Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Virgin Nurse

The title caught your attention didn't it! Well, agencyfaq reports that this Virgin Mobile Ad involving a nurse has stirred the I&B Ministry too, which is considering banning the Ad.

"The I&B ministry is setting up an inter ministerial committee, comprising joint secretaries from various government ministries."

I really appreciate the big-wigs devoting their time to this important cause. Yes, I am sure these are the right people to judge an ad. At the top of this bozo collection is the head of the committee, the I&B ministry's additional secretary Uday Kumar Verma.

How will a conglomerate of government secretaries decide whether the hot nurse in the video is derogatory to the nursing profession? Probably they'll freeze the ads to scrutinize the nurse aspects of the TVC:
"Mr. Verma, what do you think the legs of this hot nurse signify? "
"Hmm...I believe they are two firm pillars of our society - culture and tradition"
"I agree with you Mr. Verma and I strongly oppose the hot uniform of the nurse. The pure white is an insult to the wheatish complexion of the average poor Indian. These rich people should be punished and taxed I tell you..."
"But don't nurses always wear short white clothes?"
"Maybe we should study a few more videos of (hot) nurses to better understand the context."
"Hmm... Let us setup a bigger committee for that. And get a bunch of real nurses to the next meeting for fun...amm...I mean research."

The company has got another 2 weeks time -"We have written to the company concerned, asking them to reply why the advertisement should not be banned.". Sounds a lot like Himesh-Monty logic in Karzzz 'What proof do you have that you did not kill Ravi Verma!'

I am told by my India sources that the ad has been on air for at least 2 months now. Given another bunch of fortnights in the volley between councils, committees and the company, the Ad will safely last its full intended life on television.

If you liked this article, you can also read other similar articles on this blog - The Country Club and Kyonki Impression Ek Din Mein Nahin Banta

If you want a more serious take on this behaviour of intolerance and frivolous banning, do read this article called Competitive Intolerance on The Acorn.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And I crap you not...

Title inspired by Barney's line in How I Met Your Mother

Prerna and I visited the Night Safari (at Singapore) last week. Thanks to Halloween celebrations and interesting animal shows, the event was enjoyable. But if I were to single out the best element,it would have to be Clint - the tour guide on the night safari tram. He possessed a dubious accent - Singaporean base splattered with French tones, some American touches and that secret ingredient. He had some rehearsed puns and witty lines for most descriptions en route. They evoked strong silent reactions from the tourists. The animals seemed to know the punchlines, so they didn't time their laughter properly. I have attempted to do an impression of Clint in the audio clip below. If you possess speakers and an appetite for derision, do play it. (Transcript also provided here as an alternative.)

"And to your right, lies the Asian Elephant, weighing not ONE, not TWO, but THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED KILOS. That's right THREE.. THOUSAND...FIVE. ...HUNDRED. ..KILOS. The Asian Elephant eats upto 250 kilos of leaves and grass ....Of course...what goes in, must come out too. Every day, the elephant releases more than 90 kilos of dung. That's more than what I weigh...Isn't that something!"
We have witnessed monkeys smelling their own butt on youtube, dogs peeing in the neighbourhood to establish superiority. But I have never heard any human being compare himself to an enormous pile of shit. Inevitably, we laughed out loud. And to make things worse, I attempted not to giggle. After that moment, every animal on exhibit and its ancestral roots seemed like crap. The lions and hyenas possessed some exceptionally quiet demeanor. But thanks to Clint's shitty wit, we provided some compensatory snorts and rumbling for the rest of the tour.

Clint's comment reminded me of an old Dilbert blog post. It was removed from there sometime ago, but I managed to find it within my chat logs (thank you Google!). I didn't know poop could find connections at multiple levels.
Now that's a Party

Did you read about the six beer-drinking elephants in India? The elephants found drums of fermenting rice beer on a farm, partied too hard, then uprooted utility poles and electrocuted themselves. The fascinating part is that because they are elephants, they still remember that night.

My first reaction to that story was, "I'll have what they're having!" You don't get to use that joke often, and I don't like to miss an opportunity.

I'm no marketing expert, but if I were the farmer whose beer they drank, I'd start calling it "Shocking Elephant" and I'd design the coolest beer bottles ever. They'd be in the shape of an elephant with his trunk straight out, and that's the part you would drink from.

On the back label, I'd include a handy guide to what level of stupid you could expect after consuming each bottle. At the top of the scale, after ten bottles, you would have "probable accidental electrocution." At the bottom of the scale, after drinking one elephant or two, the problems would be "Thinking you are witty" and "Mild attraction to your friend's mom."

As I understand it, when you get electrocuted, it makes you crap. Imagine being the first person to find these six dead elephants, in 40 tons of elephant poop, wrapped in live power cables. I would dive into the bushes and hope no one saw me. My fear would be that my neighbor who owns the land might say, "Can you help me clean this up?"

