29 September, 2012

My First Naysayer

The band and I decided to take our marketing efforts up a notch over the last few weeks. We shot a few songs on a regular camera and put them up on YouTube for the world to watch and listen. I spent a good part of last week trying out some rudimentary blues guitar scales and putting up those videos. While I shall be the first to admit that they are not particularly great, but one has got to start somewhere.

I spammed the mailboxes of most of the friends I know with the video…well, marketing 101, and cost of acquiring a new customer is higher than the cost of existing friends. And I’ll be damned if I don’t put those marketing classes to real use. While the number of views on YouTube match the number of friends to whom I sent the video to (thank you all for at least clicking the link), one of the videos seemed to have found their way into the search results of this unknown-to-me guy who simply hated my work.

Keeping in line with the great tradition of ‘giving friendly (and free) advice although nobody asked you for it’, I have been told to practice more. And that I clearly have no clue on how to play the scale or pick a guitar, and until I learn to do so, I should NOT upload videos on YouTube. And apparently somewhere I claimed I am an expert.

Now the contents of the feedback are secondary. I am just so thrilled that there is one person in the world, whose mailbox I did not spam and whom I don’t know, who found my video and sat through it and took time out of his busy ‘YouTube trolling’ schedule to give me some free advice. Not only that, despite hating the first video, the guy went on to see a second video and was equally disappointed enough to leave a second comment. What’s more, he even hit the dislike button. That’s definitely a point in the bag for my marketing and social media skills. Maybe this will snowball into an epic ‘gangnam’ style rage.

The content of the comments are equally inspiring. This guy is giving me good feedback on what he believes is pathetic and that’s fair enough. I do need more practice, but that does not mean I am not going to stop putting up videos on YouTube. All artists go through the phase before they can mature and make good sounding videos. And it is really a big deal to have someone hate your work so much that they go through another video of yours to leave discouraging messages. Lucky for me, I’m not easily discouraged in such matters. Dear friend, I WILL NOT STOP PUTTING VIDEOS on YouTube. 

It would be prudent for me to draw inspiration from folks like Justin Bieber and Vennu Mallesh whose music and videos everyone hates (some claim it makes their ears bleed), but they still do their own thing. I see no reason I should wait until I sound like John Petrucci to upload videos. As long as it is free, I will not stop.  I’ll sign off on this post before I start sounding like an inspirational speech from Rocky. Allow me to quote the artist who would have beaten Rebecca Black had it not been for ‘Oppa gangnam style’ – It’s my life, whaaateva I wanna do it.

PS: This Vennu Mallesh guy not only has a video on YouTube with about 1,500,000 views, he has a Facebook page, and his song can be downloaded off iTunes. Also autographed copies of his picture are available off eBay. That’s inspiring.  


PPS: I thank Google.com for the images. Don't sue please, no money. Will have to make other type of videos and play guitar in public then. At least you can ignore me now.

14 September, 2012


I always stay away from diets…obviously; the first few letters of the word are D-I-E. But I seem to know a lot of people who seem to have no problem whatsoever going claiming to go on a diet. And it is sheer coincidence that they are all women. Just to set the record straight, this is not a sexist post, but then again guys rarely make a big deal out of going on a diet. We make a big deal of other unintelligent matters like ‘Will the Indian cricket team play with 2 spinners and 1 seamer or the other way around’.

I have friends who tell me they have become as large as a cow. And when I do meet them, they resemble nothing like a cow…or even a calf. And quite frankly, it is very condescending to call yourself fat in front of yours truly and weigh only half of what I weigh. And don’t give me the whole, “dude it’s a relative thing…” nonsense. Then why do you have shirts sizes like XS, S, M and L, and have hardly any XL and XXL sizes stocked up. (Shoppers Stop does not sell shirts larger than size 44.... I have not shopped there since 2010) There should probably be a category called ‘gravitationally challenged’ and the smallest size in that should be an XXL.

Coming back to the point, these very people who claim to be on a diet abuse the poor word and cheat on it far worse than Bill Clinton on Hilary. Take this friend for example who from the time I know her has been claiming to be fat and on a diet. This involves having watermelon and buttermilk 3-4 times a day. But that is only from Monday to Thursday. Weekends are reserved for biryani, pizza and all the other divine food in the world. And yet she wonders why she isn’t losing any weight. The same friend comes along to a Chinese restaurant and does not allow yours truly to order the cashew nut chicken because of the calories, but has no problem with chopsuey. Am I the only one who sees the pointlessness of this so called diet?

Take example of another acquaintance who claims to be on a sugar free diet, except on birthdays, festivals and weekends. Barring the ice cream, jalebi, gulab jamun and other sweetmeats on those days, it’s a no-no sugar day, which is probably one day in the week. And yet claims they are on a diet.

The word ‘diet’ among women has seems to have reached the same whore-like status as the word ‘strategy’ among MBA grads. While I don’t want to take away credit from the serious dieters who have been blessed with a far stronger will power than I, I just think a vast majority of women are being unfair to them by claiming to be on a diet as well. I once went on a diet….6 months of no sugar, no fried food, no alcohol, no non veg except chicken, and I did manage to lose about 15 kilos. And it was tough business. This was back in the day when I was a little stronger when it came to will power. And THAT was a diet, considering my staple diet was chicken steak, chocolate mousse cake and cold-mint ice cream….EVERY DAY!

A diet is like the role of a mother. There are no off-days, there are no breaks, and there are no weekends or festivals. It’s a 24 hour struggle against temptations like gulab jamun, long island ice tea, pani puri, pepper chicken steak and oh so much more. Anyway, all this talk about food has made me hungry for a chocolate brownie, maybe with some vanilla ice cream. (Somewhere a diet-faker just thought to herself,” ice cream….hmmm….the chubby one might be right, it is time for ice cream. Besides, it’s the weekend.”)

On an unrelated note, one of our lovely (read skinny and brain dead) Indian models, Vanya Mishra won a ‘Miss Multimedia’ award at the Miss World. Since when the devil are they giving pageant contestants awards for sitting on Facebook? Of all the categories that include Beach fashion, performing talent, sports & fitness, beauty with a purpose and more…. We won the title for someone who spends most of her time uploading videos on YouTube and liking people’s inane comments on Facebook. (We could have excused her if she were following this blog… correct no!?!?!?!?)