Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Let me take you back to the year 1999 in Hyderabad, where I was struggling to find a suitable job for me after the restaurant project was shelved. Yes, like most of us, I too, was frustrated with life and the system and to an extent even with my destiny... Hyderabad seemed to me like ready to kill... now I smile thinking about those dreadful period...

I was working as the Project Manager of a multi-cuisine restaurant that was supposed to be the envy at Banjara Hills... the only thing was that the project never came up and so as a jobless fellow, I used to write few copies for my advertising dear friend Ramana. He always used to tell me to try my luck in Bombay, the dream city of every Indian. However, I have had two unsuccessful stints (as a Production Manager in a Jeans Manufacturing Unit and trading on individual capacity micro-chips, electronic accessories and readymade garments) before in Bombay and the crowded life in train, bus and everywhere made me to think twice to go there once again. However, I have always believed that ‘destiny leads us towards our goal or life’. So while I was struggling I bought the Annual copy of A & M (Advertising & Marketing) – a lovely magazine on the ad world. From here my journey began...

The annual copy had top 100 ad agencies covered with all the information and detail of creative directors, CEO and owners... so I picked up 10 top agencies and wrote to them. 8 of them said they didn’t have any vacancy and out of the two, Lintas send me a copy test that was supposed to be submitted in 48 hours and the tenth one never replied. After 10 days, I received a letter from Lintas stating I had cleared their copy test and if I was visiting Bombay, I should meet the National Creative Director for an opening (I never got the job in Lintas when I arrived in Bombay). Ramana was very happy about the development and at the same time, my friend Madan Patil was getting married in Alibaug, so his invitation and Raju Mishra’s assurance of a place to live in Bombay... all played important role to pull me back to Bombay.

Ramana had more confidence in my capabilities to write good effective copy, catchy slogans and create new ideas for ad campaigns and this time, he said, “Come what may, don’t come back and stick there somehow. I know this time you won’t come back for sure.” Honestly, I never had such confidence in me but Ramana... he is a gem of a person and a great friend! I never went back to Hyderabad after 1999, instead my destiny took me to Vidarbha... after living life in Bollywood as a film journalist and Editor of couple of Interiors magazines... Imagine I had  never planned anything because I never knew I would or could become a journalist. In fact, without any journalism course or degree of Mass Media etc., destiny of my hunger made me a journalist. Similarly, when I started this mission, never in my wildest dream did I think that I would shift so soon to Vidarbha leaving Bombay – the Dream City! But then, we humans have no control over destiny!

The reason why I am writing about Ramana is that his valuable contribution for this movement needs a special mention here. We have shared such lovely rapport over the years that we know we can demand help from each other at any given time of life. So for the paper envelopes unit, I had called Ramana and requested him to design stickers to be stuck on office mail envelopes and within ten days’ time we received today the bunch of stickers. I was truly so happy and immediately called to thank him. Yes, Ramana we are truly grateful to you for your kind support for the farmers’ widows of Vidarbha. Rare are such friends in today’s modern world but I must confess I am blessed with some very special friends in my life... who will be always there to support me!

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