मेरे कमरे की वो खिड़की बड़ी सयानी थी

उसने देखा मेरा बचपन मेरी जवानी थी

यही है वो जिसने था जगाया मुझे हर सुबह
सूरज की किरणों के साथ मिलके ये देती थी मुझको गुदगुदा
पर्दों से इसको अपना गुस्सा दिखाया मैने
अपने नींद को थोड़ा सा और बड़ाया मैने
पर हमारी दोस्‍ती काफी पक्की थी
की हवा पर्दों पे जैसे ही लपक थी
मैं अपने हाथ को फिर खिड़की की तरफ बडता था
पर्दा उसके और खुद के बीच से हटाता था
हवा का झोंका जैसे उसे मानने  मेरा साथ देता था
वो उसके दोनो पल्लों को बाहों की तरह खोल देता था
ये अनबन तो जैसे मेरे जीवन में अनी जानी थी
मेरे कमरे की वो खिड़की बड़ी सयानी थी
जब होती शाम टोह ये खिड़की चेहक चेहक के गीत गाती थी
मेरे हर दोस्त की आवाज़ इसके पेहलू से ही आती थी
इसने कयी बार की मुझसे शिकायत भी
की क्यूं बिल्लू की खिड़की को तुम ऐसे सताते हो
क्‍यूं अपना बल्ला हमेशा उसी की ओर घुमाते हो
शायद उन दोनो खिड़कियों की अपनी इक कहानी थी
मेरे कमरे की वो खिड़की बड़ी सयानी थी
जवानी की दस्तक भी इसी खिड़की ने सुनाई मुझको
इसी के कंधे तले थी वो लड़की दिखाई मुझको
की जिसके नाम का चर्चा मैने ना जाने कितने साल अपने दिल से किया
उसकी दिनचर्या को कलमों की तरह याद किया
8 बजे सुबह वो स्कूल jaati थी
7:45 पे वो नहा के आती थी
वो कंगा हरजाई जाने कैसे ज़ुल्म करता था
की बाल बनाती वो थी…. जान मेरी निकल जाती थी
फिर खिड़की ने उनके हुस्न की तारीफ की इक तरकीब निकाली
उनके दीदार पे खुद ही खुल जाती थी साली
वो हसीन नहीं समझ पायी नीयत इस खिड़की की …और हाये जो करी कलाकारी
मेरे प्यार भरे पैगाम पर … ए अल्लाह उन्होने चप्पल उतारी
खैर निशाना कच्चा था उनका …
मैं तो बच गया खिड़की नहीं बच पायी हाये
उसने अपने 4 by 6 के दो काँच गवाये
मैने समझाया उसे की अच्छा नहीं जोश-ए-जवानी
मेरे कमरे की वो खिड़की थी बड़ी सयानी
सच्चे दोस्त नहीं होते हैं जुदा
उनकी दोस्ती की हिफाज़त तो खुद करता है खुदा
शायद इसी लिये उसने मुझे बुढापे मे इतना वक़्त दिया
बुझाये लाख मेरे अपनो के नहीं बूझा है मेरे जीवन का दिया
अब बस मैं हूँ और मेरी दोस्त ये खिड़की पुरानी है
इसके साथ ही गुफ्तगू मे बाकी उम्र जानी है
ये आज भी सुनाती मुझे अपने और परायों की कहानी है
सच में… ये मेरे कमरे की खिड़की बोहोत सयानी है

Billions of dollars in venture capital, corporate bigwigs lining up to invest in them and a slew of takeovers, the Indian dotcom space has been abuzz. While these are certainly the most noticeable developments that one can’t miss, there is a big transformation happening underneath as well.

The dotcom companies especially e-commerce websites are becoming the breeding ground for future star marketers. A report from Randstad India recently pitched e-commerce as the next big stimulant for employment in the country. They expect over 50,000 new jobs to be created in E-commerce websites and given the stiff competition in this space, marketers will form a significant portion of this pie.

