Tuesday, 25 October 2016

An Ad Campaign Which Successfully Voiced What You Chose To Ignore

India is a nation which is beautifully blessed with an amusing bounty of cultural diversity. However, at the same time, it is also cursed with a variety of stereotypes since the day and age of our ancestors. To challenge our ignorantly inherited view of endlessly judging people in our community, eBay India recently launched a TVC which precisely yet powerfully communicates its enormous range of (over 10 crores) products.

The sweet thing to observe is how there has emerged an audience which feels a strong urge to break through the senseless chains of chronic belief system. This audience has now become vocal to forge a democracy where equality for all is encouraged. To reflect this positive change in the winds of our communal thought process and contribute on its part to encourage the dream of a better India, eBay launched #ThingsDontJudge campaign with a compassionately loud film conceptualized by BBDO India.

The film beautifully opens in the pouring rain first introducing a young man who is wearing ghungroos (musical anklets) and is smilingly performing a classical dance form on the terrace, unmindful of a lady looking at him. His stream of thoughts is voiced: 'Log chahe kuch bhi kahe, par mere ghungroo mujh se ye nahin kehte ke woh sirf auraton ke liye banaye hai' (No matter what people say, my anklets don't tell me that they're made only for women). 

The film goes on to present several other characters across age and gender who are shown breaking through the dictated way of living by boldly putting in use some of the most ordinary yet objected things. For instance; it includes a young woman who is shown to confidently walk past a club wearing an ethnic wear, where there are other women standing in fitted western attires with their eyebrows judgementally raised. The woman doesn't feel uncomfortable even for a bit and instead rides away on a cruiser bike with her thoughts voiced: 'Meri salwaar kameez mujhe behenji nahin bulate' (My salwaar kameez doesn't address me as behenji). 

By thoughtfully inserting a series of other such situational experiences, eBay's TVC smartly puts forth its strong narrative of "Jeeyo aure Jeene do".  Shivani Suri, director marketing, eBay India, in an interview said, “Online shopping is changing how we live. It’s ushering in the acceptance of new. It’s at the heart of our evolving culture that’s gradually helping us distance from the norms around gender, age, caste, creed, social status or preferences. eBay, with over 10 crore products is inspiring consumers to shop for their favorite item and live their passions, desires, choices, and beliefs without inhibitions. With this central theme, we decided to launch this campaign to not just capture market share but drive conversational commerce.”  

At UnNumb, I warmly welcome campaigns like these which are crafted with the kind intention of creatively encouraging people to fight and find their way out of chronic conventions. Because it is only then that the dream of a better India can be actualized for once and for all.

To watch the video which UnNumb believes stirred the hearts of many, navigate to - https://youtu.be/K-lTMmSlom4

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Stop the porn consumption, Now!

Today at around 6:30am when my dog goofily brought to me the Newspaper bundle, I sweetly smiled back in order to thank her. But, my smile faded away the minute I straightened up the paper and saw a front page article stating the latest case update of Monika Ghurde, a well known Perfume Researcher who was allegedly raped and murdered by a former watchman in her Goa flat early this October. 

The news piece had "Monika's killer says he showed her porn clips, then raped her: Cops" as it's headline. It instantly reminded me of all the incidents most of which were in the recent past reported and did get the required media coverage. However, it is clear that our generation is yet to be sensitized about the grave damages that exposure to porn causes.

Any amount of exposure to porn harms. I know, you might now label me as an 80-year-old orthodoxal nanny, but I strongly stand by my statement and overall belief. Because, it is scientifically proven that everything we do, watch or hear has an impact on us. Though, the amount of the impact may vary as per the duration and frequency of exposure.  Due to the sudden arousal of guilt, you might now want to navigate back to the social media site you found this blog link from. But, wait till you read the following portion of this thoughtful post.

