Friday, August 27, 2010

Which shoe,Jimmy Choo

I wanted to buy myself a pair of shoes, a good pair, a decent pair for every day wear, for daily abuse, for rough use.I was trying to get the best buy at a reasonable cost, so understandably there was no brand loyalty .But I wanted a branded one too. So among the plethora of brands,the question is which shoe?

Woodland, to me looks like leather mounted on couple of small rocks ,not aesthetically appealing .Puma has some nice designs ,but 4k for a pair is too much .Out of budget .I had had a Nike once ..had bought it in 2004 for 1695/-and wore them for 3 years until they just gave away from all sides.

But now, for that amount, I would hardly get anything in a Nike store. The price range has jumped up exponentially .See, the problem with sneakers across all the sports brands is that below 2000, I will get stuff that would seem like Power shoes from the 90’s and better designs are in the range of 4-5 thousand.

When I look though magazines, I think why not a Jimmy Choo?

Alas but sadly, that much retail therapy would do me more harm than good. I want to have them, but I can’t .Disappointed at the high rates, I went to an iD store as I had a discount coupon for a 10% off. Really nice designs and very trendy footwear and excellent value for money .Somehow I came out from that too, maybe because I already have an iD.

Finally I went to the rack where Converse were displayed and it began to make sense to buy one of those kicks. Courtesy the sale and offers at the mall, the cost of a classic blue converse was pegged at 1095/-.At that price,it’ a pretty nice option. Its branded,recognized, canvas shoes that are all terrain all weather, durable and helps your youth quotient .No wonder people are sporting the All Star Converse a lot these days.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The forgotten 1980's

Why is the 80’s forgotten decade?
It can’t be said that 80’s weren’t eventful.

We had an Asiad, put a man in space ,had a high profile assassination of Indira Gandhi ,became world champions for the first time at anything at Lords, the discovery of precocious child prodigies in V.Anand and Sachin Tendulkar, the birth of people’s car Maruti, smuggling and the rise of Dubai and Sharjah , and the end of cold war.

The eighties had countless kitschy and loud movies but also Jaane bhi do Yaaron and independent filmmaking. It had Hum Log,Fauji,and Wagle ki Duniya .The 80’s gave Bofors and scams, Rubik’s cube, Betamax tapes, the VCR,Walkman and audio cassettes, styroprints leotards, disco lights,Madonna ,Farrah Fawcett hair styles,Pacman ,Super Mario Brothers.Its not that nothing happened ,but still it is not romaticised as the 70s and neither is it seen as a decade of significance and harbinger of change as the 90’s.The eighties are seen as regressive and decadent and frowned upon .

I recently read in Times that the 1970’s are paid tribute because the people in power or making films belonged to that era. Isn’t it enough with the tributes..maybe they just are fascinated by the sensory things like el Camino cars and polyester shirts nylon stockings and bell bottom pants.

The reason probably that is because the 80’s is sandwiched between the 70s which is seen as the era of retro-glossed and candyflossed over and again in films and 90s which is just too close in memory to be classified as yesteryears. In India atleast the 80s is a dark decade, still chugging at along the Hindu rate of growth ;where somehow things were just not the same and they would never be the same.

A huge portion of India was born in the eighties and raised to puberty in the nineties. See even fashion changes every 25-30 years -its cyclical .So that ways it’s about time the 80’s make an appearance.

Asking for sixties is too far fetched, but the portrayal of eighties and its identity and characteristics is deserved .In fact there is a lacunae and an opportunity to produce something really new. There was a Tamil film called ‘Subramaniapuram’ in 2008 that was beautifully set in the eighties and one of the biggest hits in Tamil that year .Arvind Adiga’s between the assassinations is a novel that is set in the eighties .Another such idea is –the rise of Dawood Ibrahim.‘Once upon a time in Mumbai’ and the even better but under appreciated Vishram Sawant's ‘D’ left off Dawood’s story in the 70’s when he snatched power .How he spread and magnified his presence is a story yet to be told...why not carry it forward into the eighties.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Entourage top 10 episodes

Entourage opens with the star of the show Vincent Chase awaiting his debut film’ release ‘Head On’ with Jessica Alba. Vince is living the player's life in L.A. Along for the ride are his best friends: Eric and Turtle, who grew up with him in Queens, New York and Vince's brother, Johnny Drama. The boys spends most of their time relaxing at Vince's house in the Hollywood hills, shooting hoops, playing rooftop golf and entertaining ladies at the pool. But its not all about Vince, else it wouldn’t be called Entourage ..isn’t it.

