Its been a long time since I did a post on my incessant traveling in the most populous state of the region. I am now not only on first-name terms of all the attendants of the Lucknow Shatabdi, some of them consider themselves to be my personal valets! Not only do they keep on badgering me with extra helpings of ice-cream and juice – last time, when I refused to have the dinner (how many times a week can you have the same chicken curry?), they offered to pack it for me!
(This is reminiscent of the time when the Patna Airport security officials used to wave me on without frisking!)
Bollywood screenwriters and advertising copywriters would do well to take a leaf out of the politician's book - on catchy slogan-writing.
What is a good dialogue/slogan? As a marketing student, I can tell you that it has to be short. Easy to remember. And most importantly, it must drive one to action.
One such slogan (an old one, actually) which I just heard is "Bhura baal saaf karo" - which literally means "Clear Out the Light-coloured Hair". Huh?
Actually, it is a mnemonic... Bhu stands for Bhumihaar. Ra is for Rajput. Ba is for Brahmin. L is for Lala (Kayasth). To clarify all doubts in the complex algorithm of Bihar caste politics, this was Laloo Prasad Yadav's clarion call to clear the state of the feudal and high-caste lords.
Short? Check. Memorable? Check. Driving specific action? You bet.
Move over, Prasoon Joshi. You are not the smartest adman around...
Koi Sagaa Nahin…
Gulzar’s one (self-acknowledged) act of plagiarism is the famous line from the Bunty Aur Babli title song… (Aisa) koi sagaa nahin, jisko (humne) thagaa nahin.
This, in turn, is the super-famous punch line of the super-successful Thaggu Ke Laddoo of Kanpur. Known far & wide (at least in the cow-belt) for his laddoos, Thaggu got his name from his grandfather, who started the shop and was particularly ashamed of using sugar (a videshi product) against the call of Gandhi. In an allusion to Gandhi’s verdict that anybody using foreign-made sugar is actually robbing (thago-ing) the nation, he called himself Thaggu – and the name stuck!
Intensive research is currently on to figure the origin of the other famous product of his – the Badnaam Kulfi!
Thaggu’s confidence in his products shows through one more of his punchlines… Mehmaanon ko mat khilaiye, tik jayengey!
Far behind the glitter of Marine Drive, the buzz of Defence Colony, the euphoria of Brigade Road, lies the Humongous Indian Market.
For all of us who are completely devastated by the havoc Himesh Reshamaiyya has wreaked on our eardrums and who are unable to comprehend the artistry behind the nasal renditions, let it be known that there is a fan following which Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy cannot even begin to match.
Not only does every taxi, bus-stand, restaurant, home dutifully play his greatest hits, there is a huge group of young people who copy his fashion as well.
Outside colleges, movie theatres, malls and main thoroughfares are several of these Himesh clones – with the trademark stubble, baseball cap pulled on low, faded jeans and tight full-sleeve t-shirts!
So, while we continue to laugh at Cyrus and Javed’s wisecracks, Himesh continues to touch a chord with the Humongous Indian Market. And, not only sell millions of album copies, but command a fan following similar to that of movie stars. I mean, which musician has managed to have fans who copy their sartorial style?
Worldspace would do well to replace AR Rehman with Himesh as their brand ambassador – and all you South Bombay types, buy more cotton wool!
I had read somewhere that Los Angeles has the lowest ratio (among cities) of the length of the used name of the city (2 letters – LA) and the length of actual name (a 54-letter behemoth)!
For those interested in the World's Most Useless Knowldge, Kanpur can hold a record of being the city, which has changed the spelling of its name the maximum number of times! Between 1770 and now, it has changed a whopping 20 times – thus averaging a mere 11.24 years per change!
For those with absolutely no work, the list runs as follows:
Cawnpoor, Caunpour, Caunpore, Cawnpour, Cawnpore, Kawnpore, Cawnpor, Cawnpour, Kaunpoor, Khanpore, Khanpura, Khanpore, Caunpoor, Khanpoor, Kannpur, Cawnpour, Caawnpore, Cawnpor, Cownpour, Cawnpore, Kanpur!
Numerologists, who make their theories to fit history, have claimed that the name Cawnpore is most suitable for industrial development and Kanpur for progress in education. Wah!