Archive for June, 2011

R.I.P chaar anna

As I write this blog, the 25 paisa coin must be finally smiling merrily even though its death is just a few hours away. The 30th of June 2011 is considered to be the last day for the use of this coin. Thus the coin with the trademark rhinos will soon be extinct like the dinosaurs from the nation. The decision of doing a CTRL+ALT+DLT job for the coin can be considered as one of the few good decisions that our government has managed to make.

Although the minting of the 25 paisa coin had stopped way back in 2002, but it was only recently that the government took the decision of putting an end to the circulation of the poor chaar anna. The 25 paisa coin must be elated with this because in the last decade, it has faced so much negligence and disownment from the people that those who had to take a 25 paisa coin would be so agitated as if they were asked to take a DVD of the Tusshaar Kapoor starrer  ‘Luv U Mr.Kalaakaar’.

The poor pachchees paisa of India has been so brutally raped by us that it’s value has diminished at the rate of knots in the past few years. With the growing rate of inflation and the absence of the pachchees paisa Parle Chocolates in the market, the coins were always on their way to the Victoria Memorial. The last few years must have been so traumatic for the poor coin that it had to face insults even from beggars who stopped accepting them due to price rise.

Today we are living in an age, where we willingly accept a centre fresh or a mentos when there is shortage of change on the store managers side. Thus in the 21st century India, the chaar anna rarely had any takers.

But there is an interesting news saying that there are very few who want to do away with these coins. All the while that these coins were there for use, people didn’t want to pop out that coin from their pocket and now they don’t want to do away with them. And this must be simply because everyone wants a piece of the history in their wallets to show their children and grandchildren.

The end of the circulation of the 25 paisa doesn’t really bother me nor interest me as much as it would, to any numismatist around the country, but still the fact that I write this blog proves that the death of this abandoned coin has managed to catch my attention amidst all the controversy of Dhoni getting out on a no-ball and the shock of Roger Federer crashing out of Wimbeldon.

Taarak Mehta - 'inconvinience caused to viewers is deeply regretted'

The fiction category in the television industry in India hardly has anything in store that interests me at present. But there is one show that has managed to etch a strong recall in my mind and that is ‘Taarak Mehta ka oolta chashma’. But the man responsible for this recall is the bugger who plays Taarak Mehta in that serial. Looking at the man, I started feeling guilty that I had tweeted Mimoh Chakravarty as the worst actor existing on this planet a few weeks back. Because Taarak Mehta, has been so religious and consistent at the art of over-acting that he can be literally called the legend of over-acting.

The serial has him playing the sutradhaar, or I rather call him a mutradhaar, because he simply pisses me off. Every now and then he comes in to irritate with nothing interesting me about him apart from the perfectly trimmed moustache that he has, thanks to the Chinese version of trimmers. The serial is quite bearable until this weirdo enters in the picture. The moment my 24 inch TV screen shows his entry, it reminds me of that thirkey old uncle in my building who beat the shit outta me for 7 long years by just repeating his same gyaans on corruption, poverty and water shortage. The serial has humour to it but then Taarak Mehta rips it apart with his monotonous hindi one liners.

This guy is not a new name in the television circuit. Even before ‘Taarak Mehta….’ started, I had noticed this Gaddafi of Indian TV, hosting a show called ‘Wah Wah’. The show had those roadside kavi’s narrating their poems. Taarak would laugh his ass off listening to those jokes which were as disgusting as a packet of Parle Smart Chips. That was the time when I knew that this guy is going to be the Prem Chopra of Indian television, brutally raping minds with his crappy sense of humour and ludicrous gyaans.

Now the same man has come in Comedy ka Maha Muqabla, and that is when I realized his name was Shailesh Lodha and then minutes later I realized that how badly that ‘o’ from his surname needed to be replaced by two vowels ‘au’ to make it a perfect name for the new comedian that the country doesn’t need.

