Friday, March 25, 2011

My article in Deccan Chronicle

Heavily edited, but it's there.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Find your expression in 140 characters or less.

My love affair with Twitter started in 2008. Now many many followers and ten thousand plus tweets later, I can’t even begin to explain what Twitter is capable of.

Imagine standing in a room full of thousands of interesting people. Then imagine that everyone can hear everything everyone else is saying clearly and effectively. Imagine being able to choose who you want to listen to, who is just plain faffing, and who just said what you were about to say. Imagine finding resonance with hundreds of people on topics that you always thought were outlandish or specific only to you. Imagine getting up to an email saying, “His Holiness The Dalai Lama is now following you.”

A lot has been said about Twitter that is subjective. So I’ll keep this factual and simple. I started Twitter because I had moved to Gurgaon and didn’t have any friends and we started meeting up quite a bit. Restaurants on Twitter would offer discounts if we met up at their places. We would be abreast of the latest happenings in the city, and the latest news in the world. Free invites to concerts, brand launches and a direct line to any celebrity/author/tycoon/your ideal as an equal was quite an experience.

Twitter soon got me a new job, a better apartment, a supercool roommate, numerous professional assignments, a support system of thorough-bread, self-made professionals who also became friends for life, and a place to opine unusual ideas and embrace a thousand point-of-views.

In early 2010, I quit my job and offered to handle Facebook and Twitter accounts for a few startups while traveling. That gave me bread to survive for over 6 months. I soon moved to Goa for work and everywhere I went, I had tweeple waiting to hang-out with.

In 2010, I joined the editorial team for a design magazine. Experience and influence on FB and Twitter helped us make the magazine popular in design and advertising circles and saved us immense marketing dollars. I had decided to move to the best ad school in the world at Germany for higher studies, and looked up many students of the school to speak to them of their experiences. This told me if I would fit, and if it was the right choice.

A lot of people come and tell me that they tried Twitter and it didn’t work out for them, or that it’s become a dating site. In recent times, due to rapid publicity, the quality of conversations has definitely been on a decline. But Twitter is like the rest of the world, where you meet all kinds of people. You have to find your kind of crowd and find people that you connect with. A lot of wisdom and insights are still to be shared on Twitter, you just have to find the first few interesting tweeps, and find your expression in 140 words, or less.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Power of Religion

God or no god. The powerful thing about religion is that it gives a common man immense resilience and hope. The power to not give up or break down. The power to steer his mind free of negative influences and cultivate good habits. Believe in good. And that is nothing short of a miracle. A day trip to Brindavan taught me that today.

Also saw a man strategize a new way to sell god.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Your Reckless Self

Recklessness is a manifestation of your inner voice - before the brain reasons you out of it. It always stands strong for exactly what you want. Because the first instinct is sacred. It's is as true and pure as god's voice itself.

It is this why sometimes recklessness is the weapon of choice. To act before fear takes over. To refute apprehensions and hesitations before you lose your nerve. To radiate confidence you do not feel, or avoid that trap all together.

But recklessness works only as the start. If you don't follow it up with gumption, logic and a lot of faith in your inner voice, it's as empty as recklessness alone. We've all been there.

Recklessness when followed up with gumption, logic and a lot of faith in your inner voice, can move mountains. And that is a truth not many last to discover. Because they give up recklessness way before they discover it in maturity.

Brain will help you reason. Brain cannot make you happy. Only following your instincts can. Be reckless, be happy.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Cynic Slander

Cynicism is not a result of bad experiences in the past. Cynicism is the fear of them happening again in the future.

If you've learnt your lessons, and become stronger in the process, cynicism is not much use, is it?

Cynicism is like rust for hope. It takes away possibilities and gives you defeat before you are defeated. It alienates company and erodes morale.

But the most dangerous part about cynicism is, it makes you believe that you'll be happier being cautious. There couldn't be a bigger lie.

When you're cautious, you're bound, restrained. You follow your brain more than your heart. And you still think being cautious will make you happy. Right?

Wrong. Happiness is only a function of the heart, of freedom. Nothing more, nothing less.

Write Right

Writers have often had to go a long way to prove their worth. And charge good money for it. What's great writing unless put in a great layout with cool design? Right?

Wrong. The problem is, the quality of writing is not as visible as good design. As a result, clients often fail to see why they should pay premium for something they don't feel is important. More often than not, they won't see the value in saying something clearer, crisper, sharper, more flavorful and ultimately more effective.

More than saying in words and content, good writing is about controlling the flow of reading. The mood, the imagery, the feeling evoked, the cleverness perceived. The joy in reading when you don't want to stop.

So get clients who will pay you for being able to say something as effectively in 100 words as in 1000. Who will appreciate saying well whatever it is that needs to be said. For saying no without saying so. For implying what can never be said. And for knowing when not to say anything.

To everyone else, say no.