Wednesday, December 22, 2010

...but what about the baby?

Say what? The baby??

My 3-yr old nephew A calls me often. The past few weeks, he seems to have found a new love for this Aunty, and asks for my sis to dial my number. I believe it may have to do with the fact that I'm often associated with choco, and the one who brings him those Sour Patch jelly beans, which in one mouthful make him squint, smile, make funny face and move shoulders weirdly - all worth it for the end result, a thrill and a task of getting the chewy thing off his teeth.

Today, A tells me he is making a birthday card. I'm confused. Then, Panic. Did I miss a family birthday? Nope. We have no birthday's until February.

Perhaps he's making a card for a friend at school. Nope.

Well, five minutes through the conversation, I hear A say, "Mama, A wants to buy Baby Jesus a present!". Ah, Baby Jesus! Now, it makes sense. Christmas approaching, birthday, baby, gifts etc.

(And yes, sometimes he talks of himself in third person, quite funny.)

It struck me coz I think Christmas is no longer mainly celebrated because it is Baby Jesus' birthday. It exists in the peripheral subconcious, well-covered with more symbolic gestures such as exchanging gifts, eating lots of food, wearing nice clothes, and basically doing a lot of traditional things without an inkling of the true purpose of Christmas.

On the one hand I'm thrilled. A Catholic celebrates Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, Eid, etc. and a Muslim celebrates Thanksgiving, Holi, Easter and many others. We are coming closer together, like one big family.

In the midst of all of this, I think it is important to remember the true meaning of a festival, if only for a few minutes coz let's face it, where's the time to sing eighteen carols around the fireplace? (Note. this will happen if I'm home, at least for a little bit. It probably won't be more than a few carols, and then random songs with me sometimes acting like a Zubin on the piano, but honestly just dishing out beats for communal merriment. )

I would want my child to know and understand that Baby Jesus is a very integral, or rather the sole purpose we celebrate Christmas, followed by all the activity of stuffed stockings, delicious food, wine, Perry Como singing 'The First Noel', grandma, grandpa showering gifts and Christmas pudding. It is part of what has become a Christmas get together, with family and loved ones. And it is truly valued.

I'd also be completely warm and fuzzy if my child wanted to buy Baby Jesus a gift. How precious and thoughtful. I just hope he isn't thinking iPad or something like that.

Wish you all a warm, wonderful and Merry Christmas, filled with laughter and opportuntity to make some fabulous memories for the future. Eat lots of whatever is on that table coz it is special, and made just for you!

Today I'm humming my hottie Dean-O's song: Memories are made of these.

Where's his signature cigarette??

Tuesday, December 21, 2010



Snow ceases to fall...or at least until we make it to the airport, and land in Switzerland in record time for Christmas. And no falls for me - Thud! Hard Ice. Butt. Thigh. Ankle. Force. The result is not pleasant, albeit funny, just a tad bit.

Every child has at least one reason to smile, giggle or show off the twinkle in his eye this time of year.

ictoria Secret opens its store in London soon (2012 apparently). No VS store in London, seriously? Note to self: Need to share thoughts about the 'Love your body' campaign too.

Enticing offers to fame and glory are ignored by people who believe in *muti murders. Chopping your children into pieces will not bring you success. It makes you a murderer. Period. You can watch the documentary and learn more here.

Nine of Santa's little elves, sneak out and drop a load full of presents, accidentally, of course, into one house. Mine.

And two more makes it Seven

You experience the wonderful taste of Rubicon's Guava juice too. It's delish and so refreshing.

oom-de-ah-da, boom-de-ah-da - I wish everyone feels this way about their world. Go on, right click here and sing along. It never ceases to make me smile.

I love the mountains
I love the clear blue skies
I love big bridges
I love when great whites fly
I love the whole world
And all its sights and sounds
Boom de yada, boom de yada
Boom de yada, boom de yada

I love the oceans
I love real dirty things
I love to go fast
I love Egyptian kings
I love the whole world
And all its craziness
Boom de yada, boom de yada
Boom de yada, boom de yada

I love tornadoes
I love arachnids
I love hot magma
I love the giant squids
I love the whole world
It’s such a brilliant place…
Boom de yada, boom de yada
Boom de yada, boom de yada

*a more detailed post will follow in time. Actual pictures are too gory to post.

Today I'm also humming: La camisa negra by Juanes

Pic Source:
flickr. Goldt3

Monday, December 13, 2010

More air kissing

Yesterday was the Christmas lunch organized by one of our classmates, and we ended up being about 40-50 classmates gathered together to eat, drink, chat and air kiss!

I hadn't seen many of the classmates in months, even though we are all in London. So air kiss we must. With some greets, the mwah sound may also be heard...just with some.

When you go back to school, you realize how normal it is to be unstable (more of a perspective type thing), and I personally think its just freaking awesome when you ask someone where they are gonna be, or what they are gonna do and you may still get an answer like, "Anywhere really" including, "London, Uganda, Singapore, Hongkong"

Or then others who don't know yet coz they are considering many things, including the feasibility of launching this dream business.

It's a mix of uncertainty, and instability yes, but it is more importantly a stage of exploration and adventure, meekly complemented by periodic feelings of funkness (probably not a word). And, best of all, most of us don't judge the other. We get it, for the most part.

Whatever it is, I feel I am honored to have been able to experience it as it forces you to think about things you really want to do, rather than continue mundanely with the pre-existing routines of life. Coz I know I don't want to become like Milton from Office Space who spends his whole life in one office without ever considering the world beyond his stapler.

