Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dream Theme

It's too bad that there is no owner's manual for the coolest computer owned by mankind- The Brain!

I was reading this awesome article on Dream Analysis and Freud is apparently very wrong. Dreaming of a Cigar doesn't necessarily mean you have Penis Envy. The cigar could mean numerous things, relative to each dreamer. All you have to do is make a list of your dreams for a period of a month and look for patterns. This doesn't only mean looking for themes, it also relates to remembering color tones prominent in your dreams. And believe it or not, but some people realy do dream in Black and White and yes colors mean many things-
1. Red: Danger / Rushing In / Sexual / High Energy
2. Blue: Calmness / Peace of Mind
3. Black: Fear / Anger / Depression

There is this awesome thing called Lucid Dreaming where you train yourself to become aware of the fact that you are dreaming. If achieved, you can control your dreams and live your wildest fantasies. Imagine being able to open a door in the middle of a nightmare and stepping into a sunlit mountain top with umm... Penelope Cruz or whoever you wish. Then you can choose to play Monopoly or whatever you want. WOW!

It isn't easy to this... in fact it take a lot of misses and a few hits to achieve this state. But it can become a habit. One of the tips apparently is to remind yourself before sleeping to wake up in a dream. It almost works. I tried it a few times and found myself controlling a Bullet Thunderbird 350cc down some street in Naples. Now I don't know how to ride a bike, nor have I ever seen Naples, but I loved the feeling.

Dreams are connected to the position you are sleeping in. So if you want to hold your dream for a little longer when you wake up, slow down the waking process by not shifting position, keeping your eyes closed and vocally narating as many elements of the dream as you can remember. The brain stores a dream in a temporary section, by speaking it aloud, you transfer the memory to a more permanent section. Pretty cool eh? Try it tonight!

Speaking of dreams, pay a lot of attention to your recurring dreams. They are telling you something... keep track of colors, themes, weather conditions, people and whatever else that doesn't evaporate in the saucepan of your waking life.

Finally, if you can't sleep, don't call me... coz I'll be dreaming.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Reawakening

I've been gone a long time... didn't think anyone was actually reading this blog. But lots of people have actually enquired about it and that's a good reason to get back to it.

Since the last post, a lot of new hallways have been lit and doors have been opened. For instance, I've discovered Graphic Novels.

These are AWESOME!

Just imagine the depth of a story communicated with the emotions of a comic book. That's what Graphic Novels are. They are really deep stories told through very unsettling images that strike the sub-consious with ivory knives.

For instance "Black Hole" is a story about a town where teenagers contract a VD that mutates them in bizarre ways, like someone will grow a tail, another person will develop an extra mouth, whereas some may become horribly ugly with no lips and lots of warts. This is not a story of good or evil, its more about internal conflicts where people handle their problems in unique and darkly human ways.

Or checkout "Palestine" by Joe Sacco. This is a non-fiction account of life in Palestine ravaged by war, told through the eyes of a graphic journalist. The imagery of that world can only be brought about in a comic book format. There is bitter darkness and sweet melancholy. We imagine a comic book to be full of exaggeration, but only a comic book format can communicate the extreme conditions portrayed in the pages of the book. Comic books have grown up!

One of the most famous of all Graphic Novels is "MAUS". This is a demolishing account of a Jewish prisoner's experience in Austwitz... the truth is made more horrifically human by the fact that Jews are shown as Mice, Germans as Cats, Polish as Pigs and Americans and British as Dogs. Its story-telling beyond compare.

In "Understand Comics" by Scot McCloud, one learns how comic book storyboards and the stories work together to hit our subconsious in surprising ways. Everything from the gutter between 2 panels, to the length of a panel (affect time and space) change the way we perceive the printed world. They create emotions, punch the psyche in the stomach and tickle every funny bone in the body. Its no wonder why so many filmmakers are referring to comic books and graphic novels for scene breakdowns.

Other books that you might want to check out are-
1. Epileptic by David B
2. Sin City
3. Sandman
4. 5 is the Number
5. Persepolis

In conclusion... read Graphic Novels, they'll open your mind.

As for me, I'll write another post really soon.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Inside Innovation

You are looking at Pee Goal- The Soccer Urinal. The aim is to well... aim at the ball while you pee and score a goal! This awesome innovation can actually be purchased from www.lazyboneuk.com.


As an innovation junkie, I'm on a constant look out for products that break the reality barrier. It's only innovative if it stops you in your tracks and steals the ground from below your feet.

Now a lot has been written on innovation but the one thought that really rocks the boat is something I read in Tom Peter's Circle of Innovation. He says that Innovation is not EVOLUTION, but REVOLUTION. According to a quote in the book, you've got a good product when a customer says, "WOW! Look how they changed that!"... but you have an awesome innovation when the customer says, "WOW! I've never seen this before!"