Since a couple of years, pornography has become a much-debated topic. People have now started questioning its free existence over the internet and thereby it’s devastating impact on people of varied age groups. Pornography undoubtedly wrecks our concept of love and romance, our idea about sex and gender, makes us appreciate and find pleasure from acts which promote brutality and violence. Watching porn gradually corrodes our sense of self-respect and our ability to respect the ones around us. It does not just make us yearn for a faulty and a materialistic relationship, but also severely damages our capability of appreciating raw beauty which is not glossed-up with cosmetics or fake erotic emotions.

With deepening internet penetration and technological advancements, today porn is freely available to whosoever wishes to consume it. This happens to be a matter of great worry as children at a tender age are able to access this content and are finding porn more entertaining than cartoons, outdoor games, and other growth supportive activities. Soft minds absorb without filtering, accept without questioning and reflect without spending time in understanding the pro's and con's of the content they are busy consuming. And as the child grows, the curiosity of experimenting the filmed content only grows stronger.

So, just in case you happen to be one of those who desperately navigates to websites catering porn, consume it out of addiction and later regret it, then here’s a list of a few things you could do to work on your addiction-

Dive into Music- Music is believed to have a therapeutic effect on its listeners. It has the capacity to transport you from your emotional current to altogether a different land. But, again I suggest you better be selective at picking up the genre for yourself. Instrumental music; violin, piano, sitar, flute, guitar, the sounds produced out of these instruments help you distract from your desperation for submitting to porn addiction. 

Browse about sex trafficking- A lot of people do not know much about sex trafficking and the ones who know about it choose to ignore it. Pornography is also considered as filmed prostitution wherein not everybody comes with their choice; many are dragged into it just that it happens in the brothels. The one-time solution is to sensitize people about the gravity of the issue so that they can sympathize and empathize with the dolled-up porn stars. Sensitisation would help cut down the demand for porn.

Watch a romantic-comedy- Watching romantic comedy films or sitcoms will help you register back the lost picture of true romance. Though films are fictional and gross, yet they definitely do successfully distract you when your urge of watching porn drives you almost insane.

Vent-out frustration on the treadmill- Most people tend to consume porn because the element of sexual violence entertains them like nothing else. So, to deal with the ever boiling frustration due to work pressure or love betrayal, you can instead go to a gym and burn your calories along with a bucketful of frustration. This would help you channelize your anger and do constructive good.

Go have an offline hang-out- I believe, the more you are connected to the people in the offline world, the more close you will find yourself incomprehensible sync with the ground reality and would thereby like to court and marry a girl in real time, instead of staying over the internet and getting aroused with the fake and brutal sex filmed and freely made available over various websites; porn.

I hope reading the above assertion has not just made you aware of the shocking damages of consuming porn, but has also made a positive impact by suggesting few most practiced healthy distractions. I wholeheartedly wish that the accused watchmen who first forcefully showed three porn films to Monika before sexually assaulting her and eventually smothering her to death shall get an exemplarily strict punishment. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Oh dear, who told you that you are Cool because you are Sarcastic?

Are you a self-proclaimed Chandler? Yeah, I am referring to the character from Legendary American sitcom- Friends, played by Matthew Perry. Perhaps, you didn’t really bother to Google his name while you enjoyed munching popcorns on the couch with your eyes amusingly glued to TV, which broadcasted the sitcom series. But, the question that I want to ask today is, did you fall in love with the character to an extent, that to you, ‘sarcasm’ gradually rose from being just another literary term to your way of being?

Now, before you feel offended, I want you to know that I haven’t been able to adore any other sitcom the way I adored Friends. This is so not because I found all the contextual occurrences relatable, but because it sweetly transported me to a goofily happy world, offering its witty dose of laughter which seemed absolutely necessary to digest everyday reality.

Having stated the above, I now feel that I can safely go on to express my unusual take on Sarcasm. Well, as you know Sarcasm has recently become one of the most preferred ways of communicating almost everything.  I don’t say that Sarcasm was an unheard or a never-before-practiced way of interacting, but I do strongly believe that it was only recently that it gained popularity in the mainstream.

