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

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

South Africa de Kocked Sri Lanka.

All through the tournament, de Kock has been struggling with the bat.

But just one catch -- impossibly athletic -- behind the stumps provided him with the necessary confidence minus which no athlete / player can succeed on the field despite having all the hard skills.

In fact, such a catch immediately propels a team's morale up to the next level. Helping the squad exclaim "Yeah" instead of "Oh", and that makes all the difference.

Exactly that is what happened to South Africa while the team seemed to have played supernatural cricket against Sri Lanka.

Not to mention, de Kock also played an unbeaten knock of 78 off just 57 deliveries by hitting the ball at will, as if there has been no bad patch for him ever, leading the Proteas register a thumping win against the Islanders by 9 wickets on the 18th over itself.

Hence, the turning point of the match has taken place at the very outset of the match with de Kock's 'flying catch' that also proves it once again 'catches win matches'!

Nothing to discuss about Sri Lanka's batting though save for Kumar Sangakkara's helpless vigil at the non-striker's end to watch the procession of other batsmen who were in real hurry to get out.

Perhaps that's why even the heavens opened up to bid adieu to Sanga, so at least he was not left high and dry on his way to a glorious retirement.


Monday, March 9, 2015

The 'dead fly' in marcom, Kaushiki needs to avoid for SAKHI.

Suppose, it was a raging and dry summer. The scorching sun was beating down on terrestrial mortals - as if to make us even lesser. In that situation, I, being one of them, visited Kaushiki's place one day. The first thing I desperately wanted was a glass of water because I was thirsty, very thirsty. The lady who takes care of the kitchen, presumably, was bringing me 'a new lease of life'. Looking at the glass on the tray approaching me, I went happy. As the glass came closer, my eyes lit up with expectation that was contentment in itself. For I could make out the water was cold from the misty portrayal of the glass. Grinning ear-to-ear, I thanked the lady who obliged me, as well as offered my gratitude to Kaushiki. I took the glass in my hand and was about to sip into, immediately. But, I failed to do so. As I found there was a dead fly floating on the water.

In a flash, my beaming face turned pale; my happiness was superseded by anxiety, and I became uncomfortable. I didn't know how to react. Probably because I had more than one option to react, and that too being politically correct in the name of courtesy and maturity. More so, as I knew it for a fact that neither the lady who served me the glass of water nor Kaushiki was aware of that dead fly. If they were, they would have never offered me the same in the first place.

Well, such an incident didn't occur in reality and it was just a metaphor to express how I tend to react to SAKHI's marketing communications.   


Whenever I look at the 'marketing communications' (marcom) stuff - precisely the logo or brand mnemonic, print ads, OOH (out of home) materials, other collates - produced for SAKHI - I get to see the dead fly floating on the water. 

And since I remain thirsty, therefore I can't ignore the water: the good and unique work that Kaushiki does and is up to doing... honestly and passionately with her SAKHI. 

So, despite knowing 'free advice is no advice', I still try to provide Kaushiki with the right critique, which is devoid of any criticism though, almost always... just in case she bothers to understand for once for a change that she simply can't afford to offer dead flies in her marcom at her level. For that is odd, really odd. 


Two dead flies were found in the print ad published in Mumbai Mirror before the World Premier of SAKHI at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai. 

Kaushiki's tanpura and the logo of SAKHI literally didn't do any good to the brand image of Kaushiki who swears by her tanpura and to the brand personality of SAKHI: the all-girl classical band, which needs an immediate visual connect with people off the stage besides its experiential engagement with its audience on the stage.

If Kaushiki looks at the following picture, she will certainly understand how even an otherwise insignificant cropping of the visual of a tanpura can exhibit 'reasonably significant oddity' (the dead fly) that is unlikely to delight an audience: 

In addition, I am not sure whether 'womanhood' could be differentiated and described by nations, nationalities or nationalism, thus didn't understand what the expression "a story of 'Indian' womanhood" meant. 

Are 'Celebrating Womanhood' through Indian Music - precisely through Hindustani Classical and Carnatic Music - and 'Celebrating Indian Womanhood' same? I have my doubts. Because, while the former positioning and communication plank creates a broader spectrum and a larger bandwidth for SAKHI complementing the band's pay-off line "her resonance", the latter positioning and communication plank narrows the broader base of SAKHI by confining womanhood within only Indianness that, on the contrary, leads to a pay-off line "her restriction".


