Being Pops.


What the heck if pretty girls call me Pops? What’s the fuch if people think I was born in the same year as Zora Sehgal ? What the hell if people try to find similarities between Balki, and me thinking that I am his Pops? What the shet if Arvind Sharma’s driver introduces me as his saheb’s “papaji” ?

It’s not easy being Pops. Yes. It’s not easy to be Big B’s Popsji, Chennai’s Mr.Pops, Miss Universe Sushmita Sen’s Pops, Chiranjeevi’s Pops garu, Balki’s Pops & Tweetaratti’s kvpops. “Baap re” its difficult to take loads of affection, respect and love.

“Pops” made Kondiparthi Venkata Sridhar a brand, and proved to the world, power of naming and branding. Imagine Mr. kondiparthiji.  What did I do to deserve to be called Pops?

Simply nothing.

In early 90’s when Chax and I joined Lintas as creative heads of one of their Bombay units, Alyque Padamsee was at his wittiest best when he hired an ex- military Major as chief administrator. Now one can imagine the hierarchy and bureaucracy ruling the floors of Express towers.

In such an office there was a quite shy-ish six-foot young copywriter named Sridhar existed. Since the culture did not allow bosses to be nicknamed, poor little baby-faced Sridhar was christened as “Baby Sridhar” and me, months later by default became “Papa Sridhar” and then came a livewire called Asha Rishi an account executive who started calling me Pops.

By virtue of my personality people felt it’s an apt description of me. Chax my partner in crime need to take some blame for not resenting in fact he started a chain of jokes on Pops. Around mid 90’s advertising and marketing media suddenly became big and they took up the mission of making Pops stick in people’s heads.

In old day advertising guys used be real characters with some quirkiness, Alyque with his diction, Kersy with his suspenders, Chax with his Gandhi glass and signature beard, Piyush with his handlebar mustache, Prahlad with his cigars and hat, since I had none, “Pops” helped me to be remembered.

All jokes apart, the changes that came along with the name Pops are: made me look wiser, acquire patience, forced me to listen to people and lend my shoulder, made me stop leching at young girls once they call you Pops. Convinced me to adopt young talented kids and above all reminds me to make my bucket list every morning.

As the cliché’ goes: the rest is history.

( Written specially for Impact magazine.)

11 thoughts on “Being Pops.

  1. the term pops captures all the traits, emotions and qualities a creative leader should embody. as i believe a creative leader doesn’t only make ads but make lives, he should be seen as fatherly figures by hordes of star struck and eager- to-learn youngsters. only a pop can have the large heartedness and unselfishness required of a great leader. and from what i have heard, you do full justice to your name. remain a pop in a world of step-fathers/mother and half-brothers/sisters watching your back and ready to bring you down.

  2. As an advertising journalist, it’s always been a pleasure to talk to you and take ‘insights’ and ‘quotes’ from you. No matter where you’re stranded – at an airport, goafest, overseas – you’ve always taken out time. Though I no more write on advertising, it’s been a pleasure to have associated with you, albeit in a very small way. Wish you all the best.

    PS: good to know the full form of ‘KV’.. 🙂

  3. For some of us in Bangalore, folks from your previous life time – you are still Sridhar, just Sridhar…”Pops” ain’t a brand here Sridhar 🙂

  4. Lovely stuff man.

    I like the line “simply nothing’.

    Do you think it can be your baseline ? Now that you are a brand !!!!

  5. The mind is like an owen … load some corn(information), heat and churn … what you get is POPS(ideas) corn … as simple as that ! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s