So, if you have been so far considering sarcasm to be something cool and funny, I would like to suggest you re-think, because sarcasm is really just hostility masqueraded as humor.  Trust me, if you begin to calculatedly evaluate the damaging effects of sarcasm, you would be completely shocked at how inappropriate, culturally offensive, and emphatically cruel most of the sarcastic comments are. For instance, some of the key ruins are-

Sarcasm does hurt and offends: To be frank, sarcasm is really just the most convenient way for people to express their disapproval without actually daring to come forward and speaking their minds. But, where from do we learn this art of laughingly offending people?  The truthful answer is that we absorb this from a variety of places and ignorantly bring it into our habits. TV is one of the main contributors and Friends is most certainly a globally popular machine.

Sitcoms like Friends are loaded with sarcastic remarks and, of course, the viewers laugh at the embarrassment the recipient demonstrates.  Most people get fooled that these are merely clever proverbs from quick-witted characters who are famous worldwide. But, this is all purposely scripted by television writers for entertaining the audience, but they ignorantly end up setting an example for viewers to follow and the result is that our children grow up believing sarcasm to be an essential element of being cool and socially acceptable.

Gives birth to ambiguity: Sarcasm depends heavily on the tone of the commentator’s  voice, body language, and other significant nonverbal cues to be properly understood. The absence of any of these essential elements can cause a real-time disturbance in the process of communication. So, why rely on a method which doesn’t guarantee the desired result? And, at the very least, it’s got a tremendous potential to be misunderstood since there is always a ‘hidden message’ intricated.  Thus, I urge you to consider today whether it’s worth risking and heartlessly alienating another person just for getting yourself a hearty laughter.

Does not inspire change: The most resorted way to defend the undue use of sarcasm is by suggesting a not-so-actual purpose of “funnily inspiring” change. First of all, I feel that there are numerous other more suiting ways to encourage people to make the due changes in their respective fields. Secondly, even if I buy your idea of comically offering people a mirror and thereby instigating them to make improvements, I don’t think your message is really understood and acted upon. Because had that been the case, our world would have been a much better place, for every family of five has at least two people who do excessively use sarcasm in their everyday communication. That is to suggest, sarcasm often goes unnoticed without having played its supposed role in activating change.

Demonstrates a lack of conviction: Whenever somebody counts on sarcasm to get a point across in a cloaked manner, it demonstrates a clear lack of conviction and courage to say what the person actually means. However, an occasional sarcastic remark may not intensely harm, remember that people judge your character every day by paying close attention to what you say as well as how you act. The collective result of those judgments is your reputation which can seriously be in danger if you continue to ignorantly use sarcasm in your daily interaction with one another.

If reading the above assertion has even slightly triggered your mind to give your mastery of sarcasm a second thought, then let me tell you that I am extremely happy. I invested time in typing down my idea about eliminating sarcasm from our everyday communication because I myself have experienced the side effects of using sarcasm. So, today, let’s un-numb our minds and try to break through this habit which Does offend a lot of people. And, at the same time, let's together find more creative ways of breaking boundaries and building fruitful ties.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

A World That Was Once Wonderful

I saw trees of green,                                                              
red roses too.
I saw them bloom, 
for me and you. 
And I thought to myself,
what a wonderful world. 

I saw skies of blue, 
And clouds of white. 
The bright blessed day, 
The dark sacred night. 
And I thought to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

The colors of the rainbow, 
So pretty in the sky, 
Was also on the faces, 
Of people going by.
I saw friends shaking hands, 
Saying, "How do you do?" 
They're really saying, 
"I love you". 

I heard babies cry, 
I watched them grow, 
They'd learned much more, 
Than I'll ever know. 
And I thought to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

Yes, I thought to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

Oh yeah!

