Sunday 25 October 2015

A Treat with Full of Smiles All Around

It was 2pm on Saturday afternoon when my office colleagues Nitya called me that she is returning from a Job Interview and wanted my advice whether to join that company or not. I told her that I am going to our office colleague Ranjeet’s  flat in Saket to discuss about a new project specification because we have to start the work on it from next week onward. Nitya told me that she was nearby Saket Select City Walk and accompanied by her friend Danny. I told her she can come to Ranjeet house along with Danny and we can discuss about her new job opportunity.

It was 3pm when she arrived there with Danny in Ranjet house. While the purpose of meeting was to discuss whether she needs to join the new company or to continue with existing one, but then it was lunch time and me & Ranjeet just finished lunch an hour back. Though I was guest in Ranjeet house an hour back, but with Danny & Nitya just arrived there, I turned into host. Now as a host we needed to make sure that my guests feel comfortable and we realized the need to serve them tea/snacks.  We were little confused as to what we serve them as we just ate lunch. Me and my friend Ranjeet went to his kitchen.  There wasn’t many things available in kitchen to serve our guests.  While we were searching for some options then he told me that he has purchased this easy to make snacks – McCain Smiles Canapés from Reliance Fresh last week.  Boys generally like these easy to cook options so as to save time in preparation. We just found a very good option to serve our hosts with some light snacks. 

Suddenly the question of preparing some traditional snacks lost its complications as we read the instructions of how to make McCain Snacks.  Instructions were very easy. You open the pack, put the Canapés in a pan and deep fry them for 3 minutes until they turn golden in colour. While I tried with my experiment on Snacks, Ranjeet prepared Tea. While it was all quick preparation, but result was satisfying. These smile shaped Canapés made were crispy on the outside and creamy on inside. It was quick, easy to make and very Indian in Taste. When served - McCain Snacks with Hot Tea - Nitya & Danny really liked the taste. They thanked their hosts and we had a very productive discussion between four of us.  We felt good to see smiles on our guests faces. McCain is a very good option for anytime snacks and a ‘must’ item in your kitchen for a Fun Filled Food Treat.

For those, who liked experimenting with their food, they can use their creative side with better presentation and different taste experience.

This story is shared for a contest “Let’s put a smile on that face” under IndiBlogger.

Thursday 23 July 2015

सूरज की धूप

My first attempt in poetry writing. I would like to mention one of my blogger friend and highly skilled - Shweta Dave, who very recently written one of the masterpiece निशब्ध-प्यार in her blog. Though, I never ever thought of writing a poem, but that post from Shweta prompted me to write one of my own poem. Hope you will like this content piece. Since this is my first trial in poem writing, I will be looking forward to your reactions.

सूरज की धूप पौधों के लिए जीवन है!
वही धूप जो सर्दियों में वरदान है,
तो गर्मियों में तेज समान है!

वास्तव में ये धूप जीवों में ऊर्जा है!
जीवन का संचार है ये धूप,
प्रकृति का हमारे लिए अमूल्य उपहार है ये धूप!

सूरज की धूप में है दीप्ति विनय की,
ये एक संदेश है प्रकृति का,
जिसमें है शक्ति विजय की!

इस संदेश को यदि सच मायने में पहचानें हम,
हर रात की एक सुबह है,
हर अंधकार के बाद प्रकाश है,
बात असल में मानें हम,
तो जीवन सरल होगा,
गिरकर उठना और उठकर चलना ना इतना कठिन होगा!

अपने साथ संजोये कर्म पथ का निरंतर आयाम,
हे सूरज की धूप, स्वीकार करें मेरा प्रणाम!!

© विशाल ग्रोवर

Friday 10 July 2015

Talking Tours (7) - Sakar Aneja

I realize ‘Talking Tour’ has become my comeback post after I take break from blogging. This series is very special for me as it gives me the opportunity to interact with different people and understand their thought process - what they think on various topics, what keeps them ticking. May be there is a learning for us somewhere in these thoughts. Each one of us has some attributes which are unique some times and common most often.

So here we are back again with 7th Installment of Talking Tours. This time – I met Sakar Aneja who works as Director in Marketing. Sakar is extremely humble & soft spoken person. When asked for this interview, he instantly gave his nod. It was short candid chat. Hope you will like it.

