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Showing posts from January, 2010

The unfair in Fairness creams

'Fairness creams do make you temporarily lighter skinned. But for how long? How fair we are is not only genetically determined but is also dependent on factors like pollution, nutrition and everyday exposure to UV rays. Also, medication for common ailments like diabetes, hypertension and asthma may cause your skin to darken a bit. No whitening cream can help anyone battle clinically related skin-darkening. While using fairness products, the skin has to be constantly protected from sun damage and, as any good doctor will tell you, as soon you stop using these potions, the effects reverse. Which means, you are signing up for a lifetime use of potentially risky products to stay fair. Does your insurance policy cover expenses to treat dermatological allergies or irreversible damage to the body due to extensive use of whitening products? Or do you plan to give them up after retirement, or perhaps after your daughter is married? It’s not a feminist, class or race debate anymore—at least…

Toyota rider recommends Public Transport

I had earlier recommended being wary about do-gooders saying its their good that matters more to them than anything else. Here's a recent report on a do-gooder who recommends we use public transport while he takes spins in his Toyota Corolla. The man in question, TERI honcho Rajendra Pachauri, former railway engineer, is wealthy beyond belief. Oh, he's a preacher too. Who never practices.He rides around in a Toyota Corolla leaving behind great carbon footprints, whilst we, according to him, are supposed to fall in love with public transport. Though disgusting, I guess its still good advice.

The Junk Science of Climate Change

'Science is based on three fundamental pillars. The first is fallibility. The fact that you can be wrong, and if so proven by experimental input, any hypothesis can be—indeed, must be—corrected.

This was systematically stymied as early as 2004 by the scientific in-charge of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Change Unit. This university was at the epicentre of the ‘research’ on global warming. It is here that Professor Phil Jones kept inconvenient details that contradicted climate change claims out of reports.

The second pillar of science is that by its very nature, science is impersonal. There is no ‘us’, there is no ‘them’. There is only the quest. However, in the entire murky non-scientific global warming episode, if anyone was a sceptic he was labelled as one of ‘them’. At the very apex, before his humiliating retraction, Pachauri had dismissed a report by Indian scientists on glaciers as “voodoo science”.

The third pillar of science is peer group assessment. This allows for…

The Marketing Opportunity in 'Rejection'

Brands that get turned down for spots on Superbowl are as lucky as the ones that make it. Thank consumer curiosity for that. GoDaddy was the first to recognise a PR opportunity in their rejected commercials. The knew viewers would be as curious to watch what was turned down as the ones that finally ran on Superbowl. And so they put their 'banned' commercials up on their website inviting viewers to go to there and watch them.

Consumer curiosity if tapped into well, can have huge payoffs. Because curiosity led engagements are active. Consumers take the initiative to respond. They become active participants and therefore tend to turn fertile ground for brand engagements that will be remembered. Viewers will remember GoDaddy because they took the time to find their 'banned' commercials.

It may have been curiosity that prompted viewers on to the GoDaddy site, but it was marketing acumen that had GoDaddy see an opportunity where others saw rejection. And that, note, is what de…

Gift of India is Gift of Gratitude

The gift of India is the gift of gratitude. Living in a country where you are constantly reminded of how many people are less fortunate than you are, the result is, you stay grounded. You know what you have is what you need to be thankful for. If food comes plenty on the table, you still know there are many homes with no tables, worse, no food. If its a car you drive, you know there are places where roads don't exist and feet's all that takes people place to place, via non-existent paths.These extremes go a long way in making India truly 'real'. What you see around is no illusion, its stark reality. This is one, and I believe the only reason why products and brands in India won't be taken for granted as is common in the west. A bottle of soda doesn't mean much, there. In India, its still a luxury and so is consumed with care, at least by the masses. For many, its even a treat.This is why people in India spend time fixing the 'real', not fretting 'bo…

Equality means Equal Poverty

'As long as the poor have not been getting poorer, which they clearly have not, and everybody’s standard of living is rising, why does it matter that the rich are getting richer? So what? Of the top twenty billionaires in The Sunday Times Rich List, more than half are self-made. Why do we begrudge them their success?

The central contention of the report is that inequality is at its highest since the war. In what screwed-up, quango-ish world does anyone think that we were better off in the 1940s, when everyone was broke, rationed and enslaved to a non-consumerist domestic drudgery?...

