Oct 062015

I have been at a loss for words.  They simply don’t flow anymore. I have anaysed it – why don’t you write, i ask myself, as an external analyst trying to solve a problem?

Do you not care about anything anymore to write about it; at , maybe you have written so much – that you  have nothing left to say;… Or maybe, you have, so far, kept a part of yourself in reserve. Locked away. Private. And, now to write – you have to bring out that you. Do you really want to reveal so much of you. And, if you do – will all defenses be stripped away leaving you vulnerable to hurt. Or maybe it is nothing that deep – maybe the fact that you have such mundane work occupying the bulk of your time – that your brain is ossified. Or maybe, you spend so much of your time with news content, that there is nothing left to say that is original or incisive. Or, maybe you don’t have time for any of those things that gave you insight – going away to the villages, filming, reading, photography, being with friends, meeting people other than media – maybe that is the problem. That you have become the frog in the well – and you are terrified that your view would be as superficial as other frogs in the well.

these are the kind of conversations i have with myself about writing. Yes, and when you start referring to yourself in the 2nd person – you know that you are in trouble.

It has been a dreadful year so far – personally. And, i have done pretty much what i have done all my life – thrown my self so much into work that the exhaustion does not leave me any time for anything else. Especially my own thoughts.

Now, i have begun to heal. And, part of that healing is expressing. Some of what i write may be maudlin and pointless, like this one. But it is cheaper than therapy 😀

I have begun gathering my life back again. it is a different life from what it was before, and i am discovering the difference

mumbai skyline 2

Jul 132014

There has been a fair amount of traffic on my twitter TL on an article that was taken down in the DNA . People have, rightly, asked for an explanation.

Fact checking, misrepresentation of facts etc all good excuses/explanation to give when u pull down an article. However, they all sound rather silly – especially given that you have published it.   Sometimes silence is better than a hastily cobbled together justification. And, everything doesn’t have to be a conspiracy theory. Nor does everything have to be high drama. Sometimes there are simpler explanations.

I could say editorial prerogative. But, that would be arrogance.  I could blame the author, but that would be cowardice. I could blame the government or my ‘bosses’ but that would be a lie. I could say i didn’t know it went up, but that would be cop out. Fact remains, I should have caught onto something that was in the piece, but I didn’t. I did exactly what I have ranted about, and outraged about for the last decade – that is in the need for speed, the desire to be first,  to put out a piece, I didn’t look at it with the attention that it deserved. We have run far more scathing pieces by the author on Mr.Shah and they are still on-line. If I pulled down this one, it was for a good reason, and that reason is not fear.

I can understand readers ire on this, and appreciate the author’s anger  – i would have felt the same way if i was in her place. If I had the time on the day to make a call and sort it out, I would have. Unfortunately, I didn’t.  I was in a very long conference, where our phones were tucked safely away in our bags. Which is also the reason why I couldn’t respond to newslaundry.

Now to something else – when other TV editors/websites write about this, they obviously suffer from selective amnesia.  they have pulled out, pulled back, changed tack on issues. Was it fear, favor or fickleness? Or all three – that made them do this? And i am not even going into other areas of breach of ethics such as the cash for votes sting, or radia tapes, I am simply looking at spiked stories, and stories that disappeared. Seriously, i can appreciate reader ire, I can’t figure the hypocrisy of other media professionals. They know exactly what they had suppressed in their entire career Am sure if you follow any good news monitoring website you will know some of what has been taken off, what they have changed tack on, and where they have spiked their own stories.

I have not responded to this on twitter as  there are no 140 character explanations for things like this. Hence, this  blog.

And finally, far as the ToI piece is concerned – cute, very cute. Must be the first time that the ToI has run a piece naming a competitor without routing it through medianet.


Jul 082014

I have been missing the time to shoot. Film or Photos. Been really missing it. Feels like a part of me has been carved out.
Also, been looking for a new camera – if that makes sense. And, the question i ask my self is whether it makes sense to buy a camera when i don’t have time to use it. And, if i make time to use it, what camera should i buy.
Or should i just get the trusted Olympus cleaned up, buy myself the new mirrorless cameras or should i go for a full frame dslr. By the time I make up my mind and zero in on a product, i am sure there will be new entrants into the market.
In the mean time, some stuff i shot last year.

This was in a little village in Uttar Pradesh.

The gathering of women - black and white copy

This was in a little kolum village in Andhra Pradesh (Adilabad)

interlocking branches copy
This was in the same Adilabad Village, loved the way the branches curved

The Gopurums
this was the Mylapore temple, chennai

ginger lemon
This might have been at Vile Parle market 🙂

still ife

Vile Parle Market (i think) – and i just loved the orange and the grape contrast

ok. maybe i will just shoot a bit before i buy. maybe atleast once a week …

Jul 012014

Sometimes I wonder about this term process.

There is, IMO, something called process that is needed to maintain a basic system that is geared towards a goal; And then, there is “over process” that becomes a goal in itself. There must have been a time when the ‘over process’ was merely a process.I used to think that we (as in Indians) are especially ritualistic when it comes to our processes because it possibly derived from cultural ethos. Then I compared notes with friends who work in different ecosystems across the world, and the one thing we all vent about the role of  over processification’ in our lives.  It cuts across industries and continents. It seems to be a universal malady.


The question i ponder on, is when does something that is put in to maintain a basic system ‘decorum’ become the end in itself? Does one become so ‘process’ oriented that one neuters all risk taking instincts; all spontaneity, stifle all creativity, simply because there is no mind space left. But, isn’t the purpose of a process to free you up from the mundane to allow you to do all these things.

Is this why start ups beat market leaders all the time – because market leaders are so busy being process oriented, they forget that they need to think out of the box – that the cost of gaining all approvals from within the system would be so long that the opportunity would possibly be gone. When the process becomes the deterrent to work (other than guiding stuff through the process) then we are going to have a problem on our hands.

I wonder what will happen if you rewrote processes from scratch – would the world tilt on its’ axis or something ?


Jun 202014

I don’t particularly like the cold. And unless it gets really hot (48 degrees) or really humid (Chennai), i can handle warm and sultry weather.

The Dog(ess), on the other hand, cannot.

So, a few days ago, she walks into my room, and sits on the floor facing the AC. I am working. She looks at the AC intently. I glance at her and continue working. She barks. I ask her, “do you want chewsticks” (in Tamil). She turns away her face, with disdain. Then i ask her, “Do you want to be brushed”. She gives me a “How many years does it take to train a human in basic bark”  look. Finally she begins a steady set of low and angry yelps, still looking at the AC. I take the remote and switch it on. She looks at the AC and smiles, puts her head between her paws and plans her next move.

(and yes, she is a Diva) 😀