Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bubbly Times

Denunciation of Advertisments is one of my favourite pastimes. Some of them are truly spectacular. But the rest...well..

It is very probable that this para will take an ugly turn and no longer convey the opinion(s) it was supposed to. So here's my primary feeling - I HATE SHAHRUKH KHAN. phew ! Lets continue.
There is an awkward feel to this ad. It seems to say, 'We, the owners of Pepsi, can put up any kind of sh*t and people will still call it cool and buy more of our stuff.' I have always been a loyal Pepsi guy. It probably has something to do with the red colour of Coco-cola, or the fact that at the age of 13 it was really important to have strong opinions. The ones that didn't matter didn't change and hence eight years later I still frown at Coca-Cola fans.
There is something quire irritating about the smug female in the snug pepsi shirt ; or the primitive frame-animation technique used in the ad ; or the great Shahrukh Khan himself. It has provoked quite a few heated discussions at home But surely an ad which stirs such emotions will have a high recall value ? Ha. I am sorry Pepsi. 'ye pyaas hai badi'. But 'ye dil maange more' than just SRK.

I love this kid. Her name is Shriya Sharma. When the Asian Paints Ad was shot in 2004, she was just 6 years old. Oh boy what spunk! The ad shows her as a sanguine elder sister goading her brother to cut books, drawings and clothes to personalize the walls of their house. A vent for their imagination - kyonki har rang kuch kehta hai. The theme, the catchline and the ad are all tied up to form a colourful 30-second package. Her language is adorable - 'bindass kaat' ; 'main hoon na. bas kaat'.

: I am sure those of you who spared even an hour over these few weeks for the idiot box would have seen this one. The jingles goes like this :

Naya Maggi, Aaya re aaya
isme protein, HO isme calcium !


A preposterous claim by Nestle that Maggi (which apparently has suddenly turned 'healthy') will provide upto 20% of nurtition for the child. These guys just love statistics. Since majority of the aunty-public can just crunch maggi and not these numbers, they are the supreme tools of swaying opinions.
The ad also features the 'cute-surdi' who seems to be a current favourite among ad-makers. Upto 33% of those who claim to be in-charge of 75% of the creative opinons have tried to incorporate the caricature. There is the Green-Ply ad, which features a tamil-speaking baby surdi. Maruti alsodisplays a jovial baby-surdi who jiggles and expresanses amazing amount of enthusiasm for a car which he won't drive for atleast another decade (Unless they live in Tilak Nigar, in which case the boy will drive on the streets after conquering the 5ft height barrier).
I appeal to all the aunties(and their children who are more likely to read this). Maggi won't contribute to any nutrition you want your children to relish. They in fact will turn out out fatter and a lot of more stupid if they dig into Maggi every day. On the flip side, they'll be much happier, like the yellow kids in the advertisment... tough choice.

Others :

Good ones : Hutch Delhi Half Marathon; Hutch chota recharge; Garnier Shampoo
Bad ones : Tata Indicom (Kajol and Ajay D) ; Hawkins ; Pizza Hut - Freshizza

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

La da dee dum...

It is that time of the year again....

When bathing is no longer a priority, a necessity or a part of the morning routine...
When the fan is dispensable, when ONE is as good as TWO and THREE is a bit excessive...
When a stubbed toe is slightly more painful than before....
When normal water is too warm and frij-jal is too cold...
When not wearing a jacket is neither manly nor wise, but wearing one is silly...
When I search for my slippers more frequently...
When tea can be savoured and sipped immediately after it is served...
When I no longer need to say, "Verma ji, aaj badi garmi hai..nahi ?"

ahh...winter is on its way...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Ecologics

The decision to subscribe to ET was a cold-calculated decision. Delhi Times had not printed the legs of Mallika Sherawat for quite a while and my brain longed for some pointless matter. Of course, there was this whole mumbo-jumbo about Economic Terms making sense to people after a fortnight of regular ET perusal. It's been a fortnight. I think the paper is cool (if that word is still legal & functional), despite the caramel semblance. Supplements add weight just enough to justify the two rupee tag. It consists of a front page, displaying more colour than its kins. The centerpage, similar in format to TOI, has opinions of heavyweights on serious topics. Somehow, I get a feeling that the news is recycled....

Sure, the stocks are up. But everyone knows that 'what goes up must come down'. T.V's are cheaper. Gold is dearer. I recall televisions being cheaper a few years ago. And I remember Sharma aunty cribbing about the price of gold at that time too. So what has changed baby ?

The best job that the ET organization currently offers is that of the 'cool-photo-guy' (I believe that is the offical title). Here is a man whose job is to procure irrelevant pictures for each article to divert the reader's attention from the cornucopia of figures and numbers. He probably functions from a plush office with lots of google windows streaming rays of polychromatic hoochamoocha. I assume that the firm has given him quite lucid instructions - translate the title directly,nahi to masti maaro . Even Poornima puts in more effort than the mammoth publication.For instance, a waitress with a fruit bowl gazes towards something as Data Corp plans to set up shop in India; Or a woman displays her jeans clad butt for us (the snapshot reads 'Back to Front'). Politics is thankfully free from this, which is why a disconcerted Advani is inserted in the article, instead of a female's belly, for an article on Madhya Pradesh.

