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Off-Centre

Four advertising biggies -- Alyque Padamsee, Prahlad Kakar, Prasoon Joshi and Piyush Pandey -- were commemorating 100 years of Indian advertising on NDTV tonight. They, of course, stand for a certain attitude. And it was nice listening to them. I was thinking the only person missing in the panel was Businessworld's former media editor -- God's gift to media and advertising writing in journalism, or so she thought. She in the panel would have added the zing thing to the flurry of rhetorics from the four ad gurus. Quite a behenji in the head, she was also a bundle of contradictions to me!

But she was a demiGod to the desk. Was never late with her production briefs and stories, handed everything on time, that she made the other reporters look like wankers in comparison. Of her, the Pro once said "fury is the name of thy woman whose story is cut." She loved her words -- they came in all forms and expressions. According to her, "million people armed with handsets want to be entertained when they are travelling, waiting or simply living. ..." Was I impressed?

I miss the presence of this distinct group of people in BW, people who were around since antiquity and then have moved on to other avenues, newer ventures in life. The versatility of talent gave the place its distinct flavour. Now things seem changing. The new semi-desk head, who has joined a month back, adviced a young trainee, not to mix with the two women in the team, lest he gets influenced by them and shifts focus from work. Now the poor trainee, impressionable and earnest, was so disheartened that he was actually upset the whole day that day. "Who is he to tell me who I should talk to and who not to," he fumed. The semi-head also asked the group why they keep laughing... I am thinking employers should now start running a mental stability test apart from the English language and editing skills test before hiring. Maybe there is a story here for our our case study specialist Meera Seth.

It's nice to be eccentric, unconventional, non-conformist, et al. The four gurus gave me ample reason to like them tonight. They showed that side of their nature. And they were honest enough to admit that everything in India is influenced by the West today without going ballistic on Hindutva and Hinglish. They say the influence is, in fact, quite a liberating experience that finds expression everywhere -- from family set ups to profession to personal lives. True enough! But that still leaves me with a perennial question: what do you do when you encounter a chronic bachelor at work and one who stinks too? God save me from the stench becomes more the ardent prayer.

Comments

Anonymous said…
imagine my predicament i'm assaulted by stink from my either side :(. AM waiting for their training to end :(
Unknown said…
Oh yeah, the stink. I just hold my breath whenever he's around. And it was so ironic the other day when he brought over that page with the headline, 'Raising a stink'. Killed me! :D

And who is this woman you're talking about in the first half of the post? Sounds interesting. How long back was she here?
Anonymous said…
He, he.... Indira, you are the best. Businessworld has been a great place to work because everyone had a certain freedom they enjoyed, appreciated and respected.

It's sad to see the kind of questions being asked to trainees, etc. Pray, it doesn't become a workplace. For long, It has been a place where people enjoyed, grew as persons and worked.

- Kunal

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