Logo or brand mnemonic is vital for any band, as it is for any brand. Therefore, if it keeps changing, it hardly gets established on the perceptual mind of people. Just the reason, if SAKHI keeps changing its logo or mnemonic in every other piece of marcom, it's not doing the right thing. It's like changing the face of SAKHI members every time. 

However, it's a different issue altogether that, from a marcom viewpoint, none of the above logos is defining SAKHI rightly in line with its core personality and essence. 

The first logo is not depicting that SAKHI is an all-girl band which celebrates womanhood through musical fusion where neither vocal nor instrumental nor percussion nor flute nor dance stands out, individually. With a rainbow, it's in fact highlighting each one's individual performance. Also, a rainbow has nothing to do with 'resonance', nonetheless yes, when an object is forced into resonance vibrations at one of its natural frequencies, it vibrates in a manner such that a standing wave is formed within the object; hence the waves in the logo are justified. 

The second logo means nothing. 

SAKHI deserves a better logo that can explain the band and its core, visually,  

The points to ponder for the creation of that logo are: 

1) Kaushiki 

2) All-girl: 6 friends intertwined 

3) Fusion 

4) Womanhood 

5) Her Resonance 

6) Classical Music 

How to do that, here is my suggestion: 

Kaushiki is an affiliation of 'Shakti' - Strength, Power, Energy - so I used 'red' hair that reads 'S' and looks like a tweeting and flying bird to depict 'the social fight for a flight' of a woman with plenty of 'fire in her belly'. 

The red hair has got 6-locks, all intertwined, to mean 6 friends are together to form the all-girl band SAKHI. 

Each one's individual brilliance i.e. colour gets blended or fused into SAKHI the band; thus 'black' is used for rest of the logo after 'S'. The colour black stands for 'emotional safety' and 'substance', as per colour psychology.  

The letter 'i' personifies a 'little girl' on an earth shaped base of classical music, as shown with a musical note turned tanpura, who epitomises the celebration and extension of womanhood... as a derivative of SAKHI... summing up the entire story of SAKHI... "her resonance".

Grey is used for "her resonance" because the colour grey means no bias but 'psychological neutrality'.

In this regard, it should be noted that every human is born as female and that's why every man has nipples. This video gives a better explanation: 

So, if SAKHI is considered as a feminist band then also no sweat, no harm because 'feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression'. In other words, 'feminism is not just for women but for men and children too'.


A SAKHI is a 'friend' after all. And minus friendship, frankly, no relationship works out. Which is why, lucky is who who is embraced by a SAKHI. So, why not make the embrace of SAKHI a possibility in the form of a T-shirt to be worn by both boys and girls for friendship?  

For that, here is the design that could be executed to add value to the merchandising of the band SAKHI.

Finally, no advice is free because behind every advice there is an idea and an idea shared means two ideas received rather automatically unlike money. And that's economics which has nothing to do with flat currency but has everything to do with creations of opportunity for lives.

PS: If Kaushiki were my friend (SAKHI), she could understand my concern rather easily to do the needful. But since we are not friends, so it's tough for her to relate to me and my ideas even for her benefit.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Reason in picture: Why India's Daughter in India itself gets suppressed

The Government of India tried a range of measures to ban the British film-maker Leslee Udwin’s documentary, India's Daughterbroadcast by the BBC about the gang-rape and murder of a young girl, Jyoti turned Nirbhaya, in Delhi.

In the film of 58.43 minutes of duration, the unmasking of the Indian society was done delicately, as a matter of fact, without any over-the-top melodrama and thereby not to create even the slightest of sensitisation in line with populism for popularity.

The flow was impeccable, so was the narration. The editing was top-class that didn't let 'the dry, dull and rough Indian culture' turn mushy with dollops of uncalled for sentimental moisture which almost always helps us, Indians, keep our thick skin supple to flaunt the 'beauty of the beast' that every Indian and NRIs take pride in. 

In short, India's Daughter has definitely unmasked the banality of evil that we indulge in, as a nation, every day, everywhere, every time, playing the role of protectors of preys, so as to perpetrate crimes and cruelties, conveniently, being smart predators. 

No wonder the Indian Government literally had no other option but suppress this documentary in order hide the real India from a global embarrassment, especially when the fire of nationalism needs enough fanning and fanfare to spread across the nation for captivating people - predominantly the youth and the middle-class - in the gas chamber of growth and development.

The pictures (screenshots from the said film) below, thanks to the subtitles, duly explain why India's Daughter off her mother's lap needs to be banned (and burnt) in India - the nation which is ironically called Bharat Mata.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The kid didn't sustain fatal injuries, thus saved Warner, ICC, and Cricket.

