Calm A Sutra !

There is of course a phonetic co relation to what you are thinking but there ends the potential!! Sorry to disappoint you.



sutra is a concise verse or scripture within Hinduism and Buddhism. In Sanskrit, sutra means “note,” “sacred thread,” or “code.” Sutras are often used in chanting and meditation. Many who have a spiritual yoga practice use the sutras as a guide to life.



” If then it’s not the things that you pursue or avoid are coming at you, but rather than you in a sense are seeking them out, at least try to keep your judgement of them steady, and they too will remain calm and you won’t be seen chasing after or fleeing from them “. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 11.11



People often look to their leaders before looking at themselves before losing their calm and if their leader is calm, they will be calm too. This is what is meant by “calm is contagious”. It means you need to be mindful of how you’re feeling and what emotions you’re projecting.



Calm isn’t the only thing that’s contagious. You can pretty much replace calm with any word like panic, chaos, or disorder



Former Navy SEAL Rorke T. Denver’s idea of Calm is Contagious carries valuable lessons that every leader should know. Diving into the deeper meaning of “ calm is contagious ” shows us the role of leaders in any environment and how we can do better to guide our teams.



There is a maxim that Navy SEALs pass from officer to officer, man to man. In the midst of chaos, even in the fog of war, their battle-tested advice is this: ” Calm is Contagious “.



You don’t need to be a Navy SEAL to have a contagious calm. We all want to be around people who are calm and in control. But we also have an opportunity to be that person for our colleagues, our families and even ourselves. Our ability to calm ourselves and reduce stress fundamentally changes how we react and how we make decisions.



Given that others are likely to mimic or amplify your behavior, think closely about what you want that behavior to be. There’s an obvious contagious effect with our emotional and cognitive experienceswe’re constantly affected by others and their emotional states. 



Humans are hardwired for connection.Whether people know it or not, they’re constantly borrowing from other people’s nervous systems and lending out their own. It’s a trade off- give and take.



There are enough storms. Stick to calm.



PS: If time and inclination permit, you my find value in watching the interview in BrandKnew with Dr Jonah Berger( author of the book Contagious, among many other best-sellers).




Your audience is not where you have been told it is

Did you get that? I am sorry if you thought otherwise.


Brian Eno is a musician par excellence. He is considered to be the inventor | father of what we refer to today as ‘ ambient music ‘. His quote is worth paying a load of attention to. Here goes:


” People often want to aim for the biggest, the most obvious target and hit it smack in the bull’s eye “, Eno says. “Of course with everybody else aiming there as well that makes it very hard to hit.” The alternative? “Shoot the arrow, then paint the target around it,” Eno explains. “Make the niches in which you finally reside.”


What is the prognosis here? Fly away from the competition. We are so often tempted by the SOS(Sea of Sameness), the resident comfort of herd mentality or the wisdom of the crowds !! . Even though it is very much a drift into a tumultuous Red Ocean territory. Playing it safe has never been more dangerous.


Instead of aiming for the same target as other writers, sportsmen, designers, musicians—trying to out-write, out-play, out-sing or out-design them, focus on how you can stand out, your uniqueness.


Time to stop suppressing your unique crafts and skills because they don’t conform, adhere or comply in the default ecosystem dictated by the omnipresent industrial complex of scale.


Embrace your weirdness, idiosyncrasies, your anomalies, your contrasts and bring them to the foreground. And here’s the thing : We notice things because of contrast. Something stands out because it’s different from what surrounds it. Celebrate your difference.

Time to woo your AWEdience! Thankfully they are there ( what we refer to as the MVA- Minimum Viable Audience), willing to explore, experiment, discover and celebrate with your youniqueness.







It’s only Words, but they are all snapped up!

Smile an everlasting smile, A smile can bring you near to meDon’t ever let me find you down, ‘Cause that would bring a tear to me..


The above lyrics are from the cult Bee Gees classic Words.

Now, try keying in Words into your search browser and see what gets thrown up. You will get everything but the song you are looking for. That’s because most of the key words( deliberately writing it as two words instead of one ‘keywords’) have already been taken.


SEO Strategy conventionally would have had us going for keywords that the search has the best potential to throw up high in the pecking order. But, that strategy is passe. You are not going to win that search. You are not even going to figure in page 30 of the search results. It seems as if most of us have lost the key to the keywords in the battle of the search.


Probably an ideal situation to pivot to doing something remarkable. How do we own our word? Do things that make people search for us by our name, our work, our projects. Showing up with the right work, at the right time, in the right places. Do the hard yards, the slow deliberate work hard of earning permission, building a tiny circle, the smallest viable audience. Over time, the tribe embraces you, the word (your word) becomes the shortcut to get more of what you offer.


