Thursday, 14 May 2015

#CrashThePepsiIPL Advertisement Videos - My Vote - 2

Well, as you know, the Pepsi India #CrashThePepsiIPL advertisements gallery is among (if not) the largest pool of crowd sourced advertisement videos in India.

I am bringing our readers some more of my favourite ads from the Finalists Gallery - the ones I am surely voting for.  Go on, pick your favourites and vote for them - voting closes tomorrow, May 15, 2015.  Originally slated to close today, May 14th, the voting close deadline has been extended by a day until tomorrow, so make the most of it.

Metric Pass:

The message the ad tries to convey is that Pepsi is beyond generations - generations change, but the taste doesn't - its awesomeness stays the same.  To illustrate change of generations, it utilizes a lady covering her face (with the traditional 'ghoongat') and shows the new gen lady, red lipstick in tow. What I loved the most about this ad is the wigs the guys have on! 

Hameshaa (English translation - Always):

Very slickly shot ad, has an inherent message - team loyalties may change, but loyalty to Pepsi stays solid.  Pepsi transcends teams and geographies. I love the play of team jersey-look alike tees.  Love the facial expression of the brown tee team guy who shares the only bottle of pepsi available in round 2, with the member of the other team :) Apt casting that. 

Company bole toh Pepsi [English Translation - "If you crave Company, you need Pepsi"]:

This was amongst the ads I voted in the first lot; this ad also got my vote on more than one day.  The ad makes us reflect - "what do we need for good company?". What do we need to enjoy ourselves? Good ambience or good food or good company or all of them? And concludes Pepsi is all we need for great company.  Dispense with the rest.  And, on that note, I quite love the way the guy dispenses with & calls upon pretty much anything, at his whim & fancy, be it decor or food or friends! Mister Magic!

Zindagi Abhi [English Translation - Life Now (or) Live it Now]:

Deriving from Pepsi's "Live It Abhi" or "Live it Now" tagline, this ad is an r(h)apsodic tribute to the crowd sourcing campaign.  Fleets past varied milieu & reasons why its important to enjoy the present and live in the now.  Rich and slick.  

Duniya Hai Pepsi [English Translation - Pepsi makes the World]:

There is a little bit of Pepsi in all of us, professes this ad.  And convincingly so. Unfolding in a campus canteen, the ad depicts how the bubbly Pepsi can turn a dull day into a harmonious one and how Pepsi bonds us all together in our love for it. The speed with which that bottle of Pepsi goes around makes me think, oh yes, the world is round and Pepsi seems to be making it go around! 

I’m voting for the best ads in the #CrashThePepsiIPL activity in association with BlogAdda from 8th May to 14th May. Are you?

Cheers :)

#CrashThePepsiIPL Advertisement Videos - My Vote - 1

Well, as you know, the Pepsi India #CrashThePepsiIPL advertisements gallery is among (if not) the largest pool of crowd sourced advertisement videos in India.

I am bringing our readers some of my favourite ads from the Finalists Gallery - the ones I am surely voting for.  Go on, pick your favourites and vote for them - voting closes tomorrow, May 15, 2015.

Boom Man:

I like this ad for both its comic value and the simplest way of conveying the message.  Comic value for the protagonist's never ending tries to kick start the ad.  Simplest way of conveying the message is through the set assistant gulping the drink to immediately delivering the ad script!


Love this ad for the zest & spunk quotient as much as for the casting. Love their spontaneity - all three of them; in particular, love the girl's realistic portrayal. This is a high quality ad, its tough to believe its made by amateurs.  High on production values & youthful energy.

The Perfect Partnership:

This is one ad with no human casting, very arty and innovative.  Much appreciate the effort invested in cartooning & then animating.  Love the basic idea of the lady & gentleman finding each other just based on their half of the Pepsi logo tattoos (wonder if they are permanent or temporary?).  Packs in quite a few frames within the 30 seconds.  Kudos.

Pyar Tujhse Karta Par Pepsi Pe Marta Hoon [English translation: I love you but I obsess over Pepsi]:

This was amongst the first ads I personally voted for; a very naturally shot ad, I love the couple's companionship (how wonderful it would be if each of us can - in our senior years - have that companionship & zest for life and sports).  This ad despite casting seniors has an inherent cuteness about it and that is precisely its scoring point. 

India Celebrates Pepsi IPL:

Eight teams, one Country - this ad celebrates our famed 'Unity in Diversity'. Along the way, it celebrates each of the teams with a representation of ethnic cuisine and / or music and dance.  Which naturally calls for elaborate casting, costumes, background score and editing.  Now, that kind of effort deserves a vote, doesn't it? Howzzat?  

Bujhaye Dil Ki Pyas:

I voted for this ad firstly for its inclusive message.  Adore that taxi driver casting. And how an everyday headache - the traffic jam - jams people from diverse walks of life together. Quite like the unsaid depiction of how its a clear road after the drink has been gulped & the passenger reached to his destination! This ad is high on conversational value - and that is tough to achieve in 30 seconds, way to go! 

