Follow Your Heart. Lead Your Mind. You'll find a window everywhere.

Monday, December 26, 2011

To beat Australia at the MCG, India needs to wear brains.

So, the Boxing Day test between Australia and India has begun with all punches as expected from both sides!

If first day’s performance is to be evaluated, it will stand as Australia : India = 50 : 50.

However, the reality is Australia : India = 60 : 40.

Especially, the way the Aussies recovered from the score 214 for 6 to reach 277 for 6 at stumps.

No praise is adequate to acknowledge and appreciate the partnership – Haddin and Siddle put together, while chips were really down for Australia thanks to two dubious decisions by the umpires that undid Hussey first and then Cowan, almost back to back.

From then, when it was expected that India would wrap up the Australian tail soon, the real twist in the tale took place.

And, honestly, it happened more for the Indian’s lack of idea in bowling and field placement than the Aussies’ determined display of batting.

With the course of play it became evident that Siddle had a great defensive technique and he was quite ready to come on the front-foot to negotiate deliveries. Either to play at them or leave.

On the other hand, Haddin was just reluctant to take any risk whatsoever and happy to nudge the ball here and there for singles, twos or threes followed by occasional hits over the rope.

So the situation was, the Aussies were keen to play for the time and had no urgency to dash for runs, where India needed to push things up with more vision and vigour so as to bowl out their opponent, as soon as possible.

But, frankly it didn’t occur, as it should’ve been.

Nevertheless, the things could be sorted out still in order to change the game, if the following points are pondered… rather with an open mind

1. Asking Umesh Yadav to bowl at fierce pace targeting Siddle’s ribcage mostly, and time to time his toes, with five fielders on leg side. The fielders could ideally be placed at Fine Leg (somewhere in between short fine leg and deep fine leg); Backward short leg or Leg gully; Forward short leg (a bit square and pushed towards the leg umpire); Midwicket (somewhere in between original midwicket and deep midwicket) and Mid on (quite straight, much inside the ring to save quick singles). This ploy might not give Umesh Siddle’s wicket, but the batsman would definitely get softened up to fall pray to another Indian bowler, and this in the process could force Haddin to take some extra responsibilities to guard his partner by playing extra deliveries, bearing extra tension.

2. Keeping fielders for Haddin at Deep point or Deep cover, at Deep midwicket and at Deep mid on, while he played, in fact, not a single adventurous shot in his whole innings actually seemed pretty bizarre. When a team had two new batsmen at the crease and was tottering under some kind of pressure giving away such easy singles to them through wide spread field settings, made no sense to be precise. At that point of time, Haddin should’ve been made to struggle for every run and should’ve been compelled to go for big shots over the in-field.

3. Ishant should be asked to bowl only at good-length or just short of good-length but not away from off stump or short-pitch. Because given the pace, bounce and carry, as provided by the pitch, Ishant’s bouncers are likely to go over a batsman’s head, most of the time. But, Ishant’s in-coming deliveries which just hold their lines after pitching, or go away slightly outside towards off stump, are simply nightmares for any batsman. So, Ishant has to bowl those balls, continuously, as he turns into a wicket taking bowler only when he pitches the ball up.

4. In a vast ground like the MCG, run-choking is just a concept. In reality, there remain plenty of gaps on the filed, exploiting which a batsman can jolly well pile up runs just by taking singles. To prove that point, Australia made 277 from 89 overs with an average of 3.11 per over that can’t be said poor run rate in a test cricket despite Dhoni’s wide-spread field placement. And Dhoni needs not to forget one thing, in such a climate which is offering no such humidity, getting a batsman out by tiring him is not going to work as it does often in India. Therefore, as a captain he needs to think more and better than just going with the flow and hoping that something will happen soon.

To conclude, if Australia crosses 350, it’s likely that India will either lose the test or maximum salvage a draw at the MCG. Because, to win a test match overseas (or a series for that matter), a team needs to play magical cricket based on strategy, tactics and game plan beyond just skills, luck and miracle. And that's why; a captain on field needs to think sound and innovative, and that too, impromptu, applying nothing but sheer commonsense.

Monday, December 12, 2011

To go digital, a brand should trust god more than an agency in India.

