How Social Media Helped ‘The Reluctant Detective’

There’s plenty of talk about marketing various products and services through social media. I thought Kiran Manral did something interesting, generating interest for her debut novel, ‘The Reluctant Detective’. Besides the obvious tweeting about it, she also engaged with readers, other writers and organized a number of different events that a social media professional would recognize as astute blogger outreach programs.

I had a chance to chronicle Kiran’s case in my article for Social Samosa:

“Not content with just social media conversations, Kiran also decided to add an offline aspect to her online efforts too. So she focused on driving conversations and creating experiences to generate further conversations. She says, “I’ve realised that it is not enough to talk about your book via social media or book reviews, people actually enjoy seeing, meeting and interacting with an author and that’s what I’ve tried to do.”

Read the full article on Social Samosa here.

I Wear: The Thakur Stops Traffic!

Shweta is the boy’s cousin, who I had the pleasure of meeting last July. When I called her, she said she needed a haircut and would I mind meeting her at the parlour? I got out of the autorickshaw, wondering what she’d look like. Across the road, a girl was standing in a black tee-shirt with a stole/scarf thrown carelessly around her shoulders. She turned & gave me a brief nod & climbed into the autorickshaw with me. All my worries about awkwardness evaporated. She turned out to be a no-nonsense, regular person, exactly the kind of woman I get along well with. When the boy turned up nearly 2 hours later, we’d been chatting up a storm.

So I was thrilled when we managed to make it down to Bangalore later in the year for a weekend with Shweta and her husband. Sunday flew by in a flurry of good food, pubbing, catching up with old friends, shopping and just being Bangalore. I was charmed by the look she stepped out in – cool, comfortable, smart & individualistic. When I turned around & pointed my camera at her, she froze mid-pose on the divider. Here she is, the traffic-stopper!:

Shoes are easily the first thing you notice about a person’s look and with these, how could I miss? Plain red mojris double up as quirky (if somewhat pointy) ballet flats. A silver anklet on one ankle and a butterfly tattoo on the other, bring the urban desi vibe, a hint of her Delhi days.
Her clothes were relatively simpler, adding that laidback, effortless feel to her look. A black V-neck knit top that would have been too warm for a Mumbai afternoon but was perfect  for cool, cool Bangalore. A fitted navy blue denim skirt, a style that’s now distanced enough from its earlier avatar in the early 90s, to count as retro chic.
And then, my favorite focal point: accessories! Any mistaken notions of this being a grab-whatever-I-did look were put to rest with Shweta’s adornments. The bag was a tan leather conducter’s satchel slung across her torso. Against the staid black & blue, it complemented her red shoes without being too matchy-matchy.
The neckpiece was another Delhi artefact and matched the anklet perfectly.
I’m a skirt-wearer myself, I have short hair and I own a lot of Delhi-style accessories. But I’d never have thought to put them together this way. I think that’s why I liked Shweta’s look. Because it’s comprised of items I would see in my own cupboard but ensembled in her own individualistic style.
And now, here’s the lady, taking a bow (or something like it!).
Shweta is wearing:
  • Black knit V-necked top: ~Rs.500, Lifestyle, Hyderabad (2009)
  • Denim pencil skirt: ~Rs.250, Fashion Street, Mumbai (2006)
  • Red mojris: Rs.150, Sarojini Nagar market, New Delhi
  • Tan leather satchel: A gift from aunt in U.S.
  • Oxidized metal neckpiece: Rs.120, Janpath, New Delhi
  • Silver anklet: Rs.90, Janpath, New Delhi

Shweta especially had something to say about her haircut.

“This was from Hakim Aalim, Bangalore. It’s the second time I went to the brand. The first time was in Mumbai in July. Ridhima did my first haircut there. It was an excellent haircut and I would have liked to go back to her but since I didn’t make another Mumbai trip, I went to the Bangalore one. My stylist there was Jerry. I only gave him instructions to cut it short and he did the rest – awesome place!! Much recommended!!”

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

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