Taste Your Own Medicine, India!

Mumbai is under terror attack. While I strongly denounce terrorism and killings of innocent civilians, deep down there is a great sense of “sweet revenge” that lingers in me. I can’t help it, but I’m happy that the Indians are getting a taste of their own medicine, finally.

What goes around, comes around – they say.

The Indians bred the tiger cubs (Tamil terrorists) in Madras, in government sponsored training camps and released them to the wild in Sri Lanka, trained and well-equipped to take on the Sinhalese – and look at the price we paid. They turned my Tamil friends against me, they planted hatred in their eyes. They ignited the fire that burns in this isle – it was their tactic in winning an economic war and stalling the economic boom we were witnessing in the late 70’s and early 80’s. They did succeed, leaving our Paradise in utter shambles. They poked their finger in every business in the island, and reduced us to dust – and continue to keep playing the “big bully” in the region.

Looks like its pay-back time, coming from the one above. One by one, day by day, they will pay for what they did to us. I wouldn’t care if it takes a year, a decade or a hundred years – but the tables are slowly turning.

Call it Karma, call it the rule of the universe – its time for those who sponsored, sympathised and bred terrorism to feel it, and live it – like we did for the past quarter of a century, and continue to do today.

Well, India, welcome to our world. I hope you’d enjoy living in the world you created for us.

Pic: Reuters


10 Ways to Find a Creative “Idea”

Feeling good today. I delivered a great presentation on “How to break-free from the Creative-block” to a limited audience in Jeddah, and it was very well received. I felt good, because I too knew it went well.

Art directors, copywriters, creative directors – we all go through these moments when we run out of ideas and hit the brick wall. Once in a while, we run dry; we run out of “ideas.”

With a deadline imposed upon us, hovering above us like a huge dark cloud, we somehow tend to do something and escape the imminent embarrassment. In simple, we bullshit from time to time. The Client Servicing and the Clients are none the wiser – and since creativity is an art, no one can nail you for the “crime” you have just committed. (We are not only creative, we are clever too..!)

Deep down, we know the truth. We just wish that we had done something better.

But How?

I shared with my audience TEN closely-guarded industry secrets or 10 techniques rather, that empowered them with the knowledge to break-free from their creative-block next time when it strikes. Taking “Toyota RAV4” and its positioning (USP) as an example, I delivered a good presentation that even made the research guys think of “creativity in advertising” in a new light.

It just felt so good.

Which made me wonder if I should write a book on “10 ways to find a Creative Idea” or should I just become a creative trainer. Or perhaps its just a momentary emphatic feeling of achievement – I’ll know what to do with myself when I wake up in the morning.


Bravo, bravo, bravo..!

The news is refreshing. The last bastion of terror on the North-West has fallen to the might of our military. As hope rises, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is no room for terrorism anymore in the Paradise Isle.

Quite frankly, LTTE should never have become a menace of this scale, if only the government in power treated the Tamil Terrorism the way they treated the Sinhala Terrorism in 1971 and in 1989. The uprising in 1971 was too early for me to remember, but the terrifying images of 1989 still haunt me: Dozens of bodies burning in every nook and corner every single morning, and the horrible stench that filled the air... Severed heads of victims decorating roadside fences while young Sinhalese students bound to lamp-posts and set on fire – alive... Kidnappings, abductions and killings that are far too many to document even after two decades...

That was a horrifying, but fitting, finale to an armed group that tried to rule the country by terror. Over 60,000 are still missing – and that history is better forgotten than to be remembered.

Compared to what they are capable of, the successive governments and the military have been too kind to the Tamil Terrorists. They should have treated them the same way they treated the Sinhalese in the ’70’s and the ‘80’s – eliminating them from the root even before they could hold a gun in their hands.

Nevertheless. I suppose 25-years-too-late is better than never, anyway.

Image: www.army.lk


Remembering Aimless Sex and Senseless Murder

There are some remarkable differences between the animals and the human race. Amongst them, are two things humans do without a purpose or a reason: they indulge in aimless sex and commit senseless murder. Humans are the only species to kill their own, without a justifiable cause.

Since there are many interesting blogsites that talk about the former, I shall stick to the latter.

Today, November the 11th, is the 90th anniversary of the end of the World War I. Known as the Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth, and Armistice Day in many other countries – the day is named after the armistice signed between the Allied Forces and Germany in France, where over 40,000 men were sent to death wave after wave in just one day. The day is still remembered by all those who felt the loss of nearly 20 million lives in that war. For the rest of us, it’s a special day to remember the War Veterans world over.

Be it the Poppy Flower, or the local rendition – sooriya mal – the natives of this island paradise too remember their fallen men and women on this special day. It is also a moment to remember the innocent, unarmed civilians who have lost their lives in LTTE ethnic cleansing, genocide and terror attacks – starting from Kent Farm and Dollar Farm, to recent bus-bombs all over the country.

This is a day for me to remember all those brave men in the front-line, including some of my dear friends, who gave their lives to protect the integrity of this nation. This is a moment to appreciate the sacrifices the military is making to relieve the nation from the grip of senseless terror and their relentless effort to get rid of the 25 year old menace that has crippled our economy, ruined our nation and destroyed our future.

This post also pays a special tribute to my best, and the dearest friend in the Air Force and my college-mates who are currently serving in the Navy and the Army. Its a special time to cherish the many moments we have shared and the many memories we have built in some of the most interesting and not-so-civil places in the country. It is also a moment to reflect on my life, wondering if I truly regret the decision I took to walk away from a prospective military life.