I was exploring For some good news, assignments, or jobs… pertaining to advertising or media.

While I clicked on the link ‘jobswitch’, I saw an agency called Water is looking for professionals in several disciplines.

I’m not sure though whether it’s the same Water that operates as one of the SBUs of Mudra.

See the ad below, and also mark the red underline... (click on it to enlarge)

Since they are looking for Creative Director, for the reason obvious, I wanted to know more about it by visiting the link.

Then I landed on this ad… (click on it to enlarge)

And like I did, if you too see this ad properly, you’ll get to know that Water has talked about many things in the text – and creatively perhaps – save for providing you with any contact details where you can send your application and CV, or simply call up!

Even if you click on the ad for umpteen times or keep refreshing the page, you will know that it’s not hyperlinked to their website or any contact page either.

Now, what notion will you develop about such an agency that also used Ogilvy’s name to create interest in their appoint ad through quite a high-voltage gimmick?

However, I won’t be surprised at all, if I find that the agency is claiming to have done wonder for their clients in the domain of interactive ads or digital communications like many other agencies that don’t even have a proper or upgraded company website in place.

Actually, from the ad of Water, it’s evident once again what kind of agencies, SBUs, or creative hot-shops are functional of late across India and trying to leverage the digital communications and social media marketing on web and mobile!

To back my point then I have searched for Water on Google by the URL the agency has provided on And no wonder I have found the expected result only, as shown in the following pictures... (click on it to enlarge)

Anyway, before I conclude let me remind you, humbly, that the agency’s punch line is: The ROI Attitude and its value promise is: Water Your Brand.

Indeed. :) 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Don't let the fire of any AMRI Hospital gut your life again.

One of my classmates' Aunt is sinking at a Hospital now with multiple organ failure thanks to the choking at AMRI yesterday. Just asking, "Any candle march or Rs. 5 lac+, or the imprisonment of the Todis, Goenkas, etc., will help her live?"

No, right? I know.

That's why tried to suggest you what needs to be done, so as to save your aunt or mother, or wife, or anyone else, you love and really care for...

The fire at AMRI, Dhakuria in Kolkata helps Emami, Shrachi to be trending; no doubt.

Many things will be written and shown about Goenka, Todi, etc, at least for the coming two weeks.

A candle march, or may be a sandal march with Hawai Chappals in hand, is also a huge possibility to mark the aghast citizens' protest against such indifference and negligence of the hospital authority and management.

Rs. 5 lac compensation might be given away, or not, to each of the bereaved families. Plus, some unluckily lucky ones could get a few govt. jobs here and there.

But, what next? Is it going to stop those Todis, Goenkas, Agarwals from taking more human lives in the name of business or corporate culture across India? NO! NEVER.

Because this cluster of businessmen only understands how to make the balance sheet ringing. Therefore, it will hardly matter, even if they are hung till death.

Neither will their attitude change nor will their greed for money reduce.

If anything at all needs to be done to get them corrected and teach a lesson, that has to be full of purpose and resilience sans TRP / GRP jerking or Readership increasing media led gimmicks.

Those fellows need to be hit badly in their balance sheet only, but nowhere else. And to do so, all you need to do is stop buying any product whatsoever from the Brand stable of Emami and purchasing any flats / offices from Shrachi Group.

In case you can stick to this non-cooperation for a year at least; you will be able to help them experience, actually, how it feels when the balance sheet turns into 'balance shit'.

Once it's done, you can witness the change, hopefully, rather realistically in a positive way, because money matters to them more than it matters to you or anyone else.

HENCE, DO IT. Or do nothing, to silently wait for more such fire takes place, gradually, even in your bedroom.

So, happy burning, in advance! However, getting rid of such man made calamities is still in your hand, provided you wish to lead from within being high on motivation to act more and better than just reacting, instinctively, to forget the issue on the very next day or moment.

MiD DAY closed editions in Delhi and Bengaluru with CHEERS!

Why the face-u, hide-u, hide-u…
Why these Kolaveri Dis
Why the camera-u, click-u, click-u…
Why this Kolaveri Da

Well, if you are only singing this song… seeing the above picture, and thinking nothing great or big, you sure are not a visionary or management level employee, or CEO of a tabloid like MiD DAY!