Let's start it.....

Tell our readers something about yourself  Sakar.
I was born in Kenya, raised in Delhi, worked in Mumbai for some time and went on to complete my higher education in London. A marketer by profession, a traveler at heart and a dreamer during the day, I’m always ready to challenge the unexceptional. I guess that’s how Gemini’s are; instinctive, spontaneous and carefree! I’m one of those guys who may ask you to tag along on a Monday morning for a short trip to the hills or a bike ride around Aravalli or even a day out to the shopping plaza for movies etc. Other things that I love are technology, food, cooking, short walks, swimming and dance music.

Cool introduction....seems to me - you like following your heart. Let's discuss more..

What is in your personality which you like the most?
Spontaneity and my attitude, just bring it on! :)

What is in your personality which you dislike?
I give in to fakes easily and tend to trust everyone.

What are the qualities in a man which you like?
Be a man of your word, owe up to the situation and stay honest.

What are the qualities in a woman which you like?
Passion for their goals, ambitious and not afraid to venture out.

What places you have traveled so far? What is your favorite place & why?
Of all the places I've traveled across Eastern Africa, UK & India, Goa remains my all time favorite simply for my love for the ocean. Other reasons include the spicy Goan cuisine, honesty and hospitality of the locals, beach parties and the overall ease of accomplishing things that one wants to do in Goa. Be it fishing, diving, water sports, restaurants, shopping, riding or driving around etc.

Which place you have traveled recently and how was the experience?
Goes without saying, I just came back from Goa again and it was awesome as it’s always been!

What about sharing some photographs of your Goa trip with our readers?
Yes, sure. Here you go.

Perfect place to relax

Resort where we stayed

Is there any better place for eating out than this one?

Thanks for sharing these photographs Sakar.

Can you name some of your favorite hangout places in the city you live in?
Chandani Chowk (in Delhi) for its lip smacking food & charm. Also, Mochas Vasant Kunj for its ambiance & liveliness.

Are you a foody? Which food you like the most?
Proudly yes! Mughlai, Kashmiri, Goan, Chinese & Italian. Sorry can’t choose one! 

Tell us something about your hobbies?
Traveling, EDM & Pop in music, Swimming and Technology is what I survive on.

If not in your current role, what would you want to be?
If given a chance I’d love to switch to mixing music or give swimming lessons.

How you cope up pressure situation?
I tend to detach myself from everything and go for a walk, clear my head and think afresh.

What is your mantra of life?
Very simple - Live and let live! (this seems to be very simple statement, but it's very effective)

How you start your day?
I’m not a coffee or a tea person; I simply wake up and thank almighty for everything. Do random things that make me happy. Play with my dog, take a walk around the garden, read something, wish everyone around and discuss plans for the day. Look at emails and my calendar etc.

Who is your reel life hero/heroines?
I’m a Jason Statham fan and love his work.

Which character in history (or current life) inspire you the most?
Chanakya for his wisdom (Chanakya Niti) and war heroes from the Indian army are my source of inspiration.

Your favorite movies/shows?
Top Gear, Big Bang Theory, Wheeler Dealer, Jo Jita Wohi Sikandar, Malgudi Days, Byomkesh Bakshi & all of the Jason Statham movies.

What do you think are the biggest areas for improvement in our country?
Food, Shelter & Education for everyone. It’s as basic as it can get!

Do you cast your vote every time?
I did this time and make it a point to cast my vote every time I’m in the country.

Anything which you want to share with readers who read this interview?
I’m high on life and nobody’s stopping you!

Thank you Sakar for sparing time for this interview. We wish you all the best in your life.

Sunday 17 May 2015

Nostalgic Ads of 90's - Brand Awareness

Yesterday I was watching a video of fevikwick on YouTube when right side panel just showed the old fevikwick ad of 90s.  With curosity, I clicked on that video and it played the same ad which I have seen during my childhood. While I was viewing this ad, YouTube intelligent algorithm showed other videos of TV commercials during my boyhood days.  One after another, I watched all of those commercial ads which I remembered and from there writing a post on old Doordarshan ads came in my mind and I finally decided to pen it down.

