Sunday, August 31, 2008

Adver(se)tising in India

Considering the fact that this vehicle roams in India, the advertiser is a smart ass. Sex is a word that sells anywhere in the world. More so, in India thanks to the fact that it's not publicly or openly discussed. (The population would not support the previous statement though, because we multiply like rabbits)

Without digressing further into sex, population or theme parks (do you see a connection here? Blame the picture!), let me first appreciate a few brands which I totally respect for the Ads they display.

1)Amul for their banner Ads which are cult material.

2)Fevicol has managed to capture humor without making much sense.

3)Surf Excel(the Ad with two kids)

4)Apache RTR with the Newton laws and Pulsar, the bike which checks out women and proves it's definitely male.

5)Minto fresh with the guy sneaking into the classroom. Happy dent with its pathetic experiment on a cow came back well with the "Kingdom Ad" where people smiling, light up an entire city.

6)Hutch Ads were an amazing lot and the pug was an instant celebrity.

But the Indian Advertising industry still has a looooong way to go!

1)A third grade movie in India with no script or story can fill the first show housefull by merely displaying Mallika Sharawat on the posters.

2)All detergent Ads are shot with 2 women in white sarees holding two buckets. One with dirty water, the other one, sparkling clean.

However, everyone liked the old ad "Washing powder Nirma" with the little girl going round and round :)

Listen to it here.

3)Amitabh Bachchan can use products ranging from Reid and Taylor to Navratan Thel oil. He can turn into a spirit to eat chocolates and can also sell Hajmola candies.
And oh, he is part of the detergent clan too.

4)While condom Ads should be stressing on their quality or on preventing the production of kids, they often show an old man or a servant maid getting mushy looking at the used ones.

5)Pepsi, Coke and Sprite would go to the extent of selling their companies to project their Ads superior to the others! There is no one in the Indian Cricket team or the Bollywood junta who don't belong to a Cola brand.

6)Ever wondered why Liril women bathed only in fountains or other public places?

7)Ever wondered if anyone became a shade brighter using Fair and Lovely cream? People fall prey to the "before" and "after" images! Common sense should help you realize they caught a very fair girl for the Ad and made her dark for the "before" image.

8)All perfume Ads end with a girl finally falling for the guy. If that is all it takes, my roommate would've bought the entire perfume factory in town by now.

9)The worst farce on TV is the Oil Ad. All Cooking Oils say "No cholesterol". The fact, doctors say, is that no oil contains cholesterol and do not treat any brand as special in that regard!

10)The worst Ad I have ever seen in my lifetime:

Picture an Indian "First Night Scenario"

So, the bride is sitting in the room waiting for her husband. But wait, she is weeping badly.

A bunch of worried people ask her what's wrong?

She says: "No one got my husband Poombukaar chaddies" (Don't brand me a liar, I know it's difficult to believe)

The blokes get the groom "Poombukar innerwear" and the bride is shown all smiling and the lights go off.(I'm still ashamed to be living for I know I should've shot myself looking at the Ad)

Well,my memory ain't helping me enough in recollecting many TV ads so I leave it to the readers to comment and add their list of sad TV commercials!

I'm sure you at least remember the famous people like the Vicco Vajradanthi blokes who, by now, would have had their 5th anniversary or the Sundrop Oil Kid who jumped into Pooris and Chapathis!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Yamaha R15 full fairing, cool driving.


Solace on a bad day came in the form of a bike, last night. And boy wasn't it awesome! Thanks to my friend Dan, who gave the bike at 1 am even when I was a little high on Absinthe ;)

I'm not a Bike guru or anything but I simply love driving bikes and I can tell you that the all new Yamaha R15 (of the R series) is a boon for the Indian Biker.

As always, honesty first. Pick up just ain't R15's forte and the first 3 gears wouldn't give you any better feeling than an Apache or a Pulsar. In fact, the RTR technology in Apache can give you a better push on first gear.

"If you have charm, it doesn't matter if you don't have anything else.
If you don't have charm, anything else you have does not count"

This is all I can think of when it comes to the Yamaha R15. It has got the looks and charm that will tempt any guy who can afford it. I don't think the pick up would be a major parameter considering the looks(and the top speed of course).

But the best part of R15 is simply the riding comfort. With full fairing (I guess this is the first Indian bike with full fairing), you'll feel like ripping on the roads. The engine wouldn't mind it since it's a liquid cooled one and it can take the load much better than other engines. Hats off to Yamaha for introducing the first Indian made liquid cooled Engine.

