Parle G – बोले तो बिस्कुट देना…

Advertising और उस catholic लड़की से करीब-करीब एक ही साथ आँख लड़ी थी. बरस रहा होगा 1989-90 का और मैं रहा होऊँगा कुछ 20-21 का.

Indeed that which fascinates you as a young adult remains with you forever. Much like that cherubic catholic girl I’m talking about, who cycled down for her tuitions with the pink bag swinging around her shoulders and sunlight shining through her sprightly hair! And if these tender passions (like the girl above and the vocation called advertising) were to become partners for life, then you should consider yourself the luckiest. Well, I got lucky with just one – a method-in-madness kinda profession of advertising! In a department called creative – A department which makes you mull at midnight, doodle in your dreams, suckle at statistics and chuckle to yourself. 24 x 7 x 365.

खैर, दिन-महीने-साल इसी विधा की मोहब्बत में गुज़ार लिए और अब भी इसी के सहारे ज़िन्दा हूँ. Trainee से लेकर full fledged copywriter तक, Creative Director और फिर u-turn लेकर Strategic Planner के बेहद रोमांचक सफ़र में कई brands बनते हुए देखे, कई बनाए, कईयों को पाला-पोसा बड़ा किया, किन्तु आज जब एकांत में मनन करता हूँ तो पाता हूँ कि कुछ ही brands ऐसे थे और ‘हैं’ जो सही मायनों में, सही कर्मों तथा कारणों से अपने उपभोक्ताओं के दिलों में रचे-बसे हैं. Only a few brands have successfully carved a niche for themselves in the hearts &/or minds of its set of consumers.

आज जब मैं अपनें अगले ब्लॉग का मज़मून ढूंढ रहा था ठीक तभी कुछ ऐसा घटित हुआ कि मेरा साल भर पुराना Brands पर कुछ लिखने का ख़्वाब मुकम्मल हो गया. मुलाहिज़ा फरमाइये…

It so happened that on the Corona led edgy afternoon of the 24th (March) my mother made a panic call from the kitchen. She wanted me to urgently place an order with the Big Basket in the wake of lockdown ordered across the country. Obviously the list smelt of panic buying. So far so good…I added almost every item to the cart and went ahead for payment. This is when I was stuck! The amount read around Rs. 550/- while I need it to be 600/- …for free delivery and delivery time slot of choice. तो क्या किया जाए भाई?? एक नज़र कमरे में घुमाई, एक किचन में भी घूम आई और फिर अचानक दिमाग में एक बत्ती जली! Parle G !!! फिर क्या था 6 पैकेट आर्डर कर डाले और एक अमूल लस्सी भी (भर्ती के लिए) and I was 600/- पार.

दिमाग ने अनुभव के आधार पर त्वरित गणित लगा लिया था. चाहे कुछ भी हो जाए, कैसी भी स्तिथि में फंस जाएं, Parle G से संकटकाल में पेट को सहारा तो मिल ही जायेगा. Worst case scenario में चाय के साथ खाकर dinner कर लेंगे. ज़हन में मुम्बई के संघर्ष के दिनों की याद ताज़ा थी!

It is worthwhile to mention over here that most of the successful advertising exercises that we’ve seen in the entire history of Brand Building have been those that were based on some insight about or around the life of the consumer. Of course there was always something in the communication that tugged at their heart or got stuck in the mind’s eye and made them feel one with the brand. Something which made them feel as if it were not a product or a service they had in their lives, but a trusted one, a kinda buddy or a Good Samaritan. One of the best example of such a snug-fit brand I’ve seen over the years is Parle G. A perfect fit in terms of requisite product quality, in terms of pricing and most definitely snug in terms of experience and reliability perception.

So…how does it feel when I say ‘Parle G’?

Biscuit? YES.

Meetha? YEAH.

Tea? YES.

Milk? YEAH.

Affordable? YES.

Readily Available? YEAH.

Well after all these ‘YESSES’ and ‘YEAHS’, if we were to prod for more random reactions, the answers would be very interesting.

Parle-G – WHEN & WHERE? Anywhere, everywhere, anytime.

Parle-G – WHY? Much safer than other crap at a pocket friendly Rs. 2, 5 or 10.

Parle-G – WHO??

…and you’ll find a laundry list of quick reactions :

Now here I’m deliberately calling it Parle G ‘biskut’ and not Biscuit because that’s what they address it as in the rural and semi- urban India where Parle Products has about 60-65 penetration.

