Real Marriage now just a Reality show

The Indian Marriage

The Indian Marriage - Tamasha or Not? (Image Credit - http://www.flickr.com/photos/teducation/)

It is definitely risible but it is certainly true, real life marriages are now just a matter of reel life marriages.  Marriage involves so many emotions, sentiments, heart & soul of people and especially in India there is no such big event than a marriage. Be it a love or arranged marriage, it is the biggest occasion of anyone’s life. It is considered to be a pure relation between two people, a bond which is unbreakable, and an important part of Indian culture. From bride to groom, bride’s parents to groom’s parents, relatives everyone has their own sentiments attached to a marriage and so many hopes in their eyes. However, this has become a past tense, presently marriage is nothing but a business for most of the people in India, especially for our TV & film stars.

Rakhi Ka Swayamvar

Rakhi's Reel and Real Life Wedding - (Image Credit http://www.indiantvtoday.com/rakhi-ka-swayamvar/2009/06/25/)

Today marriage is simply a publicity stunt for the stars. It’s one of the best ways they can get media attention & also make money.  I hope you have not forgotten the drama created by the television serial called ‘Rakhi Ka Swyamvar’. Well, from there started the trend of Swyamvar once again after ages. Although Rakhi actually created a history to restart with the concept, yet ultimately it was so damn fake. The whole ‘tamasha’ took over a whooping TRP for the channel & pretty good amount of money to the so called contenders in that serial. Yes of-course no-one can forget the lead actress Rakhi Sawant, definitely getting huge publicity with handsome amount of money for sure.  Then came Rahul Mahajan, who followed the footsteps of ‘The Rakhi Sawant’ & got married for the second time through Swyamvar , to a girl of 19yrs old. Ahh!!! But, the drama doesn’t stop here Big Boss grabbed all the possible opportunities to gain TRP in season 4. The marriage of two TV stars created so much hype & made the serial as well as the respective stars so popular. It was ridiculous to watch the whole tamasha in Big Boss house & watching Sara Khan flirting with Ashmit Patel, her so called Pops (papa) at the same time.

Marriages have become mere a game, TRP stunt & just a publicity stunt for TV & Film stars especially. So when you get married just see that it’s real marriage not reel marriage & don’t humiliate our own culture.

Written By- Sneha Gururani (PGDACM – 2010)

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Obama’s Visit to India

US President Barak Obama’s recent visit to India generated no little amount of excitement with gossip flying about what kinds of Indian dishes the Obamas preferred and what gifts Michelle Obama was purchasing. However, more important than the cross-cultural experiences were the economic policies crafted during the meetings as leaders from these two powerful countries explored ways to work together to jointly build our two economies. According to Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury, from 2004-2009, India’s exports to the US rose 40% while the US exports to India grew by 170%. After a dip in 2009, bilateral trade has already grown by 30% in the first half of 2010, and with strong support from both sides of the globe, it appears that US-Indian trade will only continue to increase in the months and years to come.

With increase in trade comes an increase in opportunity for the savvy entrepreneur or business professional. Increasingly medium and even small companies will have the infrastructural capacity to turn their Indian business into a global business if they have the initiative, perseverance, and tolerance for risk required to enter the global market. For the budding business professional or MBA student entering the workforce, there is great potential to take your idea, concept, product, or service to the global stage. Our leaders are working to establish a broad platform of business opportunity and at the moment there is plenty of room.

By: Jon Freeman

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Is Vogue Fleeting?

Photo Courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/artcomments/

Vogue is all over place in today’s world. Vogue or Fashion generates from the need of time; from generation to generation and years to years and day to day fashion keeps changing. The trend in use becomes fad for people and so the new innovations in fashion become the latest trend. Hence, only one trend can never remain consistent, it may repeat but always changes.