This country desperately needs to see an end to the War and LTTE’s barbaric atrocities. As the Sri Lankan forces condemn terrorists to an imminent defeat, the country could finally breathe a sigh of relief and feel the sweet smell of success in the air. For once, the government has not fallen prey to the “ceasefire-calls” from the terrorists that usually end in catastrophic military carnage. Lasting peace may not be as near, but eliminating LTTE terrorism would certainly pave the way for a long-term solution through political dialogue.

While we offer our support and encouragement to those who are in the battle front, we also offer prayers for those brave men and women whose guns have gone silent in the name of my motherland: may your souls rest in peace.


Image is Everything

Israel expels another 25 Palestinian families from their homes, after an Israeli court rules against the residents. Some of them have been living in these homes for over 50 years. In the meantime, on the other side of the border, the Israelis continue to acquire Palestinian land and build homes, settling more and more Israelis in the Palestine territory.

Over the years, the Israelis have succeeded in their campaign to portray themselves as the victim – not the aggressor. As a result, when there is a crisis in the West Bank, the World looks on, turning a blind eye to the aggression.

I have been watching their battle for well over fifteen years on television. Every time, the international media would report both sides of the story, from both sides of the fence.

I remember once watching one incident while sitting in a Dubai pub, along with my colleagues who were hailing from various different countries around the world. Yasser Arafat, quite angered by the Israeli atrocities was screaming on television – in his “not-so-polished” English, with his classic unshaven look. He wore a military look as always, and had the chequered bandana wrapped around his head. He was angry and furious, screaming and shouting, threatening the Israelis that Palestinians would take revenge in their honour.

Then appeared the Armani-clad, Boston educated Israeli government spokesman who spoke fluently and eloquently, to the point, maintaining his calm and collected outlook. He started the conversation by saying “We are a civilised nation living in a barbaric world...” and my newly arrived friends from Europe were immediately convinced that the Palestinians were barbarians... instantly.

No amount of arguments, or the many rounds of drinks that followed, would convince them otherwise.

For the World that’s watching, what matters is their own interpretation of events; not necessarily the truth. The West aren’t as news-hungry as we are, nor are they interested in digging deep to find the truth. They are quite happy believing what they see and what they hear on their favourite television channel. (I guess their television stations too have earned their credibility, unlike ours.)

“Image” has been one of the key reasons why the terrorist organisations from Sri Lanka have managed to successfully paint themselves as the sole-saviours of the Tamils. They are successfully conducting anti-national campaigns all around the world, raising funds for arms purchase.

When a government spokesperson clad in military uniform announces that “we are running a civil administration in Jaffna” at a press conference, we are humiliating ourselves in front of the international audience. The world doesn’t believe that statement. No one does, except for some idiots in this Paradise isle.

Its all about the image. Its all about establishing a credible and distinctive difference between the government and the terrorists. We have been continuously sending essential items, food and medical supplies to the terrorists who are fighting against us. We have been treating captive terrorists with dignity while they’ve beheaded our soldiers. Our military has been successfully maintaining the lowest civilian casualties in a conflict, giving priority to human life – sometimes even risking their own life. We must advertise, advertise and advertise the good – conquering the bad publicity around the world.

Perhaps its time we took a leaf out of the Israelis’ book.

We must improve our image – starting from the style of writing in the defence website. Imagine an Armani-clad, well-educated and well groomed government spokesperson with a well-spoken British accent handling the international media. If that person happens to be a gorgeous woman, perhaps we could even bomb-the-hell-out-of Kilinochchi and the World would still be on our side.

Image Copyright World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org) swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger


Of being Gay and Happy

Colombo is planing to host an Athletic Meet for the Gay & Lesbian Community (to be politically correct, LGBTIQ community). While the gay and happy people are celebrating here, on the other side of the globe they are taking to the streets. The State of California has voted to ban same-sex marriage in Prop 8 just a few months after its implementation.

This brings to the table a paradox in democracy.

Can a majority of the community vote to deprive a minority of their rights? True, the majority of the population aren’t gay; but can they take away the right of a minority in the name of democracy..?

I just wonder.


“I have one word for you folks, TOMORROW..!”

In less than 24 hours, America decides who would be their next President. Will we see the Change We Need is the biggest question that’s looming in the air. Popular vote tracking for the last five weeks show Obama’s continued lead while this morning on Anderson Cooper 360°, five out of six of the best CNN Political Analysts on the panel predicted an Obama Victory. The sixth hoped for “nothing less than a miracle” to get McCain in to the White House.

Whether Obama wins the Presidency or not, he has already won in many aspects. The biggest victory in his political arena is winning the ticket – beating an opponent of great calibre, Hillary Clinton. She is much tougher than McCain, McCain is a little pussy-cat compared to the Clintons.

Obama has already won in his biggest election promise: greater public participation in running the world’s largest democracy. The American public has been enormously electric this time, from volunteers knocking on doors to the public-at-large running Obama Campaign on YouTube, Facebook, Blogger and all imaginable new media.

He has paved the way, and given people the power to run the American politics. Already.

Internationally, Obama enjoys an overwhelming popularity – from young republics like Yugoslavia to good old democracies like France. A Facebook international group shows Obama 73% to McCain 15% while the rest remains undecided; but unfortunately for Obama, its up to Joe the Plumber – the average American – to choose their next President.

Whether he wins or loses tomorrow Obama has already given us hope and he has re-ignited the American Dream in an age where McCain instills fear and hatred in our hearts.

Image source: www.barackobama.com