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Yet Again??? Mumbai terrorized...

Well, it’s no less than a movie! Like some real-life Hollywood thriller or some Bollywood action flick. But very unfortunately this time it’s not fiction or reel, rather it is TRUE & REAL. And I always thought pirates coming down through sea by hijacking some ship or boat and then entering a city, running like crazy in the mid of main markets and streets with guns up in their hand and shoulder bag full of explosives, open gun firing, capturing the main buildings on gun point, hostages caught inside those buildings day and night, police fighting with goondas, firing, continuous rattling of AK 47, sudden blasts of granades, heavy smoke and fire in the air, good cops dying in such battles and masses losing their lives like that can happen only in either Johny Depp / Sunny Deol movies or in those pirates stories which we used to read as kids! The realization that it can happen in real life and somewhere so close to us in Mumbai and that its going on for more than 26 hours now is heart wrenching, terrifying and so shocking!!! It’s frightening to realize that these pics are not of any Bollywood set rather these are true stills of our very famous Taj hotel in Mumbai:

Thank god that my brother down there in Mumbai finally reached home safely last night and thank God that my mom who was going to my brother’s place in Mumbai boarded off that train today. What if she would have started one day before and reached CST last night??? Oh God, when such thoughts are so scary then how would those have felt who would have faced an open gun fire at CST? How are those feeling who are still trapped inside Oberoi for more than 26 hours now? And how must be the families of those feeling who lost their family members in this horrific attack? I can’t move myself away from television since last night, it is so depressing to see all this but then I’m just observing it on screen…out there are hundreds like us who are facing it in real life…I pray and can only pray for them!

Oh Award for my blog!!!

Thanks Sindhu for giving me this award…:-) In fact this is the 1st award for my this blogspot blog, so all the more special for me. And yeah getting a blog award just like that is definitely a very sweet and pleasant surprise. Now I need to follow these rules if I have to accept them!

Put the logo on your blog
Link the person who awarded it to you
Link the bloggers you are about to honor

Hmmm if I would have got this from someone else I would have definitely passed it on to Sindhu as her blog is really the coolest and my favorite one :-). And next in my list would have been Nautankey. But it’s through these two chains only that I got this award. So, let me pass this on to some of other blogs which I think are really cool:
So, here I pass on this award to:
Rhett: For those lovely and soulful poems!
Abhishek: For his cool blog where I hang out often
Chhavi: For those lovely pics and such a cool photoblog!
Clap Clap Clap for the new recipients. May I request all three of you to accept this award please?

SMS Marketing or Bombarding?

Yesterday I attended a session on “Mobile Marketing and its immense concealed potential in India”. While I agree to some of the points and as a marketer I am absolutely aware of the potential and different channels of mobile marketing in India but when it comes to execution I can’t help myself from heaving a frustrated sigh on this term known as “Mobile Marketing”. I will not go into deeper details of why and what, I will just cite few examples of my recent experiences with one of the most basic tools of Mobile Marketing which is SMS based promotions. Read More At Marketing Chit-Chat...

Aaj Ka Arjun:

This film titled “Aaj Ka Arjun” is showing today’s generation Arjun who is hassled but manages to get everything done at one click of arrow. Till end they don’t show the source where his arrows are targeted and from where he is managing to get everything done. The film ends with Arjun and his whole family targeting the same source and the source is Sulkeha. Quite a catchy way of showing everything happening at a click :-). Read More At Marketing Chit-Chat...

DOSTANA: A Laughter Riot!

With this new product launch on my head, weekend was again a working one :-( (God, when will it get launched completely!!!) and but obvious choice to unwind for us was MOVIES. Watched two movies over the weekend – Closer on a DVD on Saturday night followed by Dostana on Sunday in theater. So, shall I start with Closer as I watched that first? No, I think let me start with Dostana…well I know not many people have liked the movie (few of my colleagues in fact HATED it) but honestly speaking I liked it! Yeah I can see some frowns raising but I seriously think it’s at least a one-time watch. First half of the movie in fact was hilarious; we just couldn’t stop participating in the laugh riot in theater. The story is of two guys Abhishek and John who say that they are a gay couple in order to stay as tenants in Priyanka’s apartment which otherwise would not have been possible to get as Priyanka has got an aunty who wants her baby (Priyanka) to stay with only babies and not babas :-)…Rest I will not reveal as that’s for you to go and watch in theater :-).

