Sunday, August 23, 2009

Paryushan, Ramadan

Its interesting to see two religions (Jainism and Islam) so close to each other. While today is the last day of Paryushan (for the Jains), the day also marks the beginning of Ramadan (for the Muslims). Today is almost like a holy communion of two great faiths which appear to be far from each other in their thoughts, but surprisingly have enough meeting ground as well.

Paryushan - broadly means "abiding" or "coming together" while Ramadan is derived from old Arabic which meant 'intense heat, scorched ground and shortness of rations'. Both the festivals start with fasting and end with a major festival on the final day (something not uncommon in Hindu festivals as well).

Festival of Paryushan ordains the Jains to observe the universal supreme virtues in daily practical life with meditation and prayer which also provides an opportunity for looking within and towards the teachings of the Tirthankars for the guidance. Its a period of abstinence from worldly pleasures. Similarly, during Ramadan Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds.

But this is just information. I was talking with a friend who is a Jain while waiting for another who is a Muslim, and realised how close these two are in their thoughts during this period of fasting. Fasting gave joy to both of them, and they both had more energy during this period though they ate much less.

For one its the last day, while for the other its a beginning. And today is the day that they share...and I share it too because I am making this unusual connection. Perhaps, we can connect most festivals with one another based on the thoughts associated and not disassociate them because of the difference in the faith of people practicing them.

I took help from the blog of my friend for some information on Paryushan.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Public is the new Private

An interesting thought...

"What’s the new what? I say Public is the new Private. Let’s face it, conversations that used to be conducted through private e-mail exchanges are now posted for all to see on facebook walls. Clothing that used to simply imply “I’m better than you” now actually says “I’m better than you”.

It’s gotten out of hand. For my generation, sharing information is no big deal. I no longer hesitate when I type my phone number and detailed plans for the evening on social networking sites. In fact, sending information through private channels has become unheard of, even out of style. The last time I got a Facebook message, I expected it to be SUPER juicy, since only I would be able to access it. Facebook messages are like emails, whereas wall posts are visible on your public profile. I thought the message would at least include a social security number, or perhaps a dirty comment about a backstabbing friend. Instead, the message was just a simple “what’s up” – this secretive “hello” almost offended me. I mean, who sends a hello message and doesn’t make it public? With wallposts such as “I went to this show last night and got so drunk, and then I hooked up with some hot guy named Jake and we spent $14.00 at the hookah bar on Mission…” there is really no need to send private messages.

Young people aren’t only publicizing extremely personal information online, but they’re broadcasting messages through their apparel and accessories. When I walked into Target last week I noticed a wide variety of handbags, the majority of which had messages emblazoned on the front. While t-shirts that say “Angel” or “Devil” on them have been on the rise over the last few years, it’s only recently that purses and jewelry joined in on the public display trend. Bags that used to have pretty patterns and delicate embroidery are now printed with things like “I AM NOT PLASTIC,” and “MY BABY’S DADDY BOUGHT IT FOR ME”. Whether the messages are about saving the environment, or random, they are almost always unnecessary.

The word “subtlety” is being drowned out by lewd and loud comments. We now know each other’s innermost desires (to one day publish a novel that Oprah selects for her book club) and greatest fears (to live alone with a house full of cats at the age of 75), whether we want to or not. There’s no denying it, in today’s day in age, transparency is definitely trendy. But I’m still quietly debating (on youtube, myspace and blogspot) whether public is in fact better than private."

"Is public the new private? It’s inspired by this photo I found on Tumblr this weekend.

Celebrities are used to living under the harsh glare of constant scrutiny, where even their rubbish bins are combed for the ultimate levels of personal information. But public living is starting to overflow into ordinary lives - mainly when a lot of people subscribe to a Twitter feed or Facebook status updates. Many people who don’t get Twitter, don’t understand the attraction of watching the micro patterns of a huge range of semi-strangers lives unfold in front of your eyes. Facebook is about subscribing to the lives of poeople you know. Twitter is about subscribing to the lives of people you don’t know. What constitutes oversharing on the public channel of Twitter?

This is an issue which is only going to get more intense as more and more people jump on Twitter and start talking about their workplaces, or better making witty and sarcastic comments at the said workplace’s expense. Leslie Nassar a.k.a. The Fake Stephen Conroy was “let go” from his employer Telstra when his real identity was revealed. A Telstra employee could not be seen to be sardonically depicting the Minister responsible for trying to impose an internet filter that Telstra supported and no-one wanted. Leslie is going to be talking about his experiences as the Fake Stephen Conroy in the Social Media Club Sydney’s first event on 27th April Authenticity and Transparency in Social Media.

A lot of the general issues arise around whether you want to be held accountable for what you say because of the archiving quality of the internet. If you say something nasty in a verbal conversation its easy to deny it or have it forgotten. There is an aspect of having to silo different parts of your life off depending on how publicly you want to live. There’s also an aspect of creating an alternate persona (by impersonating a celebrity, brand or magazine you naturally attract a lot of attention and people following. Long term, you will have to sustain the following through decent content, at least on a superficial level you may be able to attract on fake name alone) It’s also really hard when random people start taking pot shots at you on a public channel like Twitter and you are trying to hold it together and not engage in a public mud slinging.