I’m voting for the best ads in the #CrashThePepsiIPL activity in association with BlogAdda from 8th May to 14th May. Are you?

Cheers :)

Sunday, 10 May 2015

No load shedding please! Share the load, instead!

This post is a sequel to my earlier posts Laundry list: How to make laundry everyone's, not just women's job and #Washbucketchallenge as well as the most recent Shared Load Marriages.

As a generation, I reckon, we are not just 'born free'.  We are also 'born lazy' :)

Further, as technology liberated us from quite a few mundane chores, our laziness quotient zoomed!

As a result, in my view, we are not as physically volunteering with any chore as our earlier generations.

All is well until we are single - but the moment we get married & embark on sharing - this laziness quotient can wreck our worlds. And that of our posterity.

Habits die hard & we tend to shun chores - resulting in the other partner, albeit unwittingly, shouldering them.  With the unintended consequences. 

Awareness is the beginning of all wisdom so now that we recognize this, let's ensure we avoid load shedding (pun intended - in India, load shedding is often referred to as power cuts aka electricity cuts; I reckon shunning household chores cuts the spark out of the marital relationship) and instead share the load!

Sharing is caring:

Nothing makes us righteously human as 'sharing'.  Very few other specie are as well endowed as us, to productively share.  

Sharing household chores brings with it multiple advantages:
- it exposes us to the hardships faced by our partner thus sowing appreciation for their time and effort.
- it inculcates responsibility. 
- it brings about a fresh perspective (when a new / different set of hands tries out the chore, chances are, fresh ideas / ways of doing will emerge).
- often, collective learning curves are faster and more effective.

Conflict Management:

If fight you have to, I say, fight for equality. 

When one partner is saddled with the household chores, day in and day out, its only natural that anger and frustration seep in.  All the more if both are peers (as in, they manage similar careers and incomes).  This anger and frustration will, in no time, boomerang into conflicts.  

Conflict management, as we know, can be highly challenging as well as critical to sustaining associations and relationships. 

Therefore, if we have to fight, let's fight to bring in equality into the marriage rather than fighting why its not there! What say? 

Stress Buster:

That modern day alibi, 'stress', can burn out not just careers but relationships and at times, lives, as well.

Sharing the load in marriage can be a natural stress buster - to begin with, it divides the labor.  And quite like sorrows, we know what's divided feels less burdening.  As a collateral, it keeps both parties equally engaged (yeah, where is the room for laziness quotient to creep in?).  It then also promotes the joy of teamwork and collective achievement.  It fosters joint problem solving. 

Contingency Insurance:

The problem with consistently shunning something rudimentary (such as household chores) is - we are forever dependent on others for the execution of those life sustaining tasks. 

What if the partner, the paid help suddenly becomes unavailable? Could be a natural calamity, could be a life event .. whatever.

Wouldn't it be lovely if we can all cook, do our laundry, do our electrical and plumbing - at least the basics - at will? 

Its the best contingency insurance we can incorporate into our lives.  To garner experience of doing all the chores it takes to keep a home, a marriage running.

Convinced? Its time to #ShareTheLoad.  At home. 

I am writing for the #ShareTheLoad activity at in association with Ariel.

Cheers :)

Shared Load Marriages

Have you heard of 'Shared Earning, Shared Parenting Marriages'? Yes? Good.

Now, have you heard of 'Shared Load Marriages'? No? 

Guess what .. right at the outset, before I started penning (well, typing at the speed of thought) this post, I searched for 'Shared Load Marriages'.

As I expected it to be, I did not find the exact phrase 'shared load marriages' but found some Google search results that were very similar to 'shared earning, shared parenting marriages'.  

What I am seeking to illustrate is, even as difficult as 'shared earning' or 'shared parenting' has been to evolve unto, 'shared load' is still not even a practical occurrence enough for it to be coined as a phrase! 

Now, by definition, Shared Earning, Shared Parenting Marriages are, indeed, shared load marriages.  Then, why the heck am I nitpicking about the phrase, you ask?

Well, well .. here goes .. why are these marriages not just called 'shared marriages' [its an altogether different point that, all marriages, by definition, ought to be sharing!] and instead elaborately christened 'shared earning, shared parenting' marriages? 

My take is, its probably because those components - earning, parenting - are such vital attributes to be shared.  Therefore, I am recommending that we now go ahead & coin these as 'shared earning, shared parenting, shared load' marriages.  As a starting point, to recognize that sharing of household chores is as much a serious attribute as earning & parenting - to share. 

Advantages of 'Shared Load' Marriages:

Image Credit: Tamara Shopsin via NYT

Shared Friendship:

Well, never married myself, yet, I still strongly believe lasting friendship is absolutely pivotal to marital companionship.  And, what do best friends do? Of course, they share!