The problem is not the existence of inequality, but the absence of social mobility. It matters not one jot that Sir Philip Green has a yacht and you have a plastic bath duck. What matters is that the conditions exist to allow you to work towards yacht ownership if that is what you want. Aspiration and education are everything in this debate, not handwringing about some notional measure of inequality.

How…

I'd rather write than speak. You?

A temporary hitch in connectivity at home sees me not being able to post, at least from home. At work, work's overwhelming. I could catch a breather now and so am writing.

Writing's such a thoughtful act. Far more than speaking. I need to think better and clearer to write. I can be daft up there and yet talk. Currently I owe an apology to two of my former students. Both wrote in to me sometime back and I haven't replied as yet. Maybe, I can speak to them. But I decide not to. Writing's so much better. And I want to write to them. So, my apologies, Yukti and Vamshi. I hope you read this. I will be writing soon and I want to. Hope you guys are as patient.

Written communiques are used by brands when the elaboration likelihood is greater. Print Ads work when you want to convince the consumer using a rational argument. Like I said, writing is thoughtful, and so should reading be. Speaking isn't, as much. And that's why commercials work when the elaboration likelihood …

Societies that laze, not labour

The newly opened elevated expressway that connects BTM to Electronic city at Bangalore provides a convenient ride. An added advantage of the expressway is that its made the roads below less congested. That's because quite a few vehicles now take the elevated expressway. But then, despite all these enhanced conveniences, one thing hasn't changed.

People's attitudes. On the expressway and below it. Let me explain. Riding on the expressway that has two clearly marked lanes, I watch vehicles dart back and across on the lanes. No indicators, no lane discipline. Below, vehicles continue their mad rush which has gotten madder as the congestion eases up. Despite the increased speeds, I still watch in horror people jaywalking. Its a casual amble that I witness, when I see people cross roads perilously as vehicles rush by.

I guess, some things don't change. And this lack of change can be attributed to the concept of inertia. The desire to continue in a state of motion or rest.

The …

To know the Master, know the Dog

"But surely, Holmes, this has been explored," said I, "Bloodhounds-sleuth hounds-"

“No, no, Watson, that side of the matter is, of course, obvious. But there is another which is far more subtle. You may recollect that in the case which you, in your sensational way, coupled with the Copper Beeches, I was able, by watching the mind of the child, to form a deduction as to the criminal habits of the very smug and respectable father.”

“Yes, I remember it well.”

“My line of thoughts about dogs is analogous. A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones. And their passing moods may reflect the passing moods of others.”

- From 'The Adventure of the Creeping Man'.

Celebrating the Republic

What Prayer really is

Listening to a prayer by a guest who's come home from Kerala brought back memories. Of listening to my grandma's prayer. She then lived at our ancestral home in a village. Her prayers I remember were more about safety and protection. She asked God to keep her loved ones and their property safe from any harm. To shield them from any evil that could be round the corner. Now this I remember was different from prayers I would listen to, when I was back home in Cochin, a city. People there prayed more about what they wanted, that could better their standard of living. It wasn't about safety. It was either jobs, or better jobs that they asked for. I guess they did that because they knew that better jobs paid more. And more money meant better products and services at home. Bettered standards of living.What's fascinating about prayers is that, inherently they are designed to seek solutions to felt needs. For my grandma what was an immediate need was better security. Especially…

What's physical is what attracts

We think Jaden looks mighty cute. That shouldn't be a surprise. After all, we are his parents. But then we witness this phenomenon time and again when we take Jaden out. Perfect strangers are drawn to Jaden. They tousle his hair, or nudge his cheeks, trying to show their affection for him. Why, there was this one time when two girls walked up to us and asked if they could kiss him. He was a baby then. We were taken aback, but decided to let them have their wish. Soon they were on their way grinning broadly. I wonder what Jaden must have felt. I guess he was too young to even know. Nowadays he's more tuned in, but doesn't care too much for people's overtures.

Now I think the simple reason behind the affection strangers show has to do with the physical package that Jaden is. He's mighty cute and he's got a sunshine smile. Those are hard to resist, and so all the affection. But then people have no idea what kind of kid Jaden is. They are instantly drawn to him pure…

Priyanka Chopra is an actress

The joke ain't on Priyanka Chopra winning the best actress award for 2009, the joke's putting her in the company of greats like Mohanlal and Mammooty. And the latter's what the best actress award's done. Bollywood, in fact, has swept the 56th National awards. My take? Bollywood and acting is akin to saying Barack understands what's it like to run a business.