So Parle G Biskut is WHAT??

  • Chai wala biskut
  • Dhood wale biskut
  • Nashte wala biskut
  • Akele wala biskut
  • Dosti wala biskut
  • Train/Bus wala biskut
  • Din/Raat/Der Raat wala biskut
  • Jeb wala/bag wala biskut
  • Time nahi hai wala biskut
  • Raaste main khane wala biskut
  • Kaam karte-karte khane wala biskut
  • Kam bhook wala biskut…and the list can go on forever!

And ya, last but not the least and sad too but for many ‘Parle G’ is…


आज यदि मैं भारत में उपलब्ध प्रतिष्ठित brands की फेहरिस्त बनाऊँ तो उनमे कम से कम दो या तीन विशुद्ध भारतीय Brands टॉप 5 में होंगे और उनमें से एक ‘Parle G’ अवश्य होगा. सन् 1939 में जब यह बिस्कुट का Brand मार्केट में पहली बार आया था तब से आज तक ये अपनी श्रेणी में अग्रणी रहा है. अपनी यानी glucose biscuits की category में करीब 75-80% market share के साथ ‘Parle G’ कुल biscuits के मार्केट का सर्वाधिक 20% होल्ड करता है, जो एक इत्तेफाक तो कहीं से कहीं तक हो ही नहीं सकता.

ज़रूर कोई बात होगी इसके taste में, इसके packet की बनावट में, उसके रंगों में, उस cute से बच्चे के चित्र में, इसकी व्यापक उपलब्धता में, इसकी pricing में, इस ‘देश के बिस्कुट’ की overall छवि में!

In reality there is nothing called socialist marketing’ when it comes to modern day business but brands like ‘Parle G’ have successfully created a highly trustworthy niche in the hearts and minds of the masses with its characteristic ‘affable-accessible-do gooder’ kinda presence.

And now, before I put my pen down I must share with you that ideally I should be posting this piece on LinkedIn, but the writer/author in me almost always overtakes the copywriter in me since the time I took a sabbatical to pursue literary writing. And look at the tragedy, 3/4th of my friend list on fb knows me as a prolific poet and a handful on LinkedIn know me as a copywriter!! In an आसमान-से-गिरे ख़जूर-पे-अटके situation like this, I thought I would better compose a poetry that is relevant to the subject I just wrote about i.e. advertising. I have tried to ensure that it doesn’t sound contrived though!

So here’s to the cherubic catholic girl who cycled down to the tuitions, with the pink bag dangling on her shoulders and sunlight shining through her sprightly hair…

मुझे याद है आगाज़-ए-दोस्ती का वो दौर जब मैं किसी इश्तिहार की तरह पेश आता था!
बार-बार, किसी बहाने से तुम्हारे सामने आ जाना तुम्हारी ज़रूरतों पर गौर करना, पसंद-नापसंद को पहचानना, ‘नया’, ‘एक्स्ट्रा स्ट्रांग’, ‘फ्री’ बन कर सामने आना…सिर्फ सेवा का एक मौका मांगने के लिए!

वो तो मेरी खुशकिस्मती थी कि तुमने अपनी उम्र के सामान की फेहरिस्त में मुझे नमक-चीनी की तरह स्थायी जगह दे दी, वरना मेरी हालत चौराहे पर जी हुज़ूरी करते उन बाशिंदों की तरहा हो जाती जिन्हे मुफ्त की टी-शर्ट, टोपी, रेनकोट देकर हम जैसे चतुर रणनीतिकार कंपनियों का फ्री में विज्ञापन करवाते हैं…और फिर केस स्टडी बना कर डींगे हाँकते है.

मैं भी एक ऐसी ही केस स्टडी का हिस्सा बनकर रह जाता, गर तुमनें सिर्फ सूंघ कर ज़िन्दगी के शेल्फ से उस वक़्त ना उठाया होता!

यह भी अच्छा ही हुआ कि तुमने पहले विश्वास किया फिर इस्तेमाल किया, ख़ुदा-न-ख़ास्त उल्टा हुआ होता तो जाने क्या होता!

हाँ, तुम्हारे प्यार ने वाकई मुझे खुद का एक नीरस सा इश्तिहार होने से बचा लिया, हमेशा के लिए अपना मुरीद बना लिया…

राही मानव ‘मनोज त्रिवेदी’
~ ०१.०४.२०२०

।। इति ।।

Since we can’t go outside, let’s go inside !!

