Friday, 22 August 2014


Do you remember the movie LOVE LOVE LOVE starring Salman Khan and Revathi?? That movie had a scene where Revathi goes to watch a movie with her friends to a theatre ( those days theatre meant single screen movie halls) and she asks the torch-man at the entrance whether the movie has started and the fellow replies that the commercials are being aired right now. Immediately, she rushes in, saying that, commercials are the main attraction of the movie and she doesn't want to miss even a single commercial!!!!
Well, I was like that,growing up in the 80's and 90's. I used to love advertisements and would say aloud the dialogues or sing the jingle whole day long, which really annoyed my mom. We grew up watching commercials that spoke of the values, the mindset that was prevelant then,like respecting our elders or never answering back to our elders or listening to our elders- simple rules which were drilled into us.
Hmmm... Now the times have truly changed and the commercials reflect the change a tad too well.
I have lined up a couple of today's popular commercials for my personal dissection. Let's see whether you all agree with my assessment or not. So here we go:
Garnier Fructis Shampoo + Oil -
This commercial shows a mother asking her young daughter to apply oil on her hair. The girl, a typical teenager hates putting oil and in trying to avoid this issue locks herself in the bathroom and mimicks her mother, while the mother is shown standing outside the washroom nagging the girl. Then the ad people show that the girl has grown up and has long beautiful hair, all thanks to the new  Garnier shampoo which has oil in it and not because of the ordinary hair oil.
On the front of it, the commercial is pretty ok and a very average one too. But if you look closely you will find certain elements which are not in the correct light. What I found objectionable here is the part where the girl locks herself in the bathroom to avoid her nagging mother and mimicks her. I find it to be very rude and an ill-mannered gesture. The best part is if such ads are aired on prime viewing time, children are bound to pick up such gestures , thinking it's all very cool as the model does it too on the television.  I am fully aware that avoiding parents, not listening to them, ignoring them - are all common occurrences which do happen when children reach adolescence, but do we really want our children to learn all about it from watching commercials?????
Chocolate Horlicks -
This advertisement is filmed on children posing as some great historical figures, who hated milk because it was just plain old milk. But today's gen y children love milk as they have chocolate horlicks to add to their milk, which makes it all the more interesting.
This commercial is very annoying. Our so-called intelligent admen here, are trying to suggest that milk in itself is bad to taste and is just not fit to be drunk. But you can transform that same milk into a very delicious drink, if you add chocolate horlicks in it. Is it not portraying a completely wrong and biased view on our children. One very valid query- how do you know that Einstein or Alexander or Akbar did not like milk or that they never had plain milk??? Exaggerating the positive qualities of one's product is one thing but to lie outrighly and to make such baseless assumptions is completely unethical. Moreover not only is the content of this particular commercial very dumb, even it's jingle is very very irrritating.
Parle -G biscuits -
This advertisement shows a group of children playing in the compound in the evening, when a man driving a car asks them to guide him in parking his car. He tells them to warn him when the car is about to hit the wall and the children play a practical prank on him and shout out only when the car hits the wall.
I will not be exaggerating if I claim this advertisement to be one of the worst ever aired on television. How can you get away with a commercial which shows such obnoxious children who would rather laugh and make fun of a man,almost their father's age, instead of helping him. And how can the G which stands for Glucose become Genius. Is this biscuit brand claiming that one can only become a genius by eating their biscuits. One more thing, who defines "genius"????
Alpenliebe Spicy-
This commercial shows a woman asking for directions to a bunch of children and they show off their tattoos on the pretext of directing her and instead misguide her. She realises it in the end and instead of scolding them, joins them as she is very impressed by the cool tattoos and gets it done on her arm too.
Another stupid dumb advertisement with children acting too smart for their own good. Just Imagine this scenario in real life and then tell me would you be amused at such idiotic antics of the children or would you not loose your cool and scold them for wasting your time and having a good laugh at your expense. Now again imagine a second scenario where these children grow up and practice what they did in their childhood in their adulthood i.e playing pranks on others to while away the time. Is this what we want our children to ape from television commercials, which they will definitely copy, if not intentionally then unintentionally!!!!
These are a few commercials which totally disgust me, especially now that my girls are growing up, making me more aware of all that is wrong around us!!!
I am sure there must be many more such commercials which have slipped for my radar. So if you remember any such advertisement please share them with us here. I would love to hear from all of you what you think about this post. 

