My first impression is hardly ever a good one. Even if I am liked, it’s because someone saw me eating food. There is rarely a first time I am open and smiling to people meeting me for the first time. The rare occasions where I have felt love and harmony for strangers is when I was under a little influence of some friendly herbs. See again .. near to food.
I had a complexity of this unlikeable, what do I say and be acceptable syndrome for a long time. I had also experienced anxiety in confrontations about being right in situations.
I am a very controversial person. Lest I knew that. But it is difficult to accept it and just stand alone. So knowing this fact, I try not be a part of any controversy.
I didn’t want the spotlight. I was comfortable not being judged… I mean who doesn’t. I wanted ease of acceptability and not just acceptability.
This fear to stand out made me into a hidden figure. I loved to stay away from hustle bustle,too many people, groups of them looking at you as if you have to contribute rightly to the discussion. It feels like pressure. Is everyone under such pressure to be nice?
I am also bad at apology especially when it comes to my pets, comments about who I am and which mould I fit in, relatives bashing and workplace politics. Totally suck. And when I have been someone who adjusts a lot to convenience others, god I just don’t like that person. I hate what I become.
It’s not natural and I am a bitch sometimes. I can’t help it. I know very well how to make them come to terms and even understand my state and sympathise with me after sufficient time has passed by and everything has cooled down, but never at that instant. Unless I am closing a deal or negotiating with a vendor. People do know the difference between work and outside of work humanity. Everything is fair in business. That is the right quote.
Having said that, I feel a deep concern for humanity, across the world suffering, violence, lack of trust in people, animals and nature. So this is grand. And it is a part of my everyday thought. It worries me. And I have this deep felt need to contribute to make this world a better place. I try. I really do. It also feels good doing random acts of kindness. I am not a selfish person you see. I just communicate when I know I will be effective. I am generally not effective in petty issues and drama oriented confrontations. They are just not for me.
With all those who have been with me for years, a part of the conversation has been ‘ at first, I thought you were too snobbish a person. Little did we know you hardly stop talking and have bursts of laughing gas moments.’ Little has anyone known the paralysing anxiety of whether I will be okay them knowing how crazy I am.
What to do… my first impression is always wrong.
I love my sleep. I am a great personality when I have had my night sleep in order. There is clear proof. No puff below my eyes. Happy smile. Great productivity as well as empathy for others.
I have spent my early years sleeping deep till afternoon. Me and my sister defined Sundays at home. We also have a common trait where we sleep when we are low or have too much to deal with. That is just how we stayed sane. It was fine till the work hours start extending. It is given in the Advertising industry that if you are indeed leaving from work on time it means you are not really working. That is also the age where you fancy working late, staying up late as you feel you can do all of it. And you tell your sleep to wait up for your youthful times. I did enjoy late night drives and food. I still do.
Then something changes post 25. It suddenly is apparent that you are not a Superhero. That every night you stay awake and still report to work on time next day has serious repucussions on the kind of responses that you give your customer tickets working in a Domain Registry as a Cyber Security Analyst. That was me 7 years ago. The next time you see your response, you will be shocked that you gave a reply like that. Its straight out of your REM sleep mode fantasies that pan out mixed with the awareness of the real issues being discussed. I so far remember I wrote something like ‘Kindly log in to your control panel and Click on unicorn.’
Post 26, you have the experience of the work world scenario, cheating bosses, broken relationships and you have now started being grateful to your mom who feeds you dinner. At this age, as per what happened to me, I was single and roaring. There was a fire within which came from a big F given away to everything that didn’t work out by the books and all that mattered is you keeping yourself busy and away from any of those self reflecting thoughts. So yes a workholic, deep sleep for 5 to 6 hours, staying longer than your work hours at work and a big hello to acidity. It takes that break down from the constant running away from your self and finally taking a break for your self. (I totally recommend a 10 day Vipassana course at any age crisis point in your life.)
This stage of life is the best. The teething period is over and you are a seasoned youngter with some maturity and experience. You have become aware of the things that make you happy, that are necessary for you and which you cannot do without. Food, sleep and Sitcoms. Now you do not want anyone else to take this away .
30 is life changing. Especially if you have been running and struggling to keep a startup afloat and you didn’t care till now if you are sleeping well. But now you do.
Incidentally, even though you need it, value it and crave it, you are miles away from getting that nap which is calling out to you. You dream about having it. You plan it in your calendar. You schedule your relationships around it. You also excuse yourself from parties early. But goddamn the miracle that this sleep is not a high maintenance girlfriend that I keep chasing. And it seems just so not enough.
The grown up responsibilities, value of home cooked food, hungry pets and people who ask you to spare a little sleep for love are inescapable, aren’t they?
I just might use a too busy tactic one day and go off to a cosy place in the mountains away from humans and blame the bad network later for a much needed snooze.
My take on this historic and entertaining city.
