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Of rare opportunities and conversations

Anamika Butalia     April 13, 2011
En route from Goafest, seated alongside two eminent personalities of the advertising world and being pulled into the conversation was a sheer opportunity for this reporter.

Prasoon Joshi needs no introduction. The executive chairman of McCann was seated in his aisle seat quietly, oblivious to the glances of all the Goafest attendees boarding the flight. But not for long. He was soon introduced to a distinguished Goafest attendee, an Englishman. Charlie Crowe, founder of Festival of Media, was associated with Goafest for the first time, and his seminar drew a full house.

Staccato at first, the conversation began with Joshi and Crowe discussing their opinions of the festival, their career-o-graph and their aim in the industry. Since it was Crowe's first visit to Goafest, he seemed pleasantly surprised at how well the three-day event was managed. He found that the seminars were inspiring and thought-provoking. The dialogue swerved when Joshi interjected. He said that the seminars and conclaves are extremely engaging but they leave a lot to be desired.

The take-away from the kind of event that Goafest is, Joshi points out, is that there's a percentage of the ad world that takes the fest too seriously and the rest treat Goafest as a well-deserved time-off and a celebration of the year gone by.

During this forty-five minute flight from Goa to Mumbai, Joshi and Crowe discussed their musical inclinations as well. Crowe is a drummer for a rock band based in London and also a vocalist for a band that croons Frank Sinatra numbers. It is no secret that Joshi is a guitarist and a renowned songwriter. (He dislikes being labelled a 'lyricist'.)

Both the men hummed songs for each other, played songs off their phone / iPod to discuss a particular kind of music, and even of how hip the Mumbai club Blue Frog is. Joshi revealed that he has a liking for hip hop music, despite it being considered too aggressive and angst-ridden because it is an honest narrative of the times. Crowe discussed about his sister, Lucy Crowe, a much-in-demand international opera singer in the UK.

In fact, by the time that the flight landed, business cards had been exchanged, promises to call on each other were made. Joshi spoke about the par excellence skills of young politician, Milind Deora as a jazz guitarist. And on expressing interest in the music scene in Mumbai/India, Crowe won himself an invitation to an evening full of music at Joshi's house on his next visit.

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