Taarak Mehta on a whole is one nuisance of a character. He needs to understand lack of sensibility and not sensibility, is the way to make people laugh. Right now, he is ‘No brains,no humour, no fun’. He is a perfect recipe for boredom and a pathway for unwanted stupid pravachan. If characters like Taarak Mehta think that they can get the audiences laughing with their humour, then I would rather opt to watch a frustrated and animated Arnab Goswami on Times Now who gives me a much better reason to laugh out loud with his 9PM unsubstantiated debates.

one of the ads from the famous hutch campaign

The advertising world has been something that has always interested me a great deal. I have always been fascinated by those super creative ads and have always wondered how those ridiculously talented heads come up with inimitable ideas. However none of the above accounts for my reason of getting into this field. But after completing a graduate degree in advertising, one thing that struck me about this industry was the process it has drawn for those aspiring creative asses to get into the industry.

I gate-crashed into almost a dozen agencies before getting an unpaid internship in what I would term the most dreadful experiences of my life. I was like the Tom Hanks from Castaway, stranded on the island of advertising and waiting for that one blink of light which would give me an entry to some good agency. But that experience of working in a small mysterious so-called agency taught me a few lessons. Atleast I understood that those Neelkamal chairs weren’t made to sit for 8 long hours in the agency and a copywriter would never ever be comfortable doing client servicing. It also made me realize in a span of a week that script writing was my forte. Now that is not an excuse for leaving the agency but a strong reason which completely eradicated the disease of becoming a copywriter that had plagued me.

Post that, I never managed to find any reference relating to advertising in my whole family so I kept that copy thing aside. It was just too much time wasting and irritating. So after spending a hell lot of time with an idle mind and then starting to work as a script writer, I continued keeping a close eye on the ad world before finally drawing a self made conclusion which might be acceptable to some and arguable to others.

So based on my own thesis and experiences I have just realized that those getting into an agency are required to fulfill one asSOLE criteria and that is “REFERENCE”. Those not having a reference can continue beating their ass off in the search of that one word “REFERENCE”. That is the best way you can get a green card into the fatte Sutta-Booze agency world.

And if your interview happens to be like the one scribbled below, you might just be the next talented dog writing that Hutch jingle after listening to the original one on youtube.

Creative head : hi….so tell me something about yourself..

Destiny’s child : hmm….i am a creative loser…I have completed bachelors in mass media…I want to become a copywriter…

Creative head : So do you any experience…?

Destiny’s child : yes..i have done a few college projects..

Creative head : what did you do in the projects..?

Destiny’s child : I did not do anything…I gave my camera, my laptop to my group mates and they made everything…

Creative head : any presentations that you did in college..?

Destiny’s child : no..our co-ordinator was my uncle’s friend so I didn’t have to attend any presentations…but yes we had done a social awareness campaign…

Creative head : so what did you do in that…?

Destiny’s child : I did nothing…my group mates handled everything…I just gave them contacts of a few channels and newspapers…

Creative head : far so good…now final question…any reference with which you have landed here?

Destiny’s child : yes…my dad knows the creative director of the agency…

Creative head : great…join in from tomorrow…package 15k….

There thousands like the Destiny’s child who are aliens to the creative world but with that one single word ‘REFERENCE’ are able to be a part of the industry that is termed to a breeding ground for talented blokes. However the irony of the situation is that, those who are really worth the buck, are still sitting in their houses, sharpening their skills on photoshop and illustrator, watching thousands of ads on to get their knowledge about copy bang on and sending in their updated resumes to all the agencies they come across via google on email addresses like which are almost disowned by those handling the HR department.

So the bottom line of the whole article is that those who want to get into an agency should either hunt for a reference to save their ass and if they don’t find it but still have that creative keeda to get into the agency, all I can say is you should have continued googling information about agencies instead of wasting time reading this.

the blogger dilemma

With the virtual world expanding and developing at the speed of light, many try to create ways to express their opinions to the global audience or try to pursue their passion for writing so that it reaches a major chunk of people. Blogging helps a great deal in this. But the problem for most bloggers before they start blogging is, which website should they start blogging on. And the two major websites, namely wordpress and blogger lead to confusion in the minds of new bloggers.

I started off with blogger and then moved to wordpress. I would suggest, those having a desire to start a blog can start with blogger and once they are more acquainted with the nuances of the game, they can move to wordpress. The reason for this is that, blogger is more user friendly and it will give an idea of the basic terms required to be known before blogging. WordPress on the other is a little complicated to start off with. It has a lot of better options though.

