Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Using Flash in Photos!



Its that simple!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bird in the sky



While toying around with my camera in our terrace this evening!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chinese Democracy

The view from my hotel room while at Shangai.... the city was filled with such sky rises...just that hardly any people to live in them! Not usual for a Chinese city you would imagine.... but the word has it Shangai is the 'showcase' city to the world and the'd rather keep it clean than busy! So, if you are the egalatarian china man...i hear you might need a permit to get in! That's Chinese Democracy!

(PS: Heard the new GNR album by the same name - guess the wager Dr. Pepper took on giving every american a free drink if GNR did launch the album in 2008 - maybe a better deal might have been - dare you to listen to Chinese Democracy - and id give a drink free!).




Not to forget, if you do go to Shangai looking for the romantic china you knew from the Hong Kong Kungfu movies - youre gonna be dissapointed - ofcourse, except for a ancient park in the middle of the city - the irony in this picture was amusing to me.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mahabalipuram


Set against the background of unfathomable sky and the boundless sea, standing as it is on the coast for a thousand five hundred years is Mahabalipuram (near Chennai, Southern India). Would have been there a zillion times before, right from the kindergarden to "beat it" singing (yep, MJ's!) school excursions and then to ''motorcyle diaries'' wannabe days from college! But, never felt like i did this time when i was there this time - early in the morning at the shore temple...the eerie quiet, cyclone skies, - truly humbling. Must tell you, the place looked so different from what i remembered - meaning it was so well maintained...guess the Unesco Heritage listing did help! Anyways, poor light, cloudy skies... dint really get that sun rise by the shore temple that i wanted to shoot....but then, these pictures dont look too bad at all!!






Thursday, November 13, 2008

Greek Gods and India's Holy

With a 4 year old around at home – we end up having a large “animation” tv diet at home. One such is a program called Greeka Kadhaigal (..Stories) on the Tamil kids channel – Chutti TV.

Every time and wife and I would sit down to watch it there was always a huge sense of déjà vu…God damn…doesn’t this sound like our own stories? In one episode there was this man with an elephant’s head ( psst…does this sound our own top of the pops Ganesha?). And the other day, there was this episode where there is a an argument a few gods were having about which is bigger – money, bravery or knowledge ( guys…if you’re Tamil, you will realize that there is this block buster mythological movie called Thiruvilayadal ( Games of Lord Shiva’s) you’d see exactly the same thing!) That’s when I got goolging around a bit and here was another potential Da Vince Code for the Hindus! Here’s some of that dope….
You’d of course know that Greeks ( Hellenism) and Indian ( Hinduism) had some of the richest mythologies. Both these groups existed around the same time, give or take a 1000 years….and there was a travel and interaction between the people – indo greek coins and architecture is for all to see . So, the point I am heading to is this – Did we get our religion from the Greeks? Ok all right…I hear the guys going wild –..did the Greeks get their mythology from us? (sounds better?) . Here are some thought starters :


Zeus & Indra : In Hindu mythology Kashyapa fathered the Devas (Gods). No…it does not include the triumvirate Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva who are considered superior to the Devas. And the ruler of the Devas was Indra. In Greek mythology the Gods were fathered by Cronus. Zeus is the ruler of Gods just as Indra is his counterpart in Hindu Mythology. Indra and the other gods reside atop Mount Kailash while Zeus and the other Greek Gods reside on top of Mount Olympus. Indra represents Thursday in the days of the week. So does Zeus. Zeus is the God of thunder and lightning. So is Indra.

Good & Evil : Kashyap gave birth to both the Devas and the bad guys Asuras. Cronus gave birth to both Gods and the bad guys Titans. The struggle between the Good and bad is the central theme in both mythologies.

