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Tuesday, June 01st, 2010 | Author:

Once upon a time, I decided to shoot how seriously people work in a company named Veda Informatics. We wanted to shoot people’s focus towards their work, how they met deadlines and how they adhered to the age old theorem which says Work is God. However, the video became a goof up as we could not find any serious stuff, however, wat we did find was one of the most important truth of professional life. We named this journey as In Search of Some Serious Stuff.

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 | Author:

Category: Video  | Tags: , ,  | 4 Comments
Monday, October 12th, 2009 | Author:

Lie often told eventually becomes a truth- Said by V Lenin.

Last time when I saw “Delhi-6” and then to some extent “Mumbai Meri Jaan” where rumors took shape of facts, I felt that the filmmaker actually picked facts and tried to say-what he felt. Nowadays, we do not look informative and public interest programmes or capsules too often, forget about being creative enough. I came across a video -perhaps produced by the FTII guys- which I liked a lot and have faint memories of watching them on our B/W Binatone TV at home. It came on Doordarshan. With Diwali just around the corner rumors mongers can just be on prowl. Beaware of them and do not let rumors get in your head.

I can also relate rumors with unpolished and non-credible news coming through wires. It reaches TV stations and news hungry editors without confirming the veracity or source of the news is ready with a 3 minute breaking news kind of an arrangement to feed we-the-people.

I know I deviated a little from my topic but this is also which I wanted to express, somehow.

Please do watch this Video

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 | Author:

“Iss desh ko rakhna mere bachchon sambhaal ke.” You must have heard this song playing on radio or TV on August 15, October 2 or January 26. The patriotic song from the film Jagriti was sung by Mohd. Rafi. However, many people across the border hear this song playing on August 14.

A Rare Message to Pakistani Youth-1957

Somebody in Pakistan also sailed the same kashti to safety from the same toofaan. He also had kids, who were being appealed to. The only difference being that they were being told to rescue the mulq, not the desh. The lyrics and the music are exactly the same. While technically the Pakistani boat reached the shores before the Indian one, this composition is originally Indian. A Pakistani got, as Pritam would say, ‘inspired.’ It must be a time zone issue.

Wait a minute. Am I sounding like bashing a Pakistani? NO. I love the country and its people. With due respect to my national anthem, I declare that I enjoy the Pakistani national anthem more than Jana Gana Mana. However, I have no respect for people who project a stolen piece of work as their own – irrespective of their nationality.

By the way, there is another song “Sabarmati ke sant tune kar diya kamal”. That one became “Aye QaideAzam tera ahsaan hai ahsaan”. This was still creative, considering only the music was copied and Gandhi was replaced with Jinnah. The height of plagiarism, however, was in the video. In the Indian version, a handicapped student is singing the song. The disability of the Pakistani director is visible in his inability to think of something different.

 

Saturday, March 28th, 2009 | Author:

It seems that the election campaign has turned into a cola-drink war..

Take a look at Jai Ho versus Bhay ho :

Thursday, February 05th, 2009 | Author:

Everytime I switch on TV, there are more ads than programs. Sometimes it is even more interesting than watching a TV program. Sometimes, it is not. The interesting thing is there are many ads that are really interesting or meaningful or reflective of a deeper meaning. We notice some, forget some and love some.  Here are just a few that I have grown to love:

  • HDFC Standard life insurance with the slogan, “Sar  utha ke jiyo ” which is a very touching ad about an aged couple learning to grow old and financially independent with dignity – the dream in every middle class Indian family.
  • Bank of India’s piggy bank ad is one that truly tugs my heart.

  • Naukri’s famous Hari Sadu ad is so mean and hilarious that no one can forget it.
  • Fevicol ads are so funny and creative though we haven’t seen too many being ‘revised’ or ‘rehashed’ or updated as often as we would love to. The new one with Katrina in it was no fun at all.
  • HCL ad with the slogan, “technology that touches lives” is quite unrealistic and exaggerated.
  • Pears soap ad which featured a little girl closing her eyes and wanting to open it only when she can see her mom because her mom is her lucky talisman. I love this ad.
  • Sprint ads are so funny and clear headed. The “Bheja fry” ad is just awesome!
  • HSBC egg ad where you have a home maker making egg differently for different members of the family and then using an egg to put in her hair. It’s an ad conveying that different people have different needs.
  • Tata Sky Plus ad which features Aamir Khan and Gul Panag as a married couple with Aamir pretending to the dishes and grocery shopping for his wife and the clinch is what gets you at the end of the ad.