Then again there's a line of thought to bruise our beliefs. The thought is-
"It ain't Creative if it doesn't Sell!"

As a Creative Director in the Innovative Media Biz (Interactive Gaming Channel), I have to often take a tough call between indulging creative genius and reviewing revenue potential. Some of my most favorite ideas will never see the light of day. Whereas some of the most basic formats will jump ahead in the programming line up. Why? Because they sell!

So... where is the Innovator's Eden? If you ask me, Eden isn't a place. It's a time. It's "the" time. It's like the bonus round of a classic arcade game with new rules and a tiny window of mega point opportunity. The Innovator's Eden is that tiny window of time when you can introduce your innovation and watch it kill the familiar.

How do you come up with an innovative idea? That's a huge topic by itself. Hundreds of books have not been able to provide the perfect e = mc(square). I've learnt some tricks along the way. Here are four-
1. Create a relationship between 2 unrelated thoughts
2. Define the Twist in the Tale
3. Figure out marketing requirement and underline the concept's USP
4. Sell it aggressively and never openly admit to potential glitches

The craziest ideas in the world have come from mixing two unrelated thoughts. When the brief gets too damn tight, just chuck it in the bin and think of unlikeliness. It doesn't even need practice, just a mental block.

As for the twist in the tale, it's all about the "L" shape. Like stories, your innovative concept should reap suprises at more than one level. If it's an ugly design, make it so ugly it becomes interesting to look at and eventually faddish.

The one thing I totally trust is the Power of Fad. If you can make an idea a Fad, you've met all your objectives. In a world of 10 second interest levels and 10,000 "me toos", your innovation will only work if a leading minority of trendsetters adopt it first and promote it most even if it's only for 20 seconds. Just remember to follow up your great idea with another ASAP or the black box of the consumer's mind will erase every memory of you.

Point 3 and 4 are the marketing hats pulling out their bunnies. Your idea is worth nothing if you can't sell it, and to sell it, you have to be 110% convinced about it yourself.

There is a lot more to Innovation and I'll write about the Ideas Business again. Every job holds the potential for innovation. If you insist there is none in yours, then perhaps you need to stand on your head and see it again from that perspective.

If you're looking for some material on innovation, do read "The Art of Innovation" by Tom Kelley of IDEO, "Circle of Innovation" by Tom Peters and "Emotional Design" by Don Norman. You'll see lightbulbs strobing all around you.

Score a Goal while you Pee. Join United Urinal.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Penny Pornstar

Wives of Knights used to wear Chastity belts. I have a Chastity Cupboard. My girly magazines end up there and my girlfriend keeps the keys.

Who’s she protecting… me or Penny Pornstar?

The other day I was flipping through my magazine, just a page away from where Penny finds a cure for summer… you know… no sweatshirt, no sweat… and a rakhi (ceremonial thread symbolizing a brother-sister relationship) fell out… bookmark courtesy girlfriend.

It was my duty now to cover up Sister Penny. So I drew her a new sweatshirt… but she’s size XXL, and I could only find an S.

When we get married, her brother gets the dowry. All my Pennies saved will be worth 200 pounds of mags gifted to him… by my girlfriend.

I’m no Plastic Surgeon but with my marker, I’m sure that Penny will look just like her dad!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Rocked 'n' Rolled

We called our band "3 Men with the Raging Hard Ons", till the rhythm guitarist's girlfriend got insecure about it. In anycase she wasn't invited to the practice sessions and it was something of a Masonic Secret to her. What do you think three guys will talk about? Toileteries? Cosmetics? New Jockey Underwear? No...! We were in fact talking about stuff that would leave her thoroughly insecure. Like the awesome assets on a girl who had accelerated puberty in all 3 of us.

Well... she re-christened us "The Vertical Pavements" and that's what we were for 15 days before we decided to call it quits.

But for 2 whole years before that, we attempted fledgling jam sessions in the remotest of places. We jammed next to the Parsi funeral tower. Cars would slow down next to mine to check if there was any wham bang action on. The only wham bang was the awful drumming by our make shift vocalist on a pair of Bongos. He'd suddenly decide to keep sync not with rhythm but with the lead guitar. The din was enough to wake up the dearly departed Niloufars and Jamsheds.

The joke was... "Sunil, hold on to your Bongos!"... in a very convulated way, it was and is hilariously witty! It would become more apt with, "What the @#$% Sunil... play along with rhythm or I'll kick your Bongos!"... c'mon you've got to crack up on that.

We were shooed off thrice from different locations and had to finally settle down in the waiting area of the US Consulate's Parking Lot. We had a appreciative audience and the Bihari Security guy actually joined us every now and then with his harmonica.