I know you are thinking about the title. Its literally right for both Pune the city and Poon a.k.a Spanish. Pune is a weird little place for me. Don’t get me wrong. I love that I am currently living here. I love that it has a dry weather, is cool at nights with great food and nightlife. Its still weird though for the human interactions that Pune is popular for. It seems like Maharashtrians from Pune were the pioneers of straight forward, downright and unapologetically rude sarcasm contributed to the world. This place is a treat for me. I get to be myself here. Totally.
The best part is that you can accept the sarcasm thrown at you and you can easily give it back. It is appreciated. Till a point where you hurt the ego of the opposite person and he dials a number and says ‘Hey someone messing with me. Send 20 boys with rods & sticks.’
Pune is the Delhi of Maharashtra. The locals here are loud and proud. There is a naughty yet witty joke in Pune connected to the Peshwai legacy from here. ‘That the Peshwai legacy drowned in 2.5 inches’ Do you know whats that deep and probably more. Poon tang baby!
Its famous for its sarcastic and nasty notice boards that are put outside of residences in the old part of the city.
This information states that at the toll plaza please wait as the pole automatically falls down. Daayyummm!
The one on the left directly says ‘You dog, don’t spit here.’ The one next to it says, ‘the one who spits here is a donkey.’
Free tip no matter where you live. It states ‘Learn to have patience when you ring the door bell. Humans live here. Not Spiderman.’
If this is how proud and sure Punekars are, imagine the impact of this attitude on the traffic. Everyone follows their own rule here. Pune is filled with bikes and scooters more than any other place I have seen.
1. They are light years away from knowing lane traffic.
2. There is no diiference between amateur drivers and experienced ones.
3. Parking is done based on the driving mood of the day. People don’t even hesitate to double park in front of your car and walk away.
4. Every car has scrathes on the front and back bumpers and the sides and the top as well.
5. People riding scooters and bikes prefer to remove their rear view mirrors due to fear of being stolen.
6. The concept of giving the Left indicator for going left and the Right one for going right is something like alien language.
7. Angry bikers overtaken by cars are chased. This biker then teases a car with a slow and fast speed dance to show superiority on road.
8. They are all still confused about the colours of the signal. Red means go, green means definitely go and yellow means the hell I can go.
9. Rickshaws are taken out from underground museums and made to run in the middle of fast moving traffic by spying traffic agencies.
10. Any amount of space is okay for a bike to pass by between two cars.
11. Footpaths are for luxury bike parking areas and for wholesale shopping outets of fast moving goods.
12. Speed breakers are testing devices from spy agencies to check the life of cars and how soon they can break down.
13. The island space around the intersection of two roads is valid to sell kites at festival time.
14. Around the time of elections, every public space including the middle of a footpath, in front of traffic signal, corner of main roads are valid for hoardings the size of a tennis court. Spy traffic agencies do their test of great driving skills and effect of shock reactions on the driving stability with these.
14. You cannot estimate the class of people here from the car they drive but by how they park it.
There is no doubt I love this place. I don’t think I would have gotten great at my communication and dodging of taunts skills at the rate at which I learnt it here. Living in Pune is an ongoing training and development course to erode self douts and be proud of who you are.
Thank You Pune. I love living here.
P.S: If you feel you have experienced any of these, have something hilarious to add,do leave comments, I really want to make that list longer.
Do share with love.
The glory and fall of Indian Advertising
I was born with this spoon. I watched ads ever since the tv came to life. My childhood was watching Mowgli, Bhalu and Bageera running around while I chomped on Maggi noodles with chopped onions and tomato garnish. I was born in the Golden age of advertising, the mid 80s. I still remember the ads that played in between. My dear dad, who would guide me with the conventional ways of living was always surprised and mentioned ‘When the show is on, you move about and you are glued when the ads are playing.’
I mean do you remember those ads. Let me give you a peek.
Look at this one, this is the reason I know Ogilvy & Mather and Piyush Pandey. I would be so happy to watch it again and again. This ad is also responsible for the way I dance by the way.
Look at this one. For the last 30 years, my valid reason to have a bath time of an hour validated. Dear Dad, now you know. I was busy creating the freshness this soap promised.
This ad was pure gold for its tagline – neighbours envy, owners pride. It perfectly caught the sentiment responsible for buying of any appliances in households at that time.
This brand ‘Maggi’ is not just a brand name. It means instant noodles, it means lunch, dinner, ketchup. Ketchup ad that rocked that time.
And I would have never known beverages without the constant bombarding of the cola ads.
There are some advertisements which made me learn singing like this one here –
I do not remember old movies, or even plotlines as much as I remember my favorite ads. Haan, songs are a different thing altogether. I do not forget them.
Today when I switch on my tv and I check the advertisements, it irritates me no doubt but I am saddened too with the way these absolutely bizarre and shocking ads keep playing back to back and numb my nerves. The entire Venture Capital funding given to E-commerce giants was poured in senseless, noisy ads and a heavy duty media plan which didn’t take any sensitivity of their consumers in consideration. More the ads and the pathetic copy of the ad going on and on in your ears meant clearly, that the e commerce business was not really making money.