Australia has a tiny population compared to Europe or the US and as a consequence our digital industry is a petri dish. It’s hard to forget that everyone working within it is practically known to everyone else. The ramifications can be quite dramatic if you manage to damage your reputation through carelessness, saying the wrong thing on a public channel and all of a sudden its brand x down the gurgler.

@RubyRose1 (an Australian MTV presenter) wanted to run away from Twitter based on a Daily Telegraph story about a conversation with Jess from the Veronicas. She could have DM’d Jess and not become tabloid fodder. She’s done the sensible thing now and locked her updates instead.

I am proud to out myself as an E! Channel E! News watcher. In the last 2 weeks or so there is at least one daily report of which celebrity is tweeting what to the masses. So a lot of angst of private being the new public relates to the equation:

- how famous/reputable you are
- relative to how private you want to keep your life
- relative to your awareness of who your talking to
- and what you are saying
- how public the channel is

I personally silo off different “roles” to different social networks. I like leaving Facebook for people I know personally and limit profile to work colleagues. Professional, career building stuff stays in LinkedIn. Twitter is a mixed bag of everything and is the closest to the real me. I have become a lot more conscious of Twitter’s public channel aspects lately but rather than deleting tweets, I’ll take the conversation to DM if I want to keep it private. I stand by everything I write online, ironically, I am far more straight up in person, in terms of expressing my personal opinions. Working in advertising, you never know who your next client is going to be - bummer if there’s an online rant that you can’t take back. So my non-celebrity life is nicely segmented into private vs public on 3 social networks, with some filtering."

Thursday, August 13, 2009


The women in the ID team at IDEA :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

not my views...

It was introduction time in office today and we were finally introduced to a genuinely warm Alex who would now work in our Studio.

Few interesting things from the discussion that ensued...
Ross Lovegrove
Tynant Water
Maletti - spa
Conran & Partners

Plain, Simple and Useful

"You don't design a mobile phone which looks like a Jellyfish for for Motorola"

Obvious ID observations - what are these? They are so obvious that they can easily be missed at times.

Neat and Crisp products have a business like feel to them, no nonsense products.

Designer led design
Brand led design
Concise direction for design works well at times...

Focusing intense energy on a project leads to great results...

And this is a sketch I made during this very long meeting :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Its odd when you decide that you should write a post at 3:30 in the morning, especially when you have no clue what would the post be about.

Its a dark room and the light is coming only from my laptop screen. I can see the curtains on the open door glide seductively, revealing the world outside, still keeping its secrets intact. I can see the sky, the ponto and its reflection, the moon (occasionally) and the white wall of the house in the front. All of these mean nothing and on second thoughts everything. The sky is sky, the ponto is Rome, moon is Muzayun and the white wall is white because there is moon. There can be numerous other meanings, some more interesting than these, some less.

Looking around I can also see a sleeping lamp, a basket with dirty clothes, a half-empty suitcase, a mirror reflecting nothing... There can be meaning to all of these. Mind is capable of giving meanings and making connections with inanimate things. And these remain with us for a long time to come, some remain forever. Some torment us, but we still can't give them up.

I see the keypad, recently cleaned by someone very dear. The recollection makes me touch the keys more softly than ever, to see its whiteness even in the dark, to enjoy typing. I see darkness in some corners of the room, places I am learning to ignore.

I heard the bell ring a while back, ignored that as well. Who could it be at this hour?

The night is never long enough, a couple of hours more and there would be light outside. I will see the birds, the sun, neighbours, dogs and make even more connections.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Its a nice and cool morning in Ahmedabad. The fact that its a weekend only adds to my delight...

Started the day with almost no plans, but now interesting thoughts are coming into my head. Something that I always wanted to do, but didn't just feel the time was right. But then the time is never right, and I may just die one day with these thoughts in my head.

Today is a day dedicated to writing; I am not sure what would I call these - random, broken memoirs, maybe? I should have written these down a while back, the memories have already been adulterated by so many events after them, things much more dominant and much less in my control.

This post is also odd, like an extended version of your status on Facebook or Twitter. Oddly enough, though both of these look superfluous, when one dwelves deeper into them, they reveal so much about a person. People say things which they would never say otherwise. And try going through your own older posts, it would reveal something new about you as well. You would be surprised with some very personal, raw emotions...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Death of a dead phone!

My beloved (despite many people hating the phone, but loving the ring tone) Motorokr died late this June at approximately this time.

This video shows how to kill an already dead mobile.

This was shot after office hours and under strict supervision of experts. It is, however, strongly recommended that one should repeat this at home and share the results here. A few disastrous examples could even be featured here.

p.s. Its actually long and demented and almost senseless!


Read something on Arpit's blog and it triggered so many emotions...
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