While today generation might be hooked to not-so-effective ads of Body Spray Deo but then I belong to yesteryears of 90's  and I have grown up watching these TV commercials where focus have always been  - how to connect audience and make the brand part of our families. These brands have always focused on targeting middle class, carried simplistic form of conveying brand messaging and adding the cultural flavor to establish much needed connection between a brand and it’s consumer.

Apart of user centric brand messaging, the presentation these old TV ads conveyed, shows the lifestyle of 90s when there wasn’t too many resources. It was the time of only one TV channel, 2 movies in a week and special programs for Sundays i.e lifestyle wasn't so fast/messy during those days.  Consumers of 90s were so connected to these TV commercials that often these brands were recognized by the messaging in their TV ads.

Here are my top 5 yesteryears ads and I am sure you will like them too. There are some funny ads (if you compare them with today’s TV ads version), but just focus on the content and inclusion of cultural flavor which create a bridge between brand and its consumers. Here you go:

Pan Paraag
Main characters : Shammi Kapoor & Ashok Kumar
Pan Parag is a popular product today, but to make it popular, veteran actors Shammi Kapoor & Ashok Kumar were roped in a TV ad.
Famous punch lines:
1)    Par ham aapse ek baat kahna to bhool hee gaye (& the background music…)
2)    “…baraatiyon ka swagat Pan Parag se kijiye”
3)    “Ohhoo.. Pan Parag!!! …hamein kya malloom ki aap bhi Pan Paraag ke shaukeen hain” 

Dhara Oil:
A little boy running away from home goes back just at the thought of his mother's 'garma-garam jalebi'. The child-like innocence is hard to reconstruct again and this commercial recalls calmness of growing up years.
Famous punch lines:
1)    “…sab mujhe gussa karte hain, main ghar chodh ke jaa rahaa hoon..”
2)    “..par ghar mein to maa ne garma-garam jalebiyan banaayi hain”
3)    “…..Jalebi!!!..”
Main Highlight: The sheer innocence, the imagination and expression can make anyone heart melt. Brilliant ad.

Hamdard Cinkara – Javed Jaffery
A very rare old Hamdard Cinkara English TV Ad featuring the brilliant Javed Jaffery & glimpse of his little locking moves.
I am sure many of us must be seeing this ad after many years. The ad started with brilliant locking moves of Javed Jaffery and then getting fatigue during the day.
Main highlight:  when he broke the glass and come out as winner distributing papers to fellow works.

Old Classic Indian Ad of Lehar Pepsi
Main Characters: Aamir Khan, Mahima Chowdhary and Aishwarya Rai.
Today we see Amir Khan endorsing Coke, but it was way back around 1992-93 when he first acted for Lehar Pepsi Ad. This TV commercial is actually an exact copy of it's English version ad where lead actor was Michel J. Fox.
Famous Punch Line: Yehi hai right choice baby – Aha!

Cadbury’s dairy milk – Dancing girl & Batsmen hitting for six
Famous punch lines (well the song is itself the punchline of this ad)
Song ..”kuch swaad hai zindagi mein…” sung by “Shankar Mahadevan”
Main highlight – when lady comes out from bench and tear the security to dance in state of euphoria, full of emotions.  Brilliant.

Nerolac Paints:
Main Highlight - The song. Beautifully picturised showcased the painting work going on in house, friendly Nerolac Painters and beautiful painted walls.

Nirma Super :
Deepika ji & Shopkeeper
Famous Punchlines – Actually everything related to this ad is punchline itself.
Video – Haven’t got the video. Tried finding it. However I can present the textual format. Hope everyone likes it.

Shopkeeper: Oh ho Deepika ji , aaiye aaiye, ye lijiye aapka sab saman taiyar
After looking to some other soap (in basket) which is not Nirma
Deepika(Customer): Nahi Nahi ye nahi who (pointing at nirma).
Shopkeeper: Par aap to hamesha woh, purana wala sabun....(stammering)
Deepika: Leti thi, par jab wahi safedi, mujhe kam damo mein mile to koi ye kyun le, wo(nirma) na le!
Shopkeeper: Man gaye!!
Deepika: Kise?
Shopkeeper: Aapki parkhi nazar aur nirma super dono ko !!!