Today’s fashion has been given so much of hype that even if one wears anything imprudent or fatuous, that is given the name of fashion. Now, take the case of saris in late fashion. Designers are getting innovative to take sari global. Today sari has become a fashion garment and has turned glamorous. The sari is creating waves abroad with its traditionally urbane look and glamour quotient. Sari are coming with different cuts some are pre-stitched like dresses, some have specially designed ‘pallus’ while some are worn over pants. Along with some Indian Traditions the sari too has gone global. FORGET DRAPPING, JUST ZIP IT UP.

With time everything is being modified and stylized. Besides dresses, shoes, hair style, make-up, designing of houses, hotels, the architecture, jewelry & so on has become modernized. Moreover, the innovative pillows, water cigars, hard drinks are being the new specialties at luxury hotels mainly. Well, now a days figure does not matter, rather size does not matter, but what matters is style. Now people stay stylish & trendy even with widening waist.

Bollywood Istyle. Photo Courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/meanestindian/

The Indian Film industry has given a great contribution to fashion. The fashion trends coming off the ramp for all different seasons gives vogue a fillip. New trends have changed many things. Before, we had jeans or trousers fitting around our waist, whereas now we have low waist fittings. Before we had only one kind of skirts, now we have micro, minis, long skirts. We  have various kinds of shoes, hair cuts, bracelets, ornaments, purses, bags even pens, well the list is never ending.

India is a country with different religions & states and so have different traditions accordingly. Sometimes fashion does become a cliché but still remains grueling. However, the designers bring up creativity & innovation simply to create another style and modification in VOGUE. Ultimately this can be said that VOGUE or FASHION IS SOMETHING WHICH REMAINS FLEETING. There is only one thing which is constant in fashion i.e. CHANGE

Contributed By: Sneha Gururani


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The Axis Bank Latest Ad – Good or Bad?

Axis Bank

Image Credit - Axis Bank

Its prime time and you are watching your favorite TV shows, soaps, scripted reality shows (in case you didn’t know), non funny laughter challenges, music hunts and the general circus that we call TV. And then when you are least expecting it, an ad pops up and of course kills all the continuity.  Let’s face it; most of us don’t like advertising, especially when they are lame, boring and totally devoid of any creativity whatsoever. Take a look at the latest Axis bank TV ad for example (airs on the KBC show ad break).  This shows a couple where the husband is suffering from a bad stomach and so he can’t go to the bank. (This is a disaster of gigantic proportions according to the wife). The bank comes in as the savior coming right to the couple’s doorstep (hmm seems economic slowdown has really taken effect).The message was that now you don’t have to go to the bank but the bank comes to you via phone banking.

Well our opinion on this ad is that the way the bank tries to communicate the message of phone banking is really not on. To us the impression came that the mere mention of Axis Bank gave the customer a stomach upset (quite possible don’t you think given the state of banking nowadays) and the benefit somehow doesn’t come across as strongly one would like. Another interpretation is that the ad is actually about some medicine meant to relieve a not so happy tummy ( Isabgul anyone?).  But then we think this is a fantastic topic for discussion and debate.

Question Mark

Image credits - Valerie Everett @ Flikr

So we would like you to tell us what you thought about this ad and how many of you though that this was an ad for a stomach ailment. Also do you think Axis could have done a better job?

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The ‘Social Network’ is up and coming

Guys, you just have to see this! Both the poster and the teaser for the Facebook story, ‘The Social Network’ is up on the net and the movie itself is slated to hit the screens somewhere around October.

The Social Network

If you are going ‘aww, what’s the big deal?’ I will bear with it, because I too have said the same thing if I had not noticed the tagline of the poster which made me watch the teaser carefully. The poster says, ‘You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies’ and I was just zapped!

Pals, to be honest I had forgotten all about Mark Zuckerberg, and how he had launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room in 2004 and proceeded to become one of the youngest billionaire in the world. It’s a great success story but dudes after all it’s not ours! But this was different.

The tagline is one super piece of copy writing that I have seen in recent times. It hits hard and together with the film title it makes you realize with a pleasing shock what it is talking about. Yep, I did not realize that it was about ‘Facebook’ instantly but the line had me hook, line, and sinker and when I read the movie title, I got it.

