The State of Advertising in Chennai

I don’t need to say this, but I want to.

Chennai is infested with non-professionals

I’m meeting a couple of advertising agencies regularly to discuss about any freelance projects and more. I was all geared up to meet a new startup, they really had their hands full. So, I could understand all the rushing up with the succession of meetings. But, why favour non-professionals?

I’m too old for this shit

The state of things is beyond repair, startups looking to make a quick buck instead of focusing on solutions that will change the world for the better. To continue the story from before, I met a Human Resource person who reeked of MTI and a clear lack of experience. Instead of coaching me through the day-to-day operations, she kept mumbling about “five-day work culture, but we meet the CEO on Saturdays, i.e if he’s working.”

There was no NDC, so I can go on here what bummed me about the proceedings. It seemed to be a really well-decorated office, so they had me fooled. But, as soon as I got the chance to really go through their work (the site wasn’t updated), my second thoughts kept creeping like a slithering slimy snail.

Buck out

I quoted a fair amount for the pile of work that was cut out for me. But, the so-called CEO in his newly found demeanor of suit without a tie burst in to meet the editor and call it off. I was flipping through their poorly designed magazine and could see the conversation through the glass wall. I took a guess, pointed to a typo and explained to the editor – “beyond the lack of high-res images, there isn’t any connection with the text and the image, Vorso Recto.”

Cost cutting sweatshops

I clearly remember walking out with complete disgust from a particular agency. I was keen on writing copy for sites and billboards, but they asked me to rewrite dry content on pharma.

To this day I feel sorry for the people who have to do meaningless things on a regular basis to earn their bread.

I advised a Swiggy delivery person to skip the robotic parroting of words; why should humans be reduced to machines whilst AI like Duplex gets all the praise?

Dear Agencies

I’m a writer besides all the leg pulling, second-guessing and frowns. And, I don’t plan on stopping this anytime sooner. Maybe my keystrokes and flow thoughts or a pattern that you can’t process. Maybe my fumbling fingers are trying to catch the drift of the speed of my brain. Still, I keep on keepin’ on…

keep on keeping on

Don’t do favours

While there is a great opportunity to start up and make it big, there is a risk of losing it all by employing halfbaked non-professionals. I have worked with multiple startups to realise that the entrepreneurs do reflect the shy and insecure persona of Richard from Silicon Valley.

I get whooping on a regular basis from my mentor if I screw any minor detail. And, never did I feel that whooping was undeserved; they keep you in check and help you improve. Do give them a whooping now and then so that there is motivation for them to prove you wrong, yes every employee (even the suck-ups) gets a kick out of it.

Hire and fire

Another constant issue I face in Chennai is that the organisations lack the guts and courtesy to say it on the face. Instead of just picking up the call and stating the obvious, they tend to dodge calls and make up stories to get back to me on the assignment. Just grow a pair and spill it straight, being candid with staff is the lesson that most entrepreneurs missed in orientation.

Have you made a mistake hiring an incapable person, who in the meantime has developed a cute little relationship with all the team members, so what? Fire them so that the rest of the staff are aware that mediocrity isn’t tolerated here. I tend to see people hesitating to let go of people, especially the female staff in light of the morale of the team. But, will it help in the long run?

Are you reading this starter uppers?

In a recent conversation with a Brand Manager, we were discussing the practise of formal wear and discipline. I referred to the show Silicon Valley, as Mike Judge went to far lengths to portray the present state of the Valley.

People don’t perform the best if they are inconvenient with the little things. All the ‘planned fun’ the HR to try and impose on the staff wouldn’t rub off if it’s forced.

We are here for a fraction of a time, let’s make the best of it doing what we love in a manner that we love.

Get in touch to change the world for the better.

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Thanos Will Return

Something about Infinity War (Spoilers ahead)

Let’s start at the end

This is the first Avengers film that moved me emotionally. I read online that MCU could be learning and adapting a lot from the Long Narrative from the TV shows. Serious drama takes time to build-up, and the ride is full of twists and turns to serve the big and fulfilling ending – be it a season or series finale (Phases in MCU).

Needless to say there are plentiful characters we lost forever in the MCU, so that we can make room for the new ones in the coming Phases. Nick Fury helps reveal the entry of Captain Marvel in the post credit scene, after he withers away like many other characters. Even though there is a slight possibility of seeing our favourite characters come back, I could not help but feel a strong loss for the fallen heroes.