Hamaara Bajaaj –
Famous punch line – “Buland bhaarat ki buland tasvir – hamaara Bajaaj”
The ad is so beautifully pictured that it connects the brand with consumer of different faiths. Our cosmopolitan culture is brilliantly showcased and Bajaj is fixed as part of this culture, makes it instant hit with Indian consumer of that era. Whether revealing the vehicle to his mother by the son, or washing the vehicle by the owner, or taking a ride on scooter, Bajaj was considered to be the Aam aadmi ki sawaari and it became hit with common man in India. One of the best ad featuring creativity of fixing the brand in daily lifestyle.

Pledge Your eyes:  While I was student during those days, but this was one such ad which conveyed the social messaging in a very simple & effective way. Aishwarya Rai was newly formed Miss World during those days and when said that “She will pledge her eyes” and also requested others to  help in this cause, makes the messaging very effective. She looks very beautiful in the ad and content is mostly focused on her eyes and message she is conveying. Beautifully narrated.

Bajaj Bulbs - Based on few comments by some of my blogger friends, I am upading this post with an insertion of Bajaj Bulbs ads. Like many others, the background song is the main USP of this ad. It connects the brand with the user since childhood days to the days when he become old. 
Main Highlights: 
"Jab main chota bachcha tha, badi sharaarat karta tha (same lines were used in movie Golmaal-1)
"Jab roshan hota bajaaj"
"Ab mai bilkul boodha hoon, goli khaakar jeeta hoon" (how true is that)
"meri chori pakdri jaati..." (can't stop laughing on this line)

I thing you will agree with me, these ads were having charms of their own. They reflect the mood of nation, the society & people. Nothing can replace the aura of those days ads. We hope, ad makers will learn from these old brilliant ads about the value of brand-consumer connection and simple yet effective way of presentation.

Please share if your favorite ad of 90's. I will be happy to have your valuable comments.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Talking Tours (6) - Ranjeet Pandey

"Talking Tours" is back with its latest post. In the 6th installment of this series, I interviewed Ranjeet Pandey. Like many other youngsters who move to Delhi from different part of the country, Ranjeet came to National Capital in year 2002 for graduation and better employment opportunity. This interview session was quite interesting as he answered each question in detail.

Talking Tour is a series of personal interviews about those who does posses thoughts of their own. It's good to know thoughts of different people - what they think on various topics, what keeps them ticking. May be there is a learning for us somewhere in these thoughts. Each one of us, has some attributes which are unique some times and common most often.

Let's start this interview....

Tell our readers something about yourself.
I am a simple, down to earth and generous person. I love driving and traveling to places. Professionally, I am into IT field for more than 9 years now.

I was born and brought up in Patna. After completing my 12th, I moved to Delhi in 2002 for graduation and job thereafter.  My parents are in Patna. I stay in Delhi with my wife and two years old daughter. I love spending time with my family.

Early days in Delhi were very tough, a bachelor accommodation, limited money and mountain load of desires. Gradually, time passed by and I got into job immediately after graduation. The post-graduation happened along with the job

This is how it is.. Life has moved on, I have seen growth professionally and financially but desires are unlimited and responsibilities grow as you grow olde.

I aim to do something big in life and am working towards it. You know.. small steps and small ideas take you far, you just need to keep working hard and stay focused towards your goal.

What is in your personality which you like the most?
I am helpful and very friendly to people.

What is in your personality which you dislike?
Quite a few I think. I tend to get angry at times, which I should control. There should be a fine line between ego and self-respect. Don’t be emotional.


What are the qualities in a man which you like?
Friendly, helping and practical. You should be what you are.

What are the qualities in a woman which you like?
I think the previous answer holds true for women as well. A nice human being who helps people and speaks her mind but not “My Choice”.

What places you have traveled so far? What is your favorite place & why?
I love traveling but I don’t get time to travel due to work and family. I have been to some places around Delhi. My recent visit to Jim Corbett was really memorable. A long drive to Ramnagar followed by a Jungle Safari, sighting wildlife was an amazing experience.  Other places were Nainital, Mussorie, Agra and Jaipur.