“Janam Samjha Karo,” as Choli ke pichhe something exists, Burqa ke niche bhi something exists.

And if you could see what exists, you have the foresight and vision, the business acumen and, for sure, a template-MBA degree or diploma to capture Sunny Leone, Poonam Pandey, Rakhi Sawant, Mallika Sherawat and Liz Hurley in a single frame with just a click.

Probably Jagran Prakashan Limited (JPL) had possessed such a business vision under the stewardship of Mr. Manajit Ghoshal, MD & CEO, MiD DAY Infomedia, when the group acquired MiD DAY in May 2010… to bring Inquilab (revolution) through sensational news, raving up the tabloid culture across India.

However, with time, it became evident that MiD DAY could only incur loss thanks to its Delhi and Bengaluru editions despite the tabloid’s best of titillations for ‘producing’ news besides covering the same.

This, as usual, created a situation where finding scapegoats was mandatory to pass the buck on and make them sacrifice, eventually.

For the reason obvious, the management of MiD DAY under the canopy of JPL found the best possible solution, and that was to close the editions in Delhi and Bengaluru on and from December 06, 2011 and thereby compel all its journalists and other employees go jobless in those two cities.

And that too, notwithstanding the fact, as quoted by a MiD DAY insider, “Midday shut down for loss of Rs 2 lakhs by Jagran whose quarterly profit is Rs 30 cr. is this ridiculous or what?”

Funny, no? Yes, it IS!

Actually, the fun just began.

Now, please take a look at the CEO’s internal email, which Mr. Manajit Ghoshal sent to the employees in Delhi and Bengaluru in order to let them know that they were laid off.

Full Transcript of the great man’s great mail –

Dear colleagues,

It's with a heavy heart that I have to announce the closure of Mid-Day Delhi and Mid-Day Bangalore editions. Tomorrow's issue will be the last issue for both the editions. This has been necessitated by the prolonged losses we had to incur on these editions.

The idea behind starting these editions was to establish these brands in these cities and make a difference in the lives of the citizens there. We had begun well and were appreciated for the quality of product we put out. However, in a corporate scenario the books need to be balanced.

Due to the ever increasing competition in the print media space, the funds required for breakeven in these cities kept escalating. Finally, we had to take this call. We will however, continue to maintain a news bureau in Delhi and our sales offices in Bangalore and Delhi.

But, every dark cloud has a silver lining. The silver lining in this is that Mumbai Mid-Day now will have the strength to soar to greater heights. By cutting our losses in Delhi and Bangalore editions, we will be able to bolster our circulation in Mumbai.

Apart from the plan to channel these investments, Jagran group (our parent company) will invest a large sum in boosting Mid-Day's circulation in Mumbai. This will give our sales guys across the country to pitch Mumbai Mid-Day to clients and agencies in a new light.

We need to now concentrate on building brand Mid-Day in Mumbai and monetizing Mumbai Mid-Day's large increase in circulation and in this our sales colleagues in Delhi, Bangalore and Pune will have to play a significant part.

Gujrati Mid-Day and Inquilab continue to go from strength to strength. We are increasing the circulation of GMD at a brisk pace and will continue to do so. Inquilab has flourished in the north and we now have 14 editions in all and are far ahead of any competition in the Urdu space.

Mid-Day Pune is an extension of Mid-Day Mumbai just as the Pune city is an extension of Mumbai. Mid-DayPune will continue to run at an ever increasing pace and we will be monitoring the Pune media market keenly to spot opportunities to improve the circulation of Midday Pune.

We will continue to invest aggressively in our digital properties as we believe that this is a medium whose time has come.

5th December, 2011 is an important day in the history of Mid-Day. Today, we will have to halt and think. Think about many of our colleagues who will have to move on.

It's a testing time for them as it is for us. Right now it might look dark but I am sure both of us will come out of this with flying colours. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors. We also need to think about the added responsibilities for all of us who remain in this great organization and who have to carry its legacy forward. Let's begin this phase of our journey with renewed vigour and conviction.

In conclusion, I can only say that all dreams may not fructify but that will only encourage us to try harder and bring us closer, marching forward with a vision which only we can realise. We strive for continuity and absolutes but are reminded time and again that change is the only constant.

