Alokedeep’s blog

diary of a wanderer

Indian Hockey-Reality bites ?

Posted by alokedeep on March 12, 2008

Reality, as wikipedia defines is “the state of things as they actually exist “

In the case of Indian hockey, didn’t we know the state of affairs for so many years ? So why did we need a defeat from Great Britain in the final of the Olympic qualifiers at Santiago,Chile to digest the bitter truth when it has been written all over for so many years. After all we have not managed an Olympic medal post the 1972 games with the exception of Moscow Olympics in 1980 where we won the Gold medal,when there were no participants from the European power houses like Germany,Holland and Great Britain.

This actually means that the fact the standard of our game had gone down-was something known to the country and the federation for over 35 years.But living in a make believe world it has taken us so much time to realize that the Europeans and even countries like Korea have left us far behind in a game which we were eight time Olympic champions.The fact that our tradional rivals Pakistan has made it to the Beijing Olympics hurts us even more.The alarm bells were ringing always when we were landing sixth,seventh or maybe even twelfth positions at international tournaments -but we chose to ignore them, so why so much hue & cry now with the media writing articles on “Indian hockey falls from grace

 Do we expect things to change now ? It still remains to seen, the usual blame game and resignations cycle has started.Isn’t it time when we came out of past historical records,allocades to bring in a change ?

A change which is dynamic and real and makes our hockey team fight and win the game on the field to reclaim their glory and respect or we keep living in our celluloid/make believe world where movies like Chak de show us winning world championships in penalty shoot-outs ! !


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Changing fortunes, cricket style

Posted by alokedeep on March 9, 2008

Less then one year back, I remember the Indian cricket team returning home after their disastrous world cup tournament  in the West Indies.Their string of low performances in the tournament including the loss against minnows Bangadesh had lead to the team unceremonious exit in the first round -something no one including the players, milllions of fans at home or even their sponsers could have imagined.The mood was totally sombre and when the team returned home they had to be provided a security cover to whisk them from airports away from the eyes of the media and angry fans who had even started burning effigies of their once upon a time ‘heros”.






On the other side of the world , the Aussies who had convincingly won the previous two editions of the world cup  in 1999 and 2003 were getting ready to pick up their third trophy in a row. Ricky Ponting,the captain of the Australian cricket team couldn’t have been any happier with he being at the helm of this achievement for two consecutive occasions.

But then as nothing in life is permanent -the same applies to glory and sport.Today the Indian cricket team which was in the dumps eleven months back has returned home after beating the Aussies in their own back yard , on a tour most members of the Australian cricket team would want to forget. On the other hand the Indian team which beat the Australians at both cricket and the mind games that the Aussies are famous for-would treasure this win for times to come.In fact the last seven months have been the best ones in Indian cricket so far -Winning the twenty-twenty world cup followed by a home series win against Pakistan and now beating Australia in Australia.

For Ricky Ponting who had been making predictions about the finals being one-sided and the Perth test being over in Australia, a sincere piece of advise would be to use the his team’s energies in playing cricket and not in mind games and sledging,something they are masters of .

 Kudos to Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his “boys” for humbling the arrogant Aussies ! !

Way to go man and many more of such victories to come ………………

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Indian viral marketing videos – looking beyond bollywood and cricket

Posted by alokedeep on March 8, 2008

Lately we have seen a lot of companys & brands in India  exploring avenues in online marketing  beyond conventional channels like  banners & text ads. Their latest fascination is to promote themselves on the so called ” social media platform ” and use the offerings of Web 2.0 to the hilt. In fact one gets to hear new terms and definations everyday, some call it  social media marketing others call it conversational marketing and the latest one is social media optimization .

