Mar 30, 2012

A Time gone by - Old Ads

Memory lane continues...Watching an old movie recently from my VHS collections (Any one still remember? Betamex / VHS..??), and this was a recorded one done quite a long while ago (I still have my VHS cassettes :))... 

Half way through the movie, an an ad comes up (these were the days of recording one and watching another and no effective pause buttons) and I go spell bound.. Nothing great or out of the world, but the sheer oldness and the simplicity of the Ad rang a bell. Nothing fancy, no special effects, and yet a message. Fevicol

Off on a wild chase for more of such memorial ads that many of us grew up watching, during school, or college and were probably the brightest spots in a boring Chayya Geet or a drab Sunday movie on DD1.

An all time favourite: Lalita Ji and her "samajdhari" in purchasing Surf. Simple setting ad's, children doing nonsense, no shirts being torn, no women in see through wear or people jumping off buildings, or women coming out of pools, just the message.

Creams.. Sangita Bijlani in the old Vicco Turmeric Ads.. Family wedding, an old style lavish bungalow, followed onwards after marriage. Absolutely simple, yet effective. Pan Parag with Shammi Kapoor and Ashok Kumar... "Baratiyon ka Swagat, paan parag sey kijiye".

Talcum powders, body creams, deodorants, simple messages through people that could be associated. No Rock stars, high fliers that we have today.. Yes, there were film stars that did the ads in the days of the old, but yet, one felt that the masses could relate to them as most were with people of every day life. Today it has to be an SRK or a John Abraham, or a Kareena, or a Deepika Padukone.. How many of us relate?

Another favourite: The Remo / Juhi Pepsi Ad, truly a rocking ad at the time. Musical and starry, felt the blood go on on that one, with a classy finish.

Then there were the ones with Gavaskar and Imran, and Imran, Wasim, Waqar... Remo going Yehi hai right choice Baby.... .Aaahaa.. The Hajmola Ad...

Endless, surely, and the list can go on and on, with soo soo many favourites. Missed no doubt, never seen again, ever, surely the people who acted in them, might not want to see them, but all said and done, they are pure classics.

Part of life I guess, things move on, times progress.. What is classic to us today, would have been shocking to our parents then. could they have accepted us rocking like Remo did, or drooling over Sangeeta Bijlani.. Lalita Ji, was to respect and revere.. The Nirma Ad was just a blaze of circles, with the package only showing.. Never a person.

But as always, times change, people move on and the world looks for something new. But in this search for the new, do we retain our innocence?

Why do we need women in bikini's to be standing next to a guy and rubbing his cheeks for a clean shave? Why do you need to do a body to body salsa, going through every curve of a woman just to eat a biscuit? Why does a man need to smell a woman all over just to find out that her hair is smelling gr8 and has no dandruff? How do Angels fall when you splash Axe? How can you come out of the ocean wearing a bikini and it gives you a lemon freshness feeling? Why is it that when a guy in shorts walks past the pool, the water evaporates from the heat of the body spray??

Are we so conscious, or are we as a generation growing in the midst of a new century, so obsessed with looks, bodies and beauty, that every thing else is secondary? Do we really buy the products watching half naked people walking in the Ads.. Surely, the wife and the husbands would kill each other if that being the case? Why then the need to degrade people of any gender, simply to sell, or to "reach the masses".

As we changed, surely, our coming generations too will change.. What we don't know is where the next generation goes. Of course, one would say that we are unnecessarily worried, but sure, as we progress, our coming generations too have a right to progress..

That of course, is a long time off.. For the time being, it is a forgotten past, an era gone by, simplicity replaced with show business, and all we have is memories.. In case, one needs to view old ads, these are all on the Doordarshan blog spot.

Mar 25, 2012

A tooth gone bad..

Has been a while since I wrote and not for want of topics (yes, one goes through this once in a while), but sometimes as I notice, you take an unplanned break, and before long, a couple of weeks disappear.

Event of the week for me.. A tooth gone bad.. Very simply speaking, was eating, a bit of my tooth chipped off, two days later, another bit.. and for the first time in my life, I went to a doctor, when I saw something going wrong.

Quick overview, BIG Cavity, half your tooth has disappeared, very serious, and before I knew it, the guy drilled into my tooth, got rid of half of it, and filled it up with the standard filling. On the verge of starting to clean all my teeth and took some convincing to hold him back, as still had to get over the shock of the cavity, and not to mention the bill that I got only for the filling. A lot more wiser after the incident with also a free dental overview as to how teeth are structured and why Root canals are important and people spend money for teeth, left home for some soul searching.

