What I was reading……….

My quest for life and knowledge continues and I continue to be surprised and humbled by the life and ideas of some outstanding individuals and scholars.

This week, I listened to the interviews of Samuel Huntington, the author of Clash of Civilizations. He says that the euphoria which had built after the end of Cold War and demolition of Berlin Wall was petering off now and the states were aligning inter-alia on cultural lines. He says instead of western model or North America led alliance dominating the world we are witnessing alignment of countries along cultural lines. He says we are witnessing the growth of North America-European alliance, Islamic Cultural alliance (though fragmented and fighting too), Indian cultural alliance, Chinese cultural alliance, Japanese alliance and Latin America and African alliance. He says that these alliances will consolidate further as they resolve their issues and progress or modernise without following the western model per se. He believes that many countries want to modernise but essentially not westernise. For example, Japan is a modern country but not western. Likewise India may modernise even more without following the western cultural ways. He says Westernism and Modernism are different. Though he also believes that western model of modernism which included, rule of law, separation of state and religion, respect for Individual rights and human rights has proved to be a good way of growth since 15th century and that this model in past has catapulted these nations on the path of progress ahead of its compatriots. He also highlights that if China continued to grow at the same pace for next one decade more it will posture herself as a hegemonic power in East Asia more often and that China believes that it has every right to do that as it was exactly that hegemonic for hundreds of years up  until middle of 19th century. The churning which the whole world is going through will test the hypothesis more in years to come. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

2. I am also reading Pandeymonium written by ad-man, Piyush Pandey. He has titled the book after the whatsap group of his family, a trend which I think every family is following. Piyush born and brought up in Rajasthan, had a family of 7 sisters and two brothers (Adman Prasoon Pandey being other brother)  and that includes her sister Ila Pandey known popularly as Ila Arun, the famous film and TV personality and folk singer. Piyush started as a serious cricketer and played for Ranji along with Arun Lal and Kapil Dev and admits in the book that after initial successes got carried away with the minor milestones of representing his state in Ranji, while players like Vengsarkar and  Kapil Dev did not rest and paused till they got national and international fame. A very valuable lesson of life indeed. He though used his love of cricket in designing some of the most popular ads of Cadburys chocolate in which a lady praying for a six from his love playing a shot in the middle of the stadium and then rushing merrily towards crease to congratulate the batsman. He has been associated with many more ad campaigns pertaining to cricket and also with campaigns for bidding for hosting the cricket  World Cup in Indian Sub Continent. He has been a permanent fixture in most of the campaigns of IPL teams too. He learned the hard lessons from not working hard enough for cricket but used the experience in his alternative career.

pandeymonium-cover

3. Piyush owes many of his most popular ideas to his middle class upbringing and family values. His work on Fevicol is inspired by the enthusiasm he had when their family got their first dining table after days of woodwork done by a carpenter and watched closely by him. He says that Fevicol is a very important ingredient of the furniture but he says that it is always invisible as it is concealed to the inside of the furniture. He calls his mother Bhagwati Pandey to be ‘Fevicol’ of the family till she was alive. His association with Pidilite group through the famous ads of a dhoti clad South Indian villager man applying fevi-quick on his local stick to catch fishes easily while a professional anglers with all mannerism waits furtively, is one of the most memorable of his ads. So are the ads of unbreakable eggs of hens eating poultry food out of a reusable Fevicol box. He is also credited with one of the most memorable ad on Indian Television, Mile Sur Mera Tumhara in 1990s. This ad had captured the imagination of the country in a huge way in those years and it touches the raw nerves of us all. Piyush is very proud of this ad and he did it with a very paltry budget.

There is so much to read…..

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