Thursday, March 10, 2005


I don't know if you've seen Gangs of New York . There is this one scene in which our friend Daniel Day Lewis branded Leo DiCaprio with a hot blade after Leo failed in his attempt to kill him.
Point in me giving you senseless bit of trivia being - um, nothing actually.
The sad fact of life as a journalist sometimes is that we all get branded as this or that. Usually, the branding reads "Lazy, incompetent bastard." Just for your information, most PR agencies keep little databases on every journalist, so they usually know how smart or unsmart you are. They also know who is an easy target with the 'but this is EXCLUSIVE to you' bit. Given that several journalists suffer from the often career-fatal disease of byline incontinence this is a very important thing for PR agencies to know.
I've always wondered how I would have been branded on some of these files. "Loose cannon, talks through his ass, alcoholic, son of in/famous person." No, seriously, the last one does matter. Even though, in my four years as a journalist I would guess that I have done enough, broken enough stories to be called K, but I'll always be CS' son. I'm still introduced at some meetings like that, the last time I wanted to smash the PR guys face in with a hammer, but that would have left a slight mess at the Club Bar. That said, I am usually rather comfortable with PR guys, and some are even friends. I usually only want to kill other journalists.
Anyway, my branding rant is more or less over now.
However, someone who suffers from a serious branding issue is Shekhar Gupta.
Sometimes I wonder in our over the top attempt to be liberal, sometimes we just lose the plot. I guess most desis are rather conservative at heart, and the world is generally getting more and more conservative. Red America is a great/weird/ironic example. So, will India be left with 'Blue' bastions in certain parts of major metropolitan areas and have the rest swallowed up by a 'Red' thinking majority.
BTW, 'Red' and 'Blue' in the American sense - Red for Republican and Blue for Democrat.
I should really join politics.
In case, you are bored, just go here. I was told I am 75% South East Asian and 25% Chinese. That puts the 'Japanese Tourist' story to bed, which involved me in a floppy hat with narrow specs making me look like the jovial character from a bad hentai movie. It also involved friends hopped up on a lot a LSD.
In another guise, I supposedly review gadgets and gizmos, and write about them. So I just thought I would get the initial reviews off my chest over here. Right now I have the Nokia 9300.
Initial feeling : Nice, sturdy phone with big keys. I like the form factor, it fits well into my gorilla sized hands.
Initial usage experience : The 9300 is a slightly smaller, and lighter version of the Communicator 9500, sans camera. Now, my dad in one of his more recent 'lightbulb' moments told me that he would move a private members bill banning camera cellphones. Now, I hope that I managed to switch that light off, I think. The problem is that camera cellphones, as the DPS students having a good time proved, can be, well, misused by horny young teenagers. And understandably, many defence establishments, law offices and call-centres even in India have banned camera-phones. So, the 9300 is a good phone for people who want a cool new phone, but are limited by the fact that almost every nice new phone has a big megapixel camera. I liked the Communicator so much that I gave it a stellar review. I like the 9300 too. I like it more than the SonyEricsson P910i in my other pocket.
Would I buy one? I don't have Rs 37K to blow on a phone right now, and that is just the listed price, but still a tad too expensive for me. I would still prefer a Nokia 7610.
OK, todays version done, tata.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shekhar Gupta 'branded' himself and his paper as anti-establishment figures. But is now busy drumming up support for the establishment. His duplicity is the issue, not whether he's 'liberal' or 'conservative'. Such behaviour in the final analysis damages the institution of press far more than it harms him because we lose faith in the institution, just as we have lost faith in politicians.