This is what I wanted to share with you all; I feel that kinetic moment when any line sinks in and you go crazy for an instant celebrating the identification is what good writing is all about. And I am talking about copy ‘cause we are all here for advertising, otherwise I would extend the thought to writing itself! What do you think?

My curiosity made me watch the trailer and it began with an unnerving sense of familiarity. Later I found out the reason to be the juxtaposition of Radiohead’s soundtrack ‘Creep’ with close up shots of (now, too familiar) the features of Facebook. And the home-video like slides smoothly merged with shots in the university. I think I am going to watch this movie when it comes out.

There guys, I just did it! This is what any great ad does, raise one’s curiosity to such an extent that one comes to a decision; here is wishing that all of us are able to do really gut-wrenching works and influence the target audience as efficiently as the tagline did just now!:-)

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The exciting world of graphic novel!

Hello friends, this is mainly for our pals interested in graphic design, and illustrating. But I guess copywriters can also benefit from having a peep, after all this is about telling stories and as we all know that the great ads that we all remember are slices of everyday life (remember the Dhara audio visual, where a little boy decides to leave home in a sulk and how he is enticed back home with the promise of hot jalebis?).

But let us get on with our subject: graphic novels. What are they exactly? They are essentially comics with a slight difference. Their subject matter is not restricted to the exploits of superheroes or mythical characters; rather they embrace the ordinary life and are either fictional or non-fictional in strain. In other words, they are just like a story or a novel or even a report, only they use the comic book format of panels and blurbs.

Popular throughout the world, the interest quotient for graphic novels is on the upswing in India, as is the demand for comics. In India, it was in 1944 that Orijit Sen came out with ‘River of Stories,’ a compelling comic about a young activist confronting the tragedy of the Narmada Dam Project. It is often credited with introducing the graphic novel form in India. The genre became the talk-of-the town with the best selling Corridor by Sarnath Banerjee in 2004. He followed it with another in 2007 called The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers.
A page from Corridor
picture courtesy: Google

Right now, graphic novel is a very exciting medium as far as India is concerned and later this year; Bhimayana, a stylish graphic novel on the life of Dr B R Ambedkar drawn in the Gond art style (the current favorite of world art) is expected to hit the stands.

A contract with GodHowever, the term ‘graphic novel’ is supposed to have originated as a cover up. In 1978, artist Will Eisner had drawn a comic with a difference. While talking to a big shot publisher over the phone, he came up with this term, in order to meet him, as, if he had said ‘comic book’, the publisher would have refused.

picture courtesy: Wikipedia

This is how it started

picture courtesy: Google

Maus book

Maus book

However, one must not forget to mention Art Spiegelman’s MAUS in this context. An account of surviving the holocaust, this graphic novel in two parts won a Pulitzer Prize Special Award in 1992 and added gravitas to the art form. Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, came out in 2003 to great critical acclaim and is about a girl coming-of-age in war-torn Iran.  In fact it became so popular that in 2007, an animated film adaptation of the graphic novel was created, with author Satrapi co-directing with French comic artist Vincent Paronnaud.And last but definitely not least, the latest exciting book on the block is Logicomix: An Epic

Logicmix book

Logicmix book

Search for Truth about the foundational quest in mathematics. Published in 2009, this graphic novel has garnered a lot of buzz by successfully turning out a graphic novel on the history of mathematics.

picture courtesy: picture courtesy: Google


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RAGGING – DON’T BOTHER ME

Not many people know this, but “ragging” refers to popular Spanish game of “Bull-Fight”, wherein the Bull is shown a red ‘rag’ which is used to infuriate the fighting bull.

College Ragging

College Ragging

When I entered my advertising college for the first time, in the summer of 2007, ragging was already a frowned upon entity, yet still not quite extinguished as a detail in a fresher’s pre-settling in encyclopedia. So it was with caution that we the freshers trod the college lands for the first time, keeping an uneasy eye out for the seniors, some of whom were less than intelligent, and drunk with power.

