DON a hue: Your thoughts on INTERPOL’s recruitment policy ?

Caveat Emptor: Written purely in jest with malice towards none and deep respect for all, living and demised. May relate only to people with one foot in the brave (or baby boomers, it’s contestable, respectable pseudonym!). If at the end of this(or well before that) so long a rant, you want to call out ‘ so long ‘, I will understand perfectly! It also hedges that the 1.8 people who will read this(after circumventing the social media algorithm), have seen the movie Don(the original one starring the Big B).


For the purpose of brevity, acronyms have been used as below:-
OS: Late Om Shivpuri (RIP)
PK: Late Pinchoo Kapoor (RIP)
Big B: (if you don’t know who he is, time to get a life!)
NI: Nariman Irani (RIP)
DS: Dileep Sharma (RIP)
May 12, Circa 1978. A typical summer day in Bombay. Oppressive, sultry, so much so, you wanted to send out the May Day signal. But, aborted the thought. And lived to see another day. Yours truly, with one of my best friends Nazir had set out as usual with wasted interests to do what we did best. Nothing! The breeze was stiff, so stiff, it refused to move. It was when our expectations were close to nadir, did we hear a call, from up above. No, don’t get your expectations that high- it was from the third floor of one of the buildings in our society and DS (one of the most amiable blokes you can find with a perennial smile and hockey skills that would have given Mohammad Shahid a complex) and through the thick foliage of the Mayflower tree directly under the building, we could see he was calling out to us from his bedroom window. He had two tickets to NI’s Don, Amitabh’s movie that had released the same day and asked if we wanted to go. Since he was not. If there was anything called manna from heaven that was it. Big B in two doses(if anyone wanted a masterclass on how to deliver suave with wow and awe, this was it): our excitement knew no measure! Thank you so much Chandra Barot.
The next thing we know we are gaping open mouthed as DS decided to fold the tickets and hurl it (what an inappropriate description for such a gracious gesture) down. Now, if you know anything about movie tickets of those days, they were not exactly printed on 350 GSM Hand Crafted Wood Free Paper. And if they are Lower Stall tickets( Not Balcony or Dress Circle as they were in the day), the paper quality reached a new low. Lower Stall for the uninitiated are seats that are very very close to the screen, sometimes so much so that you go beyond the screen and do an auto-rotate of your neck to discover new laws of concave and convex (apart from discovering that Amitabh could also be right handed and if it’s a double role it only added to the complexity). That being said, the two of us are now witnessing a descent of the tickets of unprecedented volatility- one moment sashaying as if Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie was playing in full blast and in another defying Newton and gravity as it decides to hang nonchalantly, stubbornly, mid air. In the midst of all these, we had one of those brilliant WH Davies moments (yes of the ” what is this life full of care “…fame) as we look awestruck at the mayflowers blooming in unabashed, glorious beauty on the society’s showpiece tree(also our controversial boundary indicator during cricket matches), which every May kept it’s unfailing date with it’s namesake. That ‘ moment ‘ of distraction (shouldn’t it be attraction?) overcome, we see the tickets land firmly on the road, which at that time would have made the lunar surface look like a green top billiard table.
Armed with the most prized possession of our lives, it was destination Topiwala ( not tirchi but the name of the movie house). Before I move on, letting you in on an inside story. During the late 70’s, there was a famous inner wear brand called Dawn( and without paying too much credo to phonetics, we all know even Don sounds the same) and it was only Mario Puzo’s Godfather that gave the word Don a sense of aura and passable respectability.
Enough preamble. Will segue into the constitution now. For those of who have seen Don, would recall the prominent characters from the movie. Big B apart, there was Zeenat, Pran, Iftekhar ( yes of the ‘ born to inspect ‘ lineage alongwith Jagdish RajInspector for All Seasons and For All Reasons!), PK, OS among others. OS, BTW, is not another Operating System but Om Shivpuri as already indicated right at the beginning. And here is playing the role of a ‘ Responsible Interpol Officer ‘, assigned to crack the whip, as captain of the hip. Which didn’t lie. Or so we were made to believe!
Since our growing up days we held Interpol in great esteem. The world’s best International Police Organisation. It had an unquestionable aura. Even Balram wanted to enrol(not from the Ramayana but of Ram Balram fame) into the organisation. So did Pathankar. From Budhawar Peth. And Saini from Munirka. It had a cult like following. If Ajit had his way (just like he had with Mona, Michael and Shetty), Interpol would have been headquartered in the LOIN’s Den near Dongri but sadly it had to be Lyon, France. The jury is still out on that one. How you wish geography could be history!
Time to get serious as the next few paras are all about the interview process at Interpol and how OS got the plum(p) assignment for the roll, I mean role.
To begin with, after acquiring diligent espionage skills, we took a deep dive into the Psychometric Testing Questions that OS was put through during the recruitment process @ Interpol. Psychometric Testing as we may know involves numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, logical reasoning, personality assessment etc among others. Here goes:
Numerical Reasoning
Interviewer: Why do you think your breakfast has to be 12 Aloo Parathas?
OS: I always had a soft corner for having one two many. One and Two is 12. Hence..actually it’s a no brainer
Verbal Reasoning
Interviewer: In the fitness of things, what makes you so eligible for this role?
OS: Two and a half hours of jogging, 250 squats, 80 push ups and 45 minutes of planks…
(he gets interrupted before saying ‘ over the last 40 years ‘)
Interviewer: That’s incredible..
Logical Reasoning
Interviewer: What makes you ‘ different ‘ from other contestants applying for this role?
OS: My name is Vardan(with a V), that means blessing. I am actually a blessing(in disguise- in this case he was pretending to be RK Malik, the role played by Weighteran Actor PK, worth his weight in old).
OS(continuing in chaste Punjabi confidence): And mind you, I don’t have any Imposter Syndrome!
Personality Assessment
Interviewer: What is the one thing that determines your ‘ style quotient ‘ ?
OS: It takes two to tango- so, I am afraid I have two to share:-
1. People have bad hair days. I have a bad hair life.
2. People wear trousers around their waist and use a belt to keep it in place. I have higher ambitions. My trousers are a little above my chest(Sorry, if I am hitting above the belt!) and instead of a belt I use both my armpits to keep it in place. Giving G B Shaw’s Arms and the Man due respect!
As an afterthought he adds
3. Nobody can carry a pinafore dress with a toy gun from Crawford Market with as much I mean business swagger as I can.
That was the sucker punch. That landed on the right spot (yes, you guessed it- a little above the chest) and put OS firmly in the Interpol’s HR spotlight. Appointed with Immediate Defect. To them a new HeRo was born! That will play the perfect Villain.
OM SHADY OM!! It was the Don of a new era for Interpol!