When such asinine announcements are made, its the awards that lose credibility. I know its happened before, and so it was bound to happen again.

But then again fathom the response if this were to happen in the business and consumer world. Imagine if the JD Power surveys put the rickety HM Ambassador in company with Suzuki SX4? Bet JD Power then can kiss itself goodbye. I know the national awards will carry on, asinine acts and all. After all when the government's got to do with something, its never really any good.

Isn't it?

The Thrill is Gone!

Takin a cue for Drudge's headline, my pick for the weekend is Blues legend B B King's 'Thrill is Gone'.Note, community organiser turned President of the United States Barack Obama plummets like never before. Rasmussen polls show that 25% of the US. voters Strongly Approve of the way Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18 (see trends). Also, Obama is seen as anti-business by 77% of U.S. Investors.The Thrill is Gone!Oh, and Hail BB King!

The common thread's Consumer Value Creation

It isn't easy teaching two courses at the same time. For me, currently, the two are Business Strategy and Internet Marketing. In fact, to slide from a certain business context in the classroom to another isn't easy. Business Strategy is more firm oriented, whereas Internet Marketing is function oriented. Yet what saves the day for me is the fact that despite different perspectives, the connect between the two contexts can be spotted if I try. Of course, that's what I do and so I see it. For example, the Internet as a revolutionary interface has had a big hand in firms altering their strategies. Tesco for example, uses the Internet to provide for an added retail interface to shoppers who want to shop for groceries via the Internet, when they don't have the time to go to an offline store. So Tesco's retail business model is such that the brick and mortar Tesco store 'complements' its click and mortar sibling.The common thread across business functions is thei…

Overcoming Perceptual Barriers

Mobility barriers are what stop firms moving from one strategic group to another in an industry. The concept of strategic groups and mobility barriers has acute relevance to firms trying to move into newer product categories or businesses within their own industries. Such strategic moves have to be carefully mapped in terms of opportunities that a firm can capitalise on, and internal competencies it can leverage.

But I believe there's an added perspective to such moves. What about the relevance such moves have from a consumer's perspective? Maybe internal competencies and opportunities that exist justify such moves. But will the consumer be as forthcoming? Would there arise perceptual barriers that put a spanner in the works?

I believe so. Let me demonstrate. In India most car majors entered the market either with small cars or sedan category cars. Over time, they moved to other strategic groups within the industry. The small car players graduated into sedan categories and vice-…

Wagon Rides in India

'As for you, you return, your bladder unrelieved, to your berth and wonder why an emerging superpower can't have vacuum toilets on its trains, which apparently are running at a profit. You do more. You admire the genius of the Indian State that turns railway travel into a scatological circus. The State as crap-artist .

You are an optimist. You see no reason why trains in India can't be cleaner, why the Common Man-even if he is genetically programmed to prefer a LCD TV to a clean toilet-can't travel like he belonged to a society that can send a rocket to the moon whenever there is money to spare.

You lie there and think, staring in the dark at the berth above, that even as you thought, 1.5 crore people crisscrossing the holy, Vedic land in 900 trains daily are spraying crap at over 100 kilometres per hour across the length and breath of the nation. The nation through which Ganges flows! The nation of pure vegetarian food! And purer ghee! The nation of Brahmins who bathe…

Its hard to remember, harder to forget

Work at work, and at home is beginning to overwhelm, especially since Alphy isn't well and in bed. The one thing I am guarding against is losing my temper with Jaden as he continues being his naughty self. Don't get me wrong, he isn't the destructive kind at all, yet work pressures sure can get to me.

The other day, a near spank Jaden had to endure left me not happy with myself. I mulled over my behaviour and knew I let the pressure get to me. The sour feeling I had about myself left a lousy taste that lingered overnight. Waking up to find Jaden sleeping like an angel and knowing he had surely forgotten my behaviour provided some solace. It was interesting knowing that he'd forgotten the incident, whereas I found it hard to erase from memory. For his age, it hadn't affected him, for mine, it left a sour feeling that was hard to wipe away.

In the consumer world too, most incidents or engagements will be forgotten. I forgot what happened at my retail store last month. …

What's not ordinary is what gets you talking

The weekend saw me take an official trip to Lucknow. Returned late last night. The flight into Lucknow was a pleasant but a long one. The trip started from Bangalore, on to Calcutta, then to Patna and finally to Lucknow. Whew! Now I must say Indigo does a great job with its flights. Decent flying and smart service on board.