Initially it does feel that the entourage is mooching off Vince’s stardom and money but they stick through a lot together and ultimately its about male bonding .

Season 3 has been the best until now.So, heres’ a list of top 10 entourage episodes

Talk Show Season 1, Episode 3

Partying after a boxing match, Vince runs into Jimmy Kimmel, who immediately does his best to get Vince to commit to an appearance on his show the following night. The encounter in the green room with Sara Foster and the whole interview on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live ‘ goes off super fabulous which makes a great night for Vince and his entourage ,with more after party to follow.

The Scene Season 1, Episode 7

Eric is concerned over the choice of director, an Indie loose cannon named Billy Walsh, for Vince's new film. The tension is caused because of a particular bold scene written by Walsh in the script of Vince’s next movie –Queen’s Boulevard as Vince has second thoughts about doing the film. All the while, Drama lobbies for a supporting role, while Ari finds he can't mix business with pleasure.

New York Season 1, Episode 8

E has an epiphany while waiting outside for Vince to finish with one of his lady friends: he wants a title commensurate with his responsibilities. After seeking advice and support from Ari, he gets to work on pitching himself to Vince. When their dinner meeting ends on a sour note, it looks like Vince's entourage will be minus one. En route to the airport, Drama points out to Vince that he will never find a person better suited to be his manager. A few last minute surprises occur on both ends out on the tarmac.

Exodus Season 2, Episode 13

Classic Ari Gold episode. Drama and Turtle stalk Mandy Moore to prove to Vince that she’s cheating on him. Ari is deemed a traitor by his boss Terence and is fired from the agency, and Lloyd proves his loyalty to Ari amidst Ari’s tirade of stereotypes and racial slurs directed at any minority in his path. Ari insults thick and fast, anyone and everyone along the way, as only he can.

The Release Season 3, Episode 8

Vince and the entourage receive news that ‘Queens Boulevard’ will be receiving a nationwide release but not in its intended black n white version coloured so that studio can cash in on Vince’s Aquaman image. Ari is at his best when a little under pressure to deliver. Ari must compromise with a rival to avoid threats from a group of aggressive agents and ultimately forms Miller Gold. Watch how he says the new agency name sounds like a beer ! The press address by Vince is a must watch as he exposes the studio executives.

Vegas Baby, Vegas! Season 3, Episode 9

Non-stop laughs throughout. Seth Green has always had the number on E, and he continues to push E's buttons, insinuating he had a prior relationship with E's girlfriend, until Eric finally snaps, and a good old fashioned brawl ensues. Ari sweats as he finds himself a few hundred grand down at the blackjack table. But, the funniest story line revolves around Johnny Drama. Drama heaps so many compliments on his personal masseuse that the man, though not gay, thinks Johnny is and winds up waiting for Drama in bed, feeling obligated to perform whatever duties his client wants. Johnny just freaks out !!

What about Bob? Season 3, Episode 11

Ari and Bob have a hard time agreeing on how to pitch the Ramones script to the studios. To get rid of Bob, Ari sends him to the wrong studio. This results in both Ari and Bob selling the script…to both Universal and Warner Brothers. The ranting between Ari and oldie Bob is such roaring laughter. Drama is in a panic, as his pilot begins shooting. His monologue has been lengthened and there’s only one way to calm his nerves, only the whole crew is listening as he still has his mike on .Whoa, embarrassing!!

Sorry,Ari Season 3, Episode 12

Vince and the guys begin to look for other agents to represent him. Ari, hearing of Vince's shopping, fights with all his might to get back the movie. While looking at other agents, Vince realizes they are just too corporate for him and the "scumbag" Ari is the best in the business. When everything fails, Ari tries to win Vince back with a corporate-style presentation himself when all Vince wanted was an apology from Ari as a friend. This backfires because the boys find Ari to be just like everyone else now and fire Ari as they walk out of his office.

Welcome to the Jungle Season 4, Episode 1

A behind-the-scenes documentary about the filming of Medellín in Bogota, Colombia. Billy and E clash on the set about keeping the film on track. Billy becomes attracted to an actress which ends up disrupting the production. They go over budget and behind schedule and hire one of the best writers in the industry Steven Gaghan for a whopping fee but all in vain.Refreshing change from the normal LA life of Vinny and the boys.

