Oval Pegs

Square peg in a round hole is an idiomatic expression which describes the unusual individualist who could not fit into a niche of his or her society.

Except I am not talking about the square or round pegs. I want to talk about the Oval ones in particular.

Lately I have been coming in contact & having conversations with people who are the Oval pegs. Means, they are doing the traditional jobs & are good at them. However, they want to expand themselves, get into their own oval holes or create their own dents to fit in. And I love talking with them, it is so exciting to talk with them. To share thoughts & ideas. To wonder about possible future.

So what prompted this post?
Actually, most of the friends & people I come in contact with just talk about their careers(& mine). I am fed up with such talks. And in this case with the Oval Ones – I noticed they were also going on about the career only.

A : “I am unsatisfied with my current package, want to switch over, want to join XYZ global firm….Blah Blah Blah.”

B : ” Yaar, I want to do something.  I want to start working on something – -I want to create – – Yada Yada Yada.”

And then there is the pause in the conversation. They look up to me for some response or reaction.
If it is a person A – I would not like to continue the conversation. *smile + head nod*
If it is a person B – I will be deep in the shit with him/her. *Big smile + gleeful eyes + activated brain & mouth *

The difference was the quality of stuff coming out of their mouths. I mean it was not baseless & uninteresting.
But I am bored with it.
It is like in school times – the kids who could buy the whole set of Action Figures along with all the accessories, used to keep on bragging about them. They could only use their imagination in making stories not imagining them. And the ones who only got a single soldier action figure, they will use pens,pencils,compass & myriad other stuff to imagine crazy plots and play with them. They each have unique set of ‘Play Box’ with them.
It’s extremely exciting to look into those ‘Play Boxes’.

I also had it. I still do. Not the one, my brother & I had in our childhood. It has changed now & it will keep on changing.
Play makes Art possible and Art is ever changing like Life.

I consider myself the Oval type. If you put me into the traditional system – I can easily work there & with efficiency. And I am not totally eccentric. But there is a unsettling creative part which want to stretch/break the mold.

The potential inside is excited to convert into some dynamic kinetics.
And we all Oval types are looking for others like us. To talk with them. To meet with them. Just like the Seth Godin’s ‘Tribe’.
When we Oval types come closer & start sharing ideas and thoughts. Vibrating with excitement – some of will jump from the structure & gain his/her real shape. Make a dent in the system.

So If you are one of the Ovals – meet others like you & keep close to them.Perhaps one day you may take the flight & realize your true shape (star,square,egg,spike,line….e.t.c). Or else you will always remain a ‘Circle’ struggling inside a fixed boundary.

Arigato 🙂

P.S – It is ironic that I am writing/preaching/thinking this while I am preparing for a Job inside the system(bureaucratic). Well, future is filled with possibilities here also – after all I am an Oval one. :p

Pocket Diary -15

I was writing something, so mind is still active. I will write this fast post from my pocket diary.Today it’s on India & writing.

Tagore, ” The problem is not how to wipe out the difference but how to unite with the differences intact.”

I rarely find people, with exception of Bongalis’,who defend or like the Tagore’s thoughts on development. I connect more to Tagore & Gandhi on their ideologies on development of lowest strata of India. I don’t accept everything on their face rather judge them with skepticism.  And as Tagore said – the problem is to unite with difference intact. Do you know, Tagore & Gandhi’s ideas were different from each-other & they used to differ on most of the issues. However, this quote is related to the ‘unity in diversity’ characteristic of Indian Union. Also, this is what in contemporary management they are calling as win-win dealings (I can see similar patterns).

Gandhi,” A society that has no vision for the education of children & youth & is not prepared for the same, is doomed to die.”

The organic growth & development of society is one of the most peculiar part of Gandhian ideology. And I am interested in the organic growth of similar nature alongside with the new technology & innovations, we are discovering day-after-day. Acc. to me, Education is the core of the whole system. If you can develop a culture, an ecosystem of learning which keeps on changing & evolving with time & includes everyone – changing the society will be little easier. I know it’s easy to say that but hard to do. But you know what, I have got a life ahead of me,with my cognitive faculties working fine I will try to create such education core.(even if in a small village or town)

R. B. Austin,” I write because I have no other choice.”

Somebody(sorry I forgot your name & too lazy to check 😦 ) replied with this quote when I asked for ‘Why do you write?’ in one of my earlier posts. It was for the #amwriting series.
With so many people not involved in writing anything – they have many other choices.Even I have, but I choose to write. 🙂

Steven Pressfield, ” As writers, we’re always searching for Real.
Real, we believe, is powerful. Real is authentic. Real is true.
In fact, Real is boring. Real is tedious. Real is hell.
What we want is the simulacrum of Real.
The illusion of Real. We want artificially real.”