And then there was this interesting incident on board. From Patna to Lucknow we had the former Railway Minister, also the former Chief Minister of Bihar as a co-passenger, sitting in the row beside us. Now it was my first time seeing Laluji and he turned out to be just the way he is on TV. He smiled at us and I guess we felt grand. Since returning back from Lucknow I must have narrated this incident to a quite a few people I came in contact with. The reason's pretty simple. After all, its not everyday you have Lalooji as a travelling companion, that too plonked on a seat beside you.

The Marketing angle to this whole incident is interesting too. Indigo did a great…

Sharon's Catherine Tramell vs. Meryl's Joanna Kramer

You could say its because I am besotted by her, but I recommend you don't 'cos she has an IQ of 154. The tabloid press may have reported her remark as being a backhanded compliment, but I recommend you not be be swayed, and instead analyse it for the 'marketing logic' it carries.
This is what Sharon Stone said about Oscar winning actress, Meryl Streep, "I think that's why Meryl Streep is working so much, because she looks like a woman we can all relate to. I look at her and I think, I'm chasing my kids, I've moved my parents in with me, I'm coping with food spills - that looks like me in real life. Meryl looks like an unmade bed, and that's what I look like. To me, that looks true." Sharon in saying what she said, has demonstrated the difference between what's termed 'Identification' and 'Aspiration'. We identify with what we are and aspire (read, desire) to be what we aren't. Meryl's who women viewers identify w…

Why Car searches begin online

Despite low Internet penetration level, according to a Google study, every third car buyer in India’s top cities start their search on the world-wide web. Four out of every ten new car buyers and three in every ten used car buyers use the Internet to do their initial research before making the purchase.Let's figure why. The reason why the Indian car buyer's (for that matter, any car buyer) online is twofold. One, their product involvement is high due to the purchase risk involved. This risk may be financial or even social, and so consumers actively seek external information about various available car brands. The information thus gathered helps them spot the right car brand, better. Two, the genesis to this search is the Internet simply due to the convenience it offers the searcher. The consumer doesn't have to move a muscle to access information about car brands, online. But whats important to note is that this search may only contribute the formation of the consumer'…

The herd in Avatar viewers

People experiencing depressive or suicidal thoughts after viewing Avatar has more to do with Friedrich Nietzsche's Herd Mentality than anything else. Note, the exhibition of such thought has overflown on Avatar forums. More than a thousand posts have appeared following a thread titled, "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible".

Nietzsche's 'Herd Mentality' categorised people as belonging to two herds. One consists of people who subscribe to religious points of views and the beliefs therein. These in turn dictate their actions. The other, The 'Avatar-depressed kind', lend themselves to be influenced by media. Media communiques set the basis for what they perceive as right and wrong.

Avatar and its message has preyed on the people belonging to the latter heard, convincing them that human race will be responsible for the destruction of whatever is 'natural', in the future. The herd, buying into this story, huddles …

Perceptual Blocking on a Bus ride

The most stressful a bus ride gets for me is when there's a psycho driving and I sitting up front, am witness to his insane manoeuvres on the road. I try my best not be hassled by the bus' swerving and weaving. But I tell you, at times your body involuntarily flinches as the bus gets too close to another vehicle. The best way to manage this stress, I found, is to close your eyes and let your ears tune into music from an MP3 player.

This 'defense act' of mine comes close to being termed as perceptual blocking. Note, mine is a conscious act. Perceptual Blocking is about consumers protecting themselves from being bombarded with stimuli by simply "tuning out", blocking such stimuli from conscious awareness. They do so out of self protection because of the visually overwhelming nature of the world they live in.

Perceptual blocking is one reason why marketers need to careful using, for example, fear appeal as content in their communiques. Push the fear too hard, and …

The experience of Natural User Interface

'But I believe we will look back on 2010 as the year we expanded beyond the mouse and keyboard and started incorporating more natural forms of interaction such as touch, speech, gestures, handwriting, and vision -- what computer scientists call the "NUI" or natural user interface. This process is already well underway through the proliferation of new touch screen phones and PCs, and in our growing reliance on voice-controlled in-car technology for communications, navigation, and entertainment...