The usual suspects

Traditionally, FMCG companies have been the number one choice of professionals hoping to make a career in marketing. Given the huge sensitivity of their sales to advertising, FMCG companies typically represented the largest marketing spends and thus opportunities to display your marketing prowess as a professional. This is changing fast.

New Kids on the block

e-commerceE-commerce companies are fighting for the largest share of the expanding consumer pie and given their similar product and service offerings, being top of mind is critical. Advertising and consumer connect initiatives are no longer sales drivers alone, they are strategic elements for these businesses. Unless you grow your turnover rapidly, you are likely to be either eaten up by competition or by the investors who would sell you out to a bigger player with a large M&A war chest. Therefore, marketing is fast becoming the most important department in an e-commerce office.

Media Spends

Media budgets of E-commerce players are growing rapidly and so is the number of people aspiring to craft that one brilliant campaign. E-commerce websites are already spending over 100 crores an year on advertising. Just to put that in perspective, this budget is already more than half of what HUL spends. Marketing spends for E-commerce players are going to grow exponentially and possibly touch INR 2500 Cr by 2015 as per Anupriya Acharya, Group CEO, ZenithOptimedia, India. This is likely to have a rub-off on the salaries of marketers as well and hence add to the lure of joining the next big e-commerce idea.

Creative Sparks

Creativity is central to marketing and if the last couple of years are an indicator then these new kids on the block certainly have it aplenty. I will not analyze all campaigns undertaken by Flipkart, Jabong, OlX, Snapdeal etc in detail but I would certainly share my favorites with you. Also I have deliberately abstained from featuring digital campaigns as given the business setup it is unfair to compare e-commerce and FMCG companies on this marketing dimension.

Flipkart: ‘Kids acting like adults’ has been the key theme that Flipkart commercials have followed since the very beginning. The commercials got great success as they positioned e-commerce as a child’s play and also dispelled several inhibitions about purchasing online through innovative scripts. This link has a compilation of their ads, I am sure you will enjoy watching them.

Snapdeal: While I am not a big fan of the ‘saving’ peg that Snapdeal has taken with respect to its TVCs, I guess the ads are doing their job with respect to getting consumer’s attention. I will however like you to watch the following initiative taken up by Snapdeal which is an amusing ride into the glorious days of Indian advertising.

OLX: Womaniya is truly the campaign that represents OLX as far as I am concerned. It catapulted the average Indian housewife to e-commerce centrestage. Targeting the right TG and establishing OLX’s leadership on the mobile platform, this campaign left Quikr gasping for breath. Quikr has subsequently gone ahead and launched its own “Khachaak Karo” campaign to a lukewarm response. The campaign’s newspaper innovation asking users to turn their “cellphone” to a “sellphone” was also a noteworthy initiative.

Changing the marketing paradigm

Creative campaigns are a part of the change but E-commerce is more than just creativity. Their agile organizational structures and open & collaborative culture is helping them explore new marketing paradigms. The recent association of Flipkart and OLX for a print campaign is a great example. This campaign urges the users to first sell their old stuff on OLX and buy new on Flipkart.

flipkart Olx- Value chain marketing copy

Here is two big e-commerce players coming together to not only make perfect creative sense but also a great business case of media spend optimization. In my opinion, this is the first Value Chain oriented marketing initiative that has been undertaken in the Indian market. It’s a move that can change the Indian marketing landscape by paving the way for extensive media marketing association amongst industry peers in times to come.

Closing comments

These are exciting times for the industry as economic revival is breaking its slumber along with the rapid pace of smart-phone penetration in the country. E-commerce wars might just replace cola wars as the flagship marketing case study for the graduation class of 2020?

The recent ad campaign of Airtel has been received with mixed reactions. TVC showcases a new age corporate couple where the female protagonist happens to be the boss of her husband in the office. While few can deny novelty of the concept, there is a big question mark over its propriety in the Indian demographic context.