That's where we composed our one and only real song- Theatre of the Mind. It was a poem recited to music because none of us could sing. We recorded it the night we became The Vertical Pavements.

That was a very special night. We walked into a really hip joint with a live jazz band. The concierge took one look at us and bundled us out. However, the jazz improvizations must have been too drastic because the concierge actually agreed to play our CD. He wouldn't let us perform live... but still what a high!

Three tables clapped. Seven tables contemplated the contents of their Iced Teas and Margaritas. We took our bows behind the door and walked across the road to celebrate over cigarettes and icecream.

Icecream? Well... I admit we were geeks. But we all deserve our 15 seconds of fame. We had ours that night before the band split up.

Akash on rhythm went forward with his scholarship to New Jersey. Sunil, vocalist and make-shift drummer, got busy with Indo-American film projects. I switched my lazy job for some real action.

I picked up my guitar again a few months ago. Brought in a teacher. Now I know what I'm playing. But everything comes at a price. To learn the method, I had to unlearn the "feel", and I don't remember the progression of- The Theatre of the Mind. So much for nostalgia.

Red Buttons


Er... which side did they say points up?

Who's the world's most dangerous Suicide Bomber? Here's a clue, he doesn't stay in dingy caves, shattered buildings or cold valleys. He stays in a huge house. He is believed to have a Big Red Button in his study. I wouldn't press that button if I was him. I'm not him. Nor am I the people he has pissed off, the people who have their own Red Buttons.

I wish I was staying in an igloo near the North Pole, where the Red Button wouldn't touch me. The fact is I don't and I'm pretty sure that my house is in the direct line of fire.

I also wish I had a Blue Button. It can be small, as long as it short circuits all the Red Buttons.

So why is this guy the world's most dangerous Suicide Bomber? Apart from being nosy, paranoid and insecure, he also has a massive Napoleon Complex. In fact, he is a lot like Punjabi mother-in-laws. Fortunately they don't have buttons at their disposal or every daughter-in-law would have been vaporized by now.

He is the most dangerous Suicide Bomber because he has stepped on way too many feet in the name of peace. If this is peace, then I want noise. He has fractured the world with his actions. Someone is bound to press the Button.

If Darwin is to be believed, the Post Button Age will see the evolution of new human life forms:
1. They'll have no index fingers to press any buttons. 2. They'll have tiny, feather-light feet so as not to step on other's toes. 3. They'll have blunt noses, big enough to filter out the Uranium and small enough to keep to one's self.

On another note, the Chinese too are believed to have Red Buttons in their offices. And they aren't afraid to share these with India's neighbor. But I'm not worrying. You know why? Because their English is nothing like their Kung Fu!

Just picture this scenario. Somewhere in a secret bunker across the Indian border, two generals struggle with a Chinese made DIY Missile Package. The instructions are in... well... Chinglish and they read “Press LEAD Button to Launch”. Now there is a steel button, an iron button, even a brass button, but no LEAD button. There is a Big RED Button, but it's only plastic!

I call that the Flied Lice Syndrome and I’m banking on it for my safety.

I really hope no Suicide Terrorist will try to redefine the Big Bang theory. Please leave that to Stephen Hawking. Maybe someday he'll find a way to help us escape to Mars. It's the Red Planet I agree, but not as Red as the buttons on Earth.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Hanging Around


Prometheus learns a lot from just "hanging around". Like for instance, not laughing at their "Yo Mama" jokes will make you cry!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Yo Mama
Yo Mama who?
It's not "who?"... it's "what?"
What?
Yo Mama is cooking green veggies for dinner and I'm the proactive pizza guy.
Oh great, make that a 14 inch Pepperoni.

(30 minutes later)

Hey... what's wrong with this Pizza? It's got a slice less!
Yes sir, that's a part of our "National DOS Games Day" celebration offer. We make your pizza look like PACMAN. (BURP)
So I basically get a pizza with one slice less...
Yes and you also get to the bonus round.
Which is?
Digest the Slice with all the Chilly Flakes!
But I don't like chilly flakes on my pizza.
But I do. (BURP)

----Stupid innit?---- hah! I just love it ---- unless you had made it up, in which case you'd be hanging from shackles too ----

On bending spoons and other cutlery


That was the last spoon! Mother is surprised by the fledgling twist in the tale of a brain-dead soap opera, but she will not buy the fact that the spoon really did bend all by itself (sort off)...! It's magic I tell you, nearly magic. And it's nothing like the flimsy plastic cutlery I'm being subjected to now. In fact, here is a spoonerism I've coined up just for this predicament-
"Spent Boon, How Narrowed!" Figure it out or scroll below for the answer.
Clue: Exchange first letters of each word for the original sentence.
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Answer: Bent Spoon, Now Harrowed!
Registered!