Mad about “Castle”? 12

I like watching “Castle” on Star World, a “Dramedy” (Drama + Comedy) based in a crime setting that is shown everyday from 10pm-11pm, Mon to Thurs in India. Of course the series is running behind in terms of what is shown in the US (where the 2nd season has finished already).

Only 2 episodes are left for 2nd season to finish in India, but fret not if you like this series, a 3rd season is in the offing. Not every episode of the series is path breaking and definitely could do better, however irrespective of that, I like culling out a lot from any stuff that I watch on TV. So I often watch it for the visuals, for what Richard Castle’s home decor is like, what fancy activities he indulges in, at home with Alexis, what photographs he puts on his walls, what fashion his mother and daughter follow, what meals they are eating or what accessories Kate Beckett wears when she does dress up for partying and hence I find the series overall engaging.

In the series, the characters regularly use twitter, especially Richard Castle. In one episode, they even show Richard Castle & Kate Beckett finding out their victim’s whereabouts by doing a twitter search! However this post isn’t really about the series and is instead more about the people in the cast. Since nowadays twitter is the rage and it seems anyone & everyone has some presence here, needless to say the Castle team also does. I did some research and this is what I could find about the twitter presence of the “Castle” cast.

Stana Katic as Kate Beckett  – @stana_katic

Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle  – @nathanfillion

There’s also another (official) account for the character Richard Castle which tweets as an author of crime bestsellers only – @WriteRCastle

Jon Huertas as Detective Javier Esposito– @Jon_Huertas

Tamala Jones as Dr. Lanie Parish – @tamalajones

Molly C Quinn as Alexis Castle – couldn’t find her on twitter as the real her, but there’s an account @alexiscastle (seems to be offical as well) that tweets in character as Richard Castle’s daughter. This id interacts regularly with @WriteRCastle as her dad.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Cpt. Roy Montgomery – couldn’t find him on twitter.

Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers – couldn’t find her on twitter.

Seamus Dever as Kevin Ryan – couldn’t find him on twitter.

Alyssa Milano as Kyra Blaine in Season 2, episode 12, “A Rose for Everafter” – @Alyssa_Milano

There’s an account on twitter called @CastleTweets which seems to be an official twitter id for the team’s comments including the actors, producers etc.

Michael Trucco is Kate Beckett’s new love interest in “Castle” and it seems it is an experiment to see who suits the chemistry better. Needless to say Richard Castle wins hands down here for his boyish charm.

All “Castle” fans, till we get to “Castle” Season 3, you can survive on the information above 🙂


Social media & Blog camp 13

It’s been quite some time since we were planning the “Social media & Blog camp” to be held at Indiatimes, Gurgaon on 7th June’08. It started as an idea from scratch and finally we have managed to get a sponsored venue for this exciting event. Indiatimes, our gracious sponsor is also providing us free wi-fi, lunch, tea/coffee and snacks. There is so much to learn on Social media & blogging in the social marketing context. Are you going to be there? You can register as a speaker or just as an attendee.

This is a one-day semi-camp style “unconference”* which brings together stakeholders and audiences of social media and blogging. The wave of social media in India (which includes Facebook, DBB Social Media & Blog camp Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ryze, Orkut, YouTube, Flickr and many more) has led to a huge interest in the personal and business implications of this here-to-stay form of interaction. Blogging has already been a huge platform of expression for professionals and citizens from all walks of life.
The idea is to provide an ongoing and large platform of interaction for everyone, from entrepreneurs to enthusiasts, from technology to marketing experts, and from media to PR, to enrich themselves with a whole world of learning and business opportunities.

Where :

Date : 7th June’08 (Saturday), 9:30am – 5:30pm

Venue : Indiatimes office,
Times Internet Ltd.
I World , Opp. DLF Golf Course,
DLF City Phase V,
Gurgaon, Haryana – 122005
The venue is wifi enabled and has an auditorium, projectors and a board room for parallel tracks if the need arises. Lunch/tea/coffee/snacks would be provided by our prime sponsor – Indiatimes.

Parking : this will be provided inside Indiatimes office; Map:

Camera, action!

Of late there have been some movies which have actually started “moving” ppl into action too. Though the term “movies” was coined to denote movement of characters on the screen like “talkies” denoted talking, it’s good to see that the movement and the impact can be felt outside the cinema hall too. Here I am not talking about a certain Vijay or a certain Gabbar or even a trademark wolfwhistle – “oye oye, oye o-o-wa” – things which are permanently etched into people’s memories due to the movies. I am talking about deeper impacts. When Black was released some ppl went ahead to say that watching it once would change you for life, one would walk out a better person. Well, that’s too tall a claim and may be true only for people who are so far removed from the normal world that they have no idea how a world of darkness and silence, looks or sounds like. It may hold good for people who have had a sheltered life with lady luck smiling down on them right from the day they were born. Anyhow, the kind of action I was talking about is more mass oriented and more prominent in two releases of this year – Rang De Basanti and Lage Raho Munna Bhai.

