The Pill called Quill: Better, not Bitter

first_imgAmid all horror stories – few backed by facts, others floating on fiction – of how the repugnant and ruthless digital Golem is out to deprive all our relations and resources of the ‘human’ element, there is one space in my mind where a computer algorithm would fare better than its astonishingly proud and amazingly prejudiced human counterpart: the all-knowing TV anchor, of the regional channels in particular. My experience is largely restricted to the Marathi News and Entertainment (read entertaining news) Channels but the rut is adequately representative of the whole lot.This is not to say that our print media drives the journalism of courage and conviction but its comparatively non-intrusive nature makes it a lesser evil. Besides, a scribe who can’t write will be kicked out sooner and later. The falling standards in print have natural limits unlike the bottomless pit of the electronic media where the widespread mediocrity across channels has no burden of a benchmark. There are no formal rules of engagement for electronic anchors and reporters; there are simply competent, good, bearable, bad, and pathetic hires who can peacefully co-exist in the toxic and counterproductive ecosystem, all enjoying a level playing field to masquerade as professionals.Our typical anchor is usually a senior (read ageing) editorial resource commanding influential beats like polity or business who is paid to make an orchestrated mess by stamping his or her suspect authority across spheres – polity, governance, music, cuisine, culture, sport, films, theatre, academia, industry, science, technology and whatever else you can think of.We can live and even prosper, with Arnab Goswami, even with all his flaws, than suffer these learned souls. Goswami is never short of purpose and panache, and he is clearly notching above these electronic parasites, given his unquestionable command over the medium and highly credible investigation breakthroughs in recent times.Coming back to our friends, when it comes to non-political talk shows, we pity the poor guest who must take a backseat as the hot seat belongs to the anchor: to question and answer on the guest’s behalf, to necessarily cut short the guest on every point, to puke gushing Gyan by the minute, and to provide proof of a ‘vast’ knowledge of everything, including the guest’s life story, accomplishments and value proposition.But the most obnoxious anchor avatar is reserved for the politician guests. Over obliging by design, these interviewers ‘affectionately’ address the umpteen rustic mantris and local leaders as ‘dada’ or ‘saheb’ and sing their laudatory introductions in flowing prose. For comic relief, gaudy advertisements with overbearing snaps of both host and guest are flashed during every commercial break.The stage is thus set for an extended goody-goody chat highlighting the largely non-existent pain and pathos in the protagonist’s (?) life. Just when one or two superficial queries barely touch upon a wayward pain point, our hosts risk breaking their necks with their vigorous more-loyal-than-the-king nods even as the guest dismisses any semblance of the allegation with a patronizing gesture befitting a Mahatma. (All great men have to tread on a path full of thorns and throes, you see!) The discomfiture experienced by the cheerleader anchors is evident from their body language: Eastman colour visions of how the ‘dada’ has blessed them with freebies and favours of different flavours leave their eyes smarting every time they make a smart attempt to look at ‘dada’ in the eye.Worse, these horrific exploits of our crafty crusaders are posted on social media with unfailing regularity where countless FB, Twitter and YouTube disciples shower the same ‘dada’ and ‘saheb’ honorifics on our brave-heart media divas. In turn, our fiery rebels without a pause use their highly scarce spare time to inaugurate the schools, colleges and hospitals of tomorrow, to speak at mutual admiration forums as guests of honour, and to broadcast rehashed sermons on other channels and forums. Their reputational balance sheet equation is wonderfully tallied, but in the process, the electronic media is deprived of several electrons, protons and neutrons.Precisely why you pine and pray for, not dread, the would-be Indian counterpart of Quill, the cybernetic journalist created by the Chicago-based Narrative Science, to come, see and conquer the electronic media in India. Equipped with better writing rules, Quill brings precision, authenticity and perspective to stories. Today, he is helping sports and business reportage, tomorrow he can revolutionize electronic news and maybe one of his robot colleagues can even present it for our benefit.Quill, we can bet, will do a way better job of creating newsworthy stories from highly critical events like the 2019 assembly elections in Maharashtra which reinforced a forgotten fact: that the electorate is more than capable of giving a verdict that strikes gold in a single, decisive blow: the establishment is forced to re-examine its perceived might, a tottering opposition is brought to life – Phoenix-like – from the graveyard of extinction, and hitherto comfortable coalitions, all of a sudden, become exceptionally sticky trade-offs: a queer blend of compromise and convenience.Let the cheerleaders journos compete with Quill; who knows, the challenge of the market diktat might compel them to wake up to the new reality. If they do so, they might even move up the value chain of purposeful journalism.last_img read more

