Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Why do people blog or write Novels.

Well they do it because their are interested in conversations, one-on-one conversations to be more precise. But the issue with this approach is that it cannot scale. It is almost impossible to 'push' words onto others when they really don't want it at that particular moment in time, as they have other more important things to attend to. And if you 'ask the dust', they will tell us the same. And even if they have the time, they may not be ready. The only way for this desire to scale would be to put your words down somewhere and allow others to 'pull' them whenever they want, as per their convenience; tucked in a bed at night, on a solitary rock at the end of the beach, while travelling. And when they choose to do so, then the one-on-one conversations begin; between friends, between strangers, where the ambience is imaginary. The very first conversation, beginning, the moment the words start to metamorphize out of thin air; the conversation with oneself, between friends, between strangers.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ask the Dust

"Dust thou art, and to dust thou shall return."

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent; and I found myself in church where they put ash on my forehead, humming the words above; to remind me of who I am. The ashes are prepared by burning palm leaves from the previous year's Palm Sunday celebrations.

So our place in the sun is no more than a handful of dust, as we go on like clockwork orange; justifying our heartbeats, writing down our absurd, existential and rational fictions; oblivious of the many other fictions taking shape, the ashes taking form. And in that quest we sometimes trample upon dust, weary of the same fate; all in search of our ephemeral eternal ecstasies.

Reema once mentioned that we are 'Alone, Not Lonely', to which I added that you have to learn to depend on yourself for everything, and everything includes happiness too. I don't mean that you should not have family or friends or whatever to support you whenever you feel the need for it. But you should learn to depend on yourself for everything. To fight, to pick you up, to bring a smile on your face. You need to do this so that you allow them to get the time and energy to find that happiness within themselves too. In the pursuit of searching within yourself for happiness you unleash sparks of creativity within you. If you depend too much on others then you stifle the creativity within them.

And creativity is a source of eternal ecstasy????? I guess we have to 'Ask the Dust'.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Business Card

I came across this guy on the web who draws cartoons at the back of business cards and is actually doing pretty good business, putting his creative instincts to use.

Metup with a friend Neeti yesterday, a lawyer by profession; currently practicing Intellectual Property Law; who was in the city for the ITechLaw Conference. She was telling me all about her networking activities and her business card handout experiences at the IP conference as I sat there in silent observation. Having discussed our views on patents and the outsourcing of the soul on previous occasions; she beamingly handed me her business card, which I chose to make a little more personalised, intoxicated under the influence of some creative ideas by Hugh Macleod. Nope I don't drink and draw :-)

Outsourcing the Soul

I got a mail from a friend asking me to use my literary skills or the lack of it to edit a mail that he wanted to send out to friends, in the hope that they would forward it to their friends and so on and so forth. I edited the article which was etched in the third dimension out here.

The thoughts that ran through my head while writing were:
1) The choice of media is important. Instead of sending the content out in a mail it would be more appropriate to put it on a blog and send the link to the blog out, so that there would be just one place for people to comment on it.
2) The other important thing was to add a tad bit of humor to the article, without which it becomes tough for unknown people to take an interest in it. Humor is important in life; its a means to more important ends, but not an end in itself. Humor is like food, water, blood and oxygen for a body, but that is not the point in life. But without it there is no life.
3) What we were trying to do is sell our article to the common populace. They are the customers, they have to buy in and they have a choice whether to do so or not. Then again the customer is not God, the customer is a human being and the only way to reach out is to write from your soul; the soul cannot be outsourced. I will only add the humor part and some tweaks here and there for better reading. The underlying content/message had to come from him.

PS: He hasn't paid me anything for the editing yet. need to get a treat from him :-)

What you find below are some excerpts from articles from http://www.gapingvoid.com/

Start a blog:
Blogs are funny things. Say something smart, and people pay attention. Say something dumb, and youʼre ignored. We big media folk just can't seem to get our heads around that concept, for some reason. Regular blogging can help train you to discern between smart and dumb. It makes it easier to extend this to the rest of one's business.

Write from the heart:
There is no silver bullet. There is only the love God gave you. As a professional writer, I am interested in how conversation scales. How communication scales, x to the power of n etc etc. Ideally, if you're in the communication business, you want to say the same thing, the same way to an audience of millions that you would to an audience of one. Imagine the power you'd have if you could pull it off. But sadly, it doesn't work that way. You can't love a crowd the same way you can love a person. And a crowd can't love you the way a single person can love you. Intimacy doesn't scale. Not really. Intimacy is a one-on-one phenomenon. It's not a big deal. Whether you're writing to an audience of one, five, a thousand, a million, ten million, thereʼs really only one way to really connect. One way that actually works: Write from the heart.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Free Willy

"Oh my God!!!!!!!!" And then my sister takes my three month old nephew to the doctors, the exclamations still lingering on. The doctor takes a look, then looks at my sister and says, "You shouldn't massage him that hard." The nurse echoes the doctors words trying to appear professional, her stifled laughter tickled by the thoughts of the impending action at hand. "But I don't massage him that hard", argued my sister trying to apply logic to speculation. They all look down as a silence lulls the room, only to be desecrated by the next logical utterance, "Ok, so what do we do now". The question floated in mid air and was finally brought down with a grin from the nurse, finding it too hard to contain. The verdict resonated with amusement, "We have to tape it up".

It seems that he had a minor cut near his willy and there was a slight oozing of blood from the area. Speculation fell on my nephews overgrown finger nails, to which he cooed in his own defence; only to be overruled. The last I heard was that there was yet another sequel to the 'Free Willy' series.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sliding Windows

The gallery is filled to capacity and you finally find your seat, amongst the buzz of eager homo sapiens. Tickets are checked, you recline to a comfortable position and then the show begins, oblivious to the many eyes that fail to appreciate the artistic composition of a million framed pictures on display. The spectacle of nature; the 'Sliding Windows'.