In a male dominated society like India such an ad campaign is bound to raise eyeballs. And conservative men taking offence to it is also understandable. I am confident that the brand manager of airtel would have factored this reaction before airing the TVC. I also hope that AIRTEL’s gamble of taking this peg was based on some solid market research.

What is surprising though is that even women have strong things to say against the campaign. Older women are damning the concept for being away from Indian reality. While  the younger lot says that the ad still undermines the position of women in the society because inspite of being the boss the wife has to still come back home and cook for the husband.


The ad also struggles to drive home the message of AIRTEL being the best smartphone network. The concept and the TVC deny adequate attention to the key message as it is unleashed at the culmination. As a viewer once you have seen the ad, the script overwhelms the message with respect to what you remember at the end of it.

Discussion through controversy looks like only positive ruboff that airtel will secure out of this campaign. Only if you could call it a real benefit. I would be keenly looking forward to the post campaign analysis of this project.

Please share your views in the comments section below.

Unlike most global markets, newspapers have been growing at a rapid pace in India especially in regional languages. Consequently, brands continue to give primary attention to ‘print’ in their media plans especially when it’s critical to reach out to the educated middle class (prized audience group).

One constraint that however cripples the newspaper industry vis-à-vis digital and electronic mediums is the flexibility (read creative liberty) it can offer to advertisers. Media professionals in the print industry are continuously devising ways to offer more value to their key customers. The industry is moving fast towards customized contextual solutions from plain vanilla advertising.

In the bid to offer flexibility there are numerous news-papers who sell editorial content. But being a part of brand solutions team at Hindustan Times things are different. Our editorial content is not for sale and hence our job is even more difficult, we try hard to provide context to client communication.

Contextual Advertising

This post is to share one such success which as per my opinion delivers great value to the advertiser while holding our editorial integrity intact. This is a campaign that we have taken up for DS Group. Pass Pass is a mouth freshener that uses traditional Indian ingredients. The brand is positioned around bringing people together and promotes friendship.The above creative was published in the lifestyle supplement of the Hindustan Times on Friendships Day.

The occasion and the context offers a great integration for the brand. More so since the content features prominent celebrities the brand gets a priceless rub-off from the brand personality of the celebrities in question. Imagine what will be the value of a story that can position your brand in consonance with Salman, Shahrukh, Priyanka, Karan and Kareena. This is the true magic of contextual branding solutions.


जितना मिल जाये कम है,

सौ खुशियों के बीच भी तू ढूंडता गम है,

दिल तू लालची ही रहेगा,

तुझको जो रोक पाये बता वो कौन सा फन है

This section will introduce you to the projects I am currently working on in my professional and passionate endeavors.

Work in progress

Work in progress

  • Unclog Delhi: A novel initiative to clean up the traffic mess from Delhi roads. HT along with Maruti Suzuki and PCRA is all set to raise issues that can change the way Delhi travels. Catch all the action in Hindustan Times and on this link.

unclog Delhi

  • Gurgaon: Inter Society Football Action: A first-of-its-kind inter-society football challenge that brings alive the excitement of FIFA for Gurgaon residents. Check out more heregifa
  • Short Story: This is a mystery story about the murder of a 9 year old girl who wasn’t expected to live long anyways as cancer her gripped her body completely. Its an interesting account of how a young couple unravels the dark secret behind the death of their dream, their daughter.

I am working on a couple of great projects involving premium theatre and music event in Gurgaon and Delhi. Will share details after they are launched officially. Not to forget, Delhi University’s best freshers party will also see my ideas come to life for our key sponsors. Watch this space for more.

follow your heart

The sound of power erupts

Feared are the sinful and corrupt

Innocence of life stops to take a note

Winds of change accompany the divine soak

May the rains dry up the world of misery and pain

The poor shall prosper, the weakest shall gain

For once follow your heart, rest your brain

Logic is incompetent of decrypting the heart’s code

No point of being a man in always in the  ‘sleep’ mode

Wake up to the calling of life and move

No goals to conquer, no point to prove

The performance is more rewarding than the applause that follows

Come let’s bring back humanity from the deathly gallows.