Time to check our minds for viruses and getting rid of them…

एक फ़िल्म आई थी १९५९ में, टाइटल था ‘नया संसार’. इस फ़िल्म में एक गीत था राजेन्द्र कृष्ण साहब का लिखा और चित्रगुप्त द्वारा संगीतबद्ध किया गया जिसे हेमंत दा ने अपना बेसीय स्वर दिया था. आप इसे youtube पर तसल्ली से सुन सकते है. फ़िलहाल मक़सद है आपको इसके बोलों के बारे में बता कर फिर उनकी बाँह पकड़ कर ‘नज़रबंदी’ या ‘Stay-at-home’ के सदुपयोग पर आना…और विशेषकर जीवन के उस पहलू पर बात करना जो हमारी प्रकृति, हमारे मिज़ाज़ से जुड़े हुए हैं. ज़रा इस अंतरे पर गौर कीजिएगा…

‘बीत जाएगा पतझड़ ये फिर आएगी हरियाली

आज जो डाली है सूनी सी कल होगी फूलोंवाली

कौन चंदनिया को पूछे जो न हो रतिया काली…’

Well, the point that I want to bring home is that ‘Adversity Ennobles a Man’…that most of our good fortunes are revealed to us and better appreciated by us in the agonizing presence of our misfortunes. Isn’t it? Resolves are not enough.

Experience proves that it is extremely difficult to implement changes which we sincerely envisage for ourselves. And paradigm shifts are all the more difficult to come by. But…but simpler things like ‘Attitudinal Fine-tuning’ and ‘Course-Correction of Perspectives’ can always be done for the sake of a better life. Well, ideally in the absence of an external force like Corona Virus, but if such an exigency were to strike us then you bet it’s a golden opportunity presenting itself in the garb of a catastrophe.

कहावत तो है कि ‘मरे बग़ैर स्वर्ग नहीं मिलता’…किन्तु,आज कोरोना के साए में हम वह सब कुछ करने को तैयार और तत्पर है जो हमें स्वर्ग की राह पकड़ने से बचा सके!! अब तो हाथ भी धुलते हैं…वह भी नियत, वैज्ञानिक तरीके से, साफ-सफाई-स्वच्छता का विशेष ध्यान रखा जाता है, खांसते वक़्त मुँह पर हाथ या रूमाल भी रखा जाता है, कहीं भी, कुछ भी खा लेने के पहले रुका और सोचा जाता है! और यह तो कुछ एहतियात की बाते हैं, जो असली परिवर्तन मैं देख पा रहा हूँ (या जिसकी अपेक्षा कर रहा हूँ) वह कहीं गहरे मानसिक, मनोवैज्ञानिक और आध्यात्मिक स्तर पर है…नितांत निजी स्तर पर.

हाँजी, यही वह उदास, बेदिल फिज़ा है जिसमें कि हम ‘Social Distancing’ या ‘Stay-at-Home’ के बंधन के चलते ख़ुद से रूह-ब-रूह होने पर मजबूर हैं. तो क्यों ना इस अल्पविराम का उजला पक्ष देखते हुए इसका फायदा उठाया जाए? क्यों ना कोरोना की इस कोयले सी काली, अंधेरी खदान से हीरे के कुछ ज़र्रे निकाले जाएँ? Since we can’t go outside, why not try and go inside…Inside our inner beings. आत्ममंथन नहीं तो थोड़ा मनन ही किया जाए.

A whole lot of constructive suggestions are already coming from various quarters regarding the utilisation of this self-enforced ‘home-bound’ time. Suggestions like taking a walk in your building, exercising in your balcony or bedroom, indulging in gardening, doing up your wardrobes/store-rooms/study, experimenting in the kitchen, catching up with reading, television/OTT series/films, meeting up with long lost neighbours or the aged in the locality, playing gully cricket with kids etc. We can always cull out many more such perks, if I may call it so, but I have something else on my agenda.

