Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween Poem - She is dangerous

Inspired from someone's fascination for Vampires and Halloween, I wrote this poem titled She is dangerous.
Night falls,
darkness calls.
A vampiress walks the streets,
blood is what she needs
I'll be standing in the corner
Just watching her slaughter
Seeing her all go wild
She is dangerous I am sure
And she is all dressed up and knocking on my door

Alone she sits on the top of a hill
Thinking of how her life has been
Of the pain and the sorrow She'd seen
In the eyes of her victims before they lay still.
She is dangerous I am sure
And she is all dressed up and knocking on my door

She wants to torture me with her words of lust
to heighten my senses, to turn to me to dust.
She promised me pleasure, mixed with pain
but what will it matter, what will it gain?
She is dangerous I am sure
And she is all dressed up and knocking on my door

There is a spark in her eyes I can't resist
There is a temptation on her lips I can't persist
Moon shines on her cheek, and shines on her brow
So soft, so enticing, so eloquent,
With smiles that win, and teeth and glow
She can hear the violins before they even play
Dancing into the night she 'll make me sway.
She is dangerous I am sure
And she is all dressed up and knocking on my door

When we meet don't be afraid,
what made us this, it was just fate.
Believe us, we are serious,
we're neither bad nor dangerous

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BTL Activity Magnum Relaunch - The Royal Treatment Campaign in Pakistan

Admit it or not, everyone of us had imagined himself / herself as a king / queen once in a life time. I always wanted to be a King of the Chocoland - The land of Indulgence, pleasure, bliss and ecstasy! Well I always had a thing for chocolates ever since I was a kid. Last week I saw a TV Commercial of New Magnum with Belgian Chocolate which brought back my Chocoland fantasies again.

The very next day I get an invitation to Unilever Guest House for the Relaunch Ceremony on 3rd of June 2012 at 5:00PM along with a cute little gift box of Belgian chocolate from LALS. As they say Good things in life come in small packages ;). guess what. My day just got better! I had no clue what was awaiting for me but I had an idea it was going to be an ecstatic experience given the fact that Magnum was an ice-cream I always felt close to.

Oh by the way Marketing students, please stay attentive. This is practical case example of direct marketing and consumer engagement. Coming back to Magnum, Magnum ice cream is being sold in supermarkets and retail outlets nationwide. It comes in three flavours: classic, almond, and chocolate truffle is a new addition. 

To know more about Magnum Icecream click here.

In the past it had been linked with lust and sensuality in the minds of the consumers. Given the fact Magnum is a premium brand, and it should be positioned in such a way that the prestige of the brand should remain in the minds of the consumers. Hence the Royal Treatment campaign came into play. 

I reached the Unilever guesthouse well before the event was about to start (Still trying to kill my habit of driving fast when I'm driving alone :/ ). I was greeted by Salaar who is the Brand Manager for  Magnum. I was escorted to the VIP Lounge where the Ceremony was about to start. Managed to take some clicks. Arriving first has its perks you know.

The guests included journalists, Coporates, Bloggers, fashion designers, photographers, fashion models etc. The guests were briefed about the Magnum's brand personality, it's target market and audience (adults obviously) and the Royal Treatment campaign. The guests were offered to taste and experience Belgian chocolate while Madiha from Lals chocolates briefed about the history of Belgian Chocolate. The special factor that makes Belgian chocolate standout among its contemporaries is the great respect for the chocolate manufacturing techniques that have been perfected by Europeans for centuries as well as the excellent quality of the ingredients used for making the chocolates. The Unique thing about the campaign is they've got the Brand Council including brand ambassodors Ayesha Linnea, Ayan, Tappu Javeri, Nabila and Deepak Perwani who will be playing their role based on their expertise in the campaign. We were then introduced to the Magnum Dip station which will be launched in various cities where you can customize your magnum the way you want. 

and the big surprise. when I had my magnum, next thing I noticed two lovely ladies crowned me and brought me the throne! Whoa I became the king of the Choco-land. 

