Chaiwala No More…

I voted BJP into power. I put my trust into a chaiwala who rose to be the Prime Minister of the country. I believed that he was a symbol of possibilities. I believed that with Narendra bhai we all had a shot at greatness. I believed that Narendra Bhai Modi could set right a lot of what was wrong with this country because he could feel our strife’s and turmoils and see from a chaiwalas point of view. I believed here was a man who makes it important for me to go into the polling booth because our country needed him, I needed him to be the Prime Minister. I wanted him to work 16 hours a day as he said, for us, the commoners. All that was said about him by the “secular” lot, I dismissed. I believed that he would write history. I believed past leaderships were not interested in us but in their personal vanity and wealth accumulation. Then I saw him escalate. Rise above his origins. I saw him extract himself from the roots and plant himself in his aspirations. I saw him live up. I saw him grace the exploiters. I saw him put up selfie booths. I saw him in his talked about suit. I just heard his voice through the radio as he reiterated his perfection. I saw him clicking selfies with Sonakshi. I waited for a selfie with a chaiwala, another chaiwala. And i realized. My beloved chaiwala was no more. The chaiwala whom I had put my trust in was no more. And I remembered George Orwell. The Big Brother has arrived in India. I reject you. I reject you despite you having power. Correct yourself and I might reconsider.

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Posted in India Opines, Indian Politics, Personal Opinion

Stroke @ 40

On the 8th of October, 2014, I suffered a mini stroke. One that they call a TIA, Transient Ischemic Attack. After a late day at work, I was home playing with my 6-month old daughter. I felt dizzy at first, afraid I would fall on my baby, I tried to hoist myself up but my left hand went limp. I was calling out to my wife who happened to be in the kitchen, but my words never formed. My tongue was not in my control anymore. It felt as if someone had switched my left side off. All this time I was staring into my baby’s eyes. 

I was getting paralyzed, and I barely could do anything about it. Lest even call someone. My wife came to ask me something, imagine her shock. I was what most people consider pretty healthy. In fact they felt that I looked much younger to my forty years of existence. Yet all of a sudden a blood clot formed in my body, traveled to my brain, got stuck, got me stuck, dislodged and left me with a lifetime of medication.

What followed were days of agony. Mostly mental. From incompetent doctors to a opportunist medical system, I traveled the dark corridors of healthcare. The sword of a subsequent and more severe attack dangling over me, I did not intend to take any chances. We went through rounds and rounds of check-ups and investigations. The interesting part was that all my cardiac activity was normal. ECG, 2-d Echo, etc were normal. Very normal, without a trace of abnormality. The total cholesterol count was at 221, slightly on the higher side, but better than most people. Fundamental parameters like BP and pulse were all doing pretty well. Now, the EEG showed an abnormality in the right temporal region, but the doctor conducting the EEG said he cannot deduce an inference as he is a pediatric neurologist and did not understand adult parameters. Wow! what a wonderful medical system. The MRI showed an infarct in the right parietal cortex. One thing was clear, it happened. While one doctor yet insisted that I take medicines for both epilepsy and stroke, in effect giving me Clopitab – 150, Atorva – 80 and Diva, 500, alongwith some vitamins and acidity controllers, I was traversing fear to fear. 

I changed my Doctor.

Went for another round of investigations.

The revelation was in the Thrombocheck profile, which again was normal but for the homocysteine level, which stood at twice its normal high of 15. I had been a smoker for over 2 decades. Indulging myself pretty heavily. It has been over a year now since I have quit. But the damage done is done. I never knew that there could be some genetic reason for my metabolism to be abnormal and therefore all the cigarettes that I smoked, added to my homocysteine level.

For all these years, the cumulative effect of advises could not ween me away from smoking. Now I was feeling the heat after having quit.

In the meanwhile, the blood-thinning and anti clot drugs started working up. Having been advised an hour of exercise everyday, I found a subcutaneous bleed in my arm one day. The same evening, I started passing blood in my urine. A little later, through stool. In my mind, I was close to death. Once again a doctor and a hospital tried to admit me to an ICU despite me walking upto them.

What is interesting is that my condition was an outcome of Cholesterol and Homocysteine combination. And the treatment was fairly simple. Lifestyle change to ensure low cholesterol (have been asked to maintain around 130) and ample amount of B6 and B12 for Homocysteine metabolism (supplements, green veggies, folic acid, mecobalamin inj etc) in addition to aspirin -75.
I started cycling. 25 yrs back it was a passion. This time around I started with 5-6 Kms a day but over the last one month gradually increased to 15-20 km a day. Over the last 2 odd months, I have almost given up non-vegetarian food. The Healing codes, Pranayam and the sudershan kriya, all add to my routine.
Now let me show you the result.
Cholesterol : 88.3

Homocysteine: 7.93
Dr. Pawan Ojha, My treating doctor, and Dr. Digvijay asked me to share my experience with as many people as I can. We live in an age where lifestyle diseases are the biggest evils. It is important for us to treat our health with respect. 2 months back, I had no time to walk, today, I spend 2 hours in the morning with myself. With one aim, to live on. My friends, take care.

