The Power Of Commercials

So, I was idly watching television and came across the commercial featured above.Its the Mahindra KUV 100 which has been recently launched. The commercial, in the words of the company, features the ‘Young SUV’ and the ‘Dashing’ Varun Dhawan.

To me , it also features an adorable Boxer dog.

As the commercial progresses, one sees that the main protagonist picks up his friends, goes on an awesome drive, chills out on a great looking spot etc. Then he spots a rather pretty girl sitting on the bonnet of the vehicle who he proceeds to take on a drive.  At the end,he gets lucky, says the commercial, which translates to both hitching up and yeah, he ‘gets a life’.All pretty nice and gung-ho, I must say. Except that it rankled that the man forgot his dog! When the man does get back to his friends & dog along with his lady love and vrooms away, the Boxer dog no longer sits by his side. Its the girlfriend who sits in the front seat to soon sidles closer to him. The end shot is the girl friend sitting between the man and his friend. The dog is in the back seat.

To me , that’s epic fail! I would much rather that the dog sat in the front seat and finally always between the man and the girl! Wouldn’t you want that too ?

That gets me to two important issues:

  1.  In  all my years of loving animals and working with rescues/shelters, I have come across  many abandonment cases  of pets when a special new human walks into the owner’s life. Usually its a baby and the reasons are that he/she is allergic to dog fur or that the now poor ignored dog is’ hostile ‘ to the baby. Sometimes it has been the unbelievable ‘My girl/boyfriend or husband/wife doesn’t like dogs’ ! Both are absolutely horrible and stupid reasons for abandoning your pet! Animals are very special people actually. They feel just as we feel- a whole gamut of emotions including jealousy. So they need to feel included whenever there is a change in the family size. And, seriously, I don’t think I would like to stay with a man who wont accept my dog. That translates to him not accepting someone/something I love, right? He really does not care about my happiness; is not willing to adjust;would tend to be dismissive of anything that is not on his radar.
  2. Lets talk of the power of advertisements and commercials. As always they are, both, reflective of the times we live in and also a means to tell us what the ‘ideal’ is. They can be and most are powerful agents of social change and influence behavior . Thus,  models today face flak for influencing women, especially young girls, to be emaciated, anorexic and bulimic in order to look fashionable and chic. Positively, in India we have had in the recent past commercials which seek to promote tolerance, celebrate diversity, empower women etc. As such, ad people and commercials directors should be truly careful about what message they are trying to convey. The power of visuals is very great.

 Many would be a tad dismissive of my thoughts on this. Possibly, many will also say that I am reading a bit too much into a commercial. Some of my friends will grin and remember an ex of mine (who stuck around for quite a while ) who could impress me only by feeding stray dogs! I later found out that he was a huge phoney and loser. Shouldn’t have ignored my dogs’ dislike of him 🙂 Ha!

Alright, check this out. Wouldn’t you rather buy a Chevy ? I would.

C’mon Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, get the dog in front,please.A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself!

Zach Skow: Warrior [The Warrior Series]

[The start of ‘The Warrior Series’ on this blog. This would be about those people I know/have known/will know. They are real people. The ‘Warrior’ has five qualities: 1.Courage/Valor 2. Compassion 3.The ability to love unconditionally 4.The willingness to bleed/sacrifice joyfully.5.To stand, unwavering &rock solid, by a cause/person. Such warriors are the fellow travelers of time & space of the accidental sufi. ]

It is so fitting that the start of this series on this blog is on December 8th. For its Jim Morrison’s birthday today.Happy Birthday, beautiful warrior.You and I could have talked about so much.For like you, the accidental sufi “is a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”  ( Oscar Wilde)

The first warrior that I shall tell the world about is Zach Skow. A man of great inner beauty and strength of purpose. A man who is fearless and walks tall in his convictions. A man who is tender towards those who need him. A man who would probably cut himself up to defend those who look to him for protection and help. “There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive. This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad in a stricken field and refusing quarter…..”.Zach has found this ecstasy.Only the chosen ones find it actually.

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( Photos of Zach and his beloved dogs)

As he lay terribly sick, almost dying due to his liver failing from sustained alcohol abuse, Zach Skow says he was ‘depleted’. In all possible ways a human can be depleted : physically, mentally and spiritually. The doctors warned him that he would not survive without a liver transplant. But he would need to build his strength and stay sober for 6 months to go through it.
This warrior began building back his spirit and body, supported by the un-conditional love of his two rescued dogs Marley, a Rottweiler/Pit Bull mix, and Tug, a Lab mix, who wouldn’t give up on him. Sunrise strolls and hikes in the mountains near his home in Bakersfield, California, with his two dogs, were the only medicine that Zach needed. He rose from certain death to being so healthy within a year that he no longer needed a transplant.

He then started a non-profit organization with the help of his Dad. This is called “ Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue’, a touching and heartfelt tribute to his beloved dog Marley, acknowledging that he ’LIVED’ because of that un-conditional love. Zach and his father rescued dogs scheduled for euthanasia from local shelters, then fostered and trained them before finding them new homes. Marley’s Mutts today has a formidable network of people who love and aid animals and the organization grows from strength to strength every single day.