Not a penny of mine has found its way into the stock market. Consequently, as the mid-caps and the large-caps fight amongst themselves, I feel a certain indifference for the small investors. The FII's draw more admiration, pulling out and pushing in money as they please, unlike the former who receive just sympathy. Who are these people ? Are they actually smaller in size ? As I glance at the other incomprehensible analysis, my conscience laughs at me ...Ha ! you ignorant fool. But my confidence lies unperturbed. An MBA will definitely solve all my problems. If not, I can always fake it....

I mean, the weather is quite bullish, isn't it ?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What is and Isn't

What is more disturbing than the poor kid on the road who doesn't have access to basic amenities ? A panju aunty passing by the same kid with an empathetic countenance. Whats more phoney than the panju aunty ? An aunty (panju, or any other brand) feeding the helplessly corpulent gou-mata every tuesday. What is more annoying than a generous gou-mata blocking the traffic ? The Dilli waala bellowing his horn at the juncture. What is more maddening than a Dilli Horn ? The root of the traffic jam effecting the din. Whats more annoying than traffic lights ? The poor kid on the road, who doesn't have access to basic amenities, begging for money.

Moral of the story : The poor kid is the root of all problems.

Before you nod and draw some more obscure morals from the above piece, here's another :)

Isn't it better to look away
Than to look and do nothing ?
Isn't it easier to be selfish
Than to pretend that you aren't ?
Isn't it better to get rich
and then be philanthropic
Than to drop that coin
that is pretentiously loud ?
Isn't it simpler to be happy
Than to feel sad for another ?
Isn't it wrong to fake joy
To compensate for another's sorrow ?

Sure there are plenty who perish
And those who achieve little in life
I can sit atop or amidst this junk
and feel blessed and content
Or I can surge to the real summit
And drag a dozen along with me
For if there is rich
There will always be lot of poor
Let us not pull down the pyramid
Leaving everyone with a smile
And a single loaf of bread
Let us thrust the structure upwards
So that the rich will still remain rich
But the poor is no longer poor

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bookish Love

As a last attempt of resusitating my ailing CAT preparation, I boldly went and bought a book specializing in QA (Quantitative Ability). As you may have guessed, crunching numbers was my forte a few years back. But now I struggle with quanta and relish whining about it. It is authored by R.S Aggarwal, a name JEE victors are acquainted with.

Mind you, days without the rigour of a 9 to 6 office routine have their peculiar liabilities, once we accept and eliminate the obvious advantages. Kharagpur's pictureque campus have become unbearably rosy in my visions. And this re-painting happens primarily during my preparation. A few days back, I decided that a new spark was needed and did the good deed yesterday...

I cradled the book quite a few times these two days, doing what I've expalined above. Buying this book was no easy decision. When I offered a few minutes to this topic, it occured to me that it wasn't any different from embracing a girfriend in my life. Flummoxed ? Well thats one of the many emotional aspects of this relationship ...

Love : Ours definitely wasn't a love marriage, or a match made in heaven. I mean, I hadn't felt the need for this book till a few weeks back. Of course, it has its own charm, with the boldness of its letters and the freshness of its pages. But will this last forever ? I know I need it, but is this a permanent feeling ? Will a new, hotter publication with silky smooth pages and wilder colours take her place a few weeks later ?

Commitment : This book did exist on earth all this while, endowed with linear beauty by nature and S.Chand Publishers, enjoying the stationary-scented atmosphere of Delta Stationers. Now, I am obligated to devote to it a few minutes, an hour and many of the same if possible. Frankly, my other material(s) have been with me for a much longer time. Is it justified to rob them of my attention for this book ? Is it so special...Come on ! Its just another book!

Space : Haven't we heard this phrase "I need more space." often? Well, the shelf definitely can handle another burden of rearrangement, but how will my heart react to this change ? The xeroxed and marred pages of IMS tutorials have made pleasant and deep impressions in my grey cells. How can I accept the same formulae, of buyers and sellers, of men and their infinite supply of work and hours, of inaccurate clocks and tardy trains, of milk and wine in a new bottle ? Won't this shake my existent rickety foundation of fundaa ? Have I just made a big mistake ?

I fear I will undergo such feelings of guilt and confusion as the relationship deepens. I hope its presence in my life changes things. Its time now to devote an hour to my love...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Grrrr...

The tents are surreptitiously making their way onto the wide Dilli roads. It is heartening to realize that unlike the city of joy, this city isn't going to come to a halt in the ensuing week. It's just the traffic thats going to be nudged to the pavements.

The disgust caused by the existing jhuggis and the ones growing under the bridges, near the flyovers and along the roads is quite similar to the mental bubble that bursts everytime a tent embellished with red-glittery sprouts on my route. They look so pretentious, so full of politics and crap. My glasses are the exact opposite of rosy-eyed. They are bloody. I see corruption in the sweaty pujari, bogus faith in the devotees and feel impartial malevolence for anyone involved in the drama.

There's no stopping them. No place to scream my head off. No thaana where I can complain about the disturbance, or the excessive noise that'll soon engulf every residential area.

It is tough to explain to an atheist the beauty of the gods and how sacrosanct the whole festival is. It is inconceivable for a devotee to acknowledge the ruckus he is creating, or invigorating. For me, the DP feeling is so alien that Kali ma could have worn a green spacesuit for this spectacular festival.

Happy Durga Puja everyone.