Tell me, which ones are your favorite ads?

Monday, February 02nd, 2009 | Author:

What could be a better way to unwind after a hectic day than with some heavy petting? Now, now, this is a family blog site – would I be suggesting what you just thought? What I meant was that personal experience and tons of research over the years show that a pet can be an enormous stress-buster. As Josh Billings once said, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” We all could do with some unconditional love each day, don’t you think?

I’m an animal lover and find it difficult to restrain myself, especially when confronted with baby animals. Can anyone remain indifferent when confronted with a litter of frolicking puppies? We’ve always had at least one dog at home. There were a few memorable years in my adolescence when my grandmother had six dogs of various breeds running around the house. I believe that all my adolescent angst was made more tolerable because of these dogs. Each time I was sad, had a fight or was generally put out, I would sit by myself and one of the dogs would find me and stay with me, unquestioningly, till I felt better and was ready to face the world again. They never judged me, never expected me to say something intelligent or even ask for attention. All they wanted to do was to be there with me. Can you imagine such unconditional support from anyone else?

My favourite portrayal of the limitless love of animals and man is exemplified in the video clip below:

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace. – Milan Kundera

Then there was my first Labrador, Lucy. She seemed almost human in her understanding of what was happening around her. Each time my mother and I had one of our frequent battle of wills, she would rush between us, stroking each person in turn with her paw and licking our hands to calm us down. She would sit by me and lick away my tears while I coped with the travails of teenage life. I sincerely believe that only a dog has that special way of making you feel loved and needed and of telling you that you might just be the most wonderful person on this planet. Such is a dog’s love for its human. The dog doesn’t want anything in return.

One experience I will never forget is when my dog saved my daughter’s life. We had this huge German Shepherd, Tarzan, who we fondly thought of as our guard dog. He was scared of firecrackers, smoke and even puppies, but in the minds of his loving parents (my husband and I) he was this fierce watchdog with a loud bark. One afternoon, while I was upstairs napping in my bedroom and my daughter was entertaining herself playing in the garden, I heard Tarzan barking relentlessly. He usually did not bark this way. He seemed to be extremely troubled by something and my first thought was that my 4-year-old was trying to kill him! I quickly went down to investigate and found Tarzan standing between my daughter and a Cobra, who was ready to strike. I almost fainted. My daughter was intrigued by the snake that had somehow managed to find a way into our garden. Tarzan had sensed its presence and kept barking at it so that it could come no further towards the house. My daughter was standing 2 feet behind Tarzan with her ball, as though she had just missed playing with the snake because of the dog’s intervention. While Tarzan kept the snake busy, I took my daughter away and managed to call the watchman. After this, the watchman took over, caught the snake and took it away. Tarzan immediately calmed down and so did I.

Tarzan saves the day!

Tarzan saves the day!

But it isn’t just dogs who can be a man’s best friend. Any pet can have that stress-relieving effect on you. I’ve kept fish and turtles and for a short while I even had a cat. I could spend hours just staring at the fish swim lazily through the aquarium. It was such a soothing feeling. The cat was more of a challenge because unlike dogs who think the human is GOD, cats think that they are GOD and we are there to serve them. So having the cat jump up on my lap and curl up to get her belly scratched was a feeling similar to having climbed Mt. Everest – I had won the love of a feline!!

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why.  ~Author Unknown

You don’t have to take my word for it – just look at the vast body of research that supports the positive effects of owning a pet or even spending time with an animal on the mind and body. A study by researchers at UCLA School of Public Health has demonstrated conclusively that men living with AIDS who owned a pet suffered significantly lower degrees of depression than those who did not own a pet. Not only the companionship offered by the animal but the exercise involved in walking a dog or cleaning up after birds and cats helped keep the men with AIDS active and happier than those who did not need to look after a pet.