On the first day, while we were still yet to get familiar with those of our own class, and were standing about like a confused herd of stray sheep in the grounds, a delighted bunch of shark-like seniors sniffed us out. A tall girl lounging near the grounds yelled, “Hey, you, black-shirt!” and someone in my class nudged me and pointed in her direction. I wasn’t thrilled, but I didn’t really have a choice, so I warily made my way to where she was now looking very happy, along with her two male escorts, who flanked her like guards. “First year?” she barked. Routine stuff she clearly wanted out of the way. “You don’t mind, na? Just an introduction” I shrugged politely. “Are you scared of us?” I found that a little amusing, but I shook my head with a “No, you seem like nice people”. This sort of ticked them off. “Why haven’t you bowed to us yet?” my dear friend demanded. “Please bow, we’re your seniors”. I bobbed my head a bit. “No, not like that”, she whined. “Nicely” I nodded at her more pronouncedly, but she was still not pleased. “Bow!” she screamed. “Like this!” With that, she jumped up and bent double in front of me, “See? Like this” This invited some nervous laughter from her pals. She’d bowed to a new un. I was petrified, more than amused-I was going to pay for this! Sure enough, she quickly rallied, “Okay, so what are your talents?” I looked at her in disbelief, and carefully said, “um, art?” “Well, you can’t paint here, can you?” This invited more half-witted laughter from her buddies. “Please sing us a song” And sing I did, like a long-caged, flightless bird of song. And the above repeated itself a trillion times. More creative seniors demanded a one-word-in-hindi-one-word-in-english introduction, almost driving a classmate of mine to tears after she reached “mera name Sakshi is” for the fifth time.

I heard they made the guys in my class buy them cigarettes too, but girls saw none of that. In fact, it only got annoying because of the sheer number of seniors looking for prey. They were pretty decent, for the most part, some more pleasant than others. One of them actually gave me a dairy milk chocolate for “singing well”, which was curiously touching, even from someone who made me repeat “I believe I can fly” thrice.

Anti-Ragging

Anti-Ragging

Three years later, now that we’re the seniors in our advertising college, things have changed so much. My classmates and I honestly can’t be bothered troubling fledglings, but if someone did, it would not be feasible. An anti-ragging committee glues ominous posters all over college a month before term starts, teachers are on the look-about for mischief-makers, and the police, our faithful guardians, are always a call away. In fact, I was tickled to hear that a first-year threatened to file an FIR when a classmate of mine asked her name. Are we over-doing this? Or is it required, in light of the horrific human rights violation it has been seen to result in if allowed unchecked? I have suffered very little, but think it might be.

It started off harmlessly, as is the case with many things with much potential for alarm, as a way for the seniors to break the ice with the fresh entrants into the colleges, by playing practical jokes on them, or otherwise teasing them. It soon took on more unpleasant forms, though, such as physical, psychological or even sexual abuse, and creative new ways to exploit the freshers, such as the case of “paid ragging” in Coimbatore reported in The Indian Express of 5.8.2008, where the fresh students were forced to pay for the luxury trips of senior students in star hotels, began to come up.

College Ragging

College Ragging

Another strange and chilling case of ragging may be used to elucidate the dangers posed by it. In this case, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikousky, a renowned composer of Russia, was reported to have died in 1893 due to cholera, which was said to have been caused due to the drinking of contaminated water. Almost a century after his death, this was revealed to have been a blatant lie. The revelation was made by Alexandra Orlova, the biographer of the composer. She illuminated that Tchaikousky was a homosexual during his education period and this fact became known to college authorities whereupon they decided to punish the composer and to expel him. The news of the proposed punishment leaked to his old classmates and they thought that if the composer was punished it would bring a bad name to the institution. Therefore, the composer was summoned before eight former classmates in the “Court of Honour” and was asked to end his own life to “preserve the good name of the school”. The composer ended his life by consuming the poison provided by one of the Judges, and story of death by cholera was concocted subsequently.

Interestingly, the origin or initiative steps of ragging are not recent at all, but trace back to the Seventh or Eighth Century A.D.In ancient Greece, freshers to the sporting communities were subjected to humiliation and teasing to inculcate team spirit. After the passage of time, such activities were adopted by Armed Forces in which new entrants were made to obey the seniors in off-duty time.

