If I Am Your Teacher …

Monday, March 21, 2011 Hiba Moeen 14 Comments

If I am your teacher I deserve a little more respect than what you end up giving me at times. When I talk I expect you to listen to me, that most of you do no doubt about that. However, respecting does not mean that you agree with everything I say, having a right to your opinion I expect you to disagree with me and express your own thoughts as well … I don’t expect you to just address me as ‘Yes sir!’, ‘Yes ma’am!’ ‘Whatever you say and I shall obey!’ because you are not a robot, you are my student and what goes in your heart should be read by me, I expect you to be normal since I am a friendly person and teaching styles have evolved but remember that you have some duties and responsibilities towards me! It’s not usually true when people say that teachers are not respected anymore.

But when I died I expected you to fulfill your last duty towards me by attending my funeral prayer because whatever subject I taught you I taught you to be a good human being first so is it too much to ask for being your teacher … showing that you are being a good human towards me?
Teaching is sacred and it shall always be, I am happy that I was able to instill some values and knowledge in you but when you don’t show up for my funeral prayer being my student I feel you have failed to fulfill one last duty towards me. I felt disrespected to have your absence not because I needed you but because it’s not just the immediate family but students are family too.

I gave you time extensions (no matter what the reason was being it power outages or corrupt usb’s) to meet your assignment deadlines but could you have given me that little more time out of your schedule? I won’t ever judge you because judging a human being is God’s job.

The journey of respect goes a long way, don’t forget those who made a difference in your life because people are never to be forgotten no matter who they were … and just don’t forget that you have to die one day too … What we have forgotten to do is to give a little more time to our country and to those around who made us what we are today …


“Bus Driver with an MP3 Player … Marketers wake up!!!” (Safar Badnaamah Season 2, Episode 2)

Friday, March 11, 2011 Hiba Moeen 2 Comments

Nature, situations, circumstances and moments … at times all of them combined have a unique way of showing how marketers can benefit from the opportunity.  It’s amazing how much the flood of lawn billboards would want to make you throw up indigested advertising after being disgusted every day. While it’s a test of your sanity and you maintaining your clam, these lawn brands are making sure you lose enough mind to buy into their rip off deals … hey look at those Indian models … sorry about your vehicle becoming a by product then.

There’s a lawn billboard at you left, your right, in front and a dozen others that you left behind … and now even in your nightmares, they won’t stop following you! ‘Fatigue’ is the term to describe us as consumers while lets not get started from marketers point of view …

So this isn’t what really was different today, something else was. When I left school after my class tonight and was on my way home, I noticed something different with the Pathan bus driver. As interesting as it may sound it was an MP3 player, in front of him was a Rs. 2 note pasted onto the windshield though now obsolete … He was a collector, the target customer for present day marketers!

Therefore, his target profiling would be:

  •     Someone not to be mistaken as being part of the niche segment
  •    In a range of 25 to 35, either Generation X or Generation Y
  •  Victim of bribe consuming police (despite vehicle upgrade, their acceptable, standard market rate is still Rs. 40)
  • Activities include niswar consumption and flying the bus when being short of time (yes they do have deadlines to meet, else they get fined)
  • The potential customer that Apple is letting go off
  • Can Google find him? No of course not! I think you have gone too far! J

So marketers wake up!!!

 Don’t only target higher SEC’s, look towards the downward stretch moments or opportunities rather. Steve Jobs can have a great deal of market development especially if he capitalizes through targeting them and areas where they come from … rural areas can promise you what even urban areas can’t … Looking towards a Pushto speaking brand endorser for iPod and iTunes  might not be a bad idea …Hmmm…

That small, light green gadget got my eyes glued to find out what brand it was amidst the dim bus lights … no, it wasn’t Apple but a cost effective brand most probably, that might as well fulfill the purpose of Indian and Pushto songs. It was difficult to stand those Indian songs that one would only have allowed ear drum penetration to in buses only but the Pushto songs sounded different, may be with the thought of him serving to be a potential customer as perceived by the marketer got to the observer …

Though I don’t understand Pushto, I do remember a few lines that might have sounded completely different from the receiver’s filter point of view:

“Chipazaan kohay day, sozg zalzalay banay”

Wait, did I mention ‘Cup of Life’ by Ricky Martin being played in the public bus ???
The same old beggars tonight in that very bus were in need of new lines, they weren’t marketing themselves well … One of them has an insulting way of mumbling when not given money, that’s his usual way, he got off at the Sailaani Welfare corner which I believe is facilitating more beggary and getting these people fish rather than teaching them how to go fishing … If the low wage workers join them for lunch and dinner, then they apparently are deserving people but what about beggars who don’t earn by the sweat of their brow and continue with this act?


