I was born in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. Advertising calls it ‘God’s own country’, but I’d rather call it as the land that lives under a zillion coconut palms, drunk on toddy, and green with backwaters.
I will be 46 this year, am married to Jyothi – Jo to friends. She is a textile designer and an NID graduate. We have a son – Abhimanyu, who is now in his 12th standard.
I went to Loyola School and Mar Ivanios College, and gorged on debates, word-games, rum, cricket and everything else from Abba, Beatles, Bach, Orff, Ayn Rand, Wodehouse, Leon Uris, Shakespeare, Kurosawa, Coppola, to Asterix and Legionnaire Beau Peep.
I lived in Philadelphia between 1985 – 86, to help out my cousins with our family business. But all I did was travel around, went looking for John Denver’s country roads, stood through Live Aid, climbed the Rockies, and kept aching for my bed back home.
When I got back, all I wanted to do was write. I joined a small agency in Trivandrum, and by the time I sorted my fonts out, Mudra Communications – Ahmedabad, hired me. I spent 9 years there, 11 years in Grey, and now I am into my 3rd year at Cheil.
Essentially, I am still a copywriter. I cannot give up my soul. It’s been fed and raised on Fred Woodward’s typography, Ammirati’s BMW print ads, Television Registers and Shots, National Geographic, Japanese art and art direction, foreign films with and without subtitles, world music, Economist, and at least one new random website every day.
I will always be a student of our industry. And I don’t think I will be happier doing anything else. I am as good or bad as my last campaign, and you could call me Pat.