They say there's a tool for everything, but I checked my toolkit, and there's nothing there for cleaning up six electrocuted elephants in a mountain of shit. How do you even approach this problem? Do you wait for them to harden, then cut them up with chainsaws, put them in plastic garbage bags and distribute them to dumpsters all over town?

In the short run, you could charge admission to see the six dead elephants. I'd pay a rupee or two for that. I might even take the kids. There aren't many things the whole family can enjoy, but I'm pretty sure this is one of them.

Perhaps this is why I'm not in charge of planning weekends.


(Speaking of Crap)Answer to The Package

The object in the previous post was a cookie. Wrapped meticulously in rounded rectangular packages, it possessed copious amounts of oriental mystery. When it was received as a gift, my flatmate studied it for a while. He was burdened with unwanted flatmate insights. Mustering courage, we tasted it.
Yes. It looks like soap. But it tastes good. And it rhymes too!
Quiz winner is Akshay. Congrats :)

The Korean Cookie

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Package

25 points to the readers who can guess what this is:

To be revealed in the next post.

An additional 90 points if you correctly guess from which country it was bought(Hint: It's not Singapore).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Karzzz - The Review

He holds the guitar like a heavy log crawling with an unspecified number of ants - keeping it straight and uncomfortably separate from the body. There are multiple scenes, where he attempts to look cool and rocking on stage, but just manages to look plain silly.

Every moron who aspires to learn the guitar either begins by strumming DDLJ (Tujhe Dekha) or Karz (Ek Hasina Thi). And even with rudimentary music knowledge they figure out where to play it - lower strings and higher frets. It is ironical that a music director looks so uncomfortable with the guitar and plays absolutely wrong frets; Such a critical thread to the story is so carelessly ignored. It is amusing that Himesh had such consuming obsession with his attitude on stage that a basic detail about the guitar was forgotten. But I guess associating him with music itself would be quite irrational.

Karzz will turn out to be a hit. That is inevitable. Like other bloggers who have seen and posted reviews of the movie - I sat through those 3 hours out of curiousity for nasal boy Monty. And it was worth the experience.

There are a couple of memorable moments in Karzz - Like when the audience witnessed Monty logic - "Tumhare paas kya saboot hai ki tumne Ravi Verma ka katl nahi kiya tha?" (What proof do you have that you did not kill Ravi Verma?)...Or to prove that he is a reincarnated version of Ravi Verma, he spills out a deep secret to Kamini 'You never brush your teeth before having your morning tea.'....Or when Himesh appears serenading, hanging from a helicopter, his nasal voice winning over any drowning noises made by the fan blades. It reinforces a disappointing truth about Indian Cinema - we usually produce ace quality crap, and will do so for a long time.

The Music

Songs are numerous, sporadic and all sung by Himesh. It was tough to judge which one was worst of the nine songs. Thankfully, the storyline is not interrupted by the other 10 remixes that Himesh bhai has concocted (source).

There is one song in which Himesh keeps ranting 'Mashaallah Subhanallah.' Maybe as an attempt to publicly balance his views on both Hindu and Islam religions - there is another one called 'Hari Om'. Here is a snippet from that song that captures the nasal essence of this album.

Another song is titled Tandoori Nights, and you guessed it right - both Himesh and Sunidi Chauhan keep repeating this phrase - 'Tak Tanana Tandoori Nights, Tandoori Nights, Tandoori Nights'. He has also dabbled in some urban-indian form of rap in this, with mutilated pronunciations of words in both Hindi and English -
Tanha Tanha hai dil, Tanha Tandoori Nights,
IiiF loving you is wrong, I don't waannaa be right

The Monty

Himesh's hair has received more treatment in the movie than his role. The first chunk of scenes emit a uniform stench of insecurity. A fantasy of how an unappreciated musician would want the world to swoon over him - crowds are shown chanting his name, girls faint while rocking in his shows, multiple mentions of - "Tu Rockstar Hai" ,"Tumhare jitna bada rockstar aur...". Sir Juda, the Dr.Evil style caricatured villain, who would have seemed a lot more stupid had it not been for Himesh.

Some hard truths for you Himesh:

1. You are not a rockstar. You never came close to being a rockstar. Not in the movie, and definitely not in real life.
2. Sticking out your chest from unbuttoned tees looks grotesque. It's an outdated 80's fashion statement, and even back then it looked stupid.
3. It would serve you better if you transplanted new vocal chords instead of hair. We don't mind the cap, seriously.

[Insults attempt to pierce Himesh's skull, but perish blinded by his Toupee's awesomeness]

Apart from Himesh, the movie also suffers from some chronic Hindi Cinema diseases- having actors exclusively for comic relief, linear characters with single traits (like the villain Sir Juda), actresses purely placed for cleavage or prancing with the Hero (Urmila and Shweta Kumar respectively).