“Disasterous Lawn Billboard Flood & The Transport Strike” (Safar Badnaamah, Season 2, Episode 1)

Saturday, March 05, 2011 Hiba Moeen 3 Comments

It’s been a long time since my last travelogue update; however, things are pretty interesting around the city to strike me into hitting the keyboard yet again.

These days, Karachi is going through it’s phase of natural disaster … yes! The lawn billboard flood overwhelming OOH advertising to the extent of making one feel nauseous.  Unfortunately, all brands decided to spam the roads all at once, you can drag spam emails in a spam folder but what to do about these here, there and everywhere lawn billboards? This ‘in the face’ fatigue is quite sufficient to disgust the potential customer or rather confuse her or even ‘him’. Perhaps one day there will be a job opening of an ‘Advertising Exorcist’ for the purpose of keeping roads free from the unanimous clutter.

Indian models are so much  in demand these days that it seems Pakistani models have abandoned their occupation for the practice of purda system or maybe some of them gave up with their bulimia. It’s strange how some of the unknown or rather comparatively less renowned brands have afforded these Indian models, say for example, Crescent Lawn which I am quite oblivious of myself but then my knowledge of such brands is hopeless as a result of it falling prey to ignorance and beyond my interest level. Ms. Sen endorses this particular brand right adjacent to the Tariq Road cemetery, oh the ghosts would be so proud of her after feeling purple with Lux’s purple soap billboard a few days back.

Right opposite to Regent plaza are two billboards of Firdous Lawn, this time they decided to go for Deepika and Shaista, though the former personality might be used for an upward stretch to the brand, the other one looks more like a downward stretch to cater to two unique sets of target audiences … Aww!!! Junaid Jamshed seemed to have Shariah compliant billboards unlike the others but the profit margin rip off deal seems non Shariah compliant at the same time … huh? Extremism …

Everyday while going for my classes I feel sick with this lawn advertisement bombardment especially when Dou Talwar is completely haunted by them all. A few days back after their exhibition Asim Jofa billboards decided to shout a big ‘Thank You!’ in black background … Amidst this chaos and frenzy, may God have mercy on the soul of our lawn flood affected Karachi. Ameen!

Thursday marked the commencement of a transportation strike and thanks to it I got to travel in a joyride, rickshaw after a long time. Knowing that I won’t get my bus that particular day I thought whether or not to miss the class but despite those thoughts I couldn’t think of missing my class, it was a Marketing class, had it been HR or Finance I would have had peaceful intentions of staying at home. Finally I got hold of my joy ride … so tips for travelling alone in a rickshaw:

Tip 1: Look for a Pathan driver …

Tip 2: Look for a Pathan driver …
Tip 3: Only look for a Pathan driver!!!

However, this particular driver was chewing betel leaf with his constant filth contribution to the society at regular intervals with residue that he spat on the road, he seemed to be a case of identity crises when Pathan drivers usually consume Niswar, unbranded usually with a stench so strong that would make you sick.
While enjoying the jumping jack joy ride, I happened to have asked him about the situation of the strike the next day and he didn’t stop after that. What impressed me was his awareness about current affairs as he seemed to be educated to an extent … from that moment until I reached SZABIST he kept on enlightening me about what he had been reading in the newspaper and the current affairs! These people are the real voters in Pakistan, they know a lot!

“Zardari hasn’t even left clothes on people anymore”, he said, “Unfortunately in our country the cheapest thing is death and human beings!” he scoffed. “We buy flour every week, it started off with Rs. 1,200 but the price increases by Rs. 50 on a weekly basis … these strikes would only be successful if the entire nation is supportive, not driving buses won’t help much.”

Then he upgraded my knowledge about how China had offered us help with the coal powered electricity generation and how much natural resources we have to be self sufficient but in vain. According to him he went to his village in Swat after fifteen years, there used to be a coal reserve which is still there but hasn’t been put to use. That day it there was a lot more he taught me before my own teacher could teach me in the class and thanks to him I finally made it to my Marketing class that I did not want to miss. Often, people face difficulty guiding rickshaw drivers about SZABIST but he knew it as a university inside … something that most do not know about.

The funny part that I have observed is that some students when coming to school through rickshaws prefer to get off a long distance away from the gate so that no one sees them travelling in this vehicle … It makes me wonder why they feel ashamed of being spotted in such a wonderful joy ride that has so much of fun to offer … it’s better than a public bus but then again there is no point of even travelling in a public bus, as long as you get to complete your studies any mode of transportation is a blessing so is your education! Ask the worth of education from a person who is not able to continue with it! Ask the worth of travelling in a public transport from the person who feels crippled due to a transportation strike!

Today was the continuation of the same strike, thanks to the Midterm I got to catch a rickshaw again1 Wow I loved the ride again. However, the stupid terrorist, idiotic group, MQM had blocked the street around Dou Talwar for their idiot tantrum cry baby crapping get together! The nation is literally sick of their BULL S**T! They block ways and rob people!