Similarly, there are numerous studies that vouch for the fact that having a pet at home actually helps lower blood pressure, alleviate feelings of loneliness and increase social support by helping us meet other animal lovers when we walk the dog. A study of 92 patients who had recently suffered from angina or a heart attack reveals that while 28% of the patients who did not own pets died within the next one year, only 6% of the patients with pets suffered a similar fate.

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.  ~George Eliot

There is nothing more comforting than pups snuggling against you

Almost like something out of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a study also found that patients who watched fish swimming in an aquarium during oral surgery experienced greater degree of relaxation (as measured through blood pressure and muscle tension readings). Pet therapy has been used for several years now, with trained animals visiting various nursing homes, hospitals and hospices in the US on a regular basis. The patients exposed to pet therapy not only reported a positive impact on their sense of well being but doctors also found marked alleviation of symptoms and faster recovery in these patients. Trained dogs have been helping children with learning disabilities learn to read. Children with autism have also found to benefit through interactions with animals.

If you take a dog which is starving and feed him and make him prosperous, that dog will not bite you. This is the primary difference between a dog and a man. – Mark Twain

This irrefutable body of evidence brings me to the next question – How do I know what pet is best for me? You can choose from dogs, cats, birds, fish and even mice and hamsters. The kind of pet you opt for should suit your lifestyle, preferences and temperament. After all, we don’t want to add to the existing stress levels by choosing a pet that needs more attention that you are able to take time out for. You also need to ensure that the pet you choose is suitable for your living space. For instance, a large dog would be a menace in a small flat.

You would also need to get information about food and medical care the pet would need, the cost involved and whether you are comfortable taking on the additional responsibility and cost. The best place to get information is by visiting a neighbourhood vet. There is also extensive information available on the net. Also remember to consult your doctor regarding any allergies that you or your family members might experience. Many people are allergic to dog and cat hair.

There also are a lot of misconceptions about various animals, which need to be rectified at home before you bring in a pet. No dog will bite unless provoked and a dog’s lick does not infect you with germs.

Hugging someone can only spread love not germs

And talking about misconceptions, let me tell you about the time when my daughter bit the dog. Remember, the fierce guard dog, Tarzan? My daughter was about 3 years old at this time and she loved playing dogs, except she had her rules! For instance, the Labrador wasn’t allowed to lick her face although her face was at the same height as the dog’s face and therefore the most accessible part of her body. I once caught this strange interaction between Maya (my daughter) and Zoe (the Labrador). Zoe would lick her face, Maya would slap her in response, so Zoe would lick her again to apologize, so Maya would slap her again and this went on for about 10 minutes till I stopped them. But I am digressing. I wanted to tell you about how Maya bit the guard dog! At this time of her life, Tarzan was taller than Maya but loved her nonetheless. He loved being with her and have her treat him like a horse, ball catcher and general guinea pig. On this particular occasion that I want to recount, Tarzan kept nudging Maya with his head to play with him but she was busy colouring and so kept pushing him away. But he was persistent and kept nudging her till she got really fed up and turned around and bit his neck, tearing away a chunk of hair in her teeth. Poor Tarzan was in shock and tried to lick Maya to pacify her. I, of course, ran to wash her mouth and give her a piece of my mind – humans don’t bite dogs and that’s a cardinal rule.

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.  ~Robert Benchley

Coming back to my personal experience, I find that the cost really isn’t that much, and certainly massively outweighed by the benefits. I have also seen the benefits owning a pet has had on my daughter. It has helped her focus on something beyond her own needs, made her take responsibility on her young shoulders and feel a sense of achievement through her efforts at looking after the pets. I believe these are irreplaceable learning experiences and I know that they will stand her in good stead as she grows up and interacts with the world at large. The greatest achievement I think has been that my daughter has developed a sense of compassion and love that I rarely see in children her age. When we go out shopping, Maya always makes sure we visit a pet store and bring home some chewy things for the dogs. She always insists on going with us whenever we need to visit the vet, just to ensure that the dogs were getting the proper treatment! And she is unable to see a hurt animal on the road. I am a better person because of Maya’s concern for the well being of animals at this tender age of five.

So let me leave you to think about how you can lead a longer, happier and healthier life by owning a pet with this quote:

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.  ~Author Unknown

As a parting shot, enjoy the “Animal Song” by Savage Garden to some of the cutest animal pictures in the video clip below: