Sunday, February 26, 2012


A Lovely Saturday!

The London Transport Museum was awesome, just as most museums in this city !

They had lots of display models. The fun part was when they have an entire scene in a glass box as a model (of building or running tube lines) and they have little magnifying glasses with a speaker above them, as soon as you look through that piece of lens you will a small scene of the model and you can hear a fictitious conversation !
They have many trains where you can pop in check out the train. In one such, they have a man standing there just to say Mind The Gap ! :) (I actually got freaked out when he said it)

Then there are the posters of course! Lovely posters. The tube always had the best posters! They have a room that has various posters projected on its floor, ceiling, anywhere,...

They have a brilliant animation of the tube maps and the changes across the years - 1863 - 2003. Check out this youtube video that someone captured. Watch with mute.

Got tired after a while, so a visit again is due soooooooon. Like next weekend ?

The visit ended in a cute little cafe in covent garden. !

A Lovely Saturday !

Monday, February 20, 2012

Snow and Spring!

A header for my first snow !!!

Calendars and Women!

A very persistent woman asked me to review her book. It was hard to ignore her ( :) ) and even harder to ignore the book once you have started it.

A Calendar Too Crowded, a collection of short sketches, attempts to capture the spirit (or the lack of it) of the various "days" set aside in the global calendars for recognition of the women kind and the social evils suppressing them. A very strong theme but a very tough theme too.

Each sketch brings to light a different problem faced by women. Not all external, not all the cliched atrocities against women. At every step, a women's decision is questioned, if not, her powerlessness against a decision.

Sagarika Chakraborty (the author) brought out a great many faces to a woman. However, there are many more and that's how it will always be. Nevertheless, Sagarika tried to show the world the strength and weakness of a woman.

The language and the narrative changes from story to story. Sometimes it seems like there was more than one author. While some rely on the description others rely on the story. While some take their time to unfold, others can't wait till the plot is out. While some bring out the point subtly in a woven story, others are outright preachy.   You may not like all. But there will be a voice you will connect to, and there will also be a voice you wish you would never be.

Some of my fav's: When the Ganges Ran Dry, Selling a Body to Gain a Mind, Sister's by Choice and Not by Chance. Especially, When the Ganges Ran Dry. There was something about the story that kept going on even after it's over. 

All the best to a budding author !

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Brand Wars spilling Ink

Lots of blogs have written about this and everyone seems to have two cents to spare. So here I go, two pennies.

If the pen is mightier than the sword, and two pens are war, there is bound to be blotches all over.
To put things in perspective. The Times of India came up with campaign directly hitting at The Hindu

Wake up to the Times of India:

And as a reply to that The Hindu came up with an ad campaign and lots of mudslinging.

Stay ahead of the Times:

To which yet again Times of India replied with the following print ad.

The funny thing is that all the ads are telling you the same thing.

The Times of India wants to position itself as a very fun newspaper with all its interesting news bites and attracts the young to stay young.
The Hindu wants to position itself as a very serious newspaper that encourages the young to stay informed about current affairs.

Living in the south, even as a schoolgirl I knew The Hindu's perspective was serious while that of other newspapers like The New Indian Express. And TOI has entered the latter space. The target markets are different. I am surprised to see the The Hindu would react in a manner so direct. However, it was a reaction.  And TOI waiting for the right moment came out with the witty ad about competition waking up as well.

What puts the balance out of focus is the latest print ad by TOI:

Right. So true, that Aishwarya's baby is no less important than the Vice-President of India, (or me?) . However, information is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom. True as well, so no matter how much information The Hindu provides the reader with, (s)he will not be knowledgeable and even if (s)he were (s)he would not be any wiser than if (s)he read the TOI. In other words, TOI agrees, their readers are unwise but disagrees that reading The Hindu instead can make them any wiser, however, anyone who reads the TOI can feel more human.

Err... calling your reader stupid is not really smart is it ?