Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The ad-factor

I am usually not bothered or motivated by television commercials. It sort of passes by on the screen while I wait for my programme to resume. If it's a good ad, I might laugh with it or nod in approval but it sort of ends there. And I never act upon ads. I guess it's got something to do with my mother restricting television and talking about the 'bad' influence it casts on young minds.
But there is one advertisement that I couldn't shake off my mind. It's no big deal but yet, somehow, I was forced to think about it a couple of times.
It's this recent advert of a mobile company (and I have no clue which) with Aamir Khan in it. In there, Aamir receives a call that he's gotten himself a job in the city. Ta...da! cheerio everyone...
Don't get me wrong, I love Aamir Khan. In fact, he is probably the only actor I have been sort of faithful to, despite all those crappy movies he'd been part of where his acting skills could have easily been squashed by a mosquito swat. But I love him anyway because he's proven that he can improve and be considered more seriously than many other Bollywood stars.
However, in this advert I can't help but wonder why the company didn't actually choose someone from a small town and redo the whole ad, as it is, but with a more realistic touch. Aamir would have been paid a hefty amount for that job but a regular guy, a normal guy, who doesn't look right out of a cute magazine, could have been chosen in his place. It would have been more human and, speaking on behalf of the company, cheaper.

I think that's what bothers me. Skin fairness creams, shampoos that make your hair look like the flowing Niagara (just much darker), hair colour that can make your life more exciting, body sprays that can give you any woman/man you want, cars that can drive for hours without wanting a refuel, lipstick that never goes away even after kissing - I could go on really.
I think of all the ads, only chocolate comes as close as its promise - it does make you happy.

So I ask - we are moving towards a very logically driven time, if we aren't there already. We understand the difference, in most cases, the difference between fake and real. And yet, corporate houses force their advertising agencies to create this vague illusion that only infuriates us.
Why are we so canted towards illusions? Is that the downside of democracy?

The only products I genuinely believe in are the ones that are not advertised -at least not in our country. And I continue using those products, even though I pay a few extra bucks for it.
See, at the end of the day I want the real stuff - not the promise to turn into a fairy princess by popping a pill. That's why they are called fairy 'tales'.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Forget me not

You're in trouble if you forget when Friday is here. I realised it was Friday twice today. One, when I was submitting my film review (a great time check) and when I saw a friend had graciously put 'TGIF :)' as her Gtalk status message. Or else, I'd have just gone to bed wondering when the week was going to change.

My mother was complaining that she has been forgetting things. I guess at around 60, she is allowed that liberty. I couldn't of course bring myself to tell her that I am forgetting as well - probably as much as she is.
But there is a sort of reasoning behind that, I'd like to think. After all, why would God intend us to remember things that don't need to be remembered. For instance, do you really need to remember the car that sped past you without warning last week? After all, those aren't happy thoughts.

Forgetting or the 'Block out mode' which is what I like to call it inside my head has such fabulous benefits. You can forget bad moments,pain, betrayal and insults that you didn't get at the time and by the time you could, you'd forgotten.

The downside however, I believe, is quite nasty. You forget names and worse, faces. No one wants to be stared at as you check your RAM to figure out if you recognise the programme before you. I'd hate it. As for me, I am quite blessed there. You see, I remember people I'd met 10 years ago (not their names maybe) and within a few minutes would even get their names. But, they don't remember me. So, as I try to figure out when I'd met the person last, he, or she, is looking at me as to wonder if I am truly, like I claim, from this planet.

So, I have decided to give that whole 'hey I know you' grin only if I see a person taking long strides towards me, in recognition.

Forgetting is truly strange. You could tell your girlfriend that you'd be busy one weekend and not be able to take her out. She'd nod - maybe not in joy, but she'd nod anyway. Come Friday, she's forgotten all about it. She calls you and tells you about the dinner reservations she's made for the both of you. If you tell her, "but baby, I told you I was busy? Did you forget?', she's snap back, 'forget?!?! You never told me...'
That conversation could go on.

I love forgetting things. It sort of absolves me of things. And with that, adds a whole lot of guilt. I can forget to wish a friend. If I call a day later and be earnest about it, I've had it. So you say, I tried calling you, but you weren't unreachable. Actually don't bother making those excuses. If friends can't handle the truth - they can talk a nice long walk in the woods.

I remember when one of the guys I was dating forgot to tell me he was doing drugs. We went out for a really long time. And in all that time, he couldn't remember to tell me even once. I don't blame him. I think he forgot about it when he was sober, which was of course a rare situation and I was too stupid to understand the difference.

Don't forget.
The choice is yours and so are the consequences.
Have a good weekend... It's the weekend, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Dream free

How desperate are you - To live, to breathe, to make friends and to survive – with each passing day?
I am desperate.
I want it all. I want the good life, I want to see the world, have a few friends I can really count on and see them as much as I can, brush my hand over a field of poppies if I can.
I want to run along valleys and eat fresh cheese and drink rose wine out of a real goblet. I want to spend many hours sitting on a cold beach, staring at the waves or traverse miles of snow clad mountains – without a trouble.
It happens everyday – in my head.
It’s the most beautiful antidote to the reality we live in. Close your eyes and you’re instantly transported to any place you want. A picture from a travel magazine and you can be there, a scene from a film and it can happen to you, a page from a book and you could be in it.
That’s what they call it. The cynics will label it as a daydream.
To me, it’s my reality.
In It’s Complicated, Meryl Streep’s house was mine. I baked in the same oven – wonderful warm muffins, served with lavender ice cream – and watered the same plants in her kitchen garden.
In Lord Of The Rings – I’ve travelled the exotic locales of New Zealand and in Harry Potter, I went to Hogwarts.
In the Red Tent, I was a woman out of the Bible – nomadic, matriarchal.
Now come the side effects.
People think I am insane – and that I belong to another time and definitely another planet. Most will not admit me into their social circle for too long because after a I point I do appear mad.
Switching off from what’s happening now and moving away to what’s really happening inside my head can be quite a torture for others, but frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!