Conquer Your Mind

first_imgFor days I have been thinking and introspecting to write something for my blog .. but could not really think of or should I say I was not putting my mind on to it. Our mind is such a prankster that it can very easily wander to various directions till the time we control it …We’ve all been there. You’re slouched in a meeting or a classroom, supposedly paying attention, but your mind has long since wandered off, churning out lists of all the things you need to do—or that you could be doing if only you weren’t stuck here… suddenly you realize everyone is looking your way expectantly, waiting for an answer. But you’re staring blankly, grasping at straws to make a semi-coherent response. The curse of the wandering mind!How often are you really, entirely immersed in the current moment and letting your mind take a rest from overthinking? Or are you worrying about the past, anxious about the future, or involved in a fantasy world?Often we can find ourselves re-running a conversation we had earlier today, last week or even last year. “Why did he say that? What a fool I made of myself! She must think I’m an idiot!”We spin our wheels, knowing in our gut that analysis can lead to paralysis, but still unable to stop our whirling thoughts. So how can we combat this wandering and overthinking? I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?You can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully,Put things into perspective. Will this situation you’re turning over in your mind matter in five years? Or are you blowing things out of proportion?Know your body rhythm & schedule your activities accordingly. Some of us are morning larks, while others are night owls. Which are you? When do you tend to be at your best physically, emotionally, mentally? If you focus best in the morning, try to use this time to tackle challenging projects that might seem overwhelming later in the day. If you’re at the top of your game in the evening, plan to take on important conversations or assignments at this time, when you’re most likely to be effective. One advantage of completing matters in the morning is that you can then go about the rest of your day with a sense of accomplishment (or relief).Surrender the need to be perfect or omnipotent. There is no magical finish line which you will cross where you are “done” and have nothing more to learn. We are not meant to be perfect. We are continually growing and changing. We never know all of the facts – instead, we do the best we can with the information at hand. Just do your best each day, then let the matter go.Accept that you cannot change the past. Maybe things didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to, or maybe you made a mistake – extract what possible lesson you can learn from the experience, then move on. Don’t let your past crowd out the present in your mind.Do only one thing at a time. Multi-tasking can contribute to the flurry in our minds. Sitting and being mindful is not always possible. However, you can practice putting all of your attention on just one thing. This in itself would probably be a significant change, as most of us usually do several things at one time. How often have you simultaneously been on the phone while also racing down the freeway, preparing a meal, or surfing the Web? It’s impossible to focus 100% on one thing when you’re juggling various activities at the same time. Instead, you end up dividing your attention between multiple items, and this can result in information overload, which is a recipe for anxiety (& overthinking).Acknowledge the problem, but focus more on the solution. Consider, “What is the best thing that can happen?”, rather than worrying about what might go wrongPractice mindfulness it alleviates stress, it works as an antidote for mind-wandering and the negative effects that losing concentration may have on youSo when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.“For him who has no concentration, there is no tranquillity.”– Bhagavad Gitalast_img read more

LOCK-DOWN …. and then…..

first_img—- and then … we wake up … and realize that, the things which continued to appear to be the essential parts of our lives for so many years, are actually some infectious virus …. and then… we start sanitizing ourselves silently.— and then … we will wake up … and realize that the fear of death and suffering is too little to cope up with the endless flow of Love from the Universe.—-and then — we will wake up…..to embrace whatever we have … without any further complain , but with endless gratitude.— and then — we will rise up — to realize that this life is too precious to be wasted in petty bargains or desires .. as this life is a gateway towards the Kingdom of Light and eternal wealth…— and then — we will wake up — and realize that, Love is the only religion … Love is the only purpose —- every breath is a silent expression of Love for everyone known or unknown ….All the financial , religious or geographical boundaries are just some of the millions of mistakes done by human race so far .We are ONE … as at deep within we all merge happily into that nameless , formless and endless existence…and we loose ourselves in the ocean of Love for each being on earth.And then… we will start dancing in Divine ecstasy. …. along with all those stars , planets and moons …. no matter, whether we will remain physically alive or dead.Wishing a cosmic awakening for each of us in this lock-down period …. let us unlock ourselves. ..Enjoy your eternity. .With much Love and Prayer for everyone’s wel-being. May the Divinity within prevails and purifies everything else.Anirban Duttalast_img read more