Steven Pressfield is like Seth Godin for me, in field of writing. His suggestion speaks to me. My interests are of contradictory nature. On one side, I want to read more and more of ‘reality’ and on the other side, I want to imagine the ‘unreal-creative-islands’. The quote itself creates opposing forces in my mind regarding writing anything. How about you?

Arigato 🙂

#amwriting7

amwriting7

One of the reply I got when I asked about “What writing is for you?”

I basically write what I feel like writing.
For me, it’s to explore my emotions
And imaginative capacity and clubbing these two

Sometimes, it sets me free.
Sometimes, it binds me so much
That I’m compelled to write
Till my mind is exhausted
of ideas or energy

Written words have always been
My sole way of expression.
It keeps me sane.
It keeps me happy, ignorant, blissful, alive.

Writing also helps me
To really voice my opinion.
It always helps me to grow.

I write because I feel like it.
I’m not a fan of it neither a lover, 
For I write when I feel the need to
And not whenever I want to.

“I write
To stay strong, 

To become vulnerable,
To fly,
To stay grounded,
To reach out,
To become oblivion,
To love,
To hate,
When I desire..”

Got this reply on twitter by @DazedColours &
she blogs at http://snehaconfabs.wordpress.com/

So, I ask again here – “What writing is for you?”
(I have noted down every reply for the last post. I am thinking about some piece for them )

Arigato 🙂

Indian Ad Adda

I was reading this post at this site.

Many complain that ads inform consumers more about the images and identities associated with products than about intrinsic physical features. We buy identities when we buy products. But what is wrong with this if identities are in fact what consumers want from products? As Katja points out, buying identities is probably greener than buying physical objects.

So why do so many say they hate ads if most accept ad influence and ads add socially-valuable info? One plausible reason is that ads expose our hypocrisies – to admit we like ads is to admit we care a lot about the kinds of things that ads tend to focus on, like sex appeal, and we’d rather think we care more about other things.

Another plausible reason is that we resent our core identities being formed via options offered by big greedy firms who care little for the ideals which we espouse. According to our still deeply-embedded forager sensibilities, identities are supposed to be formed via informal interactions between apparently equal associates who share basic values.

link to the full post –> http://www.overcomingbias.com/2013/04/in-praise-of-ads.html

After reading the complains of people about the ads, I looked for the Indian scenario.Here, the main target audience for the ads come from middle & upper class.So, Do they complain about them?
Looking at the current twitter streams (which by no means represents any considerable part of country) – the opinions about ads are coming forward.This trend is new in India -where general people, and not experts, are openly commenting about ads. Recently, the Frooti’s SRK ad & the IPL’s Jhumpin-Jhapang has taken on twitterati. The last best & most popular one was the Vodafone’s Zoo-Zoo ads.(They were amazingly creative & refreshing)

This post was not about those ads, It’s about the applicability of the above observations in India.Right now, I am not capable of doing any research on them, although – I have my power of observation as a substitute. (After all being an Indian allows me to be opinionated on every issue & being a human I can observe the behaviors)

# ‘ Buying identities being greener than buying the products’ – This is in our societal conditioning. We don’t buy a product for the utilitarian value it has, we value it for the eye-roles from our peers,relatives & neighbors.Indians are known for being cheap but also for the show-off. Women don’t simply buy Sarees they buy Pochampalli sari, Banarasi Silk. Family don’t buy cars they buy a NANO, a Honda City. Boys don’t buy inner wares, they buy chaddis with ‘Jockey’ written on its waist-line.

Q: Which movie you are coming from?
A: I went for ‘Ek Thi Dayan’ at Wave cinemas.
(Telling about Wave, PVR or MovieTime is important,very important)

# ‘ Ad influence and ads add socially-valuable info’ – can’t say how effective they are. Though, now-a-days I see used up condoms thrown on the roads.Probably condom ads are working. The ‘Tata- Tea – Jago Re’ effectiveness is doubtful.People are already restive because of all the scams coming up from every section of country.
On second thought – the Polio campaign did work successfully – India is Polio free now. 🙂

# ‘ Ads expose our hypocrisies ‘ – We Indians are already so hypocritical, I wonder how much ads expose it. We continue to make sexual ads & promote them by buying those products. And when some out-of-the-blue incident occurs like ‘RAPE’ – then we do point to ads as the culprit of moral degradation. Now-a-days even ads use this hypocrisies & prejudices of the society in their stereotyped ads.(Married woman is always the one washing the clothes you know)