The guests were asked to get their pictures taken from Unilever's Official Photographer capturing their memory of the Royal Experience of pleasure they just had! That's not it. The Pleasure Lounge and the dip station is coming to you soon! Magnum will be launching the all famous most tweeted game of 2011 "The Pleasure Hunt" online! and of course you can also spot the Magnum Airship at Clifton if you're around.

Well Done Wall's. Well Done Magnum Brand team! To see more pictures of the album on facebook visit Shutter Speed page. You can be a part of the campaign by joining the MAGNUM PAKISTAN page on facebook.

hail to the king baby. happy eating.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gossip and back-biting: A Lethal pastime

One fine afternoon I was caught up in work, a colleague of mine came to my desk.
She looked around to see if someone is noticing. After getting satisfied that no one is there to hear what she is about to reveal, she whispers, “hey Owi, pssst.” “Hmmm what’s up”, I said while typing along an email. And then she goes again, “Hey listen I need to tell you something important.”

Realizing the fact that she is not going to let me go until I listen with 100% attention to what she has to say, I decided to pause and kept my hands on the table to show that I was in the listening mode. She exclaimed, “It’s about Sara and Imran.. I just heard that…”
“hey hey hey, wait.” I interrupted. Before you get started about my friends you need to pass a “Socrates’ - Triple Filter Test.”

“Oh come on, I was about to share an interesting gossip with you and you started your philosophy with me again. You’re so boring. Now what is this Tripple Filter Test.” She asked.
“Well Miss BBC, before you break something to me about my friends it would be a good idea if you filter what you are about to say.” I explained.

“Now the 1st filter is the TRUTH FILTER. Are you absolutely sure what you heard about Imran and Sara is truth and nothing but the truth?” I inquired.

“No Shazia was telling Anum and I heard their conversation” She said hesitantly.
I continued, “Aha. So what you were about to tell me may not be 100%. Ok now let’s try the second filter which is the GOODNESS FILTER. What you are about to tell me is good or bad?”

“Umm well.. No it’s not” She said. “Ok so you are telling me something bad about my friends which you are not even sure whether it’s true or not.” I smiled while enjoying the sheepish look on her face. “Ok lets try the third and last filter. After that I may buy you gossip if you pass. The third filter is the filter of USEFULNESS. What you are about to tell me is useful for me or not. What impact will it create on my health?”

“No not really.” She said. “there you go. Thank you very much for coming up with an information that is not true, defaming and has nothing to do with me or you so to speak”  So why share and spread useless piece of gossip behind their back?

As they say Rumour is a monster that runs faster than light. People tend to get attracted towards spreading negativity of others after hearing and witnessing the scenes about the ones they don’t like. The only reason I see is they see their lives less fulfilled than others. Remember my friends this habit is so cynical that it prevents you from seeing the goodness in a person.
If you are a person with a positive mindset you will always see goodness and positivity in everything and in every person. Remember there are bigger battles to fight in life in pursuit of your passion instead of gossiping and back-biting other people. Focus focus focus! And next time you hear a gossip, apply 3 Filter test. It will make your life much much easier. And by the way this test can be applied to any life situation too!  :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Trainer's Recipe of Success

The day has come. You have been excited for your session. You have prepared your presentation, it has got every ingredient you feel necessary such as vivid images, Graphs, objectives slide and of course a special thank you slide. You presented it to your closest one and discussed a little more. 

You reach the venue, quickly set up the your laptop & gadgets, checked the room-temperature and worry a little about the number of chairs – snap, done that too.

AT sharp 9 am people start flooding in, a few get late, you feel demoralized – energy level 95% – but by 9.30 all are in. Their eyes on you. Some of them might be whispering you're too young. Your ‘just a five minute introduction’ about the agenda and yourself is well-rehearsed. But then you notice a few eye-twitches with a yawn towards extreme left corner – energy level 90%.  With a cordial concern you ask “is that understood?” – some nods – energy level 88%. You take their introduction, some of them try to act smarter than you - Energy Level 85%. Then you ask them their expectations from the course. Now you understand your audience and you know how to go about the session. you highlight the importance of the session to your participants and explain how it will help them in their professional / Personal life - Energy Level 100% & It happens with every one of us whether you are a teacher, trainer, or a student.  