Both movies talk about freedom fighters and how the central characters in the script are really affected by them. Enough to implement their more than half a decade old principles in today’s world, for it seems today’s generation has forgotten the basis on which independent India managed to free herself. The same principles should ideally be sought in today’s world too. But most people think they are too outdated for today’s circumstances. Both movies manage to show us that it is not so and that by sticking to a line of thought one can indeed transform India. Both movies saw mass public action. With RDB it has become a trend to hold any protest at India gate by lighting candles. Whether it is a dharna for the RTI or a candle light vigil for Jessica Lal’s case. Maybe in emulating those actions it makes them feel heroic because it was the heroes (in the movies) who chose to tread that path. Ironically though it was real life heroes who went down that path in history, public trend failed to form on the basis of just that. With LRMB, again the main character chose to tread a path which has been assumed to fail before it even started. But towards the end we are shown how that is not the case and that patience and non-violence can actually work wonders with a feel good factor to boot. With LRMB, terms like “Gandhigiri” and “chemical locha” have entered our common vocabulary (google it and you shall believe). People have started sending get well soon cards and flowers to get any issues resolved like trying to get a liquor shop shift from in front of a prayer place.

But where both movies differ is the way to protest. While RDB promotes Sarfroshi, LRMB promotes non-violence. Two very opposite lines of thought. Nevertheless people choose wherever they fit, which is what matters eventually. At least an intention to make a positive difference.

A good moral at the end of the stories apart, one thing is very prominent in both movies. Both of them show the advent of radio broadcasting and the extent to which it penetrates our daily life. The video never killed the radio star. It’s an instant formula to spreading information. It’s a very strong tool if put in the right hands. That makes me wonder, observing as I have been, how many years before they show a movie where the same information dissemination is done via blogging.

Pehchaan Kaun

The other day Sharmila aunty called at our residence number. Arrey wahee, Soha’s mom. Can still not place her? Ok, considering that Saif’s more popular – his mom as well. But it’s good that I did not receive her call. I would have been all over myself trying to talk to her and would not have been putting up a faux front like this. I don’t even remember how she introduced herself. But I am sure, had I or my parents picked up that call, we would have started bombarding her like those overwhelmed fans of Amitabh Bacchan on KBC.

Hello, mein Amitabh Bacchan bol raha hoon Kaun Banega Crorepati se.
FOP (Fan on phone) : Hello sir, jee sir, yes sir. I am a BIG fan of yours sir. I have seen all your movies sir.
You have a great influence in my life sir. Can I recite a poem in your honour sir?
[quick recital of lines from Madhushala followed by polite reminder by Amitabh Bacchan]

It’s good that my sister picked up the call, for it was intended to be for her. There was some documentary that was being shot and they needed a scriptwriter to translate the English script into Hindi. And they zeroed in on my sister of all people? I mean the sorts who insert all kind of random hindi words anywhere in a sentence without knowing what they mean? The sorts who tell a shopkeeper ‘mein aapka vikreta hoon’ thinking that vikreta = customer. Well even I didn’t study Hindi beyond 10th standard (and I so regret it), but certainly my command over that language, my understanding of shuddh hindi and my usage of grammar, tense and even sandhi vicched/samaas etc is ahem..I would like to think, quite remarkable. (Contact Lazy lump or Bhavna or Amit or Mamta for a verification – after all no one else can translate ROTFL into hindi as well as I did).

Oh, I digress all over again. So Sharmila aunty basically wanted my sis to work on this documentary and work she did. Even went out of station with her. When she had called home, my father and I instantly started competing with each other over who could chauffeur my sister to Sharmila aunty’s Vasant Vihar home. Oh! even the polite conversations we would have with her about generally everything or even about her and Parimal (Dharmendra) had started germinating in our minds. Nothing doing. My sister went alone via public transport. No nonsense and no bhaav when it comes to these bollywood types. After she came back, she was thoroughly interviewed by the rest of the family.

How’s her house? How’s the decor? Does she have starry airs? Was Nawaab Pataudi there? Oh, Sharmila aunty was on the exercycle? Oh, Soha was there too? (RDB had not released as yet) Oh, she got scolded by aunty as a regular kyonki maa bhee kabhee beti thee pair? Oh, they were having Daal roti? Oh, so they are normal ppl after all.. phew what a relief.

But I am sure if auctioned, our phone would definitely fetch a big price at least within our relatives. After all Sharmila Tagore doesn’t call everyday.


One of the “creativity” gimmicks used by ads is to do with showing how the product is being used worlwide. Transcending all geographical and linguistic barriers, all kind of cultural influence, these ads try to show that their product has universal appeal. Not everyone gets it right though. For example Toyota corolla. In an ad being broadcast here, they show how Corolla is the choice in various cities like Paris, Newyork, Tokyo etc with someone in the respective cities saying something (Welcome) in the local language. They finally show Rahul Khanna emerging out of a Corolla with a backdrop of some palaces. He also concedes to the car being well accepted globally. But don’t the ad makers forget one tiny little detail? Since when did cars in Paris and Newyork come with the drivers seat in the right hand side? Shouldn’t the car also be changed appropriately, if they want to show a still from a particular city, where a substantially native looking person says something in the local language? Or did they think that Toyota = Japan = Right hand drive everywhere!

But some others do get a perfect ten when it comes to the same concept. For example Nivea. The Nivea ad, which shows ppl across the world applying Nivea after shaving, on chapped lips, on skin, on babies – achieves whatever it desires. Somehow that ad fills one, with a warm fuzzy feeling about how the cream is multipurpose and is universally used. A large part of this effect is perhaps from the accompanying song by Asher Lane – New Days, which goes something like “Here comes the sun, it’s for everyone, I feel the sky is all mine’. Wonderful combination.

Another nice ad is the Videocon campaign, which shows the Gaytari Mantra being mouthed by not Indians but all kind of people in other countries. A very smart way of showing that finally everyone is recognising stuff “Indian”. Ultimately no product is complete without an equally smashing ad campaign.