One drawback that I have observed with blogger is that, it doesn’t give a lot of traffic as compared to wordpress. WordPress is highly efficient when it comes to listing fresh content that is recently posted onto the major search engines. It also generates pretty good traffic as compared to blogger.

Now, for all those bloggers who have started off with blogger and are not happy with their traffic, I would strongly advise you guys to move to wordpress. You can export your present blogger blog into wordpress without losing any published content. This will not only help you generate more traffic, but you can also use additional features from wordpress so that you can enhance the way you blog.

Enjoy blogging!

Here is Ashish Shakya, writer for television, popular for the scripting of ‘The Week That Wasn’t’ on CNN-IBN, hosted by Cyrus Broacha. Ashish tries his hand at stand up at the weirdass hamateur night and  the way he has given the television great stand up material, he doesn’t disappoint when he performs.

Rohan Joshi is a stand up comedian. This one is from the Hamateur Night where he performed and got an awesome response. A great act for a young budding comedian.

get older to taste the old monk

The government bodies in India, be it at the state or at the centre, are always known for the amusing rules they create and the unexplainable laws they introduce.  Every now and then the government gives a glimpse of how reckless they can be. And this time it was the turn of the Maharshtra state government to show their dim-wittedness. The Maharashtra state government passed a rule which stated that the legal age for alcohol consumption has been raised from 21 years to 24 years. Ridiculous isn’t it?!

The beer babies who are depressed with this law can smile because the rule is only for those consuming alcohol, so those kids drinking a Kingfisher strong or four cans of Fosters can continue having their baby fodder.

The state government’s new rule can be termed as an act of imprudence. I would have been more happy if the state government would have focused more on repairing their faulty alcohol detecting meters rather than introducing something as silly as this. The age to drink legally in Maharshtra is now 24 years, which now means there will be more breaking the law than before. Earlier it was 21 years and yet there were people breaking the law. Now if the government thinks their new act will reduce the number of youngsters resorting to alcohol during parties or KT’s, then they are either sleeping or their kids haven’t ever tried a peg apart from breezer.

The point of introducing a law that is bound to be broken is as silly as Pritam pleading and saying he has not copied music till date. Rules should be made with purpose that they will be followed. Today a majority of youngsters try alcohol as soon as they step into college. And there is nothing illegal about it. After all it is all healthy celebration. Not as healthy as I quoted though.

The country terms an 18 year old as an adult and gives them the right of choosing a government to run the country then why suddenly these small things like drinking become a big issue. With laws like these, the government is just encouraging people to break laws and disrupt discipline. I am sure the day this rule was created, the bars around the city must have been filled with all 20 something’s raising a toast and laughing at the country and the useless democrats that are ruling them. The after-effects of the rule for sure will be seen but only for a few days. I am optimistic about the fact that the next time I go to wine shop, the shopkeeper will ask for my age proof and when I say I am 20, he will say he can’t sell it. Then will start the easiest bribing game. Go behind the shop, give him 20 bucks extra and mission accomplished. RS in hand. Law broken, corruption sustained.

I was 17 when I first tasted vodka and then came whisky and when I discovered rum, I was so overjoyed sipping the monk that I felt like a Columbus who had just discovered America. There is no doubt there might be several more like me who started out at similar time or even earlier than  that if not late. I broke the law and so did a chunk of others of my age. But what could we do? The law even then was unrealistically drawn that it was never going to be taken seriously by anyone and the new one now, has just added to that idiocy.

The crux of the matter is that, the people coming up with such rules should first give a thought to what they are doing. What’s the use creating something that even the creators know is going to be destroyed? Isn’t it better to come up with something that will be followed?

Drinking is an individual’s choice and not the choice of the government. But still if they say they are concerned about our livers and kidneys then the figure 18 is just fine. Not drinking till 24 is as tough as solving those tenth standard D group sums. Real task. Can’t wait till 24, if I do, I would start drinking in depression. It’s our life, let’s make it large. No promotion intended.

Russel Peters performing one of the best stand up gags you will ever witness. The timing, the punches and the comparisons are just amazing. If you haven’t seen Russel Peters performing ever, then with this gag you will become his fan and if you are his fan you will laugh your ass out the moment he says, SOMEBODY GONNA GET A HURT REAL BAD.