The speed is also unprecedented by Indian standards. I hit 75 on the 4th gear and it was smooth. 5th on 90 and I was done. But when I take it on the highway, I'm expecting to hit the 140 mark with the 6th Gear as Biking gurus have certified.

Above all, is the maneuverability. Do not let the thin tyres scare you! The bike is friggin' solid on turns and overtaking fast cars on 4th gear would be a cake walk on average traffic. Don't you worry about split second braking. Disc brakes on both front and rear work like a charm.

Gurus claim the bike is very reliable and the performance will bowl you over. For blokes who're expecting mileage out of this bike, I would suggest you go for the "much appreciated" byk. Well byk did give 90 Kms/Litre but most bikers later realized that the 90 was split into 50 while driving and the remaining 40 on pushing the bike when it breaks down ;)

Sorry for digressing, but I was in splits when I saw some mileage freaks in Chennai pushing the "byk" on roads till the nearest mechanic! Talk about greed!

Bottomline : R15 is a supercool performer and is here to stay. But also note that the number of R15's sold would exactly equal the number of rich kids in India :p

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Am I phobiaphilic?

As always facts first: I am allergic to/scared of 3 things:

1)Thermocol (just ask my inconsiderate colleagues)

2)Pregnant women (not allergic, but as a kid, I was a little scared when I saw them. This fear seems to have faded away though. )

3)Weddings.(A not so inexplicable allergy)

Based on historic data, I can, with confidence, tell you that even my best efforts at making people understand the first 2 phobias would be futile. Hence, I am jumping to the last one right away.

Attending a wedding is the last thing I'd do on mother Earth and I had taken an oath long ago, that the only wedding I'll attend next is my own. However, God always has his own plans and he has never allowed things to happen in my will. I have been attending a few of them, thanks to parental pressure.

Reasons why I hate weddings and also discourage people not to attend them:

1) You will not know 99.97836521% of the people who attend the wedding. Sometimes, you may not even know the bride and groom and the only reason you are required to attend it is either because,

a) You and the bride would've played hide and seek in the same colony 15 years ago,

b) your mom and the groom's mom would've met each other in a neighboring supermarket a few weeks back.


b) the groom is your very very close relative. By south Indian standards, a close relative can include someone who is your grandfather's cousin brother's son's sister-in-law's husband's sister's second-cousin(phew)

2) You'll encounter two different kinds of people.

a) GROUP 1: (Consisting of people who have seen you recently, say 1 year back)

Regardless of how grossly fat you've become, they will ask you that one typical question: "ayyo! aen romba elachhi poitte?" ("why have you lost so much weight?").

One stare at my mum and she is quick to say "They're just concerned". Sure.

b) GROUP 2: (Consisting of people who only remember seeing you in chaddies)

"adaengaapppaa evlo perusaa valandhuttaaan..chinna vayasule paathadhu" ("wow how much he has grown..saw him when he was a child..he was soooo small then").

Do they expect a child, not to ever grow up? Ridic.

3) Your spinal cord gets the maximum burden during weddings. Old people from the 18 hundreds(1800s) who stood the test of time attending marriages right from your great grand father's to your cousin's weddings fill up the first few seats of the wedding. And why are they there? To bless people with wealth, health and prosperity.

I would have no choice in such situations but to fall flat 180 degrees on the floor and wait for them to finish scattering the yellow rice grains on my head.

Simultaneously they recite a host of cliched "blessings" like "live for 100 years" (used to Wonder if 100 was some sort of blessing-allowance limit and after that you should rather, kick the bucket). Only after that are you allowed to get up.

The cliched blessings would sometimes be way too templated that it ain't the right blessing for you! Stuff like:

"nalla perya perya padipellam padichi peryaa doctoraa varanum" (may you study "big big studies" and become a "big doctor")


"nallaa sekka seve nu oru ponnu unakku amayanum" (may you get a fair girl to marry). What if you already had a girlfriend who was dark?" and what is the funda behind blessing someone with only a fair girl? Are all dark girls doomed to be kept out of old blokes' blessings? We must all vehemently protest against this racial blessing :)

4) The most dreaded part in any wedding is the Advance Booking System. No, I'm not talking about trains here. Talking about wedlock!

Jobless aunties  are always on the lookout for prospective son-in-laws. It may seem too early for both the girl and the guy but should the right parameters match, they are quick to grab the opportunity a deal and get their daughters introduced.