In the USA, in 1828-1845, several student-organizations called ‘fraternities’ popped up in College and University Campuses. Freshers to these fraternities were known as pledges. These pledges were put through ‘hazing’ which was merely a ritual to test the courage of the pledge. This may also have been one of the earlier forms of ragging.

Ragging may be rationalized or justified under the garb of “introductions” and “breaking the ice”, but is more often than not systematic and sustained physical or psychological abuse of fresh students at the college/university/any other educational institution at the hands of senior students of the same institution and sometimes even by outsiders. It is often cold and brutal, and has on many an occasion broached the limits of friendly interaction. Therefore, it is heartening to see that ragging in colleges, which was fast being considered the up-and-coming social evil of our times, has hopefully been nipped in course of the bloom!

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Amul’s Advertising Campaign – Simple, Creative & Always Funny

Amul - Utterly Butterly Delicious

Utterly dishy or the story of a girl who won’t grow up!

Let us start with telling you something you didn’t know about Amul – the Amul advertising campaign which is India’s longest running ad campaign at present is going to make a bid in the Guinness Book of World Records for being one of the longest running ad campaigns in the whole world (Only the American ‘Smokey Bear’ campaign is older). The Amul ads have almost become a part of folklore in the Advertising and Communications industry nowadays and when we checked out its inception we found out this amazing nugget.

Can you believe that the chubby-faced angelic polka-dotted Amul moppet was brainstormed to counter the Paulson doll, a glam desi girl with all the works, long before the reality show was in? Paulson, the competitor of Amul had relied on the old-as-hills strategy of having an image in itsy-bitsy clothing and when Sylvester daCunha got hold of the Amul account in 1966, he along with the art director Eustace Fernandez hit bull’s eye by figuring out the mascot of a girl who will have all the fun by not growing up!

Initially, the ads chugged on the strength of their base line and witty puns but later they went on to become more topical. Now, if we look back at the archives of Amul ads, we would see history unfurl before our eyes.

See the early ones:

Amul ad

This is what one would call “ keeping it straight and simple!”

Another one from the days when things were beginning!

And then the ads became more topical. The ones on Gavaskar look dated but you still can enjoy the fun :

Ha, Ha!

Those guys must have had a rocking time while creating ‘moments’ like these!

And now, as we all know, it has become more than an ad if that’s possible and also become a social critique that entertains as well as educates.

Be it the controversy on Tata Nano, Himesh Reshammiya’s stardom, the IPL fracas or the comedy Lage Raho Munnabhai – the ads are always laugh out loud funny. See for yourself-

That's nano flattery

Is there any better way to sum up the controversy?

Himesh Reshamiya and Amul - Feeling the nasal effect?

Himesh Reshamiya and Amul - Feeling the nasal effect?

Munnabhai or is it "Maska Bhai"?

Laugh out loud!

Even Cricket is not spared by Amul's cheeky humor

Mark the change. This reflects the present ‘professional’ spirit to the hilt and if the charm and pace of the ‘genteleman’s game’ is missing, then it is because we have moved on. And Amul ads are so clued in with each of these perceptional shifts that you feel like you are living history if you rewind!

Dhoni in Amul's radar

Guess, Bollywood will alaways be relevant in India. This is a take on the title-track of super duper oldie called ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ and the track goes like ‘ Anhonee ko honee kar de, honee ko anhonee/ Ek jaigah jab jamah ho tinoh – Amar Akbar Anthon’. Is this why they call old is gold because we can use them again and again J ?

Shreesanth - Center of controversy

Even ‘ fakeiplplayer’ must be laughing his guts out! We don’t need to be in-your-face to make our points!

And not to mention its contemporary nature. See this one on the World Cup that ended a couple of weeks ago, and you would understand.

Guys, wat do u say?