No, what you just read is not a parody of "What a Wonderful World", a phenomenal song which was sung by Louis Armstrong in 1967, but is rather an altered version crafted with the deliberation of reflecting the Modern Day helplessness, aroused in our hearts by domestic and international tensions instigated by groups which proudly promote Terrorism.  

If you too can relate to this feeling of profound loss, which can certainly not be expressed by stating facts or weaving stories, then come sit with me, to bid adieu to the innocent souls of victims from across the globe, who have now become stars, still hoping and expecting from You and I to extinguish hatred and spread nothing other than love and peace. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A Freeway To A Better World

On the weekend, while sipping a king size cafe latte in a Rajiv Chowk metro station's Cafe Coffee Day, I wondered what does it take from a person to acknowledge and appreciate the being and effort of another person? I couldn't help observing people's raised eyebrows and instant frowns for neither the coffee was interesting enough to distract me nor was it possible for me to commence reading my new book amidst all the superficial chatter that eclipsed the English country music streaming from cafe's new wireless Bose speakers. 

You might find it hard to believe, but the question remained in my head even after I was done with all the scheduled meetings and was on my way back to home. See, here I am talking about our society at large, including you and me. Each one of us gets our dose of moral conditioning not just from our homes, but also from all the place and people we invest our time and energy on. And, the skill of appreciation, which I am trying to bring to notice, is, unfortunately, absent in most of us. 

Accept it or not, most of us refrain from pausing and dropping a genuinely good note or even a simple smile to any person we come across, who we do find wholeheartedly fusing-in all his/her resource and talent to do something remarkable. Now, you most probably would say "So what? How does it matter? Somebody or the other would pause by and appreciate the chap, why do I have to it? And, by the way, when nobody ever has been all that nice to me, why should I be?" 

Did I just catch you awkwardly smiling? Yeah, I guess I did, because, you see, I understand that you can closely relate to all of this and are also somewhere down the line a bit apologetic for the same. But, if we are human enough to feel apologetic, why aren't we humane enough to dare and drop a note of appreciation to the ones who are enthusiastically trying to do things which you almost always ignored? 

I remember having once read a quote by William James, a well-known psychologist, and philosopher,  “The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.” And, to encourage you furthermore to inculcate this healthy habit, I will now like to clearly list three most astounding benefits which are as follows-

1- A Freeway to a better world:  Your sincere compliment can inspire somebody to fight against all odds and keep making the extraordinary efforts to beautify the world. Assuming that you are a Twitterati as well apart from being an ardent lover of Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat, I hope you do get to read about the horrifying everyday occurrences inflicted by groups of intolerant people from around the world. Then, explain it to me, how is it that you haven't so far been able to understand the fundamental essentiality of encouraging the people who are doing genuine good? Give it a thought, because, like many other believers, I too believe that the best way to better up any society is by encouraging its selflessly dedicated craftsmen to come together. 

2- A smile accelerator:  The fact that humans seek approval of one other for the work they do, is now scientifically proven. Whether you are a student, a working professional or a parent, you would agree that every time somebody steps forward and sweetly expresses their approval, you feel absolutely elated. So, when a simple note of appreciation can offer greater motivation than Money itself, why don't you start serving back your community by gifting its people a variety of smile accelerators?

3- A matter of Karma:  Nowadays, a lot of people rest their belief in the rules of Karma than that of the ones listed in their religion's holy book. So, if you too are one such believer, you would clearly agree with the fact that complimenting another person's effort and out of the blue gifting warmth to their heart will help you attract positive energy and blessed luck to your own life. 

