Monday, April 16, 2007

Ibiza for Indian masses

Sand-filled Bata Sandak, vodka soaked Air Deccan boarding passes, tanned skin under the sleeved blouse of the Indian sari, wet edges of the Indian Petty Coat, condom packets that were not opened as planned..and a lot more
These are some images from the frontlines of Indian frolic!
Goa is the dream destination of the average Indian middleclass stags, kid-free couples, booze happy college kids and the young pot premis.

Goa is not a destination, it is not a holiday, it is not about nature even. Goa is an expression of the state of the contemporary Indian middle-class mind. It is like that window in the secluded room of self-expression that has been opened for the first time.

Everyone goes to go, and almost all of them have their own reasons..

The 40 something govt officer is going to Goa on holiday with his wife - finally their only son has entered the regional engineering college and they gift each other a breather (and a Breezer!)

The 18-year-old first year college kid is going there with his friends, in a hope to finally ‘do it with the firangs’ there. This is his first ‘adult picnic’ and perhaps the last out of town tour before career and life pins him down..

The 22 year old, MBA, young media executive from Kanpur, now working in Mumbai is there to experience how does it feel to be with young guys and girls all by yourself -away from Mommy and Daddy and Bhaiyya and Chachi.. She doesn’t drink but in Goa she will try the Breezer, sweet girls can have Breezers, ‘it is more juice than alcohol’!

The 50 something trader of recycled plastic bags from Ulhasnagar is looking forward to some ‘fun’ with his beer buddies from Ulhasnagar. This is their annual break, and the next time they are venturing out it is going to be Thailand..

Russian mafia and rising property prices aside, Goa is a fantastic example of how a tourist destinations needs to be built, or gets built somehow.
Goa is also a great showcase of India’s enjoyment culture and how it has surpassed everyone’s imagination..

Goa is the new Shirdi of funseekers and no one is complaining, not even the Jehadis!

Save by choice; Print by chance

You are in a hurry because your boss for an urgent meeting has called you and the meeting room is in the building across. You want to save the document that you’ve been working on before you leave. And in this state of flux you click on the ‘save’ icon on the top left corner of your word or PDF document only to realize that you have by mistake clicked on the ‘print’ icon which is sitting right next to the ‘save’ button.. And off you go..

You run to the printer to collect those pages that you never wanted to print, at least not now or desperately try to cancel the print command by going to the ‘printer properties etc..’ in the tool bar at the bottom right corner of your computer monitor.. But by the time your ‘rescue operation’ is completed you’ve lost precious time (remember boss is waiting!) and perhaps even more precious paper is wasted along-with the expensive ink in the printer cartridge.
This I am sure is not an isolated example and many of us, if not all, have gone through this misery. I believe we should not just blame ourselves for being careless and clicking the wrong icon. In fact it could partly be attributed to the proximity of the ‘Print’, and ‘Save’ icons in almost all the application softwares that that we use regularly these days.

I am curious that in these times of intuitive interface how come we are still living with this design anomaly?
May be I am thinking too much but I surely am not stretching this beyond its relevant context when I think that it could well be a conscious arrangement between paper manufacturing companies, makers of printers and the application software giants to keep it this way. Win-Win-Win?!

Because if we were to attempt a monetary quantification of the number of documents that are printed by mistake it might add up to a lot of money for both the printer (cartridge) and paper (reams) guy. Needless to mention, that the application software company could be getting a fixed ‘royalty’ on ‘the expected number of end user ‘errors’. Among the three, they could have well figured (basis some kind of pattern/trend analysis) the number of errors that an average user is expected to commit. May be this is ‘over-think’ may be it is the most obvious that we never think about. Whichever way it is, there is room for improvement and we should not wait for an MS Office Open Source or Adobe Open Source to come and fix it for us.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Fashion in Motion

Imagine if we were in a situation where we had to do a quick turnaround job to know the street fashion acroos the globe.
What would we do?

Reach out to fashion experts/designers in different regions of the world and compile that knowledge
Reach out to experts in Milan or any other such fashion capital and attempt to paint the picture basis whatever they have to say
Go through a lot of fashion magazines from different regions of the world and attempt to paint a larger and meaningful picture of what we see as the emergent

All of the routes mentioned above are viable options that we could explore.
Ideally we could target captuiring information from more than one of the above-mentioned data points so that we cross-validate whatever we are concluding.

While waiting for a connecting flight at the newly made (and massively massive!) Suvarnabhumi International Airport at Bangkok, Thailand, I thought of another way to add to the list above.

I realised that if one were to deploy 4-5 hrs at all the key international airport terminals in the world, one could get a fair amount of idea of what people are
wearing, and what 'look' is dominating.

This could include a informed perspective on the colours, cuts, hair do, gadgets, accessories and even the kind of luggage that people are carrying. All the we might need to do to get to the colour would be to defocus our sight and look at the dominating shade(s).

If we can do this at Heathrow, Amsterdam, Dubai, JFK, HongKong & Singapore Internationals Airports we might end up with a whole lot of rich information.

It would then be equally interesting to compile inputs from different regions and see regional and international themes. The similarities and differences. These could inturn perhaps be linked to the variouis social & political developments (beyond
advertising or marketing) that are going on in the respective regions.

As I walked towards the security check area, I told myself "for some research excurtions I might not need to fly any more.. I just might need to go to the