# ‘…resent our core identities being formed via options offered by big greedy firms who care little for the ideals which we espouse’*Laughing over it*
I see core identities being transformed drastically by ads & people don’t even realize it.Everyone was criticizing IPL matches so much & it only took 2-3yr & now we are crazy about it.(We still do criticize it though – thanks to our hypocrisy).How about the perception of girls in western attire asking for men to approach them(& then have sex with them).And this perception is put forth by the greedy firms to degrade the society(again hypocrisy).
About this point – I have observed one peculiar & unique thing about Indians. If any ad relates to the spritual-religious-traditional topic of society, it will rarely have any effect on the society.It might backfire on the product itself. The cultural & traditional bonds are too tough for any visual-mass-media to break it. However, the economic behavior or fashion or societal activities are changeable to a great extent unless you expose the hypocrisy behind them.And once you expose that – ad is down the drain. We don’t want to face the mirror.

I can only go this far with the statements from the study.(Sorry for being lazy)

About my take on ads?
I love ads. They are the only thing I can watch on TV now-a-days. They are the product of creative & innovative ideas being used to change the audiences’ ideas & perception. They are the mind-manipulators. They use the input from the society & then change the society itself.They are the feedback loop for the stereotypes society is constantly creating. They are the mixture of many subjects/topics. They are the motors which is moving this whole consumption society ahead.They are the product of fusion of so diverse streams from art to culture to science to psychology to sociology. Ads are just amazing( I mean good ads).

Just thinking about the working of ads & there interaction with the society activates the gray-cells of the brain creating wonderful fireworks. I am also affected by them as everyone else & that makes it even more interesting.

Start being conscious about the effects of ads in your life. Ads are capable of changing societies.
Do tell me about your take on ads.

Arigato 🙂

P.S – If you don’t want to miss any ad or just love watching them. Check this blog –  http://advertisingkakamaal.blogspot.in/

Creativity from Simplicity

‘Awe Struck’ – That’s the word to describe my last two weeks.

I am gripped & amazed by the fact that how come people weave so wonderful stories from simple incidents & stuff. I just got off reading ‘Red Jihad‘ by Sami Ahmad Khan and was watching ‘Da Vinci Code’ (again) on TV. Then it struck me the simple puzzles, simple facts, small incidents which attracted my attention when i was reading or viewing them.How easily Dan Brown used Fibonacci series, Apple,Rose – things which are so common to understand and still makes the reader think that such events are plausible.I know that these stories have been there since Christs death, still it generates the insightful moments in you.In every Dan Brown’s novel it’s there – in Digital Fortress he portrayed situations which seemed realistic.

Lot about Dan’s work, i also finished reading Red Jihad around then.There also, Sami did fascinating work by connecting so many facts into events which do have possibility of coming into reality.The most amazing thing was, how simply he used them and how such incidents -in reality- came into being.He just imagined Naxals joining with Terrorists and this year some connections were found by the intelligence bureau.That’s how powerful an imagination dug up from current events and simple facts can come in touch with reality.

Not only in books, i also watched ‘Oh My God’, there also – simple logic & presence of atheistic attitude. That’s all i found in the movie. I also being an agnostic, was smitten by the story & its flow.Movie was OK but it was the creativity which caught my attention.Then came the Durga Festival – the Goddess doesn’t captivates me rather how she is portrayed, what she symbolizes, How crowd moves around her. For masses it was devotion & festival moving them, for me it was the art work & portrayal that moved me.

I would go walking in the morning and suddenly look up to the road lights, to the buildings, to the sky.There it would be – something new that i overlooked for so long.Have you ever viewed the road light just from underneath it – in the morning.I am struck by such perspectives of simple objects lying around me.(Though most of the time i am sitting in an enclosed room & the irritation from the crowded markets – doesn’t allows me such moments)

***

Reviewing the above draft i wrote earlier, pointed to me that i am just stating the obvious. I have been gobbling up so much creative artwork that are product of creative simplicity,so such feelings are bound to come. Also, because i have myself started writing a story & reading different books that such works in written form are appealing more to me. I myself is trying to connect the simple dots and am now somewhat capable to envision what the actual creators would be going through.Creativity does kick your head around, mocking the delimited reality of the mind.The feeling is sheer ecstasy for me and I have developed a taste for it, a good one perhaps.

I don’t know whether i can attach ‘creative guy’ batch to me at present.But i will do this and will constantly work for cultivating it.It’s something I can’t leave anytime in future.

Aarigato.

100000 faces of Durga

Shubho Durgo Utsav( Auspicious Durga Festival)

Joy & Bijoy, the gatekeepers got bored between the NavRatri Festival.Every god has descended on the Earth in the humans abode.The monsoon has ended & winter is coming, they have to visit everyplace they are revered. So Joy & Bijoy, locked the doors and decided to join the festivites.

