Sunday, July 19, 2009

Courage & Lucky

Last night i was at home. Hoping for a peaceful dinner. The veranda had been set for my kids' dinner. 11 bowls of meat khichdi. That's when i heard our neighbour's dog wailing. Peering over the compound wall, i saw that the dog, Lucky, was tied to a bench in the bungalow veranda.

FYI, Lucky was adopted by them but he comes to play in our house whenever he finds a gate open. He's like our 12th kid. Just visiting... We vaccinated him and gave him a collar... screamed at the bungalow caretakers whenever they left him alone and crying in their bungalow. That's why he's called Lucky. He doesn;t have too much of it anyway at home.

Yesterday was another such day for Lucky. No food since morning. Tied to a bench with a rough metal chain. Crying through the evening. So i took a ladder, scaled the 10ft wall... dropped onto the other side. Took food for him. He lapped up a bowl of milk & rice, then a bowl of khichdi and then a bowl of dahi. He lay there satisfied. I went off happier than Lucky. Couldn't untie him but i am sure (i hope) he went off to sleep after that... hopefully the caretakers are back today.

While i was in the middle of climbing over the wall and jumping across to their bungalow, a thought struck me. I love mybrands and our campaigns... but why didn't i ever have the courage to scale walls for them? Imagine what what would have happened if a police patrol car or somebody else had caught me scaling that wall... or loitering around their garden at 10pm... while nobody was at home. I could be in lock up. I would have had to do a lot of explaining. But i was mad enough not to give it a thought and just jumped over.

What if i could do that for my brands that i care for? Have i ever scaled a wall? Have i ever done something so impulsively? It feels good. What if i never thought of the outcome so much? Just went for it... Life might have been far simpler for me. Maybe i would have had better success with my dreams of building brands.

Yes. We need to be lucky. But with courage we can do better. Just plain, selfless courage.
With that, no wall is high enough.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Honest like a dog

I wish i could be as honest as my dogs (Here on they will be called my kids). Whatever your B-School might have taught you, honesty still pays. It hurts the client but some day it does pay. I have lost clients. Infuriated them. Lost accounts and campaigns... and finally sucked up to them. Most of us. I admire the ones who don't. I wish i could be like them. The cold ruthlessness in their eyes to stand up for what they believe in. Its amazing. But why do we end up hurting people or their egos when we are honest?

I think we do that because we dont do it right. We are also scared of hurting our ego or theirs. Of losing a battle against the next job, the next deadline, the next pay check. We are scared all the time. We are scared of death that is so close... and that we have to do so much before we die... so lets give up now and move on. Or die now by hurting others with the truth.

Have my dogs ever hurt me? I can't recollect one moment. If they don't like the food, they just sulk. They make it clear that they don't like being tied up. They are honest that they hate the new kid in the house. But they don't have any grudges against me. Because it's unconditional love. They are honest because they love me and believe that i can never hurt them and nor can they. It's not just that they are color blind... they are plain simply blind when it comes to me.

They will sulk about vegfood and ignore me for a moment. The next moment they will cuddle up to me. All forgotten. No huge walls of ego to deal with. We are a friends all over again. Why is it so simple for them?

I think we don't love our jobs. We don't love our brands. We don't love our clients. Not enough. There is no ego in love. There are no conditions. There are no walls. We don't love them. They dont love us back. We are just selfish animals who are worried about our next pay check. Our next award. The next raise. The next pat on the back... I wish i could step back and have as big a heart as my kids. I wish... :-(

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Learn from a dog

I have 9 dogs. i have learnt a lot from them. Lot more than what i did from all these years of advertising. They taught me to whimper. Whine. And get their way. I have fought. Screamed. Cajoled and still didn't get my way with clients. They know how to get attention. They know how to get things done without saying a word. And all this without losing their cool. I have never seen them get upset with me. They just follow 3 rules. Selfless. Love. Persistent. And voila!

There's no substitute to those droopy eyes. And the soft whimper which says, "OK... give it to me whenever you want..." There's no ego. No angst. Just pure love and devotion.

Are we persistent and passionate enough about what we want? We lose our cool. Get our ego block our vision. If only i could be as good as my kids... what can i say? I am learning... still learning to whimper.

And this will be my whimper to the world. Hope there are enough bones out there.