Friday, May 25, 2007

A flower for Pixie

"Kishmish is back.

It's one of those Biblical moments. Kishmish is our dog and she came to us nine months ago, from a local shelter called Friendicoes. As is the case with most relationships, the reaction to her went from ecstatic cooing to slight smiles to 'will you STOP peeing on the carpet.' All except in the case of my daughter Aalia, who has, on several occasions, clearly stated that she loves Kishmish (Hindi for 'raisin' - her colouring) more than her parents.

Almost a week ago, she disappeared. And since then, we have all been stumbling into or walking awkwardly around the big hole in the house.

Everyone, especially our maid, had their own conspiracy theory - attacked by the big kids down the lane, kidnapped, silenced, experimented upon - dark alleys I did not want to dwell on.

This morning, she came back. Apparently, as I thought, she had been hanging around the neighbourhood and seems none the worse for 6 days on the mean streets.

I'm off to get a new collar."

I have borrowed this little story from a blog posted by a friend nearly two years ago. I understand about stumbling into and walking around a big hole in the house. But my little one is never coming back. So starting tomorrow, I will place a new flower into a vase in my room every week, in memory of her.

In my heart and in my soul I know that she hasn't really gone away.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


This is my first attempt at uploading a video onto my blog. Hope it works out. This 45 second film was made by young Kajal Srinivasan five years ago, using only computer graphics. We ran it foc on several channels during World Animal Week. Kajal also created our website which is now badly in need of updation. If you know of any young web designer, Goa or Mumbai based, who would like to do so for love and not money, tell me!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Shiva and the star tortoises

I spent this morning at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park at Borivli. A batch of over 2000 star tortoises confiscated by the customs department are being looked after there waiting for transport back to Tamil Nadu. I had gone to help arrange for this and inspect their condition. The staff were cleaning and feeding them well, all little babies poor things. They were laid out in plastic trays, about fifteen to a tray and two rooms were filled with these trays while two boys sat chopping vegetables into tiny bits for them, and another two were cleaning them one by one.

I didn't take a picture of them, since that wouldn't be right. But here's one of Shiva the tiger, majestically wandering about in the safari enclosure. Some years ago, he was a drab bored circus tiger rescued from Kankavali with all over skin infection. Now he is more handsome than John Abraham.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I've been going over the events of the past week as they unfolded in my life.

And I think that there are some situations for which the time can never be right.

Or then again, it can never be wrong.

For these things, time....just comes.

I wonder what the next week has in store. Will He come quietly unannounced, or blazing in with the sound of trumpets and flashes of neon?

Or will He just...not come?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A diabetes pandemic

Here is a link to an interesting post I read recently. It's scary but I think it's true.

Friday, May 04, 2007

About a boy

A few months after I returned to media in 2003, we had a conference for all employees at then-still-new Northpoint. I remember Sujaya had set up a series of value search workshops for various levels, and I was required to drop in on each session and say an intelligent thing or two ('intelligence inside' being the theme that I had come up with for our journey going forward, disillusioned as I was then with the state of affairs I saw it - all hype and no substance).

In one of the juniormost groups, participants were required to briefly present to me their individual takeouts. One by one, they trotted up to the centre of the room, said their piece, took my feedback and so on. It was going rather well, till ...the boy. Tall, gangly, very young and extremely nervous, he froze on his words. Like a mute puppy he stared down at the floor then looked up at me and down again and kept this up for about three minutes while the whole room of thirty odd managers watched in silence. Finally, he blurted out that he just couldn't remember what he had prepared and asked to be excused. A mixture of sympathy and scorn circled the room, while the boy walked back to his seat dejected but not defeated.

Over the years, I have watched him grow. Physically he is now a strapping young man. Emotionally he is strong, confident and incredibly tenacious. Most of all he remains humble and cheerful especially under pressure. From number crunching beginnings, he has begun to appreciate the value of creative thinking and, along with his seniors, he has worked on some of our more innovative projects.

The most recent being the Bol Bindaas Bol campaign to promote asking for condoms unselfconsciously. His team created half hour programs for news channels which got the man on the street to speak up about his shyness on this issue. This won us two silver medals at the Goafest Media awards - for best use of tv, and for cause marketing.

Before a gathering of thousands of ad revellers, the boy and I walked up to the imposing stage set up on the silver sands of Goa to collect the award for cause marketing. As he proudly held it aloft and waved to the crowds, I stood by his side with a deep sense of gratitude. Once silent before an audience of 30, now smiling before an audience of 3000, the boy is now a man.

Can you tell who he is from this picture?