In this time of great pain and heavy responsibility, I am sure God will give us the tenacity to walk on-and then to break into a run-and once again soar to live our destiny.


Manajit Ghoshal

When a MD cum CEO of an organization starts a retrenchment email with a ‘heavy heart’ but ends with ‘cheers’, it speaks volumes for the person’s mental stability. And while such a person is at the helm of a business operation, no wonder MiD DAY turned MiD NIGHT in Delhi and Bengaluru where media war has been fierce, always, given the number of quality competitors.

Plus, from positioning and content point of views… trying to draw an analogy or a parallel between MiD DAY Delhi / Bengaluru and Inquilab / Gujrati MiD DAY has not only been weird but also made no branding or marketing sense to say the least.

It was like telling Harbhajan Singh that he was dropped from the team albeit Vidya Balan acted brilliantly in the Dirty Picture!

Keeping sales offices in Delhi, as well as in Bengaluru to bolster the media space selling for the Mumbai edition with an ambition to invest heavily in the digital space to proliferate the brand MiD DAY… so as to leverage the maximum, is yet another jive that only ridicules the concept of branding and marketing.

For a simple reason, to exploit the digital space, precisely the web and mobile, distance hardly matters. So why keep sales offices in Delhi and Bengaluru where you can’t keep the journalists and other staffs?!

Apart from that, it was also bizarre the way the management at MiD DAY literally enforced resignation on the employees in Delhi and Bengaluru, and used bouncers to drive the employees out of the office premise who were reluctant to leave.

See the termination – NOT RESIGNATION – letter below, as drafted by the management.  

There was no mention of any statutory compensations but a mere assertion of dues.

If some eyebrows were raised to inquire into ‘why compensation’, answering to that, because no prior intimation or notice was circulated to any of the employees in Delhi and Bengaluru before this sudden retrenchment.

Whereas, giving at least one month’s prior notice to lay off an employee is an absolute must, unless and until the employee has committed any criminal offense, or serving a probationary period. And, even if he has committed a crime, it needs to be proven first either by an internal committee and then at court.

In this context, the following facebook wall posts of Ms. Promita Mukherjee, Feature Editor, MiD DAY, Delhi should be sufficient for you to understand the malpractice, based on which, the management at MiD DAY offered pink slips and insulted its employees –

“Sachin Kalbag's msg to me: Note, he still hasn't addressed the team:

Promita, I am sending this message in private. We are trying our best get those Delhi colleagues who have not been retained for the Delhi bureau absorbed in Jagran Prakashan's publications such as City Plus, iNext, Jagran Digital and Jagran itself. I understand your anger, and I understand your pain. I would also request you to call me directly in case you need ANY clarification. You may have my number, but in any case it is +919820199551.



“For those who came in late, this is not against the shutting down of MiD DAY delhi shutting down or abt usz getting sacked. It is abt the way we were all dismissed thru an insensitive email. The editor Deep Halder, who is entitled to the highest compensation felt it is not abt money, it is abt our dignity. Neither the CEO, nor the executive editor Sachin Kalbag met us or addressed us over a video conference. We were okay with that also. But today, they were forcing us to sign an illegal document saying we are voluntarily resigning. The truth is, the edition is closing, we are not leaving on our own”

It’s also heard that the management at MiD DAY showed red eyes and tried to bully the employees in Delhi to accept the fabricated resignation, and prior to that the employees were duped to sign on an illegal agreement, which said that the employees were willing to not accept the Majithia Wage Board or Commission’s report / suggestions.

See this link and you will understand why no employee is a fool to refuse extra or more wages as per the Board or Commission's suggestion! That means MiD DAY has somewhat lost its way even on the legal front in line with Majithia.

Finally, if Promita’s tweet, “#MidDay, real intentions revealed. Shutdowns part of CEO's plan to devalue group so that he can buy it himself, sources confirm” is to be taken into serious consideration, it clears everything why MiD DAY needed to close down editions in Delhi and Bengaluru in such a manner, with ‘Cheers’, of course!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dev Anand and I.

When I came to know Dev Anand – ‘god of happiness’ – demised, I went literally numb for a while. The feeling was more of sadness than shock. Then experienced a nerve wrenching vacuum deep inside, as if I lost someone very close to my heart. Notwithstanding the fact we’ve hardly known each other.

