.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} <$BlogRSDURL$>

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Have held on to an earlier belief that advertisements in many ways reflect the spirit of the times, zeitgeist etc. and encapsulate most of what's going on in the nation as succintly as can be within thirty or so seconds.
Which is possibly the reason why the advertisement that featured the voice-over of the ubiquitous tele-caller was refreshing - and although the product pitch was for a mere newpaper, I felt no other firm had actually thought of the person at the other end, let alone his/her feelings, emotions.
And which is probably why a recent ad from a prominent suiting manufacturer really irks.
On the surface nothing much wrong with the narrative--a young photogenic couple enters their home ( a stadium more likely !) to find a surprise party has been arranged on their arrival. The proud parents preen in contented glory as the friends of the groom play some musical tripe. The casting is exceptionally good and the father resembles his son remarkably, or are played by the same person. The bride is the attractive picture of demure coyness and the friends are goofily real.
What caught my attention was the camera panning on to the young pride and happily staying there for long shots ( Pulchritude has its advantages !) . The ad-maker could not have possibly been more chauvinistic and condescending as the bride goes trough the entire gamut of formulaic facial twitches that characterize shy icons of femininity that has epitomized the male gaze since decades. She pouts, beams, grimaces and manages to find time to do the Miss World gasp-hands-on-the-mouth routine not once but twice in the sixty second spot. And then lays a grateful head on the reassuring shoulders of the incomplete/worse half. Ah yes, the pretty one is decked to the gills in her auric splendour and silken revelry.
Truly a masterpiece-- an ode to the joys of dependence and reliance. Alas, fifty years or so too late !
The Pink Pig Floyd gig played itself out recently.
Any more watered down has-beens yet to visit India ?
Elvis or Freddie, perhaps ? No ? Gentleman Jim ? He's dead ?
May we have The Who in that case ? Who ? No, what ? Not who .



After a couple of decades, Karamchand (as in the serial and not for a minute to be confused with Mohandas LLB !) is back. And one wonders if this was the very thing that was so fervidly anticipated and which, Truth be said, it had always delivered. In plot, narrative, conversation and investigation technique.
So why does everything look woefully out of place now ?

For starters, its been a long time—after all this was around the time a pimply West German was wowing the world and he has faded from public memory already ! There were no breaks and good ol’ DD got its entire sponsorship at a thirty minute stretch or not at all. I saw the whole thing in black and white so that was considered chic for the time and so were the sun-shades dutifully worn. The music aided the flow of the sparse dialogue and taciturn carrot-chomping had a novelty value. (On second thoughts, much better than merely advising kids, who anyway knew better, on the goodness of veggies). No gizmos were needed to solve fairly simple mysteries and no gizmos existed either. Imagine having to dial M for murder etc. ! And the protagonist was more Tommy than Adam Dalgliesh. Today he’s just a jaded and garrulous fifty year old trying to look cool. The usage of technology that is mostly English-oriented force-fitted into a bewildering Hindi milieu is grating.

The only saving grace is a pronounced unpretentiousness sans contorted frowns signifying furious thinking, and a Kitty who is as blissfully ignorant and contentedly blase as ever.

Or maybe the real reason is that I have become far too cynical to appreciate what used to be an engrossing spectacle before. Am underwhelmed !

A major business publishing house has come out with a daily in a spreadsheet form called lint. Wonder why ? Have not figured out anything new or strikingly different whatsoever ! Perhaps the aforesaid cynicism at play once more.


Monday, February 05, 2007


When one is caught in unexpected situations, one behaves uncharacteristically, and so goes the Rational Choice Theory (Ed—Well, not really, but we’ll let that pass ! ). Anyway there’s a prominent Indian publication which is equally loved and vilified by the adoring heathen, and whose copy carries a particular page number that is meant to epitomize all that it stands for, or leans against. ( Ed-Again, not true, but fine !)

When I found myself in a waiting room with both hands free along with a habitually vacuous mind, my usually Attention Deficit Disorder surfaced and after some uncomfortable squirming and fidgeting, sure enough found that p. I. P. as described earlier. So after a furtive glance hither and thither, the room long having been emptied of its constituents save one, I proceeded to leaf through the lurid gossip columns, richly coloured photographs and meaningful analysis ( sic ).

Not unnaturally, my perusal ADDuced a striking picture of a long-haired gent and a tall lass with him walking the ramp, or posing at any rate. Curiosity having got the better of me, I looked beneath the photo for the write-up which blithely heralded the arrival of squash champ Ritwik Bhattacharya and snooker champ Jyotsna Chinappa. I can probably think of one or two reasons about the spelling but the sporting association defies logic !
Wonder what the lissome Ms. Pallikal will be mistaken for. A Golf pro, maybe !


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?