I think this has to be Abhishek’s one of the best attempts at comedy, some of the scenes like that Venice scene or the one with Boman Irani was too funny! Priyanka looked cool and John looked hot. This year definitely is of Priyanka Chopra with not one – two rather 6 releases in last 6 months! First 4 doomed at box office but I’m sure Fashion and Dostana are going to be hits of the year. Now whatever be the fate of her movies but the lady definitely looks glam and absolutely gorgeous these days! Second half of the movie was bit boring and some of the scenes looked dragging but still it was bearable except for that gay kissing scene…Ummm that was bit too much and the rationale behind the scene was not at all justified. Though I do have a major complaint about one of the aspects of the movie – the movie plays with child psychology which influences the most important decisions of central protagonists but at the end they don’t show anything about the issue at all. John and Abhishek manipulate Veer’s (Bobby’s son) innocent mind to influence Bobby’s decision of marrying Priyanka and they actually succeed in their manipulations but at the end they didn’t show anything about that important issue and about that kid at all! Rest of the actors like Kirron Kher, Sushmita Mukherjee are as usual good. Music of the movie is ok and hummable with my favorites being “Jaane Kyun…” and “Maula…”. And I agree to Karan Johar's statement which says it’s a HAPPY & GAY movie, yeah there is this gay angle to the movie but its shown in a very different way. Over all the movie was enjoyable and I would recommend it to anybody who is willing for a light flick with some insane and real crazy moments.

Other Details of the movie:

  • Duration of the movie: 3 hour +
  • Best to watch it with: Spouse / Partner or Friends. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT watch it with Kids or Parents at all. No kids as they won’t understand it and it has quite some adult talks and no parents as they can’t understand it and it has quite some adult talks :-)
  • Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Bobby Deol, Kirron Kher, Boman Irani, Sushmita Mukherjee
  • Director: Tarun Mansukhani
  • My Rating: 3/5 (good)

I think I will end with Dostana and will leave Closer for my next post later.

Don’t know why?

I was talking to this colleague friend of mine who said "why am I so silent these days? Is it introspection or is it sadness?" And my answer was, “silent? Nahi toh”. He again asked, “you don’t seem to be in your lively mood for past few days and I simply shook my head, “pata nahi yaar.” He smiled and replied “if you are introspecting, it’s ok. Maybe another great idea is going to come out of your mind and if you’re sad then too it’s ok as one cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often, so it’s good to be sad sometimes”. This quote from Erich Fromm was like a soother for me today.

Hmmm I think it’s one of those phases when nothing seems to be right in life, when optimism looks like a theoretical word, when your rational brain goes for a toss, when despite good things happening to you at work you don’t feel like working, when you find all this race of career, life and money worthless, when even small things upset you a lot, when despite your immense patience level you don’t feel like tolerating certain people and certain circumstances, when hope seems to be a far cry, when everything around you looks just so irritable, when even if you try you can’t find the reason of your sadness…ah my “when” list seems to be a never ending one, so better I should put a stop here. Well, I think it’s just another bad day when certain things have triggered me into my gloomy and contemplative mood and all I want to do is just be silent! Wondering if I’m tired or is it just my one of those cancerian mood swings? Whatever it is, I hope something good happens and this phase ends soon…

Political Advertising: Advaniji on web!

Just last week itself, I wrote about Political Advertising in India for 2009 elections and here comes another surprise of the same. Now after celebrities it’s the turn of Politicians looking up to the mighty web world. Joining the league is none other than L.K. Advani whose website got launched on his 81st birthday on 8th Nov’08. BJP launched this website for their Prime Minister candidate Advani with an objective to reach out to the young and first time voters in India. Read More At Marketing Chit-Chat...

In-film advertising is FASHIONable

Watched Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion yesterday, I liked the movie…really liked it, though I think the name of the movie should have been “Kimaya’s Fashion” or “Fashion from Kimaya” J. Another interesting case of in-film advertising with not one or two brands rather many. Read More at Marketing Chit-Chat...