At Perth aka WACA, against Afghanistan, in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Australia's David Warner played a swashbuckling knock of 178 off just 133 balls is news. More so, as numbers matter in business, and cricket is a big business after all.

In fact, for 'breaking' news, his innings was literally perfect because one of his sixers hit a kid in the gallery, who had to wear a temporary 'arm sling', thereafter. 

And thanks to media, and the social media, Twitter to be precise, the following things we came to know to improve our GK (General Knowledge): 

1) Warner can kill bowlers, as well as spectators 

2) Warner should, must apologise to the injured kid

3) The guy in white shirt sitting next to the kid was his father 

4) The father is an insensitive guy because he remained glued to his mobile phone

5) The injured kid is adorable because he didn't cry on camera despite being injured badly   

6) Guys, who tried to catch and stop the ball, are idiots because they failed in their mission 

(True, if guys can't catch a ball, they are idiots for sure).

Award winning analysis, no doubt!

Anyway, let's look at the pictures below to know how the kid got the blow, and where, in order to understand what could have happened to him, fatefully and terribly, had the ball struck him a few inches above on his head... right on the right temple... BANG!

(Click on each of the pictures to enlarge)

Well, from 'concussion' to 'coma'... to 'death' was very much a possibility, what, thankfully, didn't take place... saving not only an innocent child but also cricket -- the sport that's been 'patronising injuries and deaths on the field and off it' in the name of machismo and bravado, since ages, rather mindlessly.

To be precise, with adequate disgust of course, it's a 'cricket ball' that injures and kills -- but god knows why, neither ICC nor any national cricket board nor the ball manufacturer nor the media nor even cricket fans try to take this matter, seriously... instead of accepting on-field and/or in-action injuries and deaths as freak accidents... to move on to another accident on the cards... quite freakishly. 

Sad and bizarre, but true! While so many innovations keep happening in cricket bat manufacturing, hardly any innovation (except some cosmetic changes on the leather or in the seam) has occurred so far to make a cricket ball less lethal. 

In case fatal injuries and deaths are imperative to the macho image of cricket, it's better to merge the sport with boxing or bull-fight or WWE circus for that matter. 

If, for some inane debates sake, it is to be pointed out that many a sport like football, rugby, F1 racing, etc. are more injurious and life-threatening than cricket, my humble rebuttal is, since Israel and Palestine war to kill innocent people for collateral damage, it doesn't mean every two neighbouring countries got to indulge in similar idiocy, so as to make the war a national game. 

Every sport has its own essence, personality, and character, and cricket being a gentleman's game should behave itself to become gentle in true sense without compromising on the competitiveness though. And for that, unnecessary and absolutely stupid toughness should be gotten rid of on an immediate basis.

A close look into the Kookaburra Turf Cricket ball -- getting used in the World Cup 2015 as well -- will make it clear how hard such balls are; not to help bowlers but batsmen who hit the leather all around the park at will to make even 500 runs possible (in the days to come) from 50 overs catering to the market demand. Because the more the run, the more the fun, the more the entertainment, the more the eyeballs, the more the business, so it hardly matters whether a Phillip Hughes dies or a Hillel Oscar or an unknown kid.  

Such a killer ball is made by using a centre nucleus of cork and rubber, with 'five concentric layers of cork sheet' wound on by worsted yarn, with a cover made from cowhide.

Plus, Kookaburra uses plastic cover under the four pieces of leather to add more durability to the Turf. 

'Five concentric layers of cork' and 'the plastic cover' make those balls as dangerous as bombshells, which often manufacture fatal injuries to invoke disquiet and fear in people's mind. Certainly, that's not going to help the spirit of cricket in any way, especially when more and more children, as well as women, particularly in developing economies, need to be brought into the mainstream of cricket, so the sport proliferates across the globe. 

So, there is no alternative but to invest judiciously on the research and development of cricket balls because a new avatar of leathers is a must for the greater interest of the game beyond media rights. 

The first thing in that direction has to be done by disowning and replacing the plastic and the five concentric layers of cork with some other and better substance that will enhance the durability and performance of cricket balls; however duly eliminating the hurtful elements from inside.  

As there is no dearth of money at present in cricket, hence investment on research and development should be no issue. 

At our cricket clinic, SHOTS & DOTS, I was experimenting with a tennis ball by wrapping some duct tapes on it, and found the ball swinging quite well after that, given the imbalance of weight, induced. 