LOCKDOWN AND OUR DUTIES

first_imgThe government has announced the complete lockdown in our country. Our Prime Minister is communicating with the public time to time. Our public is also considering every thing of his Prime Minister. No big corrosion can be won, unless the king and the people make attempts together. Even today, there is a situation of corrosion, in which the strongest enemy is called the Coronavirus. One thing is certain that if we don’t defeat the coronavirus, then it will kill us. In this war, we have to fight up to the end of the enemy while keeping awareness and understanding. In this difficult time, we can not only depend on the administration, we have to take responsibility themselves. We must follow the following things-1. We must follow the every direction of the administration.2. We should make awareness in people around us.3. We should provide the necessary content to the weak people around us.4. If anyone is sick, try to manage his medication.5. We all should help the poor around your home according to your strength.6. We should take care of animals in our area.7. We must try to give some funds to prime minister relief fund.last_img read more

Corona

first_imgThe rich and the powerful seem happy to be contracting itDisgusting media portraying them and glorifying itWorthless rest horrified and scared to death of itUnmindful businesses are busy making money out of it A gift from China to the rest of the WorldBiological weapon say some of themNature trying hard to create mayhemHuman surviving no matter what may come CORONAIn the 80’s and 90’s we wore BATA and CORONA to schoolOver time former survived while the later went down the poolOnly to resurface now as COVID 19, a name so coolWith the whole world chanting its name, it sure is making everyone a Fool Single celled entity has shut the world down entirelyBig brother Bacteria stunned and jealous of its notorietySome say there is a cure but there is no conformitycenter_img Almost everyone is responsible for this catastropheExtremely selfish and running behind a trophyHoping stupidly that money can buy eternity O mighty Corona, whatever said and doneYou can’t rid this world of all evil beingThere were many before you who tried and failedYour descendants in future are yet to set sailHumans as a species will anyway prevail,…..Maxlast_img read more

The mind labyrinth

first_imgAhh!!…what’s this amazing smell, I know what it is ….oh! its Chole Bhature …. the thick gravy texture, puffed Bhatura, stuffed spicy green chills …is now all over my head, I rush to the kitchen, to see if I have all the ingredients, oh! let me google the recipe first, alas! seems too much for my elementary cooking skills,  but no worries  Zomato or Swiggy is the knight in shining armour, done ordered. And now till the time, the Chole bhature gets delivered onto my doorsteps by the angel Swiggy bhaiya, my mind simply refuses to settle…Why this mind is so delinquent? Ever wondered you are resting on a couch peacefully, reading or watching something and suddenly a random thought pops up and then you leave everything you were doing and go right after to pursue what came just now like it happened with me just now. Our body is merely following the wishes dictated by the mighty mind. It is the Professor ( yes the Money Heist one ) in the human anatomy. It hatches all the plan, simply pulls the trigger and lays comfortably on the couch and enjoys the whole drama …I Pondered this question often whose side the mind is? Remember those early days when from parents to the self-appointed guardians exercised their right to apprise us every time they saw us demanding cold drinks, fast foods, chocolates and we still sneakily use to go right after them, isn’t this the responsibility of our mind to tell us “Don’t”.In this time of extreme turmoil, when almost every business is trying to stay afloat one concept is in full swing and that is  “Mindfulness”. Instagram, LinkedIn and almost all social to professional media platforms are flooded with aspiring experts guiding distinct techniques to achieve mindfulness, now the catch is, it sounds really pragmatic to start with but as you delve deeper you realize it is not at all easy, we don’t even know what being mindful is, we entertain every thought, we allow these thoughts to trigger random emotions and hence our actions are more often reckless. Interestingly never knew that there are over 20 different ways of meditation, thanks to the endless surge of these mindful experts, I now know that none of them works in isolation and these varied contours gifted to  Sigmund Freud Id, Ego, Super-ego model of structural Psyche, is simply too much for an ingenious mind.Just a close peer of this latest vogue speaks volumes about the enormous popularity of the growing space, which simply translates to how brazen our mind is, it goes right onto things, it shouldn’t, simply because it is the one passing orders right now and our muted body is simply complying to them.There has already a lot been written and spoken about how to tame the mind however real action lies in practice, but how much of this practice will make it happen? Wait, I think something interesting is cooking next door.last_img read more

