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Deciphering Brand Spirituality

A copywriter harnasses the forces of spirituality in her craft.

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Spirituality, Self-knowledge, The Upanishads, The Vedas, the Chakras, The Mantras, the Kundalini, The Yoga... I have had my share of the rigmarole, but all top down.

Now, I have deciphered it - my way.

Well I, kind of, stumbled onto the self- awakening process, because I wanted to be more efficient, faster, less stressed.

Whatever the assignment, it shall be topped. Whatever the creative challenge, it shall be conquered.

Whatever I may think of my wwws - words of wit and wisdom - after they have gone to the Board, Client, Editor, Marketing Head, Print, Creative Director, Air, Multiplex Activation Zone, Poles & Trees, until they do, I strive to give them my darnest best.

Focusing on my karma - that's my brand of spirituality.

To be able to churn out concepts, ideas, wwws on demand, primarily requires skill, a certain kind of undiluted self-bluster, akin to that of a soldier on his first date or of Don Corleone making offers one couldn't refuse, or of a foie gras connoisseur retaining his appetite even after a documentary depicting livers of goose and ducks being turned into delectable paste.

It also takes help and assistance from seen and unseen powers - fathomable and unfathomable, reasonable and unreasonable, conscious and subconscious - of yours truly and those of other mortals who surround me at any given moment.

The fact that my campaigns can be shredded to bits without a shredder keeps me humble as does the insight that every time I am in the line of duty my greatest utility comes from providing an apt word, an apt idea, an apt tune. And the fact that I totally am at the mercy of my thoughts for that coterie of "apts" over which I seldom have control. And that I frequently dial for assistance and backups from the superior force that has the biggest store of all wwws.

All that keeps me humble - Namrata  - and the way He bails me out of tight situations keeps me from resorting to Hail Marys at presentations.

When I am happy I write best.

So, what do I need to be happy? Viveka - the power to discriminate between essential and non-essential.The vacation in Malibu can wait - non essential.Taking care of my molars - essential.

I don't crave my neighbor's car. A few pounds on me don't bother me much, because I know I can shed them off. I don't have the burning need to be one up on anyone. I don't feel like getting even and I smell a spirit of forgiveness and generosity overtaking me.

No desires, discounting my attraction to my refrigerator.

The fact that the state of desirelessness is transitory, I now know. Trying to keep that gap between the two consequent state of desirelessness shorter is what is evolving spiritually for me.

There are hours when deadlines loom. Brightest sparks are rejected and new ideas deserted, because of the attachment to the passionately penned previous ones. Vairagya (detachment) from episodes that didn't click helps. Those lonely times spent sharpening pencils, aiming crumpled paper balls into bright red baskets and another whiz kid working on the same account stress you out. But then, you break the chain of defeating thoughts, kick your heels, take a walk, ignore the gamesmanship. Perfect opportunity to practice pratyahara (withdrawl of senses of perception from their objects), a very essential skill to survive in toxic environments. Talk to the plants, say a little prayer ... and pen again. Some lines do turn out winners.

Sometimes yelling at the monitor works and when nothing else does, I tell Him that I need the lines by tomorrow morning and I doze off without a care. By dawn things start taking shape ... He delivers. That is shraddha (faith), I guess.

Inking my thoughts is easier when negativity is kept out. I gave up parting with witty repartees long time ago when I realized as far as verbal duels go, my stature was as big as a stump mike in a stadium. I felt armorless, with no gift of instant wit (my wwws flow only at the smell of cash and checks) and with no particular liking for parties - political/apolitical/nocturnal /diurnal of any kind. Add to it a low tolerance for crowds, noise and jazzy lights (there go Shakira's and Aerosmith's shows).

As a socially inept person I have earned my right to spend my time as I like, with people I like. I don't regret a moment. I'm happy.

Strength to be me. That's spirituality.

Taking adverse circumstances - incomplete briefs, a designer's tunnel vision on a particular assignment, non co-operation movement by traffic, a complete U-turn on strategies, pesky egos, pretty females and client servicing apostles seeking to justify their existence, benign creative director's comments that could turn malignant if a step is missed in the tactful tap dance, avoiding toes of all shapes and sizes and genders - taking all that without blowing a fuse is titiksha (endurance) for me.

The fact that people around me are familiar with the campaign of the product I aim to sell and the storyboards of the TVCs I create, pass by giant hoardings that have my wwws in five cities, have brand recall, be in constant awe of wwws created in and around my world by the mightier and the mightiest, and still not know me. Or when my granny asks me if a copywriter is a lekhak, a writer, for the umpteenth time, that keeps me grounded and humble - a very important aspect of spirituality for me - Ishvarapranidhana.

Let brand spirituality rock and roll - may we decipher it to our strategic needs.

That is customizing spirituality for me.  

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (2 posted)

Priyanka Garg September 10, 2009 at 3:44 AM
Yes this is your teacher. I would like to know about you and other students of mine.
JAYAKRISHNAN G PILLAI August 9, 2009 at 11:15 PM
I am not sure if you are the one. A Priyanka Garg from a small town called Vapi, a beautiful woman who changed my life. I was her student and still am one. I am what am because of her. I don\'t know where you are. but if you are the one, please revert.
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Religion | Life | Magazine | November 2007

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