While Project Natal will transform the video gaming and in-home entertainment experience, I believe it only hints at the potential of the technology behind it. In the near future, computers will do more than work at our command: they will work on our behalf, acting as assistants that understand what we want and possessing the intelligence to carry out complex tasks in a way that accurately reflects -- and even predicts -- our preferences and intentions.

Simply put, NUI is about eas…

By George, Consumer Hell or Happiness?

'This is the consumer society taken to its logical extreme: the Earth itself becomes disposable. This idea appears to be more acceptable in some circles than any restraint on pointless spending. That we might hop, like the aliens in Independence Day, from one planet to another, consuming their resources then moving on, is considered by these people a more realistic and desirable prospect than changing the way in which we measure wealth.

So how do we break this system? How do we pursue happiness and well-being rather than growth? I came back from the climate talks Copenhagen depressed for several reasons, but above all because, listening to the discussions at the citizens’ summit, it struck me that we no longer have movements; we have thousands of people each clamouring to have their own visions adopted. We might come together for occasional rallies and marches, but as soon as we start discussing alternatives, solidarity is shattered by possessive individualism. Consumerism has chan…

Passive Learning & Recall Triggers

Its interesting that despite there being close to fifty songs on my MP3 player, every time I play them, I know the sequence in which they will run. I mean, as I listen to one, I know what's the next one, and the next, and so on.

Now I've never actively tried to learn the sequence. What's happened is, my memory passively picked the sequence as I played the songs over and over again. The sequence set into my memory through repetition. This sort of learning is termed Passive Learning. What's important to note is the fact that, should I try and remember the sequence when I'm not plugged on to the player, I can't. The sequence comes to me only when I listen to the songs.

Most mass media communication used by brands facilitate passive learning. Should you ask consumers to retrieve and recall such passively learned material, in all probability they won't be able to. But what saves the brand and makes it part of the consumer's consideration set is an encounter wi…

3 to a Nation of Idiots

'Yet I found Three Idiots far too preachy, far too sanctimonious and far too much of a caricature. It lampoons and trivializes our higher education system as an unrelieved arena of bad teachers, suicidally pressurized students, manic success-oriented parents and evil money seekers who care nothing for learning but only want grades so they can get big jobs and Lamborghinis. Such a caricature is, as we all know, far from the truth. Although a liberal arts degree doesn't compare to an engineering degree, my own experience of higher education at St Stephen's College and Oxford University, is that it is an immensely enriching experience, consisting of many idealistic teachers and the excitement of new ideas is something for which there is no substitute.

Yet a film whose central message is "the education system sucks", "we learn nothing at our centres of excellence" and "teachers are unable to teach and only want to ruin students lives," is a rather…

Aamir needs Branding lessons

If the Chetan-Aamir feud's an engineered one, the biggest loser will be Aamir. To know why, you first need to know what Brand Personality is. Brand Personality is a set of human characteristics that become associated with a brand.Aamir's quite the Bollywood brand. Some one's who's crafted his image carefully. He's tried to build himself up as the thinking, honest, sincere actor. That's the personality he's carefully crafted for himself. Sample his blog post; 'Have been going through your responses post the CB controversy. Some sincere and some insincere. The insincere ones I choose to ignore, but I am very keen to respond to those of you have had very sincere queries, questions and even assumptions. I am very keen to present my side of the story, why I said what, why I feel what I feel, and what is the difference between a book and a screenplay, what I feel about ethics of this issue, fair play, morality etc. The whole gamut. I would also like to presen…

Who's the real Idiot?

Nikhil's question got me thinking. It had to do with the movie, 'Three Idiots'. He wanted to know if all the bad blood that the ChetanBhagat-Aamir/Hirani/Chopra feud had generated was publicity good enough to help sales. For the book and the movie. The answer is a resounding Yes. Nikhil's follow up question then was if publicity on its own was good enough a tool in generating awareness for any brand. My answer's a Yes and a No. Publicity, if carried by almost all media houses can generate maximum awareness. But if its limited in its 'carriage' (read, picked only by few media houses) then its reach may be curtailed, therefore limited. This would then require that mass media vehicles be used and Ads run so as to generate greater reach.

