it a happy day?

So go on, take just a moment
'Coz life on earth to you is lent;
Dwell in every precious moment
And serve others, for that’s how it is meant!


Friday, October 21, 2016

When briefs become briefer and deadlines sound the death knell

Gone are the days when advertising held a charm for creatives working day and night to crack the big idea. In the instant coffee, instant info and instant everything era, ads also are expected to be delivered instantly.

Most briefs that come our way are adhoc, thought out at the spur of the moment, perhaps when the client came across some fanciful ad in the morning papers, or perhaps when the team got a dressing down for not achieving sales target, or perhaps just to keep the retainer agency busy, ‘coz they would have to pay anyway!

Whatever the reason, the all important brief which was once considered as the foundation of any ad / creative campaign that sparked off great ideas and strategies, has now been trimmed down to a no-frills no-nothing one line telephone / email brief. And this brief sometimes comes with reference to a trail of internal mails, each proving the hierarchy of the people in conversation, with changing offers and objectives, some even suggesting headline and copy with a ‘PS:’ to creatively tweak it as appropriate (but to be read as ‘don’t you dare change a word’). Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get a brief document that looks very professional but is based on a standard brief format, meaning only the product name and deadline changed visibly, but the communication message / objective remained more or less the same.

Coming to the deadline, we’ve always heard of the “yesterday” deadlines, which has perhaps existed since the beginning of advertising, but now our brethren in the client organisations seem to take it to heart. A brief almost always comes only in the evening, and the deadline is almost always ‘A.S.A.P’ (As Soon As Possible) which has graduated to ‘By EoD’ (End of Day), since “as soon as possible” would again give a free hand to the creative agency.

Fact is, such short deadlines don’t really result in ads / creatives being done, approved and released within a short period. It only denies creatives the time and space to think and work creatively. Then there are a million drafts, back & forth iterations and so on, which finally results in substandard work. This eventually takes longer than the deadline, as changes are again arbitrary and at the spur of the moment, which results in more time than the actual time taken for conceptualising, copy, design & artwork.

The produced work is more often a mix and match of options, with client ideas imposing itself on the final creative, and agency a mere bystander or witness to the mayhem and cacophony in between. Why then are agencies held accountable if the ad doesn’t kick up any dust or make any noise (not even a whisper) among the TG (Target Group)?

I hear the death knell, so I got to wind this up. So I leave you with these grave emotions of an adman at the brink of madness with briefer briefs and yesterday deadlines!

Friday, October 14, 2016

The man I met on Tiger Hills

He’s a man with plenty of wit and wisdom
Who has made on this lovely hill, his own Kingdom
He can charm you with his legendary tales
Of glorious days that shine o’er blooms & vales

He’s a man who walks alongside the high & mighty
Yet not one to let his pride come before his piety
He can talk endlessly, yet keep you glued
Coz he’s the ‘been there, done that’ dude

He’s a man who has made his mark in this world
With perseverance, overcoming hardships untold
Everything that he was, is, and will be
His story unveils it with dignity and glee

He’s a man who has built a home within a home
In memory of his loving wife, this special dome
That celebrates her life, her likes and every desire
And brings her alive with his generous praise & revere

He’s a man you wish you had met too
And his home is a treasure house out of the blue
Where every room speaks of him, and his muse
His garden, a beautiful respite from the blues

He’s certainly a man worth writing this about
Coz he stands testimony to being all devout
He puts his heart & soul in everything he does
And that’s what inspires you to go make the buzz


Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Workaholic blues

From months of hectic work, down to zero work! Half a day gone, checking mails like a mail-hooked-female every other minute, but still no new brief. It’s nothing short of a miracle.

With long hours in front of the computer, stressful deadlines, blood shot eye and aching head or back from all the strain, there were times when all briefs began to sound like the death knell...

God, I sure was longing for this break, but when it came, I find myself bored silly! There's so much I could have done in the meantime, but the addiction to work has incapacitated me from doing anything else. Like reading a book or writing a blog, or at least sorting my files or getting my computer fixed. But my gluteus maximus (that is, my butt) appears to be glued to my chair, and my eyes transfixed on my desktop; everything else, just blurred and hazy.

I was so caught up in this empty trance, waiting for the morsel of work, my bread and butter, to be thrown at me. Mouth drooling, ears flapping, tail wagging and all, like an eager puppy. But nothing!

I check my mail again, still nothing. Am I so obsessed and blinded with work that I can’t think of anything else? Not even when there’s no work? Guess that’s who they call workaholic, and I sure need a shot or two to cheer me up...

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

What's in a name?

When my 1st child was born, we named her Roanna - derived from a latin word meaning 'sweet and gracious'. My dad said, "why such a complicated name? By the time she learns to say her on name, she will be in college!" That's my dad :)

Well, from what I have seen, heard and learnt over the years, however simple or complicated your name may be, people will always find ways of making it sound complicated or different! My name for instance, considered to be simple by my dad, with only 4 letters, is quite a common name in India, yet pronounced in a zillion different ways by a zillion different people. So what's the point?

I believe we have every right to name our children what we think is good for them. We just need to use our rational thinking and not come up with names that may sound embarrassing or lead to 'name calling' when they grow up.

People in Kerala have a history of getting carried away with names, though of late it's definitely better. Names are either rhyming words for the whole pack of children (Biju, Ciju, Riju, Shiju, Tiju, Niju...and so on) or different combinations of their parents' names (which means a Jethro + Susanne can actually name their son Jesus!) or alphabetical order (Anand, Biju, Chandran, Dinakar...)and there's a fetish for names starting with 'A', and that too with double a, so they're always first in class (Aaron, Aakash)! Some choose situations to come up with names. There's even a Shield and his brother Trophy, can you beat that!

I wonder if it's a good idea to let kids choose a name when they're big enough to understand and choose what's best for them! What do you think? Also share some of the names you think can't get any weirder.... ;P