A deep grunting nasal creature who should have stuck to composing music is now starring in lead roles, glorifying himself as a rich, famous, revered celebrity rockstar.

Maybe in your next life Himesh, but not in this turn.

If you liked this, you may also like to read:
Race - Review
Himesh Rant1 - Oooo...
Other Blogger Reviews:
What the phoonk is Himesh doing(more of a pre-review!)
Karzz - the review (Greatbong)
Jai Mata Di, let's mock (Sayesha)

Image Sources (1,2,3)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Run! Run! Run!

The world is in peril right now. A lot of people lent money to a lot of people and two years later everyone in the world is screwed. The world's most powerful nation has a bimbo as a vice presidential nominee. And Himesh Reshammiya's second movie is being released this week. Its tragic. And we surely require the best of people to lead us. It's these crisis situations that help in identifying the true leaders, the visionaries.

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are having a fire drill in the office today, spanning across 25 floors - with a whole collection of interrupted lift services and a really long stairway.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” - John C Maxwell

As the day progresses, most of us have just grown numb to the alarms and announcements. We have not identified the potential of this new scenario. But a select few have managed to show coveted traits - the kind who will steer us not only out of this crisis, but lead the whole company to great heights.

(Just to clarify, it was a drill not an actual fire hazard.)

"Hey, when the alarm rings - how about we start panicking and running around. Then they'll all get confused. All the Indians would run behind us", said a fellow batchmate, "It'll be fun."

Clearly he is top management material - in his early months of work he is already having creative ideas; and visions of leading people to some destination. Had the concept been not stupid and morally offensive - it would have percolated right up to the leadership team.

"Not just Desi junta - even local Singaporeans would follow you. Didn't you notice how obedient they are in traffic? Of course they will also join the line." commented another Desi guy. Having a deep understanding of people is essential in marketing. Occasionally some thoughts may have a tinge of mass generalization, but that can be forgiven for the greater good of the business - He is a true marketer for the coming decades.

The 10am tea break soon ended and we returned to our desks. (You may question the need for a bright 10a.m tea-break, but that rationale deserves a whole new post).

A chirpy lady was enjoying the new environment - "Won't it be fun if a fire actually broke out today during the fire drill ? The fire would spread throughout the building and nobody would do anything." No comments on this one - I'd just toss 10 points to her for the vivid imagery.

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity" - George Patton

For the past two hours, the fire alarm has been ringing intermittently. About 10 seconds after it begins, when our ears have pretty much become defunct, a gentle prerecorded female voice streams from the speakers - "Ladies and Gentlemen, please note the fire alarm has been activated." Thankfully, we are deaf by then and her voice doesn't disturb our work.

"Why do they make such dull announcements - instead of giving instructions, why don't they crack jokes instead ? It will surely lighten the mood of the fire situation." Mixing humour with stressful situations is the right concoction for success. Here's a trait I can hope to replicate.

My favourite comment came from the guy to my left - "Hey let's light a fire and check if these sprinklers actually work." This one simply indicates that everyone can't be a leader. Some have to be left behind to be whipped and disciplined.

Here's a video from FailBlog which suprisingly fits the theme. We'd sold a lot more shampoo had all the employees been motivated like this guy.

If you liked this post, you may also like:
The Laptop Crisis
DIB 342 - The Roadtrips

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

MacRitchie Reservoir

As you walk into the reservoir, the paths lure you inside. Greenery begins dominating the surrounding space; the high rises reluctantly move out of sight. Soon you are left with with just the purest of elements - water, trees and the enthusiastic joggers. An occasional appearance of a monkey amuses you; But you realize you are the visitor in the space and not him. You nod respectfully and continue walking.

MacRitchie Reservoir, built close to 150 years ago, is in the heart of Singapore. It contains multiple boardwalks and walking trails of varying lengths to suit everyone. Some prefer to jog. Others take leisurely walks. We did a bit of everything. We saw people of all ages - the bubbly kids didn't bother me (they normally do). That was done by the 70 year old uncles who confidently paced ahead of our malfunctioning jogging bodies. I guess fitness is a long way ahead.

My favourite moment was when all four of us spotted a docile turtle gently meandering in the water. We tacitly sat down and watched it for a while. Its indifference and ease in its environment was very pleasing. I wouldn't say I am burdened with excess work or responsibilities currently. But in case I do feel troubled sometime later in life, I know where to come back and lose that stress.

In the city, if I am jogging on tar in the presence of cars and urban paraphernalia, I'd count every step and loathe the experience. Any distance beyond normal capacity would be strenuous. But this place somehow breaks that rational link. We just kept going on and on. I can't believe we jogged and walked over 11km in those few hours.

It was enchanting.

Note: A visit to MacRictchie should be followed up with a sumptuous meal for best results!
If you liked this article, you may also like:
Tis the season silly
You've got rain