So, the obvious question arises, “Why am I getting so sentimental?”

No, I’m not getting sentimental; I’m actually getting very emotional, reminiscing those songs on Dev Saab that have always been instrumental to help me grow up, shape up, and build up an image... to wear and carry for the world, outside.

It’s a different issue altogether though, whether the said image's been right or wrong, but it keeps on providing me with the spirit of life, till date, to LIVE… always with a hope that tomorrow is different and will be better.

I won’t cower to confess that it's from Dev Saab only, I've learnt many things like: ‘how to love’, ‘how to flirt’, ‘how to gamble’, ‘how to tease’, ‘how to booze’, ‘how to care’, ‘how to pain’, ‘how to motivate’, ‘how to mentor’, and ‘how to pack-up’… to ‘roll and act’ again and again... even without a gain, relentlessly.

And this process of learning has always been very enriching for me and my creative existence.

Just the reason, to celebrate his journey to a greater world, I'm trying to revisit my association with Dev Saab, muse-ically and musically, song by song, exactly the way I’ve consumed HIM since ages...

To love

To flirt

To gamble

To tease

To booze

To care

To pain

To motivate

To mentor

To pack-up, and roll again to act

And finally to say, with misty eyes, R.I.P. Dev Anand, my friend (if I may say so), philosopher and GUIDE!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Confusion in marriage starts with even a matrimonial ad

Ever thought, why you need to get married? Precisely, if you are an Indian and still delve into the concept of family first and arranged marriage.

If yes, great! If not, never mind. Let’s have a tête-à-tête on this.

You: “Because I want to settle down.”

I: “That means, unless you get married, you aren’t settled but unstable?”

You: “No, not like that. My parents are aging and they want me to settle down.”

I: “Cool, so you should get married for your parents and their age and wishes?”

You: “No, no, you’re getting me wrong. Actually you need a partner to share your life with.”

I: “Fair enough. Can you be a bit specific on the sharing part?”

You: “Well, sharing your happiness and grief; smiles and tears; joys and frustrations… you know.”

I: “Yes, I do. But you can do so even with a good friend, who understands you like anything. No?”

You: “I can, but you know, there are more things to it. I mean you can’t share everything with your friend na!”

I: “Everything means? You mean sex?”

You: “Ah, well, yes! Not only that but also many things… you know.”

I: “No, if I had known, then of course I wouldn’t have asked you, right? However, for sex you can have many other ways, and frankly I couldn’t understand your many things.”

You: “Many things like having your own child(ren), getting someone for your old age…”

I: “Okay, but to have a child, you can also adopt an orphan and for your old age care, there are so many good old-age homes of late, so…”

You: “Oh ho, you’re not getting me. Marriage is necessary, and you’ve to understand that.”

I: “I’ve never said marriage is not necessary. All I wanted to know is why it’s necessary.”

You: “I don’t know. You please stop. And don’t forget, if your parents hadn’t been married then you were not born either.”

I: “I own your words. So, broadly speaking, marriage is an affair from which you expect your child(ren) and old-age security in addition to many other inexplicable things, which might add more to your confusion, right?”

You: “May be.”

I: “Not may be, IT IS.”

You: “Get LOST!”

I: “Sure, as you say.”


Now, I may have got lost. Still, has it helped you in any way?

Have you got the answer, why do you need to get married?

Don’t worry; I’m just as confused as you are. Or perhaps, I’m more confused than you are.

And in India, where arranged marriage always raves, it’s likely that this confusion will start from the very beginning. As an advertisement itself, which clamours off a matrimonial site everyday, or newspapers on Sundays.

See such an ad in the following, (click on it and get it enlarged) mark the red underlines and realise what I meant –

In this ad, I’ve deliberately hidden a few fields with grey patches. Because my idea has never been to insult or assault anyone’s sentiments but just to show how funny, trivial and frivolous a marriage could be in India… given over-protective parents, family members and relatives, who actually force a bride / groom to be a joker in public eyes.

In short, you’ve ONLY two choices. Get married to remain confused in your entire life. Or get rid of your confusions first, and always, to have a happy life: Married or unmarried.