Note:

*Amul is a trademark of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF).       All brands, company or product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders

©2010 copyright NiA India

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A Tale Of Two Kitties-The New CAT scoring format

CAT 2010 , A Better Common Apptitude Test from IIM

CAT 2010- Better this time?

In 2009, CAT, for the first time, decided to do away with the good old paper and pencil and instead embraced an online format. Another victory for technology? Not so much.

What with systems whimsically rejecting passwords, computers spontaneously shutting down, and students gaping in pure horror watching their dreams of  getting into the top mba colleges go bye bye. CAT 2009 was, to put it plainly, a flagrant embarrassment-for both the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), as well as Prometric, the globally acclaimed testing vendor commissioned by them for conducting the test.  They would’ve been quick to dive behind the “technological mess” excuse, but it’s not as if the question paper was entirely error-free either.

Prometric Logo

Prometric, No Disaster this time

Poor Sumitra Roy, Prometric India’s Managing Director, could be seen scuttling hither and yon for months, hushing up ill-advised comments betraying satisfaction at how CAT 2009 was conducted made by Stephen Williams, Prometric’s Vice President of Test Development Services, and then going and making a few ill-advised remarks of her own, daringly discarding the tech-atrocity that was CAT 2009 as a case of “isolated technical issues”.

So what is the new CAT Evaluation Method?

The CAT Exam Question Paper Format

So many questions, so little time

In 2010, to avoid a similar disaster, Prometric has determined that it will use fewer testing centres-only those that adhere to the Prometric norms created for ensuring infrastructure quality. The method for CAT scoring, however, will remain the same. It is a rather sound three step process supported by the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing and the ETS Standards for Quality and Fairness. The first step includes calculation of the raw score based on the answers given. This is done thus: A +3 is awarded for a correct answer, and there is a -1, i.e. a one mark deduction, for a wrong answer. There is no negative marking for a question left unattempted. The rationale behind the negative marking is that it discourages “guessing”, and better ensures that a student with a greater skill-and-knowledge base procures more marks.

The Equation of CAT Exam

Balancing the CAT Equation

Finally, these equated scores are “scaled” by placing them on a common metric. Each candidate is presented with four sets of scaled scores-the total score, which is scaled to a 0-450 range and three sets of section scores, with a 0-150 range apiece.

CAT is deliberately and matter-of-factly developed as a very difficult exam so as to best identify only top performing candidates of utmost caliber. After all, getting into the best MBA Colleges of India should not be piece of cake right? Therefore, CAT is simply not one of those exams designed to allow a 100% score. Since an exam constructed to be easy would not solve the distinct purpose of an IIM, the theoretical top-score of 450 is made near-impossible to achieve.

However, it is imperative that the test be uniformly difficult for all, to ensure fairness, and to this end, anchor questions and cloned questions are added to each paper.

An anchor question, explains Mr. Williams, is a question that helps adjust the differences in the difficulty-levels of two sets of question papers. Here’s how it’s done-Four anchor questions are added to each question paper, two of which it has in common with a previous paper, and two with a paper to be used in a consequent slot. This helps establish a common standard of difficulty in two question papers and the raw scores can later be adjusted accordingly.

A cloned question is a question essentially similar, but different in ultimate form. For instance, an algebraic equation repeated across slots, with each version having different substitution values.

New CAT question paper format

The new CAT will not have any leaks

Whether questions of the cloned or anchor variety increase the risk of “leakage” by way of students memorizing them and relaying them to candidates in subsequent slots, is matter for further frivolous debate. Why a genuine candidate would want to chip away at his/her own chances of cracking CAT by giving away questions to subsequent batches is anyone’s guess. However, examples of “proxy-students”, who are actually teachers at coaching institutes, are now to be seen, and this might be a more reasonable cause for alarm, since they have no motivation whatsoever to keep these questions to themselves.

Predictably, Mr. Williams rubbishes of this possibility because of no statistically noted “strange patterns with the answering of cloned questions”. Given that their statistical analysis is most likely not much better than their technical prowess, this provides little or no comfort.

