Monday, 1 July 2013

Miami Ad School application

This blog is a part of my application for Miami Ad School's copywriting program. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Behold, the Elephant Lord approaches

Regal grandeur: This idol was at least a good 8 feet in height, and was accompanied by a smaller version at its base.

It is widely proclaimed that he people of Bombay are a festive lot, and can come together to celebrate at the drop of a hat. However, nothing puts them in a more jubilant mood than the festival of Ganeshotsav, the arrival of the Hindu lord Ganesh on earth. While I am not particularly religious myself, the festival is certainly a spectacle to behold, irrespective of your religion or nationality. Spanning for a duration of 12 days, preparations for the festival begin months in advance. As early as January, sculptors and artists begin to hone their skills and create masterful idols in different postures and sizes. While some may choose to depict the lord in dance, others go big, and create larger-than-life models poised upon huge thrones. It is said that the demand for these idols is so high, some sculptors make their entire year's bread and butter by this one festival. 

While these photographs do very little justice to the sheer extravagance of the festival, I hope they will convey perhaps a small feeling of what it was like to stand among the masses. For much better photographs, you can go here.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Festival of Lights

Ah, Diwali; the time of year that almost every Indian waits for with bated breath. The magical festival of lights and sounds, that unites people across religions and instills a new vigour for life. Diwali arrives towards the end of the year, and usually creates a buzz well before the actual date, with fireworks dealers setting up shop across the city and sweet stores taking advance orders to ease the population's insatiable demand. when the night sky is set ablaze with rocket trails and the air is pungent with the distinct smell of burning sulfur.

To Infinity and beyond!

Bottle rockets trace long arcs into the sky and delight the young and old alike, eliciting gasps of wonderment as they explode into a shower of sparks.  Meanwhile at street level, bombs send ear-splitting shockwaves in all directions, bringing the faint-hearted a little closer to death’s door. At the end of the night, the roads are a desolate warzone, with the charred remains of burnt fireworks littering the streets and irregular blasts echoing in the distance.


This year, festivities were relatively low-key, given the rising awareness of the environmental repercussions of lighting fireworks. Over the last decade, there has been an outcry over the ecological impact along with the alarming noise levels generated during this time of year.

However, this jubilant time of year stands for more than just amateur arson and being a public nuisance. A time for reflection and rejuvenation, Diwali is a festival that celebrates newness and the beginning of a new year. Traders and businessmen clear out their records and start over afresh, while households make large purchases such as new cars or appliances. Still, we should transcend materialism and look away from the past.  On this occasion, let us look to the future, and see how we can better ourselves, so that the new year is lived happier than the one gone by. :)

Here's to a Happy Diwali!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Faces of Bombay

Walking life's crooked path
If ever it is possible, I will lend a helping hand to those less fortunate than I. 
Whether great or small, their burden is mine, my roof is theirs

I captured this picture 
with my cell phone while returning home from a taxing day and hectic college schedule. The plight of the old hunchbacked lady was extremely striking as she hobbled along amidst bicyclists and pedestrians.

So few of us realize that we are luckier than what we make ourselves out to be. Rather than bemoaning our misfortune, perhaps we should better the world by lending a helping hand forwards.

However, I would like to end the post on a hopeful note, and focus on her unflinching strength to walk the long roads for her families daily needs. A human being is never helpless until hope fades away, and despite her apparent helplessness, this woman moves ahead on sheer force of will and love. 
She is one of many in this city of Bombay, land of a thousand different sights and vistas. Home to the rich and abode of those in poverty, yet smiling with an unknown inner strength.

That broken, yet ever hopeful and smiling face you see on the roads is the true face of this glorious city. The land of broken dreams as well as the land of fulfilled destinies.
It is a hard face, one which has to be seen and embraced with strength of will, smartness and love in equal amounts to survive and succeed.

In the city of Bombay, love and misery come hand in hand. Fate and destiny cavort and dance together on the silent rooftops at night as the multitude masses sleep, resting in their peaceful slumber, dreaming of grandeour, while the fates frolic and revel in their own dance of the slowly unravelling future. In the city of Bombay, Shattered Dreams and Burning Hope dance hand in hand, while the city rumbles and shows its true visage to its denizens. The thousand faces of one small city by the shore in this grand universe; where love, hope and death run around, hand in hand.


Weekly Photocaption - 2

Mumbai Bombay suburban western lines train andheri station

Mind the gap: The space between tracks on the suburban Western Railways on a day when trains were unusually empty. Each 12 coach train can seat 1,168 and accommodate 2,336 standees, a total of 3,504 passengers. However, commuters often tend to push the limit by squeezing in a few thousand more people. By the way, if you're wondering which train won the race, mine did. :)

Monday, 5 November 2012

4 rupee therapy

It's easy to lose time within yourself when you're always on the move in a city like Bombay. The city of dreams is also the city that stops for no one. In it’s rich and troubled history, Bombay has seen its share of riots, communal violence, protests, public transport strikes and even terrorism. However, the city and its people have always managed to get back up and pull through in times of adversity.

For most of the city, a commute in the suburban local trains can be a harrowing experience, and a matter of life and death for first-timers. Crowds at morning and evening rush hours can run up to several hundred people occupying a compartment intended for 150. However, in the odd event that the city decides to take a break (or on a Sunday), a ride on the Western Railways can offer a perfect opportunity for soul-searching and introspection. If one has the good fortune of getting on a train at either end of the route, one may even have the privilege of being seated, a coveted luxury in the Bombay local trains.*

(*Protip: A good way to know if a train is crowded is if you can't tell what colour the floor is)