एक नज़र घुमा कर देखते हैं अपनी रोज़मर्रा की ज़िंदगी की ओर. गौर से तटस्थ होकर देखेंगे तो हम पायेंगे कि अपने दैनिक जीवन-निर्वहन के मध्य में हम कितने ‘जीवनदर्शन शून्य’ हो गए हैं…कहीं दूर खड़े होकर अपने आप को देखने, सुनने का जो मौका मिल जाये तो हम पाएँगे कि कितनी ऊर्जा हम व्यर्थ के विचारों में, व्यर्थ की बातचीत में ज़ाया करते हैं. दिनभर में सोचे गए विचारों और बोली गयी बातों के आधार पर मैं कुछ ऐसी आम सी लगने वाली बातें चुन रहा हूँ जो हमारी मनोवृत्ति को, हमारे नज़रिए को बेनक़ाब कर जाती हैं, जो हमारी अपरिपक्वता ज़ाहिर कर देती है. मिसाल के तौर पर इन कथनों पर एक नज़र डालिये…

(1) अरे रोहित का तो खेल ख़तम है…चुक गया है बंदा…अब अंबानी ने गोद ले लिया है तो क्या कमी है साले को (when Rohit Sharma gets out caught behind trying to play a cover drive on a peach of a delivery…This is after hitting 3 consecutive centuries and a fifty in the a series that we might have won just 15 days back!!)

(2) लंबू नें पैसे खा लिए बोफोर्स में… क्या कमी थी बापडे के पास…गद्दार निकला गद्दार…(when the heartthrob of the nation Amitabh Bachchan’s name is tossed up in the Bofors Scandal…For which he was given a clean chit by the courts later on).
Not going too far and not talking about public figures, you get to hear/overhear these things at all times…At offices, on the streets, in buses and airports, on the local panwalla or chaiwalla ghumti…
(3) आ गई ड्रम गर्ल…चारों तरफ से फल-फूल रही है भिड़ू!!
(4) ये हाथ अगरबत्ती, पैर मोमबत्ती…इसे तुम मर्द कहते हो??
And what not…People waste no time in passing remarks. Body shaming, demeaning, belittling, cynical, condescending, hurting remarks. And they do it without batting an eyelid! As if it were their fundamental right to profess and they were the kings and queens of all they surveyed. Well for all you know, Rohit Sharma would make 20 more centuries and create innumerable world records and receive a Padma Shree. An Amitabh Bachchan will eventually deliver some great performances in some great films, successfully host shows like KBC with highest TRPs, receive Dada Sahab Phalke Award for his contribution to Indian Cinema and become the most sought after face for brand endorsements including Social Awareness Campaigns for the nation (read India)! Yes, the same ‘gaddar’ our armchair experts were talking about. बेशक़ हमें किसी को फ़र्श से अर्श पर उठाने और फिर अर्श से फर्श पर क्षण भर में गिराने में विशेष महारथ हासिल है…Well, who knows the Drum look-alike, fat girl could become the CEO of a Multinational and the scrawny guy becomes the District Commissioner!! BUT one thing is sure that with such an attitude, this highly opinionated, judgemental, cynical lot, who call people names, will definitely be where they always were – in the doldrums. Rotting in self pity.

So here are a few things I feel we can introspect, recognize and correct as far as our thinking patterns are concerned.


In the said ‘stay-at-home’ period if we were to pore over being ‘less judgemental’ and more accommodating we would benefit immensely in the times to come. In order to illustrate the tangible benefits of being less or non-judgemental I’m recommending and pasting a link wherein a vlogger speaks on the subject at length. Listen to her before you exit the post. This lady vlogger beautifully explains the importance of seeing things through a natural lens, importance of pausing to think and picking your words wisely.


Another important thing to learn is ‘acceptance’. That which cannot be cured must be endured. Learning to embrace danger and misfortune, mulling about death, which lead to thoughts about futility of many a things – vanities, obsessions, delusions which one might be nursing and nurturing, is not at all a bad idea… Humility and acceptance (please don’t confuse it with renunciation, austerity or abandonment of any kind) of people and circumstances will certainly make our lives a lot easier to live and appreciate. I have been saying this ‘Serenity Prayer’ since the time I was 5 or 6 years old and I MUST SAY IT WORKS…

‘Oh God! Grant me the Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to Change the things I can…And the Wisdom to know the difference.’

(हे प्रभु! मुझे आत्मशांति देना ताकि मैं उन चीजों को स्वीकार कर सकूं जिन्हे मैं बदल नहीं सकता, साहस देना कि उन चीजों को बदल दूँ जिन्हे मैं बदल सकता हूँ और सदबुद्धि देना कि इन दोनों के बीच का अंतर समझ सकूँ.)