I plan to visit more destinations this year, this time towards south of India.

That's very good.

Which place you have traveled recently and how was the experience?
The recent travel was to Jim Corbett National Park in Ramnagar, Uttrakhand. The experience was amazing, it was a long drive from Delhi to Ramnagar and then a jungle safari the next morning. It was very thrilling to visit the park and discover wildlife, the habitat, nature and surroundings.

I was not lucky enough to spot a tiger but it was an amazing experience all through.

Indeed it's a popular travel destination. Would you mind sharing some photographs of your Corbett trip?
Yes sure. It was one of the memorable trip we have so far. Here are the photographs:

Thanks Ranjeet for sharing these pics with readers. We appreciate that.

Let's continue with this interview.

Can you name some of your favorite hangout places in the city you live in?
Some of the favorite hangout places are Connaught Place, Garden of Five Senses – very near to my home, Select City Walk mall and some restricted zones where above 21 can visit. Quite a few open spaces in Gurgaon and Faridabad.

Are you a foody? Which food you like the most?
I am a vegetarian. I am fond of Parathas, so I don’t mind driving to Murthal at times for a breakfast. I like Chole Kulche, Momos, Pizzas and traditional North Indian Roti and Daal.

Tell us something about your hobbies?
I love traveling, music and cricket. 

If not in your current role, what would you want to be?
A farmer or a social worker helping poor people. 

How you cope up pressure situation?
I try to keep my cool and take the situation as it comes. Every problem has a solution, you should know how to handle it. 

What is your mantra of life?
Enjoy your life, live it the way you want. Don’t think too much otherwise you will unnecessarily invite health problems like high BP, cholesterol, etc. but do get a health check-up once in a year. I do :)

How you start your day?
With a walk, at least 3-4 days during working days and definitely during weekends. Light breakfast and off to work.

Who is your reel life hero/heroines?
Be it reel or real life, my favorite heroes are Indian soldiers who guard the country from foreign threats and stand for support during calamities. 

Which character in history (or current life) inspire you the most?
I think Doraemon is an inspiring one as you can get the kids to do what you want. :) just kidding. 
Our freedom fighters, Gandhi Ji, Subash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and many more. 

Your favorite movies/shows?
Favorite TV show is Crime Patrol, Newshour on Timesnow. Movies.. I don’t watch many but recent ones I liked include PK and Badlapur
Though, I would always remember Maalamal Weekly, Gangajal, Guide and Dabang.

What do you think are the biggest areas for improvement in our country?
I think the biggest areas of improvement are:

1)    Poverty: We are a big country and the largest democracy in the world but we are still among top poor countries. We are a growing economy but are still home to around 20% of world’s poorest. We can eradicate poverty but politicians need to have the will power. I think these corrupt politicians don’t want India to grow because if it gets educated, they would not vote for them. It has been 67 years since independence but poor have become poorer and rich have gone richer.

2)    Distribution of wealth and benefits: You have lots of ‘Yojnas’ and government benefit schemes but they don’t reach the needy.

3)    Education: Need to have better education facilities, more universities in smaller towns.

4)    Health: Better and cheap healthcare for all.

5)    Infrastructure: Roads, flyovers, canals, water and electricity.

6)    Decentralization of growth: Why only metros are developed in the country? You are expanding the city by creating satellite towns because it can’t bear the load of increasing population and real estate demands. If your tier II and tier III towns are given the change to grow, all of India will grow. You can’t call India a developed country with a handful of cities that drive jobs, service and manufacturing.

7)    Corruption: Everyone should be held accountable. This should be a criminal offence.

8)    VIP culture: We should bring an end to this VIP culture. Only President, PM and CMs should get VIP treatment.

Do you cast your vote every time?
Yes, I do and I think each one of us should cast our vote to keep bad people from entering our democratic institutions.

Anything which you want to share with readers who read this interview?
We are all very busy in our day-to-day lives. We must take time out of the busy schedule to relax a bit. Give time to family. Help poor and fight for justice.

Great. It was one of the most detailed interview I had in this series. 

Ranjeet, we wish you all the best and hope you will be successful with all your future plans.