Women empowerment vs being a woman

first_imgThese days we are hearing about women empowerment, quite a lot, and why not…the issue is of grave concern, but have we really thought about empowering the women?There are banners, posters, movies, plays, directing and making people aware about empowering women by educating them, giving them a stand in the corporates, a stand in the parliament, a stand-in armed services, etc. and lot more, but is our society mature enough to grasp the depth of the matter?Well, it doesn’t seem so! Women who are well educated, well paid, having a good status in the society, have to succumb to the atrocities of the society, many times, just to maintain their status quo in the society where they live and why, because of the fear of rejection, fear of being left alone. They are by the definition, empowered enough to take care of themselves but they live in the society……a society not only of men but also of women who are equally responsible for their distress.Power doesn’t come only from these superimposed personalities…it comes from within…and I believe all the women are empowered enough to take care of themselves provided they are well accepted with whatever status they have. If someone is divorced, then eyebrows are raised, if someone is left by the family then brows are raised, if someone is in a live-in relationship then brows are raised, if the woman herself leaves their family then there is a big question mark on the character…why?Women relent to such situations, not because they are not empowered, but because they are not accepted in this society. If we go back to our mythology, then we can see, that even Sita was empowered enough to reject Ram after going through the character test and then chose not to live with him after being humiliated. Same is the case in present times also.If women choose to be a homemaker or a breadwinner, it’s her choice. A homemaker though educated is equally empowered when respected and a breadwinner is equally not empowered when not respected. Education brings a difference to the fact that it makes women aware of their powers within but if challenged the uneducated women can also create havoc for her rights. All the forms of ‘DEVI ‘ as described in our mythology are actually the forms of the unleashed powers when challenged.Their power lies within, and not given. Society needs to be educated for unleashing the power within and it has to be taught from the childhood to both men and women that there is nothing like bestowed powers …its the encouragement, respect, acceptance, and love that reinforces the power of women.Let women be women, as natural and loving as made by GOD and just not literate them and people around us, but educate all of them to respect and accept in all their forms and support in troubled times…..that is the real empowerment and a manifestation of their existence.last_img read more

How digital marketing has changed with Covid-19 and how to adapt?

first_imgWe all have been affected by Covid-19 in some way or the other in our personal and professional lives. While most have been badly affected but at the same time, there are ways to deal with it to minimize the consequence of this pandemic.Most businesses have realized one thing that the conventional way of marketing their product or services has to change if they have not already. Digital marketing plays a very major role in today’s businesses to reach out to the right audience at the right time. More so because people are mostly indoors and consuming information mostly online. This is the right time to go all out with your digital branding.One needs to understand that digital marketing is not all about running Google Adwords or ads on Facebook and Instagram. Digital marketing needs to be aligned with a perfect strategy for your brand to stand out and connect with its existing and potential customers.Listing down a few strategies which brands can think of during this pandemic while they invest in marketing their products or services online.1. Giving BackThis pandemic allows brands to connect with their audience by giving back to their community. There are so many people who have suffered huge losses and need help to fight this battle. As a brand, if you can touch the emotions of your customers with the right intent to help their community, then this can create a massive difference in their minds and they will keep your brand name at the top of their mind. For example, if you are in the consulting industry, you can give free video consulting, or if you are in the clothing industry, then you can think of the distribution of free masks, etc.2. Spread positivityCovid-19 brings with itself a very negative atmosphere where the entire world is dealing with this fear reading about such negative news and stories across the world. It’s just not the pandemic but a lot of other negative events happening around us which makes us lose our peace of mind. As a brand, if you can change this by spreading positivity, then the audience will definitely count on you at this hour. For example, start with a series of positive quotes, a collection of positive stories/news around the world, or make videos that do not talk about your product but aim to bring a smile on your audience’s face. This will create a direct connection with your audience. Sometimes without even talking a single thing about your product, you can still be the gainer.3. Go innovativeInnovation is the need of the hour in terms of marketing. A regular ad in Google or Facebook is no more a fancy thing to do. What needs to be kept in mind is the copy and the visual of the ad along with the user journey of the landing page where you take them to. If people are right mostly keeping themselves indoors then as a brand you need to give a store-like experience to your customers virtually. And this applies to most product-specific brands starting from apparel to real estate. The service industry which is suffering very badly needs to be prepared in building the confidence of people on how careful they are about the safety of their customers and employees. This confidence will be of great value when the services resume. But this confidence-building need to start today.4. Use social influencersInternet and social media have given rise to a lot of micro-influencers who may not be as popular as the Bollywood stars but certainly has their niche follower base which different brands can think of to reach out to their potential customers. The micro-influencers are more affordable and have a decent reach which will certainly amplify your brand. This is also the right time to engage with a social influencer for your brand as more and more influencers are creating interesting content and engaging with their followers at a regular interval.The way we communicate with each other has changed now, so this should not come as a surprise that how brands need to communicate with their customers also need to change. Using effective digital marketing strategies is the way forward. I hope the tips I shared will help you define your marketing strategies on the right track.last_img read more