It’s high time learn to take things on their face-value and in a normal mode minus the hype and the hoopla. We Indians have this self defeating habit of either over reacting on things or living in complete denial. We are like, ‘अबे तूने खिड़की से बाहर मुँह निकाल कर देखा! अब तो तू गया काम से…लग ग्या तेरेको करोन…Or…’चल छोड़ रे!! अपने को कोई कोरोना-वोरोना छू नी सकता क्या…बोले तो शेर का बच्चा है तेरा भाई!’ You’ll agree with me that we need to be a little more rational and balanced in our thoughts and actions.

And last but not the least…विश्वास रख यार…ठंड रख…एतबार कर बंधु…ये दुनिया तेरे विरुद्ध नहीं खड़ी है कि तू ज़र्रे-ज़र्रे को शक की निग़ाह से देखे…अराम से जी प्यारे and…

Faith in yourself. In your gut feel. In people you value and care for. Faith in humanity. Faith in the future. Faith in your God…Because ‘Faith is trusting Him even when we don’t understand his plans…’ Why I’m saying so is because I feel we have been lying all this while that we love our Gods, we trust Him…Yes!! I’m sure of this statement of mine…We are big time hypocrites…नाटक करते हैं हम लोग…यदि हम सच में और सही मायने में उस ‘Supreme Power’ से मोहब्बत करते होते, उस पर अनन्य विश्वास करते होते…तो बात-बात पर इतना घबराते नहीं, बात-बात पर इतने अस्तव्यस्त नहीं होते, छोटी-छोटी बातों से आहत नहीं होते…Right??

इसीलिए कह रहा हूँ, यदि हम भगवान/ख़ुदा के दरबार में किन्हीं कारणवश जा नहीं पा रहे तो इन बंदिशों के मौसम में क्यों ना कोशिश की जाए कि अपनें मनमंदिर, ज़हनी इबदतखाने में ख़ुदा को ढूँढे…निर्वाण नहीं तो सुकून तो निश्चित रूप से मिल ही जायेगा.

I wrap up this article by saying that there are very high chances you will thank this house-bound time for discovering a ‘better version’ of yourself…a version that is much more structured, cohesive and compassionate.

‘बाहर नहीं जा सकते तो ग़म नहीं
अपने अंतस में करने को कम नहीं!’
The link I’ve spoken about

SOCIALMEDIA.IN.TROUBLE – Is Modi doing a modern day Ranchod to teach some lessons?!?

यदि आप किसी व्यक्ति, संस्था, विचारधारा या माध्यम से सम्मत नहीं बल्कि इनके कार्यकलापों से आहत हैं. यदि आप कई बार इनसे जुड़े रहने के बाबत cost-benefit analysis कर चुके हैं और हर बार यही पाते हैं कि अंततः नफ़ा कम और निकट या दीर्धकालीन नुकसान अधिक है, तो आपको बड़ी खामोशी के साथ उनसे नाता तोड़ देना चाहिए. विधिवत प्रणाम कर, बग़ैर किसी कटुता के आगे बढ़ जाना चाहिए और उनके अस्तित्व का अपने सामाजिक और आंतरिक जीवन से अंत कर अपने नियत काम में लग जाना चाहिए. यही कदम उनके और आपके लिए सर्वोत्तम होता है.

साहिर कहते है ना…

‘तार्रुफ़ रोग हो जाये तो उसको भूलना बेहतर ताल्लुक बोझ बन जाये तो उसको तोड़ना अच्छा वो अफ़साना जिसे अंजाम तक लाना ना हो मुमकिन उसे एक खूबसूरत मोड़ देकर छोड़ना अच्छा…’

और यदि आप अपने ध्येय में निहित भलाई-अच्छाई के बारे में पूर्णतः आश्वस्त हैं तो आपके पास एक और विकल्प होता है. आप नुकसान करने पर तुले तत्वों को एक सुनियोजित चाणक्य नीति के तहत पंगु बनाकर फिर अपनी मांग भी मनवा सकते हैं. दोनों ही परिस्थितियों में आपको कुछ कठोर, मूर्तिभंजन-नुमा निर्णय लेने पड़ सकते हैं.

यहाँ बात कर रहा हूँ प्रधानमंत्री मोदीजी के social media छोड़ने की. हाँ, मोदी जी एक तरह से सही सोच रहे हैं सभी Social Media sites से withdraw कर लेने के बारे में, यदि वे ऐसा seriously सोच रहे हैं तब! और वे यदि ऐसा अंततः कर ही लेते हैं तो यह कई मायनों में एक radical, या कहें मौलिक कदम होगा.