This guy is the epitome of disaster post a disaster. Every time I see him give instructions in this long running ad, it feels like I am sitting in a hospital lobby that wants to make sure I fall sick and never ever visit this ‘Trivago’. Even this brand name makes me wonder what really went wrong went when they they were selecting the name. “Hey, looks like nothing close available in .com domains. Try the suggestions, okay put random words, Tri Va go, combine them. finish it off. Buy all the media there is. But no spending money on studio, and model okay? No budget for that. Make a ppt and squeeze the model in there. Bribe the production to get the video format anyhow.”
Here is another masterpiece:
This ad is a maa behen of aircraft safety regulations, Bollywood fantasy and child abuse. I mean don’t even get me started on the kind of characters that are seen here and that they dance to a phone blaring a song about a song from a song singing app. That’s what it says. And whatever happened to cute babies in ads. Production budget put elsewhere, is it? An aircraft scene – again production budget given to the media agencies.
I yearn for the advertising genius and the creativity that has stirred my soul. I am playing my role around this industry and I hope I am instrumental in changing this to a connect that will last.
Lastly, I apologise for not giving footage to Unilever product ads and Fair n Lovely ads. Its valid to say the only ads on point today on the Indian television are the condom ads.
A black comedy of what is happening in this age.
I am addicted to Facebook. Precisely I am addicted to information. I have given a deep thought to arrive at my second statement. I dig information, I yearn for more and more to know. And for the last 4 years, I seem to have gone out of control.
First I was in a relationship with a person who was into mindless viewing of things on his phone. No amount of straight talks and cajoling or distraction worked. Once done with his phone, he moved to his ipad and then the television. Like a vicious observer who will eventually pen out a great script and build a movie, I observed him to detail. I could not get any valid reasons as to why was this obsession to go from one screen to next when you have a person convinced to live with you. As I avoided those screens with the silent treatments and even a post graduation, I derived two things – first he is a retard who has no purpose in his life and every screen holds his fragile life together or second and a big one – I have not really caught on to the world as of yet.
The first one would have saved my time and energy and opened up new channels but the second doubt being a self one and hence bigger, I decided to take on the challenge to really look at what gratification and life enhancing elements lie in those screens.
And once I decided to look and ponder and explore, like we all know, there was no looking back. This gratification is not just instant. It will put instant gratification to shame.
The plethora of information and personalities, stories and ideas is like a tsunami wave that you fancy to surf on. There are endless possibilities in that virtual world, nothing seems impossible. It completes every aspect of your life like a Boss of which, your reality is like a behind-the-camera action meant to be edited out even in the bloopers. I was a star. I was getting lauded. I got all the appreciation at the instant that I demanded. And after sometime of doing this, I could not agree more with the person who ignored me for all this. He was worth ignoring too.
I was no more interested in his interests online. Who he liked and why. Who he flirted with and appreciated for the very reasons he loathed me. It all just dimmed down and disappeared. I found my worth and I found my fan following. I was so much more than what I thought. I thought I was a human but then I became a virtual famed character and no one was more important than all that.
I found this option to be much more peaceful than actually cooking a meal and waiting for my partner to appreciate it. I loved my space with the phone. Everything was available here. Something to pacify me, something to turn me on, something to help me start a career or a kill a relationship. All answers right there. I need not think anymore.
Love, I have learnt is reserved only for the self. Every person is ultimately trying to get to his own self. Other people exist to serve you coffee and the food they don’t really want to share. I think at times, this is off topic, but if I don’t have the share-my-food desire, I must stay away from relationships where I have to pretend to be hungry when the other person is. Imagine that level of stress, I won’t be able to fake that for any time at all.
So with all the information and my new found self status, I roamed like a diva. I was a narcissist and absolutely okay to be so and then there starts the existential crisis. Its difficult for people to live with someone who loves herself (this is major truth) and then comes the pushed down your throat guilt trips.
The beginning of amends and value realisation for the chance to serve a dying relation demands that you put your phone away. But how can I?
I am supposed to put away a life, a virtual famed one which saved me from this real life trajectory. Like what. You expect that I put my validation and instant gratification away to work things out with you at the pace of how things actually are. How can I abandon my saviours. Who are you and why do you deserve this attention after all. I again plunge into my saviours for the answers that are already waiting for me. This is a spiral and it goes on.
Sadly, we haven’t been educated about that one happy place to go back to. I mean who will really have your answers but you. As simple as this may sound, it takes years and years to bring you back to your self. This journey can be really long.
So after a trauma of loving, losing, accepting and adapting – I am trying to let go of my instant mix world. Because this tsunami of information has consumed me and I have no idea where I am. Am I being helped to surface or being pushed further down – no clue!
I decide to be ignorant. Ignorance to be a part of this race, this information, this participation pushed and fuelled by others. I may not know everything but I rather know me. This one is enough for this lifetime, isn’t it.