It prompted me to design a cricket ball, which I'm not sure though whether workable in reality because I have no lab facility to keep experimenting for something concrete. 

Nonetheless, exploiting my idea, any cricket ball manufacturer -- if having the balls to do something uncanny -- can do something worthwhile about it. 

To conclude, it's only imaginations -- often wild ones -- that help innovations. For instance: If none had ever imagined that humans might fly in the sky one day then, eventually, no aeroplane would have been a reality till date. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Masuri's new series of cricket helmets, StemGuard, looks inadequate for protection.

If Masuri's website is to be believed then "following the death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, it has invested 'over 240 hours of research and development time' into the design of the 'StemGuard': Masuri's new series of cricket helmets.

It is also believed that the 'StemGuard' series has been tested at the Progressive Sports Technologies laboratory in Loughborough University, while Sam Miller - Managing Director, Masuri - has quoted: 

“Masuri extensively studied all information available in order to develop this solution.

“We have designed an extension to our Vision Series helmets, which provides new protection to the vulnerable area below the shell of the helmet. 

“We have worked closely with cricket’s international governing bodies in the development of the StemGuard.

“We worked alongside top designer Alan Meeks [Visitech] to take this from concept to patent pending within three months and the testing has been very promising to this point.”

All said and done, now the question is, "Did Masuri do any research at all into the unfortunate death of Phillip Hughes and into the product development, as far as design is concerned?"

The question stems from the fact rather automatically in case the nature of Hughes's injury and the subsequent death are taken into consideration. 

Let's look at the following picture in order to 'understand'... besides and beyond knowing what the media wanted, and still wants, us to know... where the ball had hit Phil to be precise. 

What you see?

Had the ball struck the batsman on back of the head or right on the vulnerable area of the neck just above the left collarbone? 

Cricket is no rocket science thus, if commonsense is applied, it shouldn't be tough to comprehend that no helmet in the world can protect any cricketer from getting hurt or even dying of VAD - Vertebral Artery Dissection - the actual medical cause of Phillip's death.

The following picture explains what is what pretty lucidly.


Given this, it's imperative to evaluate 'the merit of protection' of a 'StemGuard' helmet from cricketing point of view but sales. 

Below are an array of pictures of the 'StemGuard' and its different applications in hypothetical situations... which are bound to take place though on a cricket field in real-life.

Is it anyway giving an impression that the latest 'StemGuard' helmets were designed to provide with extra protections? 

Plus, it's needed to be seen whether and how far this series of helmets allows a batsman to play horizontal shots, especially a hook (and a square-cut), freely, while the bottom shoulder tends to come closer to the neck and the head rotates.

Good efforts notwithstanding on part of Masuri, the 'StemGuard' doesn't look innovative, adequate, and reliable enough when it is the question of a cricketer's protection and safety. 

Without qualms, it's a problem, and since it is, hence a re-look into, not at, the design of cricket helmets is the need of the hour. 

Therefore, I suggest a design for a new range of cricket helmets -- Shield + -- from our cricket clinic -- SHOTS & DOTS -- to provide extra protections, rather practically, to cricketers, precisely to batsmen and close-in fielders. 

Just a look at the pictures coming next will make things clear why 'Shield +' is better than 'StemGuard' in terms of design and protection. 

In addition, if Masuri is to quote: "Nine current England players choose to wear Masuri Vision Series helmets – none are paid to do so." 

It's okay not to pay cricketers for wearing helmets, but it's not okay, if unpaid cricketers are forced to remain unprotective as well at the crease against a hard and intimidating cricket ball, given the layers of cork inside, on which, no experiment is done whatsoever to make cricket balls less lethal but more loving... to benefit the sport. 

Not to mention, if England's Buttler were hit a bit down on the neck, instead of just behind the left ear, by Sri Lanka's Malinga's bouncer during the England versus Sri Lanka match in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the English wicket-keeper might do a Phillip Hughes too on and off the field. 

Thankfully, no such incident happened and the game moved on, so did we. Whereas, Masuri's 'Vision' Series helmet didn't seem to have offered the batsman the protection he should have got at the highest level of cricket. In fact, the 'StemGuard' series doesn't seem to do any better either.

There is nothing against Masuri or against any other helmet manufacturer, but the point is, "On what basis, ICC and all national cricket boards allow cricketers to select their helmets? If there is any global standard for that, does the standard itself have any standard?"

Finally, we must not take cricketers' protection and safety lightly because it's only cricketers who play the sport and save cricket, worldwide, unlike administrators, corporate sponsors, or TV channels do.