So, I suggest you to #UnNumb your mind and starting from today mend your behavior towards others and begin to considerately contribute for the betterment of the society. And, yes, most of all, do not ever misinterpret a genuine note of appreciation as somebody's attempt to 'hit' on you. 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Art of Standing Calmly Against the Wave

The art of standing calmly against the wave of change isn't too hard to master. But, before I go on to profess my understanding in detail, I would like to know, if  you remember having experienced moments which came straight out of the blue when in your mental landscape you sat back and asked yourself while brooding onto the sudden change of events, "Is this it?" "Was it this I was looking for?" "Will my decision be rewarding?" "Will that reward be enough to cheer me up?" Well, if you find this situation relatable, I suggest you get yourself a tumbler of fresh water and sit down to read through. 

To be honest, you aren't the only one; this happens with even the most optimistic of us, whenever we expose our minds to the possibility of change, we do feel a little daunted by the very idea of quitting a skillfully mastered pattern of life. And, why not? We spend an enormous portion of our time in settling down and then if all of a sudden, life expects us to change our ways to a tremendous extent, it will most probably cause a hard-to-overcome discomfort, right?

Having said that I will now ask you to lean back on your chair and calmly place your hands onto its armrest. For what I am going to now say will definitely help you see above and beyond your clouds of chaos. There are no absolute answers or solutions to anything at all, but there are always some tried and tested methods to deal with almost every situation, even with the discomfort caused by fretting over an unexpected change of events. And, trust me, there is an ocean full of little ways which can help you make improvisations at a larger scale. To help you frame a better understanding I have provided below a brief listicle. So, why don't you lean a bit forward now and curiously scroll through? 

Wipe your slate clean- One of our many habits that pull back most of us from performing extraordinarily in our lives is our stubbornness of not redeeming ourselves. We keep carrying the burden of our past unbecoming till the day we realize that we have lost a handsome number of opportunities.  So, I would like to humbly request you to wipe your slate clean and start afresh by giving yourself another chance and by thereafter applying a new perspective to comprehend the situation instead of giving up on the opportunity itself.

Befriend yourself, first- By this, I certainly do not intend to insinuate you to become a narcissist and throw your weight around. I just want to suggest, you know and befriend yourself first and later go onto looking for emotional support in others. Because I certainly believe that we are all complete in ourselves, just that we need to start believing in this fact. So, I will advise you to start acknowledging your strengths and also at the same time come to terms with your existing weaknesses. We all know where exactly we lack, right? We don’t really need others to raise their eyebrows and point it to us at our faces or lose an opportunity on the cost of knowing ourselves less. So, come on, let’s befriend us, first.

Beautify your space- Now do not dismiss this as a "girly thing", because placing and keeping things in order is a habit we all must try to bring into our routines. Ever wondered why at Temples, Gurudwaras, Churches and Mosques, people are able to sit back and meditate with an astounding abundance of energy and concentration? It's because of the exclusive ambiance that these places offer wherein you can come and tie together the broken strings. It’s all about providing your inner-self with the essential free space to think and make mindful and timely decisions. So, why don’t you make a pact with yourself to take due care of your surroundings to become productive like never before? 

Gardening- Spending time with plants can sometimes be the best motivational stimulator. You would be amazed to know that gardening can help reduce the level of stress hormone, can significantly boost up your immunity system and also potentially improve your brain health. I believe that God is in details and trust me, if you spare each day even a small portion of your precious time, to observe the gorgeous plants in your garden, you will most definitely be able to gain back the lost clarity in your life and become more thoughtful about almost everything. 

Take a break- It usually happens, especially over the weekends that we feel we have really been underperforming in regards to handling our roles and responsibilities. I suggest, at times like these, fish out some time for yourself (Yes, yourself alone) and take a break. Use this exclusive time to explore new possibilities, enjoy the existing ones and simply make memories worth revisiting in times of trouble. For instance: Get yourself tickets of the latest blockbuster movie, or make a visit to your favorite cafe or just attend a stand-up comedy gig. 

The Time Dogma- There are very few of us who make the best of our time because most of us frantically hold the dogma of time abundance close to our chests. The sooner we get over this dogma, the happier we can become, because remember "Time is a valuable thing". When we make utilizing each moment a habit, then we automatically make room for future possibilities and also in a way become better equipped with our heads unclouded. 