Thanos isn’t all that bad

MCU fans kept waiting for the big reveal of Thanos for 10 years with over 18 movies. The hype was much to a point making Thanos seem all evil and mighty, but he’s a bit more than that.

As we watch Infinity War with devoted attention, there are intricate details to the characters. Few seconds of back and forth gaze between Bruce and Natasha reveals a hell of lot than lines of dialogue between the Joker and Batman, but I’m not here to dizz DC yet again.

The scenes with Gamora and Thanos were brilliantly sentimental. And, I could see the psychology of Thanos from an objective Spock kind of view. He’s right in saying that the Universe and its resources are finite; if we could take anything away from the movie, it should be this.

Black Panther let down

I procrastinated long to watch Black Panther, and I couldn’t do the same with Infinity because of the long lists of spoilers I had to endure from friends and foes from the internet. Maybe that’s the reason I didn’t quite enjoy the Wakanda scenes quite as much as the return of Star Lord and God of thunder.

The war scenes kind of seemed to be a letdown, as I imagined all of the Avengers and the Guardians of The Galaxy would participate. But, the separation of the plot lines to speeden the script kind of felt artificial. It was in my vies less exciting than the fight at the airport in Civil War; let’s face it Spidey fighting the cap, Ant-Man growing big and dumb – that’s way cooler.

I don’t want to come off as a racist prick, but to me the accents sounded kind of fake and the war cry didn’t do nothing. To add to the list of complaints on Wakanda, the supposed expert operating on Vision is a poor performer, not that her juggling seemed fake – it’s just that she couldn’t pull it off with Paul Bettany.

Scarletts Assemble

In a brief scene Scarlet Witch helps out Black Widow and the girl from Black Panther, soon enough they become a team – I don’t see that happening even in comics. If you’d compare that to Rocket having a friendly chat with Bucky about his arm and the gun – that’s priceless; we could see Rocket ripping off Bucky’s mechanical arm in the future.

Teaming up

So, as we saw above, there are team-ups of heroes that did work well and didn’t so much at instances. Thor and Rocket hitting it off, Groot helping it out with the Storm Breaker and Peter Dinklage appearing as a huge dude!

Doctor Strange and Spider-Man did hit it off, but Iron Man didn’t quite fit in with the picture. Even Star Lord felt at ease flying with the help of the Doctor, but there is some visible resistance from Tony. Somethings shouldn’t be rushed, teaming up Tony and Strange is one of them; both are strong characters and the might of the suit and the cape didn’t go well.

God of Thunder

To tell the truth, there isn’t much for Thor to do in this movie. And, the little he could do – he didn’t get the cheer he deserved. Setting him off on a course to get his new weapon seems kind of odd if we see things from the reverse – Thor getting his Storm Breaker to slightly hurt Thanos wouldn’t justify his quest to make the weapon.

The letdowns and the cause & effect

I do understand this isn’t a stand-alone movie, but seeing things as bits and pieces – heroes fighting separately for a united cause to no avail, there are lots of letdowns in the movie. A friend explained that the reason behind characters being written off is – to make room for new ones. As some characters (don’t hate me for this) could become redundant with the increase in stake, no I’m not speaking of Hawkeye here.

Infinity War isn’t a single entity, it borrows a lot from the comics, so we have to see it as an extended episode of premium fucking brilliant TV show season finale. That’s the only way to make any sense of it, this gives us hope. As I mentioned earlier, we know this is a piece of fiction – science fiction that could turn whole of its story upside down in the coming movies; but, we do feel a great pain from the loss of characters. That’s the magic of fiction, we get to live life vicariously – imagining to use deflector beams to climb up stairs or make a small jump. MCU has successfully brought comics to life that it’s not nerdy anymore, one feels a need to watch this movie to be a part of the crowd.

Finally, one should stop and wonder – the imaginations of writers Stan Lee & (late) Jack Kirby wooing audience after these many years. Fiction is better than reality, in that it alters reality for the better.

Thoughts after quitting social media

This one is a doozy. It’s going to be a little personal and a little too serious. I’m sure this post could be seen by recruiters & judged; yet, I can’t stop typing.