But before all that is the secret interview. They first ask you if you are an Engineer. Most guys pass this criteria and they move on to the second round. Next is the company you work for. Like the sign which reads "All major credit cards accepted", the aunties have an implicit agreed-upon database of software companies that are recognized and accepted for wedlock. I would proudly say that Bye-Bye was one of them

After ensuring that you are a qualified candidate, the aunties bring along the equally embarrassed daughter (always noticed the degree of embarrassment on the girl's face when they were being introduced to my cousins) and start off by saying something like "She is my daughter.Very intelligent girl. She also works for this great company. Earning good salary. She is a very bold and confident girl etc etc)

I always had my sympathies for the girl.

5) Gifting is mandatory in any wedding and it has to happen on the stage only. Being photographed is acceptable as it requires only a second from your side. But standing next to the couple, doing nothing but forcing a smile for 100 darned seconds is a crazy idea.

In this case, I had my sympathies for the couple. Meeting an entire jing-bang of blokes and posing with them is clearly catastrophic considering the amount of people and the amount of jewelery they adorn . Not to forget the one ton garland each of them wear which almost covers their entire body.

6) Leaving the wedding hall without having food is completely unethical for reasons beyond the scope of my understanding.

Anyways,have you ever thought of killing the guy who flashes bright yellow light on your face when you were eating in the dining hall? Why the fuck would anyone want to videotape and record you when you're having food? Well, I still don't get the funda. Anyways, such videos are a breach of privacy and must be banned with immediate effect!

As far as weddings are concerned, I'd recommend you to attend it only if you have a bunch of friends to go with. Sharing the misery is surely way more fun?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The weekend that wasnt

I bunked work on Thursday and Friday so I can spend 4 days in Bengalooru - The Silicon Valley of India and half my native place too.

A saying goes: "If u throw a stone in Bangalore, it either falls on a dog or a software engineer".

Yeah, there is no paucity when it comes to dogs or software engineers in Bangalore. In fact there are banners across the city that read "C, C++ and Kannada are the most widely spoken languages in this city!"

As for dogs, there are many incidents where they attacked and injured/killed humans at odd hours. So, I'm not getting into it.

Though my main purpose of visit was my cousin's wedding, I had a few friends and a special person to meet too. So, I got to roam around the city. As for the wedding, it was a different episode altogether.

A few, if not all, aspects of the city I observed:

a)Two legs can get you faster to a destination than a 150 cc Pulsar, thanks to the traffic.

I guess the fact that they have traffic signals and traffic cops on top of fly-overs would substantiate my claim.

We could soon expect tea shops that sell Omelettes and Ciggies on fly-overs ;)

b)The weather is something you will not leave the city for. Splendid weather I must say. For bikers, the weather is just awesome but the traffic again, is discouraging. A ride after 10:30 pm would give a heavenly lift to your spirits.

c)The Auto guys are no different from their Chennai or Hyderabad counterparts devising ingenious new ways to rob people off their dough.

d)Blokes here are crazy about clothes and accessories. It's hard to find people who are boringly dressed. Freaky costumes, ear rings on all places except the ear and perfumes are some things you cant help but notice.

e)You can pass 5 hours of your time doing nothing on Brigade road , yet not feel bored.

f)Software Engineers claim they don't have much of a social life though. I met my Bye-Bye friends who work in Whitefield. Whitefield is Bangalore's Sainikpuri(Hyderabad) or Nolambur(Chennai) as far as the distance is concerned but extremely hi-tech. Half of their day is wasted on travel, remaining half at the Bye-Bye office which needs no further description.

g)For blokes who do have a social life, coffee shops and pubs are ubiquitous. I'm sure Bangalore has more Coffee Day outlets and pubs than any other city in Asia.

h)Coming back to the traffic. As if waiting in the traffic was not enough, people get tortured by eunuch's who pester them for money. The 120 second wait at Dairy Circle signal seemed a lifetime for me as 2 eunuchs tried to open my helmet visor and also block me from moving an inch further. One glance at the green signal and I felt like a prisoner being released after 20 years in jail.

i)Last but not the least, the city sees strikes almost every week. Roads get blocked with people shouting slogans and at times displaying violence too.

Just last week, there was a protest against Rajinikanth for his statements on the Hogenakkal dam. Today, when I'm just leaving Bangalore, I witnessed people throwing stones and bricks on any vehicle that carried the godforsaken letters "TN" on their number plates.

All said, Bangalore is one of the most happening cities in India with malls sprouting up like mushrooms and huge buildings all over the city. An entry criteria for any company to be an MNC could be a branch in Bangalore, no doubt. So pack your bags, come here and get Bangalored. Oops! please do not ban my blog, I meant Bengaloored. Cheers :)