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Got Options?

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Steve Jobs’ claim to fame is making memorable products and Paul Rand’s claim to fame is making memorable logos. So what happens when they meet?

Steve Jobs: We want to make a logo for our new company “Next”. Can you work on it and show me some options?
Paul Rand: No, I will solve your problem for you and you will pay me. You don’t have to use the solution. If you want options go talk to other people.

Solving problems, not creating options

I will solve your problem for you and you will pay me. You don’t have to use the solution. If you want options go talk to other people.

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Smartest Guy in the Room

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Jack Welch

If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in trouble

If you’re a leader and you’re the smartest guy in the world – in the room, you’ve got real problems.
-Jack Welch

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Daring robbery in 16 flats in Gaur City in broad daylight

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On 5th of January, 16 flats in the 1st Avenue of Gaur City, Noida Extension were broken into and robbed. The fact that the robbers managed to break into not one or two but 16 flats suggest that

  1. This was a well-organized heist – you can escape being caught once, twice or thrice but managing to hit 16 houses and getting away with it is not luck but careful planning and implementation with surgical precision.
  2. Breaking into 16 houses in the same day is not something a single team can do. Timing is essence; you want to do it all together so that by the time people realize it and raise an alarm, you are already away.
  3. The houses that were broken into were occupied by working couple and they were broken into when they were away. Having this information means this is an inside job. Someone or some people from security, contractor – private and Gaur’s, maids etc were involved in providing that information
  4. They managed to rob a house which was vacant for only 2 hours which means they knew what they were looking for and were confident that they can do it in a small window of time
  5. All the houses were entered from the main door they broke wooden doors and some Steel doors as well and no one heard a thing. This means the people who did this are professionals and have done this many times before as well

Now What?

To create a list of suspects, a list of all the people missing from work today can be compiled. This includes maids, Gaur’s contractors like painters etc., private contractors like carpenters and security staff.

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Leonardo DeCaprio to make movie on Volkswagen diesel scandal

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It is impossible not to sympathies with criminals like Frank Abagnale and Jordan Belfort when they are portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio. Instead of seeing what an assholes those characters were we leave the cinema feeling sorry for Jordan Belfort because he lost all he had, even if that “all he had” was made by conning an average person.

Now Leonardo is making a movie on Volkswagen scam. I hope I will not leave the cinema feeling sorry for Volkswagen and Martin Winterkorn.

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Bringing a knife to a Gunfight

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Bringing a Maruti 800 to jumpstart a Tata Indigo is exactly like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Indigo has a bigger diesel engine and as a result a much bigger battery than a Maruti 800.

Theoretically you can start a bigger car with a smaller one but if you run a car breakdown service, you must account for dead batteries in which case a smaller battery is never going to be able to start a bigger car, yet this is exactly what RACE Car Helpline did.

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Won’t Give It Up – my LPG Subsidy

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Won't give up my LPG Subsidy

You took away the option of going to a government hospital from me. You took away the option of sending my kid to a government school. Why do you want me to give up my LPG subsidy? I know you can damn well take it away anytime you like. So just stop trying to make me feel that I am in control and just end this damn thing. ‪#‎Giveitup‬ ‪#‎wontgiveitup‬

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Drawing Robert De Niro – Step by Step

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Some people deride the way I make portraits as not being truly “artistic” but I think breaking down the large drawing in smaller chunks is only practical. Using a grid may seem more like mechanical drawing than art but it gets the job done.


Step 1

I start with a grid on the source picture. Twenty years ago I used to do this by hand but now Photoshop and a printer did the job. An advantage is if I lose the source picture halfway through, I can always print another one with exactly the same grid.

Step 2

Second step is to draw a larger grid on the paper where I am going to make this drawing. A little planning in the scale helps you utilize your canvas properly. As you can see, I didn’t do that planning and ended up with a smaller drawing than I wanted.



Step 3

Third step is to get the outline in place. I draw the basic face and also mark some other areas like the areas which I need to shade.


Step 4

Fourth step is in filling up the details. Here I have to be careful with my grid. It is still required to get position right for some elements and at the same time needs to be erased before I start shading. What you ease and when you erase is the key.


Staedtler pencils costs about 10 more than a Camlin or an Apsara pencil but it is worth every penny of it. I have used a 2B and a 6B pencil here and the good thing about these pencils is that unlike Apsara and Camlin their lead doesn’t break easily and they don’t smudge. Koh-i-noor used to make good pencils too but I guess they are not around anymore (I am talking about India company run by V Perumal Chetty, not the international Koh-i-noor which is still operational)

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Emulating success

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Will wearing a black turtle neck along with a Levi’s jean and New Balance sneakers make me a genius and super successful? It should because that is what Steve Jobs used to wear.

A favorable impression will help me a lot more than it will help Mark or Steve

You know what I Think? Lose that turtle neck

Should I start wearing a generic grey t-shirt with jeans? That is what Mark Zuckerberg also wears. Mark wears what he wears because he is the founder and owner of the biggest social network and has a million things on his mind. He doesn’t want to spend his time deciding what to wear and what to eat and it helps that doesn’t have to worry about making a favorable impression. On the other hand, most of us don’t have the same time constraints and neither is our brain preoccupied with a million things and it would serve me well if I spend a little time in deciding what should I wear because a favorable impression will help me a lot more than it will help Mark or Steve.

I don't have to impress people. People try to impress me.

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Facebook got a new logo

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Facebook redesigns his logo. The old one is replaced by a new one that doesn’t look all that different from the old one. This is for a company that doesn’t even use its logo on its website.

New and Old Facebook Logos

“This new logo may look pretty similar to the average person, but it is regarded as a rather dramatic change to the typography-trained eye.”

It’s like me not noticing that my wife got a haircut. I sincerely hope Facebook won’t be mad at me for not noticing the change in the logo.

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Free Atena Farghadani

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Holy Cow! You can’t jail someone for drawing cows and monkeys.


Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
-George Orwell

In India state governments are banning cow meat and in Iran a young cartoonist was jailed for 12 for making a cartoon which depicts the members of parliament as cows and monkeys. It was drawn in protest of new legislature in Iran that will restrict access to contraception and criminalise voluntary sterilization. Atena’s charges include ‘spreading propaganda against the system’ and ‘insulting members of parliament through paintings’.

I started looking for a quote when I decided to post a drawing with the hashtag #draw4atena and found two very apt quotes. The one by George Orwell is used in the drawing and here is another one by Albert Camus

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

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