Bad Daddies & the Hero Son : Cronus becomes aware of a prophecy that he will be overthrown by one of his children. So, Cronus begins to swallow each one of his children as soon as they are born. When the sixth child Zeus is born, Rhea (Cronus’ wife) devises a plan to save the kid with the help of Cronus’ mother Gaia. Rhea secretly gives birth to Zeus and arranges for him to be brought up in exile. Later a grown up Zeus comes back to free his siblings and kicks ass. Now, Indian Mythology, King Kansa is foretold that the eight son of his sister Devaki would kill him. To avert this, Kansa imprisons both Devaki and her husband Vasudeva and allows them to live on the condition that they hand over all their newborns to him. Devaki’s eighth son was Krishna (a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu) and as Kansa had killed all their previous children, they arranged for the child to be brought up in exile and presented another newborn to Kansa in his place. A grown up Krishna later returned to avenge the death of his brothers and killed Kansa.


The Sickle & Parashuram : Perseus cut off the head of an evil woman called Medusa with a sickle. In Indian legend Parashurama cut off his mother’s head )because she had behaved improperly; and the weapon was called a "parshu" which means either an ax or a sickle.

The Vulnerable Hero : Achilles was the seventh son of Peleus and Thetis or Thea. Thetis had made the first six unnamed sons immortal by burning away the mortal parts in fire and then sent each one in turn to join the gods in Olympus. But Pelus interrupted her when all of Achilles was made immortal except the ankle bone. Peleus snatched the body from the fire and gave Achilles an ankle bone taken from a giant, but, since this came from a mortal, Achilles was vulnerable there. Another version of the story simply says that the six elder brothers died in the fire and that his mother made Achilles immortal by dipping him in the river Styx, but, since she held him by the heel, this was vulnerable and the cause of his death.
The Indian myth comes in two parts.
In the first the god Krishna was given a "boon" by Shiva who told him that he would be invulnerable if he covered himself with "frumenty", a kind of gruel. But Krishna omitted to cover his foot and eventually died when a hunter struck him there with an arrow. In passing we may note that no Indian "boons" (usually given by Brahma) allowed immortality, and that Krishna had elected to die and permitted the hunter to wound him in his foot.
The second story concerns the goddess Ganga who lived in heaven but came to earth to wed King Shantanu – who was Shiva – but on condition thathe never criticized her. And, before going to earth, eight gods known as "Vasus" who had been condemned to live on earth begged her to let them be born as her children; Ganga agreed to this and also undertook to then return them to heaven afterwards. Consequently, after each child was born, it was cast in to the river, died, and returned to heaven. But Shantanu came upon Ganga with the eighth child and prevented his death and return to heaven. This broke his agreement with Ganga and she left with the child who was named Bhishma and became a mighty warrior. Many years later Shantanu met Bhishma and granted him the boon of invulnerability so that he would not die except when he chose to do so.

Gayathri and Gaia : Tthe beautiful second wife of Brahma was called Gayatri; and of the other names of Brahma was "Varuna". The similarity between Varuna and Uranus is close….so is Gaia, Uranus’s wife to Gayathri.

Well, iam no expert in either of these mythologies...for one...dont remember any more of the Ramayan or the Mahabarath than that i read in the Amar Chitra Katha comics....but these snippets from the Web do make you think eh?

Create Buzz..but dont let the bee get away!!

Been around in consumer products marketing business, working for varied kind of brands, management teams and brand collegues of all shapes and sizes. Some times, some places, ive seen Zillions of hours and energy spent on crafting strategy, choosing the segment so carefully, scores of Need scope style research projects ( guys...has some ever got a sane idea of what's happening around after theve been through a NEEDSCOPE (TM) study???) segmentation, umpteen brainstorming sessions on getting the big idea, all that fancy jazz! Yes, its all frightfully interesting and sort of feels good to do, but i think sometimes they forget why they are doing all that for - making money! Making money - in the sense - get your consumer to buy your brand - and get him to use it regularly. Doing all that you do...can you get the man on the street to shell out that 20 bucks for you? Have you put in enough money into the thing that youre peddling to make sure that the guy comes back to buy it another time for another 20 bucks? So... focus on the bee guys...buzz is merely a means!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Angels


Two girls who can really drive me crazy! You can see it in their eyes!