How & why I decided to quit social media

I was obsessed with social media for a (long) while. It was a breeze to work in digital marketing, the constant need I had to stay updated helped heftily. But, the fascination faded quick, as I began to see the posts differently. The mirage of social media crumbled like a castle of cards. Maybe The Matrix all over again.

That’s the prelude to my actual decision making. I felt the ill effects of using social media, the constant flow of information – most of which are irrelevant and negligible.

I watched this video, at first it appeared as just another TED video; but, it’s not. I have read earlier on how social media could make you feel bad about your life. But, listening the same from a computer scientist made me change my mind forever.

How do I feel now?

It has been just over a week or so since I quit social media. There is plentiful time on my hands, now I can keep track of my time watching the reruns of Friends, Seinfeld & Two and a Half Men. I have time to run with the dogs, read Murakami & hear Bob Marley.

I don’t know what to do with my smartphone. I’m thinking now, the network companies and social networks are in cahoots to turn the users into a Black Mirror staring zombies.

About the temptations

There has been urges to post, a gut need to express any fleeting outburst of emotion. But, I resisted by seeking real world solutions to real world problems. I remembered that being stuck in the digital world could have irreparable long term effects. Also, I wanted to have real connections with real people in the real world – yeah there is a lot of real in this sentence, that’s because I dealt with a lot of fakery in the digital space.

Real world repercussions

There was a falling out between the recent fling and I. Needless to say, she was a bit younger than me & thus bent on the cyberspace. She even had a huge following and the meaningless charade of posts & likes – getting off on the instant gratifications. I couldn’t help but laugh, remembering the countless nights I spent online chatting up during my childhood – which whizzed past me like a movie scene.

I’m sticking with just WordPress for now, no more twitter, instagram or facebook. The time I spend online has dramatically shrinked and my attention span however has widened. I remember being glued to the TV set, watching countless movies and TV shows to keep me away from reality. Now, I’m living in the real world (that’s AFK) – finally ready to fight back at the temptations.

Anna Library and its sillyness

Anna centenary library is like a second home to many aspirants, most trying to crack the competitive exams.

This post discusses (or records) my anal retentiveness towards it.

Follow the rules that suit you

That’s what the educated crowd thinks. In fact, I faced this in many government organizations. Beyond ignoring the simple rules, the general public succumb and conform to the complicated and ineffective ‘rules’; these are considered to be a survival mechanism. I call it – being a lamb.

Rules again

The self-books section is always filled. But, surprisingly people drag in more gadgets these days. I for one come to this place to get myself away from them evil things.

Solution to the help out learners

I noticed that the security personnel checks the books you carry out in full detail. So, why can’t the readers take their materials to the other sections, sit read, compare and learn.

The visitors are forced to lock away or leave the their bags outside. They are made to carry their materials and belongings in their arms.

If only they could lend a bio-degradable cover as we enter and get them back while we exit – yes!!! just like in the malls. Just saying, it could make life inside the huge library much easier.

PS

What the place lacks is a writing and discussion section, where the members are encouraged to write and discuss what they have read/written.

The Shape of Water : Love

Quite simply – it’s a brilliant movie. Yet another visual spectacle by Guillermo del Toro, but strangely a positive one.

The Set-up

I hate to do this, but the structure of the movie is quite spectacular and natural that I can’t help but, see it analyzed.

We see the routine of the protagonist (my favorite kind of exposition), we learn what she likes and what her present condition is. Just like Morgan Freeman’s ritual in Seven, Elisa has a taste for music, shoes and tap dancing. Such an elegant creature wastes away her youth and sexuality, staying a beard to the homosexual roommate (Richard Jenkins).

The theatre downstairs is just a tease to pull her into the romance of fiction, a reality to weave and escape from the harsh ones.

The Dance

The second act of the movie is just a breeze. It flows right into the intensities, and there aren’t any unnecessary side tracks to bore you. There are some fine details like sharply witted dialogues, that wouldn’t quite translate here. You must see how well paced this movie is, you’d wonder why there isn’t any Intermission (if you’re watching the movie in the Indian pop-corn selling theatres).

Literally, the dance between reality and fantasy, elements of science and mythology – a reference to the God of ocean worshiped by the Amazon (bow & arrow people) were well fed to the audience in a timely manner.

