Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A sabbatical? Going part-time? Freelancing? Or calling it quits?

Is it the arrival of spring? Or is it just a bad week at work? Whatever, it's been a while now, that I've been wanting to scoot, from wherever I am. To someplace where there are no excel sheets, no meetings, no deadlines, no access cards, no vending machines, no year end reviews, no HRs, no presentations, no briefing sessions, no nothing.

I want to run away from it all and maybe just stay at home. Where empty pots in the balcony beg me to stay, and so do the naked walls of the living room. Unopened bottles of exotic spices look at me pleadingly too. Clumsy closets are tired of trying, but nod in agreement anyway. The unturned pages of Lonely Planet say they've never been lonelier. Jeffrey Archer peeps from the corner of my bedside table and screams... stay.

'Someday soon', I promise them as I grab my bag and set out, murmuring 'shucks I am running late.'

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hey twisted! Are you in love?

VJ Nikhil: “So, what didn't you like about her? Her body or the performance?"

The King (I'll get to it later): "Hmmm.. it's the performance, she wasn't into it."

The performer: "No I don't think I have a bad a body, and I think my performance was pretty good too. It's just that we don't share a connection."

That's MTV SplitsVilla Season 2. Double the crap, double the sleaze but not double the mazaa.

(The performance being an erotic sway to some crappy music in the skimpiest clothes possible, after which the girl hopefully looks at the king, praying 'Oh God, hope he is pleased with my body and my performance.' )

The show is hosted by Nikhil, wearing a look that says – 'if it wasn't for all the money, I swear to God, I'd kill 'em all'. What the heck, downturn could lead to more awful things, like hosting MTV Couplesutra for instance (Yuck, totally). And surrounded by dumb guys and sexy dumb girls, isn't such a bad thing, after all.

Just when I thought, television couldn't be more mindless, here it is. The show is confused, it wants to be a juvenile show with some harmless adult content. I have absolutely no clue about its target audience, alright I maybe 10 years too old for it but c'mon this is plain crap. A Twisted Tale of Love says the baseline. Yeah, you got to be really twisted, to be here and to be doing anything with it.

The episode I watched, had a king and a queen (probably for their best 'performances' and bodies, whatever). Where they, sitting on their ridiculous wooden thrones, each week get to dump a girl and a boy and send him and her packing out of the villa, after rounds of erotic performances. Reasons for dumping may often be one or all of the following - She/he wasn't trying hard enough (which means didn't jump into the pool, and dance for the king/queen) , she/he wasn't really into me (wasn't drooling for me), and the all time favourite – we didn't have a connection (I can't figure it out, neither can they).

So, hey twisted! Come, fall in love on Saturdays 7 pm, only on MTV.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Zoya Factor... Awwww!

What do you do when you are closer to 30 than to 16, yet want to read a Mills & Boon? You pick up The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan.

I quite liked The Zoya Factor.

Because the author is the creative director at JWT, I aspire to be her someday - a creative head at a hip agency with a lofty book contract for a chick-lit novella. Nice.

Because the protagonist works in an advertising agency, a story of a believable world, so what if, I have never written a TVC script with Sharukh Khan in it or am not on a first name basis with the India's cricket team? Advertising agency it is.

Because I am a sucker for all things mush., not over the top kind, but the ones that make you go all awwww and weak in the knees ... The Zoya Factor has many moments of it.

And mostly because the language is – very every day, very chic, very conversational. A tad too conversational maybe.

The details, were completely taken care of... the scene describing Zoya's garden, the drab clothes she goes to bed in... the typical Sunday feast at home, the creative & client servicing meetings, etcetera.

The only bit I did not like was the author's liberal use of 'Hello', almost every page would have a sentence like – 'Hello, like the Indian Team's skipper visited my suite everyday.' Then there would be one more in the next paragraph, 'Hello, you were the one who invited me', 'Hello, I am not exactly looking my best today' etcetera. Nothing wrong with 'hello' just that, it reminded me of someone who talks that way, and whom I am not particularly fond of.

So, if you are a woman and do not exactly hate cricket, chances are, you will enjoy The Zoya Factor.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Perhaps, scams are all I want to be left with.

To show my grand kids and tell 'em, "look your thamma created this Volkswagen ad."
"Awww thamma, you are soooo cool," they would scream, hugging me.

I am cool with scam ads. Of all kinds - published just once in some obscure journal, never published, went to the client but got rejected, never went to the client, whatever.

What's wrong with creating ads that clients don't buy, they don't have to like everything. What's wrong with creating ads just for the awards? Why can't we sometimes, only sometimes, just forget the target audience? Why can't we create ads just to win awards? Why can't we create ads for pure pleasure?

Having said that, I know ideally we got to strike a balance between being arty and being good for the business. But then, what's the guarantee that our clients are right all the time. They have bad days at work too, bad budgets, or plain bad taste. However, why should that decide the fate of the ad, that probably could have won some award, seen by a few thousand people, fetched me a few minutes of fame and a hike.

With the kind of clients, the kind of work, the deadlines, the shrinking budgets and other unfavourable conditions that we have to deal with everyday, scams reassure us that our sensibilities are still in place. That we aren't in the wrong profession after all. That there's hope.

Scam ads are what make my portfolio happy, not those that made my client smile.
By the way, the picture above, is my favourite scam (sadly, never went to the client). Bring on the scams, I say, hoping Cannes will introduce a 'Best Scam of the Year' someday.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's my maid vs my man, my home vs my hobby, my job vs my acne.

Mornings are pure nightmare. Afternoons are no good either. Twilights have ceased to matter. But, nights I remember, for that's when I make plans to seize the next day.

Yes, I need more time. To do everything. To up my metabolism, to tackle inflation, to defy age, to keep my job, to keep my friends, to stay married, to stay sane. I do need more time.