The Chinese Stopover






Its been atleast a couple of months since i was at the chinese city of Shangai! Simply put it was another Dubai, sans the traffic!! Everything done upto HyperScales every where! Hardly had time to see around the city...but here's a couple of pics of some people in an ancient Park (i guess this is the only place in Shangai that looked "chinese" to me)

Junkyard Groove







The first time i saw these guys was at the Desert Rock Festival 2007 in Dubai - opening up for Iron Maiden. They sounded good allright and had the crowds quite excited!! Surprise surprise to hear that they were from good ol Chennai! Heard them out from "almost on stage" at the YMCA grounds a couple of months back, a CanStop ( smoking) campaign show. Some pics from there. Would go and see them again~!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Good Marketing Practices - Back of Pack Instructions

Good marketeers will always that the consumer is adequately informed on how he/she can enjoy using the product. They will always 1) Inform how to use 2) 2) Inform how not to use 3) Inform how else to use, if any.
Here's examples of Good marketeers



Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Untouched!





A few from the Rani Shoot dates - never got to work on them....but i like them as they are....



Friday, June 20, 2008

4 KM in 27.45 minutes

Its been a week into my third attempt to quit...so far very good again! My pockets are lighter, saved atleast Rs. 320, can smell my hair well enough to say that i need to shampoo today (!) and most of all, i feel much calmer and dont have that crazy knocking feeling ( it used to be around most of my day - anxiousness) in my head anymore.

Clocked 4 KM in 27.45 minutes (meaning an average running speed of 8.7 KM per Hr). Would want to start clocking 5 KM in 30 min by next week (would require avg running speed of 10kmph!) The world record by the way is a few seconds less that 13 Minutes...meaning an average running speed of 23.1 kmph !

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nicotine Junkies - Just one day at a Time

Smokers didn't suck tissue destroying tar composed of over 4,000 chemicals including ammonia, formaldehyde, arsenic, butane, hydrogen cyanide, lead, mercury, vinyl chloride, methane or vast quantities of carbon monoxide into our body because they wanted to watch each puff destroy a bit more of their capacity to receive and circulate life-giving oxygen.
They did so to get to the nicotine.
  • Nicotine is a colorless, odorless, organic-based alkaloid in the same family as cocaine, morphine.
  • It is a super toxin and a natural insecticide that was sold in the U.S. as Black Leaf 40.
  • The lethal dose needed to kill a 160 pound human is 2-3 drops or about 60mg.
  • Drop for drop it is more deadly than strychnine (75mg), diamond back rattlesnake venom (100mg), arsenic (200mg) or cyanide (500mg).
  • Imagine 1mg of nicotine, the average amount delivered into the bloodstream by smoking just one cigarette, being sufficient to kill the largest rat you have ever seen (1-2 lbs.).
  • Is it any wonder that a recent study suggests that nicotine gradually destroys brain gray matter?

Except for the fact that , the type of high experienced and the fact that nicotine is legal, smokers are truly drug addicts, just as much as the addicts that fill jails and prisons across the world.


To break free from smoking, you don’t need mountains of will power. It takes following only simple rule - JUST ONE DAY AT A TIME , no nicotine in any form, Never Take another Puff, Dip, or Chew or patch of anything that’s got NICOTINE!

Thats what iam doing now - one day at a time, once again - recording my 3rd attempt to quit - Day 4 - Last Smoke on 12th June, 2008 at 8 PM.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Whats with the Oil Prices

Someone said...finally beer is cheaper than petrol..so Drink! Dont Drive!
Here is my piece on what's driving these prices. The perspective of this "paper" is to give you a general, global macro idea, with one or two interesting pieces of data - good enough to make you sound intelligent while having conversations with the Office's Corner Room people . So here goes!
Oil Prices
Mid 80’s it was $25 per barrel; in 2005 it was $40 and then $50. briefly exceed $75 in the middle of 2006; per barrel maximum of $138.83 was reached on June 6, 2008. Sustained prices at these levels could mean recession similar to that in the early 80’s. Whats driving these prices?
1) Demand
a) World population is growing faster than oil production- by 2030, its expected to be double that of 1980.
b) Growing demand from establishing countries like China and India. Eg: China has seen oil consumption grow by 8% yearly since 2002, doubling from 1996-2006 (doubling rate of less than 10 years)