There have been different school of thoughts on a good beginning of a session. Some cite that a good beginning grasps the attention of your audience and retains their focus & attention level high till the end of the session. While others hold the view that u can always gain back the attention of your session by employing different audience engagement techniques such as playing interactive videos on the topic, discussions, role plays etc.

With my experience in conducting sessions and technical workshops, I have done some brainstorming and developed following checklist of basic actions I do to make my sessions a success besides my delivery style! Hope you will find it helpful:

ü  Get to the room at least half an hour early to set it up and to greet early arrivals.
ü  You must know your subject well enough to be considered something of an expert in it.
ü  Do all You can to make participants feel welcome, such as putting a welcome sign on the door or writing the word “Welcome” on the flipchart / White board.
ü  Make a sincere effort to learn about your participants, their work, their goals, their environments, and their strengths and weaknesses.
ü  Begin with an introduction to the course, and provide an outline of your objectives and your credentials for teaching the course. Then follow with introductions of the participants themselves. I present an overview or agenda of what the course entails.
ü  Make participants aware of ground rules.
ü  Try to have all their names memorized before the first break.
ü  Work to learn participants’ expectations for the course.
ü  Try to structure courses according to a philosophy of Jesse Jackson’s: “Put a floor beneath each learner and a ceiling above none.” In other words, make sure everyone possesses the basics before moving on to more-sophisticated/complicated concepts.
ü  Actively work to make the learning experience an enjoyable one through different participant engagement techniques.
ü  Try hard to keep discussions on target.
ü  Benchmark with other teachers/trainers to ensure that you are providing the most valuable information in the most relevant way.
ü  Always take pride in the professional look of your materials.
ü  Beware of the “glazed-over” look characteristic of participants who are confused or overwhelmed by the material of the course.
ü  Seek feedback throughout the session—not just at the end.
ü  Frequently invite participants to discuss their real-world situations in light of the learning that is occurring.
ü  Make yourself available to participants before and after the class, as well as during breaks.
ü  Consciously avoid sarcasm, vulgarity, inappropriate humor, and references that may be offensive.
ü  Anticipate questions that will arise and prepare responses to them.
ü  Assure participants that they will never be made to feel uncomfortable.
ü  Incorporate humor into the presentation.
ü  Include relevant news events and statistics in your presentation if required.
ü  Make dramatic gestures from time to time.
ü  Provide a change of pace on a regular basis.
ü  Consciously think about ways to make the presentations interactive.
ü  Encourage participants to meet and work with others in the room.
ü  Strive to relate the material to participants’ jobs, goals, and lives.
ü  Schedule breaks as needed and make sure refreshments are served on time.
ü  Make sure that the screen and flipchart can be seen by every participant.
ü  Of course use media effectively.
ü  Design effective closings & have a group photograph with the participants.
ü  Above all, always Smile while you present :)
ü  And the list goes on…..

Remember, in training every little thing counts. Above check list is pretty exhaustive. Please feel free to share your tips for success in the comments section.

Thanks and cheers.


Monday, February 21, 2011

A guy's Dilemma

Before Marriage:

Agreement on Talking Hours
Ali: At what time do I have to call you? 
Alia: Any time as u wish 
Ali: But last time when I call u in the morning u didn't pick up? 
Alia: I was sleeping. 
Ali: OK; when I try to call you around 11 am u didn't pick up? 
Alia: I was shopping with my mother 
Ali: So, when I try to call you around 2-3 u didn't pick up? 
Alia: I was tired and relaxing. 
Ali: Then what about 5 PM? 
Alia: I was watching a cartoon. 
Ali: So, then why didn't you pick your phone in the night? 
Alia: I was studying 
Ali: Ok then tell me which time is the most convenience time for you to talk. 
Alia: Anytime...

Car Break Down on a Date:
Ali: Now what should we do? 
Alia: You decide 
Ali: Let's go home. We will take the bus, I will accompany you..
Alia: Are you crazy? The bus is dirty and crowded. My new dress and all my hair will get screwed up.   
Ali: OK; we will take a radio cab.
Alia: No no no. Not worth it... For such a short distance 
Ali: All right, then we can walk. Its a beautiful day. We can enjoy the weather all the way and talk till we reach home ok? 
Alia: I am hungry, can't walk. 
Ali: Then what do you suggest? 
Alia: You decide 
Ali (Thinking): Ok... Let's have lunch first? 
Alia: Whatever you feel like... 
Ali: What shall we eat? 
Alia: Anything.. 