What soul searching, one may say for a tooth? Not much, but one point that the dentist mentioned stuck in my head. Your cavity must be there for about two years. If you had come earlier, we could have cleaned it and your tooth saved. Now honestly speaking for all the grey hair that I have collected over the years, I might have gone to the dentist not more than twice in my life. Simple reason, I take care of my teeth. I brush twice a day, properly clean my teeth after meals, have a huge sweet tooth, but still take good care.. I guess that is not enough.

The doc simply said.. No matter what you do, it is still not enough as the bacteria tends to stay and needs professional cleaning. Isn't life like that? We make sure we are filled with good habits, we meet good people, we read good books, we ensure good thoughts, we teach our children to follow the same, yet when it comes to ourselves, internally, we tend to let it go. Why do we accumulate negative thoughts despite all the good efforts that we put in. Why do we have bad experiences despite ensuring that we always follow the good path?

When it does happen, we are not ready for it, simply because we are not expecting it or have tuned ourselves to not expect it. We have this tendency that things will take care of themselves if we take care of things

Just like the tooth, if had not taken that extra effort and gone, probably might have left it for long, the cavity eating the other teeth over time, just as one bad apple spoils the others, or one sour mango spreads itself to the others, life too has its shares of good and bad.

Be it the tooth, be it our innerself, be it the clothes that we wear, we all at some point in time, require cleansing, that may not be so apparent from the outside or even possible on our own, but is something that is so necessary for our very survival.

Mar 3, 2012

A forgotten life....Games we played

A typical post on FB.. Forgotten Games of India.. Not many, just a few, and wham.. Like always, a click on the image, you go into memory lane, and try to remember when was the last time you played any of these. For that matter, how many games did we even remember growing up playing.

Having had the fortune and misfortune to have spent my growing years out of India, no doubt, I too have been a participant and a player of most of these games, the misfortune being, that I was not exposed to more. But be it India or outside in the Middle East, which was predominantly Indian and the communities in bounds, the games were all our desi games.

How many times, coming back from school, would we stop on the road side, dig into our bags, and pull out our marbles (no pun intended) for a quick game. Or while walking back the lattu in our hand and twirling in the palm of our hand, each one trying to better the other. Running home, a quick meal, and then our cricket bats.. No padding up, no guards, it was just the tennis ball, one wicket that one guy in the building had and the other two wickets being broken sticks at time..

We sill have a laugh and a roll on these, and we tend to reminiscise every time we travel back home or we get into memory lane. The laughs and the jokes, of do you remember, how we beat the shit out of Shyam, and do you remember, how we went home crying and on and on.. No games for boys and girls.. We all played them irrespective of their type and who they were meant for. It was a life meant for outdoors..

I am not sure what changed, but some where the world moved faster than all of us, or rather we allowed it to.. Of course a major difference was that cost of living was much lower, but then money had a value. Money was not to be spent simply because we as children asked for it. You lost all your Gotis or your cricket card selection, you had to play to win it back.. No Mom buying you extra breakfast cereal boxes just for you to collect extra cards..

Games were meant for enjoyment and were looked forward to not as school sports days annual events, but were played in the society compounds or in the gardens on weekend family visits. Never did one find it limited to kids, both the young and the old played and joined in.. Who plays ludo now? Where has Snakes and Ladders gone? Do we ever play Checkers or Bingo? How many of us even have a Carom Board at home any more? Does any one ever remember Atari?

No doubt we all moved on, but some where we took our future generations also with us. More income meant more to dispose.. Changing times meant technological games, coming down to gaming centers, or XBox's or Wi's or now even better, on IPA D's, IPhone, PS2's, PS3's and before you can understand the first, the sixth upgrade has come.. The kids today have half their eyes squinted on to a 6 inch monitor or if better a 17 inch, or if the dad is still rich, games on a 52 Inch Led Home Theater Screen, with new games every week.. The kids do not go out any more, parents probably prefer them at home, as going out means some one has to monitor (leave aside that our mom's used to cook and still find time every five minutes to have a glance from the window or the neighbour's mom would keep tabs, if our houses were off.

No doubt, time has moved on, and we still have memories flashing back with all of us some where, some how, trying to maintain our past, in this ever changing future. However it is a diminishing trend, with the competition and the will to survive being the predominant factor in life. Question remains that we learnt the will to survive by growing up with friends / foes and in our compounds and streets, where matters commenced, fights started and finished with friends coming and closing these off, with handshakes. End of the day, you still had one girl in the building who would smile at you, and the guys would still be friends.

No doubt, in the India of today and in many parts this still exists and would still be time until we wipe this out, however the time is not far, when the only knowledge our kids may have is how to gun down the enemy to go to level 17.. Would it be too late by then?