But, there were clear clues to the ongoing of the movie. One could predict what could possibly happen, given the few choices and pacing of the story. I felt this to be Guillermo’s most light-hearted movie with a lot of humour.

Memorable moments (SPOILERS)

Michael Shannon pulled off an yet another bad guy, who can be loved for his tenacity. He has his fingers bitten off by the water creature (who remains nameless in the movie), and they are carried in a paper bag with mayo in it. After a while, the doctors sew it back; but does it take? No, it turns black and smells awful – he stills holds on to it, like a bad grudge; only to pull them off for dramatic effect!

In another scene, where Rob/Dimitri – the good scientist gets shooten off by his own people; Shannon shows up. Was he trying to help out the guy? No way hose, he picks him like a Marlin – using his fingers as a hook through the bullet hole in the doc’s face. I couldn’t watch that scene, it reminded me that I’m watching a Del Toro movie.

Where’s the fun? (SPOILERS)

Well, there are a lot of fun things in the movie. Shannon’s character – Colonel gets a fancy new Caddy which is Teal not Green; only to be dented by Giles – the toupe wearing homosexual. Another moment with Giles in the Pie stall, reeks of fun and desperation. Even though they are terrible, he gets the Key Lime Pie every day to just speak with the young store-manager. But, turns out his gaydar was wrong, the store manager isn’t just racist, but also homophobic.

I noticed the fact that they speak about ‘the pussy finger’ in an open manner, but the word bastard got to be censored; even in an R movie?

SHAPE-OF-WATER2.jpeg

 

Pay-off

It’s  crystal clear that the lightheartedness would definitely end in a high tone. But, the way it did – froze me in a moment of trance. It was surreal, to see love visualized in a most poetic manner. As they get to be together forever, she loses one of her shoe – the red shoe that she wore to show off her happiness in her cruel routine of not being noticed by anyone. I see it as a sign of her freedom from her boredom. She outgrows the little world and enters a one she dreamed of!

Afterthoughts

I realize now why there was such an emphasis on dialogue. All those witty comments on sex, relationship and marriage was devised to maintain a ease – yet prove to be a relief. Also, they were used to emphasize the silence of Elisa, a mute girl who needs assistance to convey her thoughts.

Zelda: Never trust a man, even if he looks flat down there.

She gets her special YELLOW(I hated that) colored subtitles, except for one intense scene where Giles and Elisa discuss breaking out the creature from the lab.

Giles: But, he’s not even human!

Elisa: If we don’t help, so are we!!

Sight & Sound

That’s the theme of The Shape of Water. Now, I was mesmerised by it. And, it set the overall tempo of the movie. How things progress, the mood and the rise and fall where all timed to and in-sync with Alexendare Desplat’s beautiful music.

But, all the while I had a similar piece of music in my head. A similar romantic theme, going on in loops and taking me away a little and deep into the story in the same while.

That’s right, that’st the Oscar-winning score for Up by Michael Giacchino. I don’t know where they strike together – but they do somehow. And, it’s just splendid to see such a well made movie, in the present when I’m dallying with a similar situation. Unrequited or not,

Love is,
Most natural painkiller there is.

LOVE. Most natural painkiller there is.

William S. Burroughs, with his crazy book ‘The Naked Lunch’ almost challenged the prowess of Kafka and his ‘Metamorphosis’.

His last words

As Maria recounts the dark and disturbed style of Burroughs has a change of heart as he’s nearing his end.

Only thing can resolve conflict is love… Pure love.
Love? What is It?
Most natural painkiller there is.
LOVE.

The poetic words ask of the reader to come to an agreement with a soul that’s at peace. These are not ramblings of a dying man, there’s no agony or regert in these powerful words. More like, he’s lived a filling life – and is urging the readers to guide their pursuit in the right direction. I was guided to an another, rather closer & deeper look at love, thanks to Maria & her blog.

The battle of the sexes

Iris Murdoch & Brigid Brophy belonging to the same field, and sex had an interesting and romantic life fighting their attraction for one another.