Read about Hooch, a French Mastiff who, horrifically, had his tongue and ears cut off by his abusive former owner when he was just a puppy. He and Zach are inseparable today. Read about Apollo, found with a d-ring hook, the remnants of a tie-down chain, imbedded in his foot. Rather than attach the chain to his collar, his tormentors attached in through his flesh, tendons and bone in order to keep him immobile. Zach says “No rescue case, before or since, conjured up such anger in me than that of Apollo’s.” Apollo has since then been adopted to a lovely home. And Zach says “ In his rehabilitation he taught me to focus on constructive ideas like love and forgiveness, therefore today I harbor no hate for those that hurt him”.

Read all about this warrior, Zach Skow and his militia here:https://www.facebook.com/MarleysMuttsDogRescue?fref=ts

Draw courage, compassion and love from this man.Support him and the awesome work he does..and watch roses bloom in your soul 🙂

Zach buddy, you have a friend in the accidental sufi for life 🙂 Stay wild.Stay un-tamed.Above all, stay beautiful and blessed, you warrior! This one is for you :http://youtu.be/M43wsiNBwmo ! Wild boy, never loose it.Wild boy,never close your eyes.Wild boy, always shine 🙂

Over & Out, guys.Till I tell you about another warrior 🙂

Wabi-Sabi Your Life

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This is my Golden Cocker Spaniel girl. She is called Ashlee Aishwarya. Her second name is from ‘Aishwarya Bachhan” who is a former Miss World and superstar in Bollywood. She is not a favorite actor of mine though, but undeniably beautiful. Well, my Ashlee is a rescue baby.She came to me when she was around 7/8 months old. Starved, tortured and beaten.She had terrible aggression problems because of sustained abuse.Gradually, with a lot of gentle handling she settled down. She regained her health, her coat is a mass of golden curls today. She learned to trust human again. Her attachment to my big sister , especially is very touching.

But, today my Ash baby, only 3 years old, can no longer see.She has become totally blind. Her eye sight was poor when she had come to me because she was not given any food when she was a pup.Let alone necessary nutritional supplements ! The damage to her eyes was irreversible, my vet told me, although we kept up a steady intake of Vitamin A.While she cannot see any more, her sense of smell is very, very strong and as the days go by, I think it keeps getting more acute.So also is her hearing. My sister’s gardener, who is Ash’s pet hate, has to tip-toe around the place!

I seem to love her more now though. She is damaged..but she is so brave, so beautiful , her  eyes shining with trust and so much love that  I am reminded of the Japanese concept of ‘Wabi-sabi”.

What is ‘Wabi-Sabi”? “Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent“. (http://nobleharbor.com/tea/chado/WhatIsWabi-Sabi.htm) Loosely translated, “wabi” is simplicity, whether elegant or rustic; “sabi” means the beauty of age and wear. 

Some years back, the accidental sufi had met with a terrible car accident.Although my injuries healed and I was back to normal within a short span of time, a  long,perpendicular scar remained on my right forehead. I was very conscious of it. Put it down to female vanity, but it troubled me a lot. I would brood .Although my sister told me that I look perfectly fine, I cried and harped on getting plastic surgery done.

Then, my Shams, gifted me a rough clay bowl. It was cracked.The crack had been filled with gold. Somewhat like the pic below.

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( Photo Credits :http://sloannota.com/blog/crash-art-kintsuori-and-modern-dreams/)The art of filling pottery with silver  or gold lacquer to repair the crack and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken is called ‘kintsukuroi” in Japanese.

And Shams explained “the difference between the Japanese “kirei-merely” or  “pretty” and “omoshiroi”, the interestingness that kicks something into the realm of beautiful”. I stopped thinking about plastic surgery 🙂

Much later  there was this terrible  upheaval in my personal life.My sister told me   ‘scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.’ My Ma gave me a photo of the Lord Jaganath to keep in my purse.Its frayed now…but  strength emanates from the folds.  My Shams wrote me this :”I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.” ( Clemetine von Radics)

All in their own ways living the wabi-sabi way and telling me to do so 🙂

So Ashlee Aishwarya, of the golden curls and the beautiful eyes , is wabi sabi-ing her life with me….we both heal each other everyday 🙂 Try adopting a broken damaged animal and heal it, guys, with your love.Your soul will smile, believe me 🙂

And what about love ? Well, wabi sabi love tells us to find perfect love in imperfect relationships .

And what is perfect love ? Ummm…anything less than mad, passionate, extraordinary love is a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life to deal with and love shouldn’t be one of them.