Fashion is interesting

Watched Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion last night and in one word I can say that it was CAPTIVATING! Right from start to end I was totally hooked onto the movie. Not that the story was unpredictable or plot was not known…of course it was a Madhur Bhanadarkar’s movie on Fashion world and so I had expected it to be like this but still there was something about the movie which kept me totally engaged. It looked realistic and different.
To start with, I think Kangana was outstanding and Priyanka was awesome! This has to be Priyanka’s best performance till date. The story is of Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) from Chandigarh who comes to Mumbai with a dream of becoming a supermodel. In all the glitter and glamour of fashion world she encounters the ruthless realities of life. The movie revolves around her journey and her struggle to make it big, how she meets and deals with Shonali (Kangana) who is a very successful showstopper and her competitor, her relationship with Janet (Mugdha Godse) who is also a struggling model with very clear priorities but settles for something quite weird in life, Manav (Arzan) who is also a new-comer and shares a strong bond with Meghna and Sarin (Arbaz Khan) who is the owner of Panache the most sought after brand for super models. No further details of the story in the interest of those who want to see the movie J. Each and every actor has delivered such a strong performance but Kittu Gidwani definitely deserves a special mention. She was too good and yeah she looked as ravishing as ever. Madhur Bhandarkar has done a great job in some of the scenes like the wardrobe malfunctioning one and the fiasco after that, Priyanka’s self-realization in front of mirror after she comes back from that shady hotel or Kangana’s reaction in rehab center. Songs were average but some of the background scores were very good. Madhur Bhandarkar has once again proved it that he knows what he is delivering. To me as I said the movie looked real, absolutely real.
Overall, I loved the movie and I would recommend it to everybody who would like to watch something different. Though the theme is serious but it’s not a heavy movie, it has its masala scenes and light moments as well. From my side it’s thumbs up to this yet another powerful presentation by Bhandarkar.

Other Details of the movie:

  • Duration of the movie: 3 hour +
  • Best to watch it with: Spouse / Partner or Friends. It’s a strict NO for kids becoz – 1. It’s a serious stuff, 2. It has some adult sequences as well
  • Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut, Mugdha Godse, Arbaaz Khan, Arjan Bajwa, Kitu Gidwani, Raj Babbar, Kiran Juneja
  • Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
  • My Rating: 3.5/5


Political Advertising

In this season of advertising and mass media budget cuts, it definitely rings a bell if you suddenly listen about any campaign having a budget as high as 150 crores! Yeah, such budgets are still there and that too in India for advertising campaigns of just 2-3 months duration. Read More At Marketing Chit-Chat

I’m back

I’m back to Bangalore and back to blogging :-). Ah, I was off from blogging for more than two weeks now…well LOADS of work at office, new marketing initiatives and alliances to deal with, coupled with frequent travelling! To add to that maid on unplanned leave for more than ten days now :-(. Life was frenzied and yeah it was one of those periods when you feel – oh hell, work life is so damn demanding in a start-up! But why start-ups, I think these days work life is full of pressure and demands for most of us in this downturn period. Everybody is speaking of lay-offs, pink slips, leave without pay and salary cuts! Everyone is trying hard to put in his or her best to survive the giant known as layoff! In fact wherever you go the common topic of discussion remains the same. I met this interesting elderly gentleman on my flight back to Bangalore last night, he is having his own company in Seattle and he shared some interesting statistics regarding layoffs. Whatever I can remember, I am sharing those here:

  • Massive layoffs in current times leading to increasing unemployment is one of the worst which job market could have ever faced.
  • Jobless rate has reached approx 8% now which is the highest in last 25 years, it was 6.1% in 2003 and 7.8% in 1992.
  • There are lots of companies which are resorting to mindless layoffs in a panic situation. Not every company needs to go for such huge scraping.
  • Wages are once again going to be monopolized now by the employers as there are many job seekers for lesser number of vacancies.
  • These dramatic layoffs will only lead to further worse economy. More credit in the market as people are unable to pay their EMIs, reduced expense which is leading to less sales for most of the consumer oriented companies.

It was a good insightful discussion but well it was scary, really scary. Nobody knows exactly when this situation will improve…everybody is just predicting and praying!

Britney 2.0!

Posted this on Marketing Chit-Chat almost two weeks back...
Celebrities using web 2.0 platforms is no new phenomenon now…we have seen lots of examples of Bollywood as well as Hollywood ones. From having their own websites, to blogging, to official presence on networking sites like Facebook and Orkut, celebs are doing it all to reach their audience and establish a direct connect with them. And as if these were not enough, now they are having their fan following on twitter as well. Yeah, celebs are actually on twitter now! And following this trend is none other than Britney Spears who has re-launched her website as well as an official page on twitter. Read full story at Marketing Chit-Chat

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