Now the latest buzz is on “Viral marketing“, gawd of all the names why called it ” V..I..R..A..L ” .Had someone asked me 2-3 years back as to what do i understand by the word Viral and I would have replied with a defination of the dreaded water borne disease. Now suddenly  the same word brings in recall for a funny video/e-mail/pic that we would like to forward to our friends and they to their and so on….triggering the so-called viral effect.On the internet , viral marketing is fasting emerging as a tool for advertisers to promote their brands in a subtle but smart manner.

In India too the phenomenon of viral video marketing has caught up and brand names -big & small, all want to take the social media route into their consumers minds through animated viral videos.In the past one year or so virals(as they’re called) are part of any interactive agency’s plan when they’re planning online marketing campaigns for their clients.

Creative directors have been working over-time, on concepts that are “funny & catchy” (the essence of a viral video) to create a connect with the consumer.So much work to make him laugh on a 30-45 second video, he views on a video sharing portal like youtube or metacafe and forwards it to his friends on orkut, facebook, desimartini,……(there are now zillions of these “me too” social networks).

So we have seen some good viral videos and some bad ones-but one thing has been common in most of them which is the concept relying on a bollywood blockbustor(read Sholay/Deewar/DDLJ) and animated characters of Jay,Veeru, SRK.If is not Bollywood then it has to be cricket .

One acknowledges the logic behind this, considering our obsession with both bollywood and cricket , but then where is the innovation that we talk about all the time  in internet space ? ?

Can we please have some new creative ideas which give some much needed rest to dialogues such as “Mere paas ma hai” and characters such as “Gabbar” & “Thakur” which have been used a zillion times across print/radio/TV/internet.

De-war viral

Kahaani mein twist viral

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Driving the people’s car

Posted by alokedeep on February 23, 2008

The Auto Expo which is held at New Delhi every two years, is always a much  awaited event for auto companies since it gives them an opportunity to show case their latest offerings to the Indian masses.But this year the event held at Pragati Maidan was special too since Tata Motors was going to unveil its much talked about “People’s Car“-a car that would fulfill the dreams of many Indians to graduate from a 2-wheeler to their own car.

So when Mr.Ratan Tata,Chairman Tata Motors drove in with the “Nano” on its unveiling, he had assured for himself a place in history for delivering “a safe, affordable and all weather transport” at a price of $ 2,500 which many felt was unachievable even four years back at the given price.The Lakhtakia(one lac rupee car had arrived)

But the big question is that -Do Indian cities have the space on their roads and lungs to accomodate the Nano ?

Delhi TrafficI live in Indian capital city of New Delhi and commute a long distance to work and back and can definately say that driving in this city is nothing less than a battle.

Surprisingly even with new flyovers , express-ways being added this battle is growing tougher.This is because the sheer volume of vehicles being added every day to the city exceeds the road space being created. The authorities acknowledge this , the media writes and talks about this but nothing changes. Adding to this is the traffic system where there is no demarcation and enforcement of traffic lanes and traffic rules are all but obeyed.When we talk about how much progress we have made and how strong our economy & infrastructure is-does anyone realize that we drive in the most primitive ways. A sight seen often on Indian roads is bicycles, buses , cars , autos -all in the same lane of a road competing for space.

All this and  the way people drive-as for most people traffic rules do not exist-using lanes, stopping at traffic lights dents their egos . Mind you -I am talking about the capital where the who’s who of the country live.On a daily basis people loose their lives in accidents , are crushed under buses but nobody seems to care except a small column in the next day’s newspaper or ‘breaking news’ on TV channel(which gets changed after a few hours). 

Adding further to traffic woes is the dirty monster of road rage, as the tussle for space on roads, urgency to reach your destination leads to tempers flaring to a level that people resort of fists & blows with fellow motorists.

So in this scenario does it actually make sense to push in a product like Nano which will further aggragavate the traffic sorrows of Indian roads apart from the pollution and environmental issues.While not taking the credit from Tatas for creating a car for the masses , the world would have appreciated their contribution even more, had they as a socially responsible business group un-veiled a plan to improve the Indian traffic system,which is in a mess ! ! 

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