The Privilege of Working With Your Mind..

As they say ” The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven“.


Back in the day and throughout history, most people have had to do backbreaking labour, just to sustain themselves, with no hope of thriving. The perennial, relentless quest to move from day to day, meal to meal, to survive.


Today( and we are fortunate), we get to exercise our creative gifts, solve problems, and create value that none of our ancestors would have imagined(let alone a large percentage of the world’s population today).


As adults, we spend a lot of time talking about all the things we have to do:


You have to wake up early for work.


You have to make that sales call.


You have to prepare dinner for the family.


You have to go to your daughter’s dance show.


You have to work out today.


You have to write an article.


Now, imagine changing just one word in all of the sentences above.


You get to wake up early for work.


You get to make that sales call.


You get to prepare dinner for the family.


You get to go to your daughter’s dance show.


You get to work out today.


You get to write an article.


It’s important to remind oneself that the things we get to do each day are not burdens, but opportunities.


So often, the things we actually view as work are actually the reward.


Mind you, if you are reading this, you are among the top miniscule percent of a percent of people who have ever lived in terms of opportunity and wealth.


So, what are you getting to do? Game | Mind(set) | Match!!






Let us begin with defining what Marketing is NOT!

Marketing isn’t the act of getting people to buy what you’re paid to sell them.

Marketing is about probabilities and likelihoods. It’s about moving people, both metaphorically and otherwise.

Nobody gives a flying shit about your philosophy. Write that in big letters above your desk.

Brand purpose” is the first hiding place of bad marketers. We have seen enough and more of ‘ purpose washing ‘. People see through that.

Time to reconsider your tired email lists, sneaky retargeting and costly pre-roll ads.

Instead, reach for next-generation experiences that touch people’s hearts and move their minds.

Give your audience genuine human emotions: goosebumps — quicken pulses, and they’ll never forget you.

Marketing’s value has a different domicile unlike perceived and practiced. So, it’s not about where YOU are but where YOU should be.


Curiosity Skilled The Cat!

Curiosity is that strange human trait that got us out of the cave, across the globe, and onto the moon.


A trait that has led to communication and  collaboration.


“Why” has the X factor! So, start with why!


Albert Einstein quoted that a mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size. All research, come to think of it is ‘ formalised curiosity ‘.
Doubt and inquiry are the two pillars of progress. Contrary to public perception. The things that pique your curiosity aren’t random. They will point you to where you need to go. There is a toss up between ‘ chasing happiness ‘ and  ‘ following your curiosity ‘. Learning a new musical instrument, going hiking or tapping into unchartered culinary exploration, maintaining a journal, going white water rafting.. anything unfamiliar that you can try your mind and heart at..can all take us out of the default and deliver a new , happier tomorrow. The GPS to get there is inside us. It won’t throw up on Google search.
There will always be reasons for coloring inside the lines you have drawn for yourself. It is heartbreaking to leave the cocoon of certainty and comfort and embark on a path never trodden. To step into the alien, unknown, where all things that never existed are created. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries to comprehend only a little of this mystery every day.
Curiosity could be a lust of the mind, so give into that lust. As Ian Leslie put it so succinctly ; ” Curiosity is unruly. It doesn’t like rules, or, at least, it assumes that all rules are provisional, subject to the laceration of a smart question nobody has yet thought to ask. It disdains the approved pathways, preferring diversions, unplanned excursions, impulsive left turns. In short, curiosity is deviant“.
Let’s move on. From Intel Inside. To Curiosity Inside!

So, what’s your story? I am curious to know.