Joy asked Bijoy, “Which place should we go,we have only 1day before anyone comes knocking at the doors”.

Bijoy said,”I want to see 1,00,000 Durga Maa. Kolkata, the city of Joy, will be the perfect place for that”.

It was decided then-Kolkata will be there get away for a day.They started visiting each and every ‘Pandal’ or seat or home of Maa Durga, from North Kolkata to the South Extension, from Kaali Baari to small hut temples. Joy was amazed to see so many people celebrating the festival,moving from one place to another, enthusiastic children , devoted aged, men & women revering Maa Durga. He has never seen so many people together even in Heaven. Creativity and genius of the humans has engrossed him so much that he sometime forgot that it was not some artists home but the Deity’s temporary seat. He was amused how humans used so many different and odd articles & objects to build the ‘pandals’. One place had everything built from bamboo, one used the scrap metals, another utensils of prayer. The electric lighting & visual prowess seemed unmatched, each had a different form.That was not all – Durga Maa sculptures and decoration were equally rich & varied. Big & mesmerizing eyes of deity creating both the feeling of awe & fear together. One place had whole scheme of ‘Brahmaand’ painted on the deity’s body, one had 30ft sculpture of Durga Maa and another was so grand that it took his breath away.Mesmerized by the devotional crowd around him and several  style of celebrating the festivities, Joy forgot about Bijoy.

Bijoy was irritated and sad with everything going on there. He called Joy,” Joy! lets leave now, i don’t feel like staying here any longer”

Joy taking note of it inquired,” What happened Bijoy? You only chose this place? Didn’t you enjoyed the celebrations?”

Bijoy said,”No, i am rather disappointed at what has happened to the celebration of the divine mother. Humans have turned so materialistic and ego- centric. See all these advertisements placed all around the ‘pandal’, trying to sell something to the devotees. People are distracted by them.Their devotion vacillates with each movement of their eyes. Even before praying to the goddess, they are thinking of buying something, consuming something.I even saw ads of  alcohol portrayed using conch & lotus.At one place the first shop after the exit from ‘pandal’ was that of cigarettes. Where’s  the devotion!! tell me”.

Joy replied,” Time has changed and pacing faster in the contemporary era. Traditions of humans have changed. Any object can get only a fleeting period of attention, even the Gods.Earlier priests & kings organized these festivals.Now the free market does – it has to take something back to give first.Economy runs the festivals now as it did in earlier eras. But you can’t ignore the crowd revering the Goddess inside the ‘pandal’…”.

Bijoy interrupted,”Revering the Goddess! what are you saying Joy. Didn’t you saw the magical machines in their hands. No one was even looking at the deity. Everyone was busy in clicking a picture, not even enjoying the moment. The small innocent ones were also cribbing for clicking the images. I even saw a family with each member with similar but different machines like this. I thought it was some ritual but they just wanted to ‘Click’.The incantations & the claps of hand has been replaced by the soundless shutters. The value of rituals have degraded to this level.No respect i tell you. Humans have snapped the divine connections themselves.God grace them! Hari Om!”.

Joy’s beautiful picture of the festivities also disappeared. He realized that Bijoy’s observation is the reality and he was engrossed by the place because of his devotion. The magic has disappeared, the crowd looked self-engaged now, all the ostensiveness was feign. He agreed with Bijoy now  and decided to leave for the heaven.

While returning they saw the destruction of the mother earth.Statues drowned in rivers, large mass of waste creeping near the banks and huge pile of junk generated in the 9 day festivities. Baffled they returned to the gates, unlocked it and were back on their duty as gatekeepers.Just then, Narada Muni came there and inquired about the aggrieved faces of Joy & Bijoy. They recounted their recent experience to him.

“Narayana! Narayana! Such are the ways of the divine. It is what it is. It was what it was.So will it be as it shall be. Maa Durga loved her creations earlier and still loves them,howsoever be the imperfections they have. The Goddess is still revered respectfully though in another form. A form which always keeps changing.”,clarified Narada. He asked Bijoy,” Tell me Bijoy, did you saw the 1,00,00 faces of Maa Durga?”

Bijoy replied,” No ! holy saint, we returned in mid-way.But i think we visited more than 1000 places”

Narada smiled and said,” Narayana! Narayana! You visited the places but you didn’t observed the million faces of the deity which walked beside you, visiting those places.”Saying that he entered through the gates, leaving the keepers with some satisfaction and peace.

!Happy Durga Pooja!

Aarigato.