Shutdown Effect.

Since the shutdown due to the current Corona pandemic, traffic in my WhatsApp has increased so much that I have to recharge my cellphone twice a day. Most of the content is not worth writing about but two clips today made things very interesting indeed.

The first one that I received in the morning from my friend Anil, was this one of a deer having fun on a beach in Goa.
The deer has obviously come down from the woods adjoining the beach in some part of Goa.

Here is another forward received from another friend from Mumbai of Peacocks and peahens appearing suddenly in out most crowded city, Mumbai.

What an impact the shutdown has had in our wildlife!

The next one came from another friend in Mumbai that is very interesting indeed. Some remarkable skullduggery in the form of optical illusion helping our friends from the Marketing field.

Much Ado About Nothing.

KAKVI is a dark, thick liquid extracted during the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. KAKVI is obtained during the third boiling of the cane syrup and contains a unique concentration of many important vitamins and minerals left over after the sugar’s sucrose is crystallized. I use this instead of sugar.

I ordered two bottles of kakvi online after visiting this page.

I received a carton weighing about three kilograms containing two tiny bottles. Most of the carton contained bubble wraps and some cardboard fillers. Agreed that the glass bottles needed to be protected so that they don’t break in transit but, this, in my opinion is over kill.

What packaging!

Super Heroes Real Or Imagined.

Speaking strictly from the physical point of view, my fellow 2 on 1 Friday blogger Shackman, is fit to play a super hero any time and I, his side kick who can generate some humour to the fights with windmills that we are likely to encounter. Somewhat like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Shackman however may have a vastly different opinion and to see what he has to say about this topic which he has come up with, please visit his blog.

I grew up straddling two cultures, Indian and British and was in awe of many heroes of both. From the former, Hanuman, Ram, Krishna, Arjuna, Shiva from the vast array of our Gods, Shivaji, Kattabomman etc from our history, and from the latter, Tarzan, The Phantom etc. This fascination lasted till about my mid teens when these were replaced by Indian film heroes and characters from English fiction. Sivaji Ganesan, M G Ramachandran, Chandrababu from the former and The Saint, Mickey Spillane, Sherlock Holmes and Perry Mason from the latter.

Fast forward to my late teens and reality sunk in and it was Super Heroines that I got involved in! The list is too long but some notable ones, Maharani Gayatri Devi, Saroja Devi, Helen, Wahida Rahman and Nutan.

Then a real life heroine came into my life and lo and behold I myself became a hero of sorts in my chosen career. It is difficult to explain without sounding boastful but, it is in my retirement that I have learnt of the number of people who thought that I was a swashbuckling sales person ever ready to lead a team of aggressive salesmen into battle with competition and top management to gain market share and bonuses. That I was like that is now clear to me by the number of people who are in touch with me via the social networks and I often wish that I can simply quit those to get more time to read books rather than posts of WhatsApp and Facebook. Despite considerable pressure from some friends, I have not gone into other sites like Linkedin and Instagram.

So, having myself been a Super Hero of sorts and also having bagged a Super Heroine in real life, where is the scope for Super Heroes or Super Heroines in my world now? My son and daughter in love are both involved in heroic social work and it is heartening for me to see them perform heroic deeds from the sidelines understanding that it is their time in the sun and it is for me to cheer them on to greater achievements.

Relocating.

Relocating, as it is normally understood, really started for me only from 1973. Before that, my late wife and I had once set up home in Delhi in a barsati and had furnished it with hired furniture and some basic kitchen utensils. When we had to leave that we simply gave back the hired furniture and gave away the utensils to the help that we had hired for the few months that we were there. Before that, I had lived off a suitcase for well nigh six years as a bachelor and two of those were spent in a hostel while studying for my Masters in Business Management.

After the Delhi posting I was deputed to coordinate an all India Market Research project for eight months of near non stop touring including working during weekends. Urmeela went to stay with her mother during those months and after I finished my project I was posted in Mumbai where we set up our first real home and bought furniture, utensils, etc in 1970. After three and a half years of stay there while our son Ranjan was born, we moved to Kolkata in 1973 which was the first relocation.

That relocation was followed by six relocations before we finally put down roots in Pune in 1990. A total of eight relocations after marriage.