You can ascribe two primary and/or plausible reasons for initiating this propaganda, if I may call it, before he actually does take this revolutionary step, if at all he does…यदि वे अंततः ऐसा कर देते हैं तो! These reasons can be :

(1) He has genuinely and personally experienced and seen his country being at the receiving end of high-handed, unilateral almost dictatorial behaviour of the social media giants. He has made up his mind to set them right by threatening or demonstrating the power of his personality among his followers and those who believe in him…OR

(2) It’s a simple action/gimmick suggested by the strategists to precede a big announcement he’s about to make in a week or so.

In either case he has given a good six days to himself and his team of experts to measure the impact, the repercussions, the perceived implications it is having on the stakeholders. पाँच-छह दिन बहुत होते हैं विभिन्न पेट्रोल की टंकियों में डंडी डाल कर देखने के लिए कि किसकी कितनी औकात है, किसमे कितना है दम!! ज़रा अंदाज़ लगा कर देखिये की यदि मोदीजी केवल twitter ही को त्याग देते हैं (follower संख्या 53.3 million यानि 530.33 लाख यानि 5.33 करोड़) और उनकी पार्टी का कोई पुछल्ला भी twitter के boycott का आह्वान कर देता है तो क्या होगा??!!Facebook, Instagram, Youtube के बेशुमार followers का आप स्वयं आकलन कर सकते हैं. मैं तो Jack Patrick Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg और Google के आला अफ़सरानों को अपनी-अपनी पेटियाँ बाँध कर India bound हवाईजहाज़ में कुर्सी की पेटियाँ बाँधते हुए clearly देख सकता हूँ!! I can also see them pacing around restlessly, fidgeting in their chairs and experiencing hyper-acidity in their stomachs!

ख़ैर उनको यदि अपने कर्मानुसार भुगतान करने के लिए छोड़ भी दिया जाए तब भी हम सभी के लिए ये जानना ज़रूरी है कि आख़िर इन digital दुनिया के सुल्तानों का दोष क्या है? दोष बड़ा मासूम सा है इनके स्वयं के अनुसार.

एक मिसाल के साथ समझिए…
एक भारत विरोधी tweet पाकिस्तान के किसी certified handle से निकलता है. उस में एक तस्वीर है कि एक माँ बच्चे को गोद में लिए हुए है और दोनों को दिल्ली दंगों में मृत घोषित कर दफ़नाया जा रहा है… ये clearly एक fake photograph और fake news है, जो केवल और केवल भारत को विश्वभर में बदनाम करने के लिए है. Now India asks twitter for an explanation and/removal of this tweet but twitter महाराज takes 3 days to listen/comply and acts pricey…As a country what will you do?? एक भारतवासी होने के नाते आप क्या करेंगे?? ऐसे सैकड़ों examples हैं… fake news के, hatred फैलाने के, अफ़वाह फैलाने के, भ्रामक प्रचार और अन्य हथकंडों के जो भारत में (और भारत के बाहर रह रहे) anti-social, divisive elements अथवा कपटी तत्वों द्वारा अपनाए जाते हैं daily basis पर. I’m with Modi if he has adopted this disruptive strategy to counter such anti-national or anti-India forces by devisively acting against social media giants who have amply demonstrated their biased behaviour against India and continue to do so.

On the other hand, in case this action turns out to be a pre-cursor, a hype-creation for the launch of a made-in-India, homegrown social media platform or even a new, improved Namo App., the entire hullabaloo will still be welcome…but if it turns out to be something less substantial then, I can’t help but call it ‘modicomics’ much like the now infamous ‘modinomics’…क्योंकि आख़िर…

‘कुर्बानियाँ शऊर पर देने का नाम है, मक़सद ना हो तो भीड़ में मरना हराम है!’

I don’t know why but my heart says this one by Modi has all the ingredients of becoming a masterstroke. Come next Sunday and we’ll all know.

#ModiQuitsSocialMedia #NoModiNoTwitter #nosir #NoSir #ModiJi #NarendraModi #modiji

Analyzing BJP’s dismal performance in Delhi Elections – The Sholay Way!!- An Advertising Professional’s Perspective

There is a lot in Delhi’s belly besides Chola-