After Marriage:

Dinner time:
Ali: Honey, What should we have for dinner? 
Alia: Whatever you say.. 
Ali: Why don't we have Thai food tonight? 
Alia: No not thai food, the last time I got pimples on my face remember?
Ali: Alright, why don't we have chinese cuisine  
Alia: Yesterday we ate chineese , aaj bhi? 
Ali (thinking): Hmm..... I suggest we have barbeque 
Alia: Bar-b-que is not good, I might get diarrhea 
Ali: Then what do you suggest? 
Alia: Whatever you say..

Long Weekend:
Ali: Yesss.. Thank God Finally a long weekend. So what should we do today? 
Alia: Anything you feel like...
Ali: How about watching a movie? It's been a long time. I downloaded a few romantic comedies last night! 
Alia: Oh come on. Watching movie is no good, it's a waste of time 
Ali: Umm ok so how about we go for bowling, or Golf club or for some exercise?
Alia: Exercise on such a hot day? 
Ali: Then lets go out to some cafe and have Coffee.
Alia: I am off caffeine and did I not mention its a hot day? 
Ali: Ummm... Then what do you suggest? 
Alia: Anything you feel like..

Ooh wasn't that a glass breaking sound I heard? 
Ladies! Please don't do this to your man. Usually guys don't ask girls for advice and girls complaint about it. If they do, they mean it and they expect you (the girl) to give your subjective opinion on that. But it usually happens that the conversation rolls back to where it started.

If you're a guy reading this.. I hope you're happy that I just don't criticize guys everytime..
If you're a girl reading this.. I want your advice.. What should be my next post? Oh please don't say whatever I feel like!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nightmare or a dream?

A poem just popped up in my head which I had written way back in school in a diary that I'm trying to locate since ages!

Here it goes..

It was friday night
which was full of fright
It was spooky outside
and I was reading a book on aliens inside

suddenly outside I saw a flash
rays of light emerged like a splash
i looked up in the sky
it was a flying saucer passing by

I went out to see
but the lights undertook me
inside I was astonished to see
Aliens with yellow eyes looking at me

They told me they were from mars
and they will give me no harm
all they want me to do
is to teach english to the students of Mars-kaboo*

*Mars-kaboo was a famous school in mars

When we reached mars
they took me in their space cars
when I was teaching the students I realized
its easy to write but not easy to teach martians

suddenly one of them started banging my head with his arms
then I realized it was my clock's alarm
I opened my eyes and the room was filled with sunlight's beam
still today I wonder was it a nightmare or a dream!

Guys I know I have been off the radar, but hey I wasn't abducted by martians!
A lot of interesting stuff lined up for this month..
keep your fingers crossed!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

When life gives you aaloo.. make french fries!


I was conducting a session on POSITIVE ATTITUDE at a Consultancy Firm's Training Centre.

I held a 1000 Rupee Note in my hand. In the room of 20, I asked. "Who would like this Rs. 1000/- bill?"
Hands started going up. I said, "I am going to give this Rs. 1000/- to one of the participants - but first, let me do this."

Then I crumpled the 1000-rupees note and asked. "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.
Well," I replied, "what if I do this?" I dropped it on the carpet and started to grind it into the floor with my shoe. (Though I felt pretty bad after doing that but that was important for delivering the message) I picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?"

Still the hands went into the air.

I smiled :)

My message was delivered effectively.

I said, "My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth Rs. 1000/-."

It happens so many time is your life that you are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions you make and obstacles & hurdles that come our way. At that moment we feel we are worthless; but no matter what happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. God has given strengths to all of us. It's all about how much you unleash it to the fullest! And ofcourse if can't avoid what's happening... atleast learn to enjoy it.

You are special and unique- don't ever forget that!

Do checkout the video below.. No matter how much you feel down.. it will get you up!

60 seconds of motivation