Return to Queens Boulevard Season 5, Episode 12

A broke and out of work Vince returns home to New York ,as has fallen so far off the radar that directors are reluctant to let him audition after the failure and straight to DVD release of Medellín.Vince reconnects with his high school sweetheart and E stalks Gus Van Sant ,also in New York pitching for Vince. Meanwhile, Drama invests in a bar near home in NY and we get Martin Scorcese’s cameo as he calls Vince.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Open letter to Genelia

Hi Genelia!

You must know for sure that you are seen as the recently discovered endorsement magic woman who can help brands fly off the shelf. And why not too? You appeal to the very crucial demographic of India – the twenteens with their purchasing power and increasing aspirational hunger.Your current brand portfolio has Cadbury's Perk, Coca- Cola’s Fanta, Spinz, Dabur Vatika, LG Cookie, Virgin, Margo, Garnier and Fastrack.

Getting ads is not a problem for you , but getting ads just so you are perky and cute is-because then every there is the same tone to every ad campaign. Preity Zinta was considered bubbly and grew tired of her image .Once stamped with an image sticks until you yourself wear out .

The girl-next-door image has helped you bag a record number of endorsement deals, because of what ad agencies call, your natural ‘vibrant youth image’. The perky, sparkling and spirited teenage image of yours is exploited in the ads of Fanta, Spinz Talc, as well as Spinz Deodorant, Perk, Virgin Mobiles, LG mobiles, Garnier light fairness cream and many more.It is fantastic that you have got so many brands in such a short span of time and your popularity here down south is way higher than in the north.

However, the idea should to be remain a classic and not be a passing two season fad who can be replaced conveniently. Being selective brings exclusivity and being omnipresent creates overkill and boredom. You should be pick and choose as and when you can .

Although I should give credit to you and Fastrack.

Fastrack changed the method of branding by association and piggy backing on a celebrity’s image .They campaigned with a tagline ‘sweet no more ’ and tried to fit you , into their brand image and not vice versa as seems to be the case with other brands ;be it FMCG, beauty care or lifestyle.

You are no plain Sandra from Bandra and seem smart .So I think you should sustain momentum and balance out your portfolio. Choose judiciously and avoid overkill. I think you can do it ..if you do so or not , remains to be seen.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

We don't need you, just quit

There are people who wreck a brand called India ,people who India can do without.One such person is

Suresh Kalmadi…that beardface jackal should not be allowed to run Pune municipality elections let alone anything as huge and logistically and managerially challenging as the Commonwealth Games. He should be shunted to a non existential oblivion but you see Congress just doesn’t have the balls to do so. Instead he is screwing up the CWG which is expected to showcase Indian pride. In fact the CWG has brought disrepute and disgrace to the nation.Worldwide reports snide at the rampant corruption,inefficiency and ineptitude.

You win any sporting event hosting rights bid seven years in advance.New Delhi won this bid in 2003,so don’t you dare say that you didn’t have time. That time was spent in messing up the other Sport federations and the Indian Olympic Association which you think is your dad’s inheritance to you.

Whenever a scam is blowing up in his face, he claims that he is not responsible, then what does being in-charge of the Organising committee mean, Suresh? Why don’t you just for once man up and accept that your prick is not as big as you claim it to be? You don’t have the ability but thought that all will be somehow well and in typical Delhi language ‘jugaad laga denge’. Who will question us ?

The public? They are too busy handling the inflation. Speaking of which we have another man who shows no conscience and moral responsibility. Our extremely honourable,multi talented, Mr. I want my finger in every pie,agriculture minister and ICC chief – Sharad Pawar.

Isn’t feeding 1.2 billion responsibility enough that you want to be ICC chief too.The only reason is hubris and supposed self pride in being the ICC head and present the trophy to the winners in Mumbai next March,isn’t it?

Remember how he was shunted off the stage by the Aussies in 06’ in Mumbai? Yeah well, he deserved that and much worse.Wow wasn't that embarrassing? Absolutely loved his humiliation.

What kind of agriculture minister says ‘we are expecting a food shortage’ and encourage rampant black marketing and grain hogging ? not once but thrice he has done that .On top of that he says he is not an astrologer and can’t say when the prices will come down..yeah real mature statement Mr.Pawar.

Oh what did you say?

You want to be relived of your responsibilities and lighten your workload.Okay ,why don’t you just quit and stay back at Baramati? India will be better off without you.But you two will continue shamelessly, after all power without responsibility is such a great thing ,isn't it?