The arithmetic is different here. The 5% is > the other 95%.  A lot of our time, effort and attention is spent on trying to onboard the laggards and the lurkers, the 95%. Whereas, our focus, gratitude and energy should be on the people( the Minimum Viable Audience) who are showing up for you and shipping out.


How about substituting SEO(Search Engine Optimisation) with another acronym? FEO- Find Engine Optimisation. Because it’s more reliable to seek to be found by people who were looking for you all along.


The chasm will get bridged at its own pace. That’s fine. Let’s take our word for it!




Taking advantage of the flexibility of the English language, the caption is an attempt to share a vocabulary all its own. For convenience sake, I have captioned it ‘ locabulary ‘.


English language is the most universal language in history, way more than the Latin of Julius Caesar. It’s the most punderful language because its vocabulary has a certain critical mass that makes a lingo good for punning “- Richard Lederer



Move over the vocabulary pundits. With due respect to Mariam-Webster, Oxford, Collins and what have you. This warrants a new dictionary. Lets turn the page.



Here are some extracts from every day local communication from Maximum City Bombay that a lot of you would be using or aware of and that which breaks the mould. They bear testament to the fact that nothing like ‘ radical candor ‘ to get the message across. No compliance or adherence to the default. Here goes:



Abbey: Before you get there, let me forewarn you that this has nothing to do with a nunnery or a monastery like what you would see in places like the UK. It is just a wake up call to someone asking him to smell the coffee. It puts everyone out there on a level playing field(inspired by the DEI rallying cry) and is oblivious to titles be it Ms | Mr, positions of authority or any such formality. No power dynamics at work here.



Chayyla: Before you rush to get a cup of tea, and invoke the bawarchi in you, pause. This is used when you feel short changed or have made a fool of yourself. More like a self admonition than anything else.

PS: Chayyla  is best expressed at 20 db decibel levels.



Khajoor : This would be a detrimental representation of ‘ dates ‘ as it should be known conventionally but here the parlance is referring to someone who is downright stupid. Nicely palmed off I dare say. Khajoor sows the seed with a sweet tinge of respectful disdain.



Pendal: First I was at pains to understand what this meant and I continued soft-pedalling the issue. Only to realise later on that this is a well accepted pseudonym for ‘ pedal ‘, as seen on bicycles. And the big advantage is that just like pedal, pendal can be used either as a verb or a noun.



Poblem: Without any problem I reckon you have guessed it. Why are we bothered about the ‘ras long as the problem is getting conveyed. Ignore the letter r in the right spirit. I have no poblem..I mean problem with that. After all phonetics has to have a say! Actually, subtracting one r from the word, seems to have added some weight to the problem, don’t you think so?



Singal: If you turn red or amber or green on this one, I can understand. Though the alphabets are juxtaposed, what is being signaled is signal. So, left, right or state..straight? Traffic law abiding citizens are well versed with this, whether they are single or..



Waat: I know some of you might be letting off steam on hearing this but this has no relation whatsoever to James Watt( of Steam Engine fame). Waat is the weighted average explanation of a totally screwed up situation. Waat The F…? Not to be mistaken with ” Waat Pahath Hotha “, mind you. Imagine, waiting for ‘waat‘? We and our masochistic tendencies!



Apun: This may come across as a pun but there is no pun intended here. This is I, me, myself and defending one’s turf with a vengeance. Apun has a close relationship with the beach town of Alibaug and is best expressed in this usage ” Apun Alibaug se nahee aaya “- meaning- I am not a fool. I have not come from Alibaug. Embedding destination branding in everyday parlance has been inspired from this. So ahead of time!



Peshyal: Before you wonder what is so special about this, let me offer you more than a hint. This is something masquerading as special. Last heard, I am given to understand that Peshyal could also be spelt as Paycial. I am spell bound. Next time, I will do some more spell check.



Ghochoo: Tempted as you would be, please don’t rush to conclude that this is another brand from the Jimmy Choo stable. This is a not so decorated but a go-to way of addressing an idiot. The jury is still out on whether Ghochoo has an oriental descent but apparently it has been patented by Dongri, Kabutar Chawl inhabitants.



Chaapter : Stop, don’t turn the page. This has no connection to the chapters that we have in books. The additional ‘a‘ in Chapter distinguishes itself from the run of the mill. A for aura. This is a hyper localised version of addressing a shrewd and cunning person. How you role your tongue and at what angle do you open your mouth is critical in getting the pronunciation for chaapter right. Going slightly awry would mean closing the chapter shut.



Raada: Phonetics could play tricks on you and coerce you to think this would be from the Prada lineage. Alas, sorry to disappoint you. A raada is a heated argument with a strong potential to go upstream and become a full scale physical assault.