I set up home on two other occasions in South again though the home in Pune continued to be operational as Ranjan was there and had to be provided with a home. Since neither Urmeela nor Ranjan was comfortable with Tamil, the local language where I set up home, I ran a bachelor’s home with periodic visits from my late mother and Urmeela and on two occasions by Ranjan. There was no relocation involved as on both occasions I simply moved into fully furnished and equipped homes and simply had to pack my suitcase to get back to Pune.

I can therefore claim to be quite a veteran of relocation and can vouch for its advantages and disadvantages.

The biggest disadvantage is the havoc it can play with one’s children’s education. We solved it by sending Ranjan to a boarding school which luckily for us was not too difficult due to having access to one of India’s best with fairly easy admission. Others have not been so lucky and I have seen a lot of frustration in families due to this aspect of relocating.

The other disadvantages are local languages, a major problem in India with multiple languages, cuisine and climate changes. In retrospect however, these usually turn out to be advantages for having exposed one to these influences and in the process making one more cosmopolitan.

Advantages are in the friends one makes in the new places and in our case, these have turned out to be long term relationships, exposure to places that one would normally not see otherwise and also to cultures, festivals and cuisine that are different from one’s normal. Overriding these advantages was the inevitable junking of stuff accumulated during the stay there to become lighter for the packing and unpacking!

And for a marketing man like me, the different locales were priceless experiences when I eventually took charge as India head.

Today, my WhatsApp and FaceBook activity is governed by communications from all over India thanks to my various postings. I am richer for that and grateful that I was given the opportunities.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the same topic.

Is Modern Marketing Intrusive?

This question was asked by my co blogger Shackman as the topic for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 posts.You can read about his own thoughts on the subject at his blog.

My answer was instantaneous – “Yes, of course it is.” And I would like to add here that it is inevitable too. Let us just learn to grin and bear it.

I was a Marketing professional for most of my life and have handled a great deal of marketing methods including intrusive marketing as it is now so elegantly called. During my active days however the kind of intrusive marketing that took place was in-your-face kind, of loud and overt variety, unlike the modern subtle subliminal targeted messaging. For instance, most of the advertising that used to happen was the shot gun variety, where it was hoped that some percentage of the people exposed to it will register it and buy the product or service. Today however, marketing is more focused and can appeal to the correct audience without too much wastage.

Today, a great deal of marketing takes place on the web via email, social networking sites and via hand held telephone devices that keep beeping announcements. Television and movie hall advertising is active but more the shotgun variety and less efficient than the other kinds, as advised to me by a much younger Marketing Professional. And the beauty of the hammering is that it is consensual! In other words, we agree to be bombarded by advertisements when we install applications in our computers and cell phones by agreeing without reading the fine print at the time of installing / downloading the applications. Let me give you another example. Being dissatisfied with yahoo group’s current level of efficiency I recently had to set up some email groups on the net and accessed emaildodo for the groups. While this site offers all that one can expect from a group mailing system offers, it comes at a price. If one does not want to pay the price, one has to accept that the mails on the site will be subject to advertising messages at the bottom. Since we did not want to pay we agreed to see the ads and so get to see some very interesting messages on our mails!

Another aspect of modern Marketing is how mechanised it has become. For instance, if I went online to read a review of a book that I have heard about, I keep getting the book advertised on facebook every time I go there. Similarly, when I wanted to investigate a pair of sandals about a year ago, I went online to find out what would be the choices available. I still keep getting advertisements on my page on facebook whereas someone else on it at the same time, does not get the same advertisement. This is called focussed advertising and is supposed to be more effective but, I find it intrusive and annoying and hence do not buy the product thus advertised.

And as I just finished writing that paragraph, I got an alert on my mobile phone and when I opened it I found this very attractively produced message – “Mend your broken heart; Music heals everything. FM Channel xxxx” Do you think that I will ever listen to that channel which presumes that my heart is broken? You can’t get any more intrusive than that can you?

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder!

After perusing the clip reproduced below, I simply deleted it from my WhasApp application as I thought that it was not something that would interest any of my friends / groups.

The same clip was sent by the sender to another group to which I belong and many in that group commented on the clip and I requested my friend to re-send the clip to me.

I personally think that the end result is not quite my cup of tea as she looks totally unreal. I however think that it would be a good idea to let my readers, the ladies particularly comment on it.