One day you’ll realise that I’m not wise or detached enough to “do anything about you” which would be up to much, given that I can’t produce the essential goods: and then perhaps you will accept me as just a poor bastard who struggles along through life in a muddled way, and your old friend. Do not be obsessed or in pain, darling. How unnecessary it seems. Yet how much time one spends thus. I wasn’t drunk, incidentally, and love (properly understood) does make the world go round.

[…]

With much of that world-propelling stuff, Brigid, ever your unsatisfactory old

I

How unnecessary & yet

As older ‘I’ points out, all the pain and efforts in pursuit to win over a soul is in fact unnecessary. In an attempt to find our sense of belonging and purpose, we settle to find someone who will embrace all that we are.

Here, Iris is struggling through life, as she’s unclear as to what needs to be done. She’s clear of her love for Brigid, but her confusion is towards sex. She clearly suggest that she couldnt produce the essential goods, yet she wants to be accepted as a struggling artist going through emotions. It’s more of a plea to accept her confused soul as is, rather than asking her to change phgsically or mentally. It’s not clear if Brigid asked for the changes, or the inevitable anxties of love that’s at play at Iris’s heart.

How much I wish you would keep a true woman’s eye and love me still and know not why…

With love

I

More and more, the correspondence thickens with love and desperation for each other.

I certainly don’t feel any inhibition about asking for your heart. I ask for it shamelessly and need it…

Reading thoughts of Iris, we are clearly how obsessed and infused she is with thoughts of love, that its turning out to be an attachment that she’s open to admit it without any regards of ego or denial. It’s not clear what she wants from the relationship, but it’s crystal that she has subtitles her heart to Brigid.

These letters remind me of the painful communique between a odd couple in Dostoevsky’s novella Poor People. But, here we only find the insight of of the person in torment, as we try to analyse, understand and educate yourself through the emotions of a writer in an attempt to better our personal pursuit of romance, I hope the readers align with me in wishing that the writers had a filling romance as the one we search for.

It’s good to be in business #advertising

All morning I spent enough time on the internet to go through countless Adverts. Most of them were Video Ads, married well with brilliant songs. The Believer, from Imagine Dragons, is quite enticing – and the people of Sneaky Pete took to it in their Season 2 trailer for Prime. Having new earworms is just a sign of good advertising efforts, and I used this opportune time to revisit my old collection of AVs.

This is what I like

A friend of mine gave me that answer while I was in college. Back then, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Today, I feel amazed that I’m working as a copywriter and a creative.

Inspired

I was the most skeptical kid you would have encountered, going through college life with not much of motivation and clarity. But, I kept at it. Attending the classes that I wanted to, and pissing off the students and staff alike to get my way. Come to think of it, those days were pretty interesting and quite funny in retrospect.

What kept me inline?

The continual dip in literature has paid off well. And, I stayed inspired to write and persisted in spite of my procrastination. Thanks to William Blake, The Bard, Paul Schrader, Jim Jarmusch and Krzysztof Kieślowski for keeping me inspired. Now, I’m journeying through ideas from around the world to educate myself on the industry happenings.

Maturing like Wine

Seems as though I’m having a ball of a time that it doesn’t at all feel like work. I’ve come to re-understand the importance of ‘State of Mind’ – which directly affect the vocab, flow and tonality of any written piece.

I’m writing far too less. Weighing my words, one by one. Editing, scrapping and re-adjusting the sentences to make them sound better. But, I have lots to learn. Instead of sticking on or blinding myself with the single – ‘stream of conscious’ writing that I enjoyed ( still do) with all the years in my precious diaries, now I’m open to other styles as well. And, I have been learning to keep the words flowing, like a smooth transitioning Brook.

The adage that ‘you don’t have to work a day if you love your job’ is true.

Take this piece from Blind

“We’re looking for graphic designers, animators, editors, writers and many more to join our team as interns this Fall. No formal education required—just good work and a good attitude. International applicants welcome.

You will work in our studio, with our team in Santa Monica, on real projects and earn some real dough while you’re at it.”

It’s a piece that  I’m envious of, I love the way how it flows; how easy it is to read, precise, concise, cogent and well worded with enough information. A pinch (or punch if you’re an Al Pacino fan) of humour, that conveys the kind of people they are. ‘No formal education required’ & ‘International applicants welcome’ – that’s pretty damn open and warmly welcoming.

It could be written by Janice, please check her site. And, find below a peek at the wit of clever Janice.

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