Steps of US, Germany and India amid global unemployment

first_imgThe epidemic is one but Germany and America are not. Both have a different policy regarding employment and unemployment. Germany directed all the employers, owners of corporate offices and shops, to fill only one form from all the people who are in their payroll. No certificate, no lengthy process. 60 to 87 per cent of the salary that everyone was getting started going into their account. Of course, 100 per cent of the salary was not paid, but it was better to ensure 60 to 87 per cent of the money from the job. By doing this, the German government saved people from being unemployed. There was no layoff. In Germany, one crore people have benefited from this scheme.So in the months of the epidemic, i.e. in March and April, the unemployment rate in Germany increased from just 5 per cent to 5.8 per cent. In the US, the unemployment rate increased from 4.4 per cent to 14.7 per cent. Germany did not wait for the people to be evacuated first, then we would give an unemployment allowance. Germany’s policy was not to leave anyone’s job. Once the company withdraws, it is difficult to keep back. By doing this, Germany also saved the bargaining power of the workers. When the economy returns to track, their salary will start getting back. If they were removed from the job, or the company would not have kept him again or he would have reduced the salary greatly.America has decided that those who are unemployed will get an allowance. Four million people in America have applied for this allowance. Is also getting Germany also has a policy in America but is half-hearted. When unemployed in America, an application has to be made. Then there is an epidemic unemployment allowance from the centre. 600 dollars. Germany did not pay full salary but paid 60 to 87 per cent.India is the only country where 10 crore people became unemployed. Of these, about two crores were regular salary paid. If you add four men behind a man, then according to this, the population of 50 crore does not have income. Still, there is no talk of unemployment in India. The media is not doing. What are people doing? Therefore, doing politics in India is the easiest. Because India is the only country where unemployment is not a political issue. People are not talking. The youth of India only talk about their recruitment exams. They never talk about the policy of unemployment and its related nuances.last_img read more

Because You Matter…

first_imgThey say it’ll take 21 days for anything to become a habit; in reality, it’s 93 days!!! The lockdown and quarantine is the new habit!!!It’s been 4 months since we all got to learn about “Quarantine”… Initially, we laughed and mocked at how things were going around but when things got serious, our lives got equally serious… Moms and Dads spent all their day juggling from a room to another balancing calls and home, kids had to forgo their playtime and elders were forced to see only the 4 walls of their houses. Amidst this, most of us had panic attacks and anxiety as to the illness – mostly hoping that we don’t contract the illness…This four months of staying at home have been quite a learning – men and women are balancing work and home, kids are getting tuned to household chores, elders, though forced to stay home, are doing pretty well! On its flip side, mental health concerns are on the rise – elders are anxious, people are depressed and kids are stressed…It is important to keep mental health in mind – the emotions tend to go for a toss; sudden anger, feeling low, getting upset… It is important to check on yourself first because you matter…Make sure you get some physical activity at hand to sweat those thoughts out because you matter…When you can’t physically go out for breaks, connect with your favourites because you matter!There is always light at the end of a dark tunnel; likewise, this pandemic is sure to come to an end! Till then, mental health and you matter… It’s okay to feel low but what is not okay is hiding your feelings; its okay to get upset but what is not okay is not expressing it.last_img read more