Indian Institute of Management - Ahmedabad

Standing Tall IIM-A

The IIMs will release the CAT 2010 advertisement near the end of August. With fewer testing centers, a longer testing window, and a hopefully larger pool of distinct questions, CAT 2010 seems poised to undo the many stark wrongs done by its predecessor. With the bitter criticism faced by them in 2009, they seem motivated to rectify their ways. And if error is indeed minimized, then the satisfactory implementation of the novel online format may well be worthy of some applause.

Note:

*Prometric is a trademark of Prometric Inc.                                                                                All brands, company or product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders

©2010 copyright NiA India

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What’s In a Name? Some Cool Teacher Nick Names

So you’re new in your Advertising College, just beginning to get familiar with the campus, you’ve made a preliminary decision on your group of friends, and evaluated the goodies in the college canteen. Now what?

MBA Faculty

If only the Professor knew his nickname!

The first of the conversations that buzz excitedly among the new uns mostly involve faculty-gossip. Whether it’s a tête-à-tête with a senior, or a pleasant bonding with a potential buddy, you’re very likely either being warned about the ‘disciplinarians’ (“If you’re more than fifteen minutes late, stay out. She turns into Godzilla, and starts trampling on everything in sight”), being amused by tales of the bizarre ones (“Try counting how many times he says ‘particularly’ in a one-hour class. We did once, and it was one-eighty times”), or, and this is extremely rare, being encouraged to take it easy with a few (“Ohh, I’ve heard she’s great, and she actually called the dean a pig earlier!”)

This is also the time when you’re initiated into the former nicknames the poor professor-folk have acquired, or, if you’re one of the blest, you coin a few yourself, and have your creation carved in stone, never to be forgotten. In fact, instantaneously after this initiation rite, you feel like you belong.

Well into my first day in my Advertising college, a few classmates and I decided to explore the grounds. A senior among a group of them lounging on the popular ‘wall of fame’ (a low brick fence that ran all around the football field), pointed at me, and beckoned. I was none too pleased about the pointing, and already wary of the curious ‘introductions’ the seniors seemed to demand, ragging now being not frowned upon, but severely restricted (“What’s your name? Would you, er, sing a song? We’re not forcing, but”) It was really quite ridiculous, and so it was reluctantly that I broke off from my companions and made my grudging way to their group.

“Relax”, I was commanded. “We only want an introduction”. I resisted rolling my eyes with difficulty, and said, a bit stiffly, “I’d really rather not sing”. The seniors laughed, “That’s okay, and we just wanted to ask if The Mule is teaching you”. “Who’s The Mule?” I asked curiously. “Alok sir”, I was told, amidst more laughter. I grinned, suddenly. I could sort of see why someone would call him a mule. He was shabby, seedy and horribly mean. He’d galloped around class calling people in the new batch dull earlier that day. “Oh, yeah”, not so frosty anymore, “we had a class with him today”.

“How about the Bride?”, another senior piped up. “She must be taking a class with you this year” I figured this one out for myself. Mrs. Mishra had been hard to miss, startlingly bedecked in a fluorescent pink sari, glinting diamonds, and seven rose-buds in the knot in her hair. I chuckled involuntarily. “Haan, she is. We haven’t had a class with her yet, though”.

Our conversation was cut short when I suddenly remembered, Cinderella-like, that I’d been required to get back to class at eleven for the next lecture, and it was now eleven five. I rushed off, after a friendly goodbye, only to be greeted by twelve of my classmates at the classroom door. “She didn’t let us in. Roared at us like frikkin Godzilla” Since our Advertising Institute has a compulsory attendance of 75%, the nickname caught on.

In just about an hour, I’d been made wiser by three nicknames. I felt welcomed and at home. Three weeks later, we were made richer by a few dozen more, until we began to forget the real names of many of our knowledge-providers. Wonderful, these sordid little initiation rites! Advertising and Communications education is like that only. My advice would be to enjoy these fun times cause after the first semester you are sure to get buried into a heap of Advertising projects, and assignments. When the going gets tough, you will surely, like me look back into these moments and smile. Such is life at a top advertising college

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