And what is an imperfect relationship? Ummm…the Shams sent me this pic.Says it epitomizes an imperfect relationship !  Oh by the way, he plans to make this the wallpaper in his house 😀

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( Photo Credit :http://waggingworld.com/2013/08/05/off-the-leash/ )

Alright guys, check this song. My kinda wabi sabi. It takes courage to attempt ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon. Its not perfect. But its beautiful because Eddie Vedder sings it with so much belief and passion ,non? http://youtu.be/KhrmkCW6Ph8

Ta ta, guys !  *curtsies low* .Jeez, I need to work them  ahem gluteal muscles 😦 Auto suggestion : Wabi sabi your a*** woman…its perfect 😉


The Yellow Ribbon

 Beautiful  Sunday morning today here in Delhi.Slightly overcast sky with the sun trying to shine through, making the trees look an incandescent green. Layla, my rescued Great Dane girl and me go for real long walk every weekend mornings. That is to make up for the relatively shorter walks we do on weekdays with my other dogs, who being smaller breeds ( actually my English bulldog girl , Jigar, being a bloody lazy bum) or being handicapped ( Jill, my rescued Boxer girl has three legs) do not require strenuous exercise. Anyway, Layla loves these ‘only our’ walks.Major bonding time for us 🙂

I shall write about Layla in great length some other time. But very quickly, she is a gorgeous chocolate-y black Dane girl, about two and half years old. She was terribly abused,starved by her previous owner who possibly either had kept her for breeding or now I suspect  to use in dog fighting 😦 She has been with me for almost a year now and is a complete joy.She is also fiercely protective of me. However, because of the abuse and pain she was subject by the previous m*****f***** owner, she has  some aggression issues , especially with teenaged boys/young adult men. Possibly, she had been teased and tortured by them. She has settled down and coming to terms with it slowly, but she tends to react violently if a young male comes close to me.Trying to protect me, I feel,my beautiful warrior princess , Layla.  So on our walks, I am very .very careful.

This morning there was a little chaos on our walk. A young man, around 18 or 19 years old, with gigantic headphones and a Justin Bieber ( EWWW) T-shirt came jogging towards us.All would have been well had he just passed us by.But he stopped to look at Layla and admire her and before I could warn him, stretched out his hand to pet her ,gushing about her lovely coat etc. Layla snarled and was ready to pounce on him,but a strict word of command from me , stopped her. The poor  shocked guy had also backed  by then.

Layla quietened down with my reassuring pats and I turned to explain and apologize to the guy.Although shaken, he responded courteously saying that it was his mistake! I was genuinely impressed with his understanding and empathy and we got talking. I found out that he is very fond of dogs and feeds the strays in his locality, supports and volunteers at the local shelter.Laughingly, I told him Layla probably went for him because he was wearing  a Justin Bieber T-shirt!The guy looked confused. So happily  I gave him a short lecture, as we walked, on the type of music he needs to listen to. Classic Rock,puh-leez. Told him about Led Zeppelin.And I have decided also to gift him a Led Zeppelin T-shirt. By way of apology.AND TO MAKE  A KID OF TODAY  GET TO KNOW REAL MUSIC 😀

But my primary intention of writing this post is to make anyone reading this aware about the ”The Yellow Dog Project”, which I came across on a friend’s Facebook post.It is such a brilliant idea!

“The Yellow Dog Project is a global movement for owners of dogs that need space. It hopes to educate the public and dog owners to identify dogs needing space, promote appropriate contact of dogs and assist dog parents to identify their dog as needing space.Yellow Dogs are dogs who need space – they are not necessarily aggressive dogs but more often are dogs who have issues of fear; pain from recent surgery; are a rescue or shelter dog who has not yet had sufficient training or mastered obedience; are in training for work or service; are in service; or other reasons specific to the dog.The Yellow Dog Project seeks to educate appropriate ways to approach or make contact with a dog with permission of a dog owner only, whether or not a dog is a “yellow dog”. They also seek to promote the use of yellow ribbons to identify yellow dogs needing extra space.”

Read more about this project here:http://www.theyellowdogproject.com/The_Yellow_Dog_Project/About.html

When I looked at  the map of existence/implementation/spread of the ”The Yellow Dog Project” idea, my country, India, drew a blank. This concerned me because I felt people need to be made aware of / educated about  a dog needing space too. It would tend to avoid mishaps with the dog, the owner and the public.

This is such a brilliant awareness program and I hope this becomes popular in India as well.Please do your bit to spread the word in whichever country you are in and the people do not know about this project/idea. I am  going to do it for/in New Delhi,India.

This evening, Layla , will have a yellow satin ribbon, around her neck. Soon, she will no longer need it because I am working on her /training her on her discomfort with young male adults.But till then, I want everyone to be safe and happy 🙂

Oh yeah,  for those of you who know my/about my English bully girl, Jigar, with her famous J-Lo butt in Victoria’s Secret..well Ms Bossy Pants also wants a yellow ribbon, to make everyone aware of her  as a ‘lean ( hehe), mean ( yup, she steals my pizza)  sex-machine  ( ummm). She sends everyone reading this blog the song she is jiving to currently.This one :

Cheers, guys! Rock out 😀