Never give up learning- I believe, to give up learning at any stage of life is the worst of all decisions. There are innumerable things to observe, absorb and learn from in life. Every occurrence teaches us something extremely valuable, but you can habituate your mind to view the world that way only if we never let our zeal of learning be eclipsed by our ego or arrogance. And, once you commit yourself to be a learner for life, you would not have to fear the sudden stream of change which may knock your shore in the near future. 

Whether, you’re retiring, trying to manage your new business, or are unexpectedly unemployed, the world can seem like a lonely place where you might feel a little unsteady. But, in moments like these, instead of panicking, you can summon all your courage to stand calmly against the wave by pausing, reflecting and mending your ways.

So, #LetsUnNumb and make the best of our lives.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Did you zap through all sports channels and yet couldn't find live broadcast of Rio 2016 Paralympics?

Did it occur to you why you couldn't catch the live broadcast of Rio 2016 Paralympics on any of the sports channels in India?

Now, that does sound a little absurd, right? Because, despite you having enthusiastically tweeted about it a day ago, you just couldn't experience the extraordinary thrill of watching some of the most phenomenal athletes putting forth their best at the Rio Paralympics field.

Well, to your surprise, India is amongst the 65 countries in the world including South Asia, South-East Asia, and central Africa – where the Paralympic Games will not be shown on Television. Now, you may assume that the sports broadcasters perhaps do not have the required rights, but what if you get to know that they didn't even bid for the rights?

The list of these ignorant sports channels includes Sony ESPN, Ten Sports,  and also the public broadcaster; Doordarshan Sports. On contrary to their deliberate miss-out in not covering Rio 2016 Paralympics at all, they had a totally different story during Rio 2016 Olympics. For instance; Star Sports, dedicated 8 channels, (Yeah, you heard right) 8 channels to telecast Olympics, out of which 4 channels were in standard definition and the rest 4 in high definition. They enthusiastically broadcasted over 3,000 hours of action during the Games. No, we are not done yet; Star Sports also had 14 live feeds and 36 concurrent feeds on Hotstar, its digital platform. Nevertheless, it looks the Paralympics is just not worth their creative effort.

However, to stream support, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi did tweet; “The people of India will be enthusiastically cheering for our athletes representing India at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, starting 7th Sept.” But, the paradox remains because sports fans in India have no other choice than to disappointedly resort to watching the games online at www.paralympic.org and www.olympicchannel.com.

You would be absolutely amazed to know that this year to bring back glory to our country, sports contingent of 19 athletes are sent to compete at Rio 2016 Paralympics. And, because I strongly feel that these athletes deserve several rounds of applause, I would like to hereby list out their names and their respective events.


Pooja- Women Recurve Individual



Ankur Dhama- 1500meter- T11,
Mariyappan Thangavelu- High Jump- T42,
Varun Singh Bhai- High Jump- T42,
Sharad Kumar- High Jump- T42,
Ram Pal- High Jump- T47,
Devendra Jhajharia- Javelin Throw- F46,
Sundar Singh Gujar- Javelin Throw- F46,
Rinku- Javelin Throw- F46,
Ranbir Narender- Javelin Throw- F42/44,
Sandeep- Javelin Throw- F42/44,
Amit Kumar- Club Throw- F51,
Dharambir- Club Throw- F51,


Deepa Malik- Shot Put- F53


Farman Basha- Men's-49kg


Naresh Sharma- Men's R7-50m Rifle 3 Positions- SH1


Suyash Narayan- Men's 50m Butterfly- S7

I humbly request you, my readers, to respect and remember Rio 2016 Paralympics athletes not just for their medals, but more importantly for their undying spirit and extraordinary courage.

Note- Information related to athletes and their respective events is taken from Official Paralympics Website