2) Supply
a) Limited amount of fossil fuel and remaining accessabile supply is consumed more rapidly every year. Remaining reserves become more technically difficult to extract and therefore more expensive
b) Political turbulence – problems in the middle east, Venezuela and west Africa (Nigeria)

3) Financial Speculation (This is the big one!)
Current world consumption of oil at 87 million bpd is far exceeded by the "paper market" for oil, which equals about 1.36 billion bpd, or more than 15 times the actual market demand. So you can imagine.

4) Effect of US Dollar on Oil
The price of oil is closely tied to the value of the US dollar because oil is traded in dollars. This has led to concern among some economists that the principal earned from the sale of oil may lose value in the long run if the US dollar loses real value.

Sounds so "economiksy".... and it looks good on my blog! i love it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Joel & His Magic Box - Making Product Window's work









You've seen advertising films - and youve seen nice depictions of the product and the lovely ingredients that go into making it.... and the beautiful ways in which the product works.
Well, reality might not really be so flattering. But thanks to a few guys...who do make it look good.
Here's a guy who specialises in just that! Called Joel...but film directors call him the Contraptionist (!) and he is most likely to be on most ad film sets in mumbai!
He walks in Shorts (always!) and tight polo that outlines his a little not so "fit" waistline , and a couple of flunkies and a large box full of magic tricks. Wanna make juice ooze out a lemon, or get 1/4th moisturising cream to form a cute soap or make tri coloured toothpaste come out of a tube in style or just have water come out of a shower in a nice timely and organised manner....he can make it all work!
Here is Joel and his team working on a Single Neem leaf look good on screen. Next time you see another boring ad with another boring product window - you know a few guys make a living out of it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Rani Mukerji!


Been a while since i wrote in....been quite a few whirlwind days though.... back in good old chennai from Dubai to start with.
Got to work with a big time celeb on a TV campaign - first time! We got a great film and ofcourse shooting with bollywood photographer Daboo Ratnani was fun! More about the film, and "making" pics later....but there a brand new campaign coming up...and here's a preview!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Global Village - 2




















Here are some more pics from the Global Village Jaunt!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

fireworks at global Village


Stopped over at the village fair (dubai calls its fair the Global Village, a conglomeration of exhibits from across the world) and shot a few pics.


Here is my first attempt at mergin two of them - a nice moon and a pic of the carnival.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Messiah of Peace, Mr. Bush & Our Business Review


Mr. Bush was out in Dubai as part of his middle tour - central theme being - "now lets go screw Iran + hey, my god damn Fuel bills are climbing". Ok, thats him doing his every job and earning payday - so iam easy. UAE on the eve of the visit, annouced that wed rather not have Bush busted out here and therefore we are going to close down all major roads, so you people stay home, enjoy a holiday. Take a look at Sheik Zayed Road - all clear!!!!

For poor me, we had our big review meeting scheduled that couldnt be cancelled and had to spend most of my day waiting at the venue for the rest of the team to arrive - they never did (these guys drove up and down town for a three hours trying to find an exit from bur dubai with no luck! even tried the abra!). So we had to scrap it and reschudule to the evening when the roads had opened up again!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Failed Light Chase






Was out again early in the morning to the Dry Docks to catch some morning light again. But, nothing worth writing home about.


Here was a couple of them from there.....




Saturday, January 5, 2008

Portraits on the Run!



A really spontaneous picture - thought it looked quite nice?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

One for the Record

My last quit smoking attempt failed miserably after about 10 days. Biggest learning - never take that "one cigarette". This is to just record my 2nd attempt at quitting - my last cigarette so far has been on 30th Dec 2007.