Health driven technology has been the talk of the tech town for a while now. Acquisitions, product concepts and even some launches from the gadget giants of the world have brought this segment to life. Fitness Apps like Noom have been consistently charting in the top 20 apps on stores across iOS and Android. The trend suggests developing interests of the consumers.

Facebook joined the ‘I will make my consumer healthy’ party by announcing its acquisition of “Moves”, a popular fitness tracking app. Analyst believe that this move is a part of Facebook’s ‘capture the social life’ strategy of Facebook which stacks up a range of standalone applications in addition to the flagship Facebook app. 

Samsung took a plunge in this segment with its S Fitness App on flagship devices like S4 and Gear smart-watches. Apple’s iPhone 6 is also expected to feature a lot of health oriented apps and may be hardware as well.

With so much happening around, I think there is a case for everybody to step back and take a view if it still makes sense to invest in this segment. In my view, the following are the three broad themes that emerge around Fitness Applications, and none of them makes a compelling proposition for a large investment. Let’s have a look

1) Consumers would pay for health oriented technology: I am unsure if a user will buy an expensive phone/device because it can monitor your heart rate (Samsung S5 is a case in point).

2) Showcase individual fitness achievement: An individual might want to celebrate his/her journey to blissful health by tracking performance consistently but FB and Twitter already provide a good enough stage to do that with pics and text. An app that add layers to this communication would not to much good.

3) Social Health: May be people would like to socialize over fitness regimens, diet charts and Yoga poses. But would you really want to go social while you are sweating the hell off after a 2km jog? I doubt.

I believe that this technology will only make inroads if it doesn’t lead to incremental cost for the consumer. Therefore gadget manufacturers might want to do a cost benefit analysis before they acquire another calorie counting code.



क्‍यूं ना छू लूँ नीलगगन को

क्यूं ना चंद पे पाओं धरूं

हर मंज़िल को लपक के छूलूँ
हर मुश्किल को स्वाहा करूं

मैं तो हूँ उस रब का बंदा
क्यूं फिर और कीसी से डरूँ

आकाश है मेरा रंगमंच
इन्द्रधनुष से रंग भरूँ

मैं समर्थ हूँ, मैं विराट
हर पल जय का उद्घोष करूं

आओ साथ चलो मेरे की दुनिया अपनी राह ताके
कौन और इन सीमाओं को अपने वश में बाँध सके

हर पर्वत अपना मित्र है, हर नदी से अपनी यारी

हर सिंह ने अपने ताज की बाज़ी, बस हम से ही हारी

ये पल वही , ये स्थल वही जो कर्मभूमि केहलायेगी

हर इच्छा तेरी… कर प्रयास तेरी नियती बन जायेगी

क्यूं ना छू लूँ नीलगगन को
क्यूं ना चंद पे पाओं धरूं

हर मंज़िल को लपक के छू लूँ
हर मुश्किल को स्वाहा करूं


That first step in the rain

That eternal quest and the pain

I will settle for nothing but the best

Will not bend down or put my soul to rest

I am born to achieve

And everyday, I face the sun with belief

I stand man to man, eye to eye

Not afraid, no fear, not shy

This is my stage, my chance to prove

I will soar to the acme, fly out of my groove

A flight that the world would live to narrate

Every time they say my name there will be a source so great

When a tree climbs…. it’s the roots …who achieve

They get it back for their trust and belief

There have been thousands who have said it and I repeat

There is nothing more than your smile that I want to achieve

You are the one for whom I strive so hard

To make you feel the pride right there, in your heart

I know the route is tough and the distance too large

But I am right there next to you every minute every hour

Mom…have faith…believe me …I can

I write to express not the sorrow, not the pain

But the love that I have saved … for the time we meet again.

One day is not enough to celebrate your greatness but its a beginning none the less. Happy Mother’s Day Maa…