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Posted in Cardiac Care, Health, Lifestyle Diseases, Stroke

Building Simplicity

Simplicity Communications

That is how we do it

We chose to name our company Simplicity to break away from the smoke screens created through over analysis. The premise here is passion.

Most of marketing today is being run with numbers. A lot of numbers. With the advent of digital technologies, more numbers are coming back to us everyday. At the same time we hear that some of the most accomplished users of analytics have lost ground over the last few years. I think my friends whoever is interested in Chaos Theory would understand this best. Simplification is at the center of all wisdom. And we chose that as our guideline.

We have created certain tenets that would remain our guiding philosophy.

#InWithaSmile : A smile and eagerness can do wonders. We maintain that whatever be the business reasons, our reaction will be of willingness.
#DoGood : Age old values of the society hold good. Always, even under the most telling situations, do good. Our work and attitude should always be beneficial to others.

#ThinkWinWin : Our interest would always lie in the interest of our clients and channel partners. Any decision which hurts the others in the chain but makes us profits, would come back to bite us hard. Win-Win is a beautiful equilibrium.

#BeCurious : The more we gain experience, the less curious are we. We started settling into hard boiled opinions and lose exploration. We encourage curiosity. A child like curiosity which challenges everything and keeps the process of discovery on.

#BeCouragious : Implementation of path breaking ideas comes from courage. Courage to challenge opposition, and the courage to accept criticism.

#Innovate : To this generation of Google craved and Google served Junta, I would say, give your mind a chance. Had a Google been there before a Google, Google would not be born.

#RejoiceWork : When the work gives you goosebumps and not the result, the result will surely succeed.

The parameters of our success lie in this philosophy.

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Posted in Advertising, Company Philosophy, Marketing

The Other Side of Bold

When I started thinking of my next venture, I wanted to give it some of my color and call it Bold. But that was not to be. The name was not accepted by the Registrar of Companies. So all the copy that I had written for my would be baby, I dedicated to a Whiskey brand.

Designs for Bold created for AABL on behalf of Asymmetrique









Alongside we suggested an aspirational brand targeted to achievement life-stages, known as, The Other Side. Let me know what you think of these.Design_03_B

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Posted in Advertising, Branding, Design, Marketing, Positioning

Whats my biggest weakness?

A friend came to me with a problem. This particular saree shop, Jariwala Shah Kanji Raaichand & Co.,  in a busy bazaar area of mumbai boasts of outstanding quality but is known only by designers and a few selecte customers. The Location, Masjid Bunder (best avoided on a busy day) happened to be the biggest disadvantage. Over the years, the footfalls have reduced drastically. Though the likes of Sabyasachi and others buy regularly from here, to most it remains unknown.  I created these curious cards for them to be placed in Clubs and 5 Star properties. Creating a positioning line “secret sarees” we gave its biggest disadvantage a jet lift. There is another consumer behavior angle. Making the experience of choosing a saree challenging and private. Let me know what you think of it..

Curious posters created for Jariwalal Shah Kanji Raaichand by Simplicity CommunicationsCurious posters created for Jariwalal Shah Kanji Raaichand by Simplicity CommunicationsCurious posters created for Jariwalal Shah Kanji Raaichand by Simplicity Communications

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Posted in Advertising, Curious Posters, Marketing, Positioning

The brief on Individuality

The days when our research team at Asymmetrique led by Dr. Sunitha Thampi would conduct a 3 month long study and come up with a 100 page report to be distilled into a 12 page creative brief which would contradict itself multiple times, we were assigned the task of creating multiple Whiskey brands. The Triple distilled brief was Individuality. I came up with a brilliant name “Maiyy”. A blend of the urdu name maiy and hindi of “I”.

A twist in the saga is to put a reflecting patch on the outer pack structure reflecting the person who holds it. Art sniper, the super brilliant, Shawnal Pillai.

Designs for maiyy

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Posted in Advertising, Branding, Design, Marketing, Unpublished work

Driving with copy.


These were created as a part of a pitch to Whistling Woods while at Assymetrique with art partner Shawn. 

interesting work done as a pitch to whistling woods interesting work done as a pitch to whistling woods interesting work done as a pitch to whistling woods

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Posted in Advertising, Branding, Design, Marketing, Unpublished work