But where publicity scores over advertising is in its effectiveness. The consumer's engagement with a media story (read, publicity) is an active one. The Chetan-Aamir controversy has generated enough heat to have eyeballs gl…

The Believer & The Skeptic

It seems the US. winter of 2009-1o could turn out to be their worst in twenty five years. What bad timing, for the warmists! The winter had to come at a time when the world was beginning to doubt global warming. And more so since it was just a li'l while ago that we had Climategate.
Will the winter drive a nail into the Global Warming coffin? I doubt it. Yet what it may do is increase the number of doubters, thus putting a spoke in the wheels of the green-industrial complex. About time.Brands too face a certain amount (maybe even large doses) of skepticism when they come up with claims. Can a fairness cream truly get you a job? It may get you a mate in India. But a job? I am sure there are those who believe there's a direct correlation between the colour of your skin and your job prospects. As to whether its a majority or just a minority can be ascertained by whether the brand's flying off shelves. In India, fairness creams are being lapped up left, right and center. Guess …

Morality & India

Partha Sinha's articles, according to me are a must-read, though I may not always agree to his point of view. His perspectives are downright insightful. Sample this one on 'Ethical Branding' in India. I for one agree, totally.'In India, the sense of right and wrong is a more fundamental discourse than anything else. We can ignore information, we can ignore observation we can even ignore objectivity. But we mostly succumb to the social code of morality and try to justify every action from that point of view. The concept of morality always has an undertone of either religion or politics. Indian society is fundamentally governed by an overdose of religion and politics and, hence, morality is always the default force. Some scholars argue that in Hinduism morality and law is often one and the same and can be used interchangeably. I think this viewpoint is the source code for our misplaced sense of morality...The biggest advantage of Indian morality is that it’s mostly symbo…

Navigating a Cultural Maze

Navigating consumer markets in developing countries is like walking the hot tin roof. One false move and you're in soup. The key to getting the walk right is knowing to respond to 'cost' and 'localisation' pressures. Pressures exerted on business models when they operate outside of their parent location (read, in global markets). The former, I feel is far easier than the latter.Especially if the market in question is India. Its far easier to craft a low cost business model to take on the mass consumer than it is to localise as per regional requirements in India. That's because the diversity is so overwhelming its easy to slip up while operating in a particular region. The variables that contribute to this overwhelming diversity are cultural, sub cultural, religious and linguistic in nature. What's important to note for marketers is that these factors of diversity go to the core of an Indian's identity. Mess up with them, and an Indian will perceive it …

Carbondioxide & Climategate

'Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere...

Many climate models also assume that the airborne fraction will increase. Because understanding of the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide is important for predicting future climate change, it is essential to have accurate knowledge of whether that fraction is changing or will change as emissions increase.

To assess whether the airborne fraction is indeed increasing, Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol reanalyzed available atmospheric carbon dioxide and emissions data since 1850 and considers the uncertainties in the data. In contradiction to some recent studies, he finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.

The pride in Solutions for Masses

What the Chotukool and Swach represent is as important as what they are.

Chotukool is Godrej and Boyce's breakthrough nano refrigerator. The ChotuKool is like no other fridge. It does not have a compressor. It runs on a battery. Utensils and bottles need to be loaded into this 43-litre cool box from the top. It weighs only 7.8 kg and costs only Rs 3,200. And, of course, it is Candy Red in colour.

Swach is the Tata Group's water purifier priced for the masses. The Tata Swach – Hindi for “clean” – meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, and doesn't require running water, electricity, or boiling. Tata's water filter grew out of a decade of research and development. It uses paddy husk ash as a matrix, bound with microscopic particles of silver to kill the bacteria that cause 80 per cent of waterborne disease. Tata Swach is cheaper than boiling water, cheaper than bottled water, and 2.5 times less expensive than Hindustan Unilever's low-cost Pureit filter. T…

Life imitates Art!

Just as I thought Day One was going down quiet, a news conference pops up on screen where a producer plays the exact part that protagonists in his movie play. That of idiots.

Ask me why. Because he almost went berserk during a news conference and asked the media people to shut up. Ask me why. Because they asked him whether his movie was based on the book written by ChetanBhagat.

As for VidhuVinod Chopra's behaviour I must give him credit for playing out the title part of his movie to the hilt. His behaviour goes to reinforce what I've always believed about Bollywood, the nincompoopiest movie industry in the world. I label the producer what the title states, because despite being some hot shot guy at Bollywood, he forgot the simple rules of any engagement,

that its better to shut up and show the world you are an idiot than to open it and remove all doubt,

that its better to shut up and let controversies die a natural death than to go berserk and set it on fire,

that when you are see…

Happy New Year!