Vat Le: This is no government diktat on the collection of VAT. Nor is anyone using the French masculine article Le wrongly. Vat Le is a crisp get lost message delivered best with just one side of the mouth and minimal lip movement. Just imagine Marlon Brando saying Vat Le in Godfather and you will know what i mean.



Temporvary : Hearing this, your temper could vary. Everything in life is temporvary. We are getting philosophical here. Temporvary is a convoluted way of addressing temporary and has been used for such a long time that now it has become permanent fixture in the locabulary.
Raag : I suspected this was coined by the musically inclined. Or someone like Balamurali( the legend, who created ragas with three swaras) . But, I couldn’t have been more wrong. If you hear someone’s raag, it may not exactly sound like music to your ears. In plain speak raag is bluff made palatable. Raagpatti ( whose Cognates are found in Greek, Persian, Khwarezmian and other languages ) takes the narrative a couple of notches above and into the zone of intimidation.
Machmach: Before you arrive at the conclusion that this is a new clothing line brand from Inditex( of Zara, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius, Massimo Dutti etc fame), machmach is nothing much more than an argument, a not so fervent plea to distill the signal from the noise. Mach obliged.
XCoosMe for me now. More mach I mean such in my next.







Margins can be profitable!

Margin is the space between our load and our limitsRobert Swenson


Remember, back in the day, when writing on paper was a salve and stylus and laptops were not as omnipresent as they are now, we would fold the foolscap paper from the left by an inch or so and offer it a margin ( I would never get it in a straight line but I always made an effort). It was the signal where to start off from and give our articulation some space before it began. The fold mark remained conspicuous and so did our writing, in most cases.


As you play your vinyl, you are happy to hear the reassuring hiss between the end of one song and the beginning of the next. Building expectation. It happens as credits roll as a comforting precursor to the constitution that is the movie that is about to begin. All of our media has margins. A space between what we are consumed with and the rest of the world.


As Christa Sterken put it, the best things in life are written in the margins. White space has the calming, soothing effect that a Hoover agnostic mind and life are not letting us. The white space serves us an offering to think outside of the confines of the text. Like a visual and a mental break.


Imagine books or magazines or newspapers. Think of how difficult it would be to read if the words were to be taken completely to each edge of the paper. Paintings have a frame, or a wall separating them from the next.


Margin is having the pace and space in your day to allow real life to happen. The margins are where you will find yourself. The honesty, the integrity, the real friends, the relationships that last a lifetime through good and bad.


As the inimitable Seth Godin puts it ” The self-discipline to see the margin and use it as a tool is a gift we offer the consumer of culture “.


Living in the margins will not make you marginalized. On the contrary, that probably is where the you-er or even the you-est ( the best version of you) in you will come to the fore.




Beware! The Biggest Boycott in History

Is programmatic advertising writing its own obituary?
We’ve become obsessed with media strategy at the expense of creative strategy.
By far, the most heavily debated issues in the ad world these days are around media strategy — traditional vs digital; precision targeting vs mass reach; programmatic vs direct, etc. There is far less impassioned discussion over creative strategy.
According to ANA and PwC, 70% of advertising dollars spent on online programmatic advertising never touch a human being. Of the US$ 550 billion expected in annual programmatic ad spend in 2023, over 70% will i.e over US$ 380 billion will disappear in ” ad fees, ad fraud, non-viewable impressions, non brand-safe ad placements, and unknown allocations.
By unknown allocations, you can read ” shit that no one can figure out “.
Brands are funding an opaque eco system. advertisers are being screwed blind by ad tech ferrets. More than 800 million devices now have ad blocking. Truckloads are being spent on advertising
that is neither seen nor impacting.
And, worst, it’s actually alienating people that it is supposed to impact. The really important issue is the impact of tracking (the basis of all programmatic activity) on society and the enormous damage it is doing to individuals and to democratic institutions.
Equally important is the quality of the creatives that are putting off people.

Is Advertising is really bad at being kind?

Walking a tightrope. On delicate ice.

Purposeful provocation is the idea. A warm cozy hug or a splash of cold water on your face. A salve or a wake up call. Both are responsibilities.

Responsibility in advertising requires that all stakeholders honor their obligations to one another. Advertising over the years has evolved beyond just focusing on grabbing consumer’s attention by catchy jingles, videos and packaging to a more refined medium with a certain sort of narrative. And while it’s still criticized for a lot of the ills that comprise the more negative aspects of modern consumerism, there is little doubt about its ability to deliver complex, far-reaching messages and forming an instant connect with the psyche.

An interesting look at advertising and the humanistic approach can be had from this article in BrandKnew