Nourished Relationship:

I think (again from observation), any relationship is like a weighing scale. Broadly, the two sides need to be balanced.  The relationship strains when either party feels burdened (or deprived) more than their fair share - its important to note though, not all shared load marriages need to cut it fine 50-50 across every shareable component.  For example, both husband and wife don't need to do laundry of 50 percent of the clothes to be washed. One of them could be doing it three days a week. So, by sharing, we mean a fair share, in spirit. A workable split that leaves either partner equally engaged and responsible.

Shared load marriages, I think promote balance and therefore are better nourished relationships.  Well nourished relationships, needless to say, are healthier & last longer.

Well adjusted Child(ren):

Now, this could be the clincher.  In today's highly challenged parenting times, how do we bring up children to mutually respect each other (as genders), to understand and appreciate the other gender's strengths, challenges & contributions?

For example, for women in India, the current challenge is not only to protect thyself & thy daughters from crime, but more importantly, to bring up their sons in a manner that they won't propagate further crime against women. 

This is where I think shared load marriages can play a very big role - children (son or daughter) who watch their parents share the marriage are most likely to develop into well adjusted adults, naturally taking forward the legacy.

Convinced? Its time to #ShareTheLoad.  At home. 

I am writing for the #ShareTheLoad activity at in association with Ariel.

Cheers :)

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Review: Coffee Table Book: "Capturing Wildlife Moments in India" by Ashok Mahindra

Photography has always been a passion with me since early school; I even famously dabbled, albeit briefly, with developing my own photographic film (amongst those of us who took to photography before the advent of digital cameras & have actually seen Kodak films :)

Thanks to my mother who is passionate about gardening, my adulthood photography has largely revolved around flora - fresh flowers in my mother's garden.  This tryst with nature, through flora photography, as I call it, not only honed my 'still photography' skills, but also, as a collateral benefit, keen appreciation of all things natural.  Its kind of magnificent to be able to observe & appreciate how meticulously & purposefully nature creates.  For all our advancement, would we be able to create a flower as intricate & colorful? Not yet.

When I received this Coffee Table book, "Capturing Wildlife Moments in India" by Ashok Mahindra of The Hem Chand Mahindra Foundation, I could instantly relate to it because of my aforesaid tryst with nature photography.  Though I have never had the guts or opportunity to dabble in wildlife photography.

This book, "Capturing Wildlife Moments in India", contains 120 photographs of animals & birds of India, photographed from visits to over 30 parks, sanctuaries and other locations.

Launching this month, it is published by Oxford University Press (OUP) & Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). The book will be available at most of the major retail outlets across India and also online with Amazon & Flipkart, among other e-tailers. It will also be available for sale through the BNHS website and is priced at Rs.1450.

Isn't that cover shot of the majestic tiger awesome for the way it captures the reflection as well? For an essentially photo book, I like the care it takes to narrate; for example, on the cover (above) is Ustad, the tiger in Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan.  His photo is accompanied by interesting titbits.  The book articulates folklore that he has mauled quite much in the past (though it is not substantiated) but has since been off the habit quite a while & goes on to mention his expanding territorial ambitions.

Through 120 photographs in this book, Ashok has shown the rich heritage and range of wildlife and its habitats in India. 

I love the brief yet touching dedication - the author dedicates the book to the young & through them, hopefully, to their posterity - to appreciate that without nature's multifarious portfolio of ecosystems & creations, nothing pretty much would exist! And that's why we ought to respect & preserve them.  A message well conveyed. 

Each specie photographed is comprehensively explained including its current habitat and status. 

The book is not only an ode to nature, as it were, but is a practical handbook. It has interesting chapters, ranging from the author's perspective, thirteen ways forward (to appreciate, conserve & engage with wildlife habitats) to camera angle & technique (this, for someone like me who is basically interested in photography but has never done wildlife photography, is a boon) as well as chapters dedicated to wildlife hotspots & interesting places to stay. 

I quite appreciate how the book indicates the continuing threat to wildlife in India and sets out how it could be more effectively preserved. The book will be of particular interest to those involved in conservation, wildlife photography, and wildlife tourism.

All in all, I recommend this coffee table book to each of us - to be handed over to posterity as a collector's edition - to introduce, foster & inculcate an understanding and appreciation - so that, our wildlife habitats are safely handed over for generations to come.

About the Author:

Ashok Mahindra is now a wildlife photographer. Ashok is a Chartered Accountant from both England & Wales and India. He retired as Co-Chairman of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, and as Senior Partner of A.F. Ferguson & Co. in 2008, after a career of 39 years. He was educated at Doon School, Dehra Dun, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and St. John’s College, Oxford. He is a former Treasurer Trustee and Vice President of WWF-India. 

Reach Ashok Mahindra: 


This post is a part of the book review program of / at Saevus Wildlife India in association with The Hemchand Mahindra Foundation for the book Capturing Wildlife Moments in India.

Cheers :)

PS: Photographs have been reproduced here with due permissions.  Please do not use any photographs without prior written consent of the author Ashok Mahindra and Saevus Wildlife India. Thanks.