Me too, I mean who knows where I am going to be in a few years, or say a year or two. Maybe back home in India starting my business (yes, a seed in planted in my brain), or then in HongKong or Singapore to be closer to home. Let's see what happens. What choices we make. (Speaking of choices, I avoided any type of cider for years, but I'm starting to like it.)

It was good to see my fellow mates, and many I'll see soon, and some at graduation next year. More memories to recall. More smiles to exchange. More hugs. And definitely more air kisses.

Today I'm humming You got to pick a pocket or two from the movie Oliver Twist

Friday, December 10, 2010

Good logo, Bad logo, who knows? Maybe Gap, Tropicana and comedy Central

Is a makeover always exciting? Hmm..

Granted that this information is a bit dated, but it is important. I couldn't help writing about it, and I think it got triggered by the previous post on Green & Black's, and recent news that Comedy Central is also going the same way.

Every now and then an established brand decides that its time for a makeover. Visually speaking of course. Internal makeovers I cannot attest to, coz I have worked at but a small percentage of existing companies.

I take three logos today that have been through the makeover process and ask you what you think. Tell me which one you prefer, the old or the new, and why. Even if you know the history of what actually happened with the brand, ignore it for now. Speak your mind please, you are one of the consumers.

Gap: Old (Left), New (Right)

Tropicana: Old (left), New (right)

Comedy Central: Old (Left) New (Right)

What's the verdict?

Pic Sources: Websites of each of the brand respectively, Gap, Tropicana and Comedy Central.

Today I'm humming: Blessed by Brett Dennen

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I wanna work at Green & Black's

They made organic, trendy. Even chic, and at a decent price.

They fill so many of the boxes that I, an outsider looks at from a criteria to work point of view. It is just an initial glance coz I know nothing about the internal runnings of the place, but I can just fantasize, can't I? Besides, people who love working around chocolate can't be all bad!

Product: It's chocolate! But what makes it better than just being chocolate? It is rich, dark and so a bit bitter, flavorful, organic chocolate.

Price: Easily affordable while still offering you the feeling of 'chic'.

Packaging: A lot of their success is in their packaging, I think. That shows that the way you present things which some may consider fluff can make or break a brand. Personally, the aesthetic sensibilities of the packaging is very appealing, and I believe to many others who now view a G&B's chocolate as something more than just a green product. G&B's recognized that they had a great product and made the necessary changes to transform it and position the very same product in a different way. Terribly simple, yet genius.

Green is growing:
In more ways than one. Firstly, the concept of green is definitely on the rise. And two, Green & Black's has a way to go, with tremendous potential. I'm already thinking other areas, and other products! They do a Green & Black's baking chocolate, and a spread but I see a host of products that can be very successful. A line of G&B's baking products? G&B's healthshakes? G&B's range of chocolate-flavored teas, G&B's association with Bailey's? G&B's campaign-based organic clothes even, a bit of a stretch but with the right tag line or association it can work. Perhaps I'm getting excited, but I can't help it. I know if I'm working on products I like, I'll love what I'm doing and waking up to go to work on a gloomy winter morning won't be as difficult.

It's decided. I may have many other applications going through, and I'm also terribly keen on working with children-related companies, but Green & Black's, you are also high up on the list.

Besides, I'll be like Santa all through the year with friends and family sending me requests and their chocolate lists. I'll have all the power.

Today I'm humming: Because I got high by Afroman

Monday, December 06, 2010

Drnk Dat, odawise dey wnt b hpy

A conversation online with my cousin who is in his teens is sumtin like dis. It's a bit of time before I can fully gather what he is saying. Clearly, it's me that is passe.

Initially, I found it funny - when it was more like short conversations coz sure I use loads of abbreviations too as they can be very useful. The extent of my usage however is presumably much lesser than that of kids today!

When my cousin types up in three long sentence what has been going on at school, I just wish he'd use 'otherwise' or 'something' or 'that'. I feel like I'm grandma and I'm asking my grand daughter to read slowly to me so that I understand.

It seems to be the language of the generation, each one developing their own slang in a quest to be cool, in, exclusive, or doing it coz it's just plain fun! And I get it.

When we were younger (primary school level I'd say), apart from all the other efforts to be exclusive, one very simple way one was talking in 'p' language. It was our way of simple fun, perhaps some kind of exclusivity (but just for a short while, coz it is really quite an easy language to pick up). An example below:

The History of Cadavers


Hi-pis, ter-per, ry-pee


Ca-pa, da-pa, ver-pers

My version of the p language may differ from yours, depending on where you place the 'p'. I'm not sure I know the intricacies of it, even though according to what you may read online it is often placed before a vowel. Mine, is just well, what I picked up from my sisters and friends around me, and this is how we use it till today.

Back to SMS english, I think its totally fine for kids to communicate as they please in social settings and even among themselves, but am not entirely convinced that dis talkin shld b used n replaced by trad englsh in prof settngs 2.

God forbid there will come a time when I'd open a beautifully crafted wedding invitation with a beige and yellow finish, and three pretty ribbons spilling over from the top left corner of the card. I open it up, and there:

"U r invitd 2 join us at der celebrtn of our wdng @ Royston Twrs, 8pm. V wld lv 2 hve u b a prt of sch an imp day n our lves - XX"

V will b der.

Ugh. Imagine that.

Today I'm humming: Nobody by the Wondergirls

This is a song I heard performed by a group of thai girls at the end of a play during a event at Cambridge. It is one of those songs that is funny, but extremely catchy and will stay in your head. Go on, play it twice and I guarantee you will be cursing me soon after.