Monday, 18 August 2014


There are authors and there are AUTHORS, whom you have to read atleast once in your lifetime to feel those goosebumps up your arms, completely mesmerised by their story, their way of writing and are enthralled by the places such authors take you to, and that too by the sheer magic of their words. 
It must be very clear to you all by now that I am completely in awe of the great author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I got to know about Marquez only after the news of his death appeared in the Telegraph( our local newspaper ). There was a beautiful write-up about him and his various books. I was so impressed by the article that I decided to read atleast one of his books to find out if it is as good as the journalist claims it to be. It took me almost three months to get hold of this book and I have to say that I had to eat the humble pie as this book proved to be much much more than what the journalist had written about. 
Before I get carried away in my praises for the novel and it's author, let me tell you very quickly about its story. 
The story is set in a fictional 19th century South American port city. Fermina Daza is a young pretty girl, daughter of Lorenzo Daza, a mule driver, who is involved in many illegal tradings. Florentino Ariza, is the illegitimate son of Transito Ariza and Don Pius V Loayza. They fall in love with each other in their youth and exchange many love letters. The affair continues even after her father gets to know about it and she rebels. But suddenly one fine day,she realises that she does not love Florentino and that they are practically strangers,inspite of exchanging letters for more than two years. She moves ahead in life and marries a young, promising,highly qualified and respected doctor, Juvenal Urbino. They spend half a century together till a fateful day when Dr.Urbino dies while trying to save his pet parrot. Meanwhile, Ariza suffering from unrequited love, finds solace in the arms of a series of females, while claiming in his heart to be still waiting for his one true love, Fermina. The story takes an interesting turn when Florentino proposes to Fermina once again,after her husband passes away. Whether Fermina accepts his proposal at this juncture in their lives, is to be read and seriously people, I cannot play a spoilsport by disclosing the way this story ends. 
When I started this book I was under the impression that it is a sentimental story about the power of true love but gradually I realised that this story is much more and is just not one dimensional. Garcia Marquez himself had said in an interview on this book, "You have to be careful not to fall into my trap". 
This book is basically about the different types of love we experience in the course of a lifetime. Love need not always be the gooey-lovey feeling between a man and a woman and at the same time it need not be true and pure and an all encompassing feeling. In the case of married couples, most of the time, it is a feeling which is created or rather an illusion of this feeling is created, after spending decades with someone, as in the case of Juvenal Urbino and Fermina Daza. "It is incredible how one can be happy for so many years in the midst of so many squabbles, so many problems, damn it, and not really know if it was love or not", said Fermina to Florentino, when talking about her five decade long marriage to Urbino. Another kind of love spoken here is the love of a doting mother, Transito Ariza for her son, Florentino. We also see here the love of Lorenzo Daza for her daughter, Fermina, which was pure though selfish in its own way. Dr. Urbino had married Fermina not because he loved her, but because he liked her arrogance, her strength but he firmly believed that there would be no obstacle to their inventing true love, after they had kissed for the first time. Then we have Florentino Ariza - he claims that Fermina is his true love and is determined to earn status and lots of money to win Fermina back, even though she is happily married to Dr. Urbino, but at the same time he has a series of affairs with many a delighted woman. Infact, in his obsession for Fermina and his never satiating lust, he misses out on the true love of Leona Cassiani, who loved and cared for him dearly, though they never made love. Marquez has even shown Florentino having an affair with a young America Vicuña, a mere 14 year old girl whose family had entrusted her to Florentino as her guardian while she was sent to his town to study secondary education. An old man having an affair with a girl, good enough to be his grandchild was a very big put off for me and almost made me hate this character. 
Barring this disgusting section, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book . 
Infact I really found certain dialogues written by Marquez to be very interesting and true in its sense. 
One such dialogue is, " The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast", said by Dr. Urbino. 
Another of my favourites is, " It was not possible to live together in any other way, or love in any other way, and nothing in this world was more difficult than love." 
Another sample, Fermina said this, " The problem in public life is learning to overcome terror; the problem in married life is learning to overcome boredom."