Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Colgate's about turn or is it turnaround?

I came across this Colgate Charcoal toothpaste ad yesterday or the day before… As I am an ads freak numerous thoughts crossed my mind in the 30 seconds while this ad was going on…

A new variant to fool people.

Next butt of joke like 'Kya aapke toothpaste mein namak hai?'

I remembered a couple of people who used to brush their teeth with a black tooth powder or real charcoal. Maybe they have launched this to capture that traditional market.

Charcoal face scrubs that the likes of Kohli, John Abraham and Saif Ali Khan sell.

But in the back of my mind something kept nagging, these are not the things, there is another connection. And, the creative visualisation of charcoal powder stayed with me.

Then Colgate tooth powder came in: charcoal is rough and can harm your teeth. So, switch to the white and smooth Colgate tooth powder with the Ring of Confidence.

I couldn't locate the video of that ad… But could find the transcript of the Ad from here.

Colgate Tooth Powder: Two versions of the tooth powder ad.

Version one: muscular country bumpkin is out in the yard, with his weights, in front of a couple of buffalo.

Bumpkin: Arrey Bhabhi, zara mera doodh-badaam aur koyla dena to! 

Bhabhi: Arrey wah, devarji, badan ke doodh-badaam, aur daaton ke liye koyla?! [Scene change, shows graphic of gums and teeth up close]

Voice-over: Khurdare padaarth daaton ki parakh kharaab kar sakte hain.... [Use Colgate Tooth Powder, blah blah blah]
This Ad was telecast nearly 25-30 years back on DD and Colgate may have forgotten about it or have they suddenly woken up to the quality of charcoal?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Strange Place Other Than Earlobes

No, no... This isn’t a post about my fetish for earlobes (one of the softest and smoothest part of the body). In fact it is the title of anthology of corporeal poems by five contemporary poets that includes my good friend Binu Karunakaran. The book was formally launched on the 19th of this month at a function in the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014.

Here are a few pictures that I could click of the function:

Leena Manimekalai - the Chief Guest, a few moments spent together before the function
Dr. Sreelatha - one of the five poets featured in the book, giving a brief introduction of the book
Riyas Komu - initiating the proceedings
It takes mammoth effort to unravel a book
Ra Sh & Binu seem to be wondering if they will get a chance to speak
Meditating Riyas
Star of the Biennale & a fan
His moment did come
A sign of Arrival - Amol Palekar asking you to sign his copy of your book
You don't get Amol Palekar seated next to you everyday. So, just freeze the moment

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Broken Lives

It does sound like the title of a typical South Asian novel where a kid or kids growing up in poor or middle class surroundings and their family migrates to the West to improve their living conditions. But, this is not my story or to put it more clearly the story I intend to write, I wish to write a story about the people who drift away, disappear or just vanish from your life leaving you to languish in the pain of separation.

Ah! This is turning out to be some kind of meta fiction where the author or the storyteller is a part of the story yet it is not an autobiographical tale. I even posted what I thought would be the first line of the story on my FB wall to an encouraging response of likes, comments and shares. But, as it happens with me every time the vague plot did not take a solid mould.

I feel that you need a totally vacant, painfully vacant mind for a story to take root and I don’t believe in the theory that you go on typing and the story would automatically happen.

PS: I tried to write this to see if the blur picture in my head getting any clearer and, more importantly I did not want this title to evaporate into oblivion from my head. 

Monday, February 02, 2015

A clichéd love story

A clichéd love story

Throbbing in my head

Though they didn't walk into the sunset

Hand in hand

And, carried the pain in their hearts

Throughout their lives

Need a writer with calibre

To make it sound

Unique and fresh.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stream of consciousness

The thing that you’ll read below is an effort to revive my non-filmi writing (an informal new year resolution that I’d put a few hundred words on paper without really being bothered about the outcome), I doubt if you’ll gain anything by reading it. The purpose of putting it up here is to show off my pearly handwriting.

Writing using paper and a pen is a tedious business, not at all romantic as some people make it out to be. Yet I always imagine or dream of doing that. I envy people who can fill up pages while attending a press conference or sitting in a seminar, while I have to be alert and make an effort to remember everything that is being said. The cell phone or the tablet has been a boon for me as I can note down a few points or type out questions I wish to ask. Here also sometimes, I have to convince people that I am not engrossed in a video game or distracted by a sms or an email. 

There is one advantage of writing in a book for me and that is the fact that I am not distracted by a new notification in FB, or updates on twitter or a new email in the inbox. 

The other good thing about writing like this is the fact that it curbs my tendency to be overly dependent on online dictionary to check if the new word blinking in my head is apt in the context that I wish to use it. This is the first time I am trying to put something this long on paper after my student days. Once in a while I used to write letters to my friends after that, but, that too has stopped for a long time now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The excitement of clicking a pro

Thulasi Kakkat, a friend and a photographer with The Hindu whom I met at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale last Saturday, he was there to cover Shashi Tharoor's visit. He got excited seeing a camera fixed on my wheelchair and wanted to check how he looked from my vantage point. So, here is the result:

The rest of the pictures are commonly seen in the social as well as mainstream media and mine are taken at weird angles . Still I am trying to get a few exclusive ones and put them here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Leap of faith

While piecing your past together as if it was a jigsaw puzzle, you may come across a few pieces that are blank and don't fit anywhere or there would be a couple of colourful pieces that you wouldn't find the space for them to fit in.

You may be standing at a point and wondering how did I reach here? But, your mind refuses to budge even to share the memories of the journey. If it is a sad point you feel it is ok and try to start a new journey or start afresh. But, if it is a happy point people around would like to know about the journey and the only answer you can think of is “I don't know, it just happened”.

If you are attempting to tell a fictional story it is easier to be convincing as you gloss over a few facts and convey something like leap of faith, the person being at an happy point got lucky, and he/she may have worked hard. But, he/she was at the right place at the right time and got lucky.

In real life, what seems like a happy or successful point externally may be full of turmoil and turbulence internally. And, this success could be the outcome of the darkest period spent by the person in his/her life.

The challenge is to draw a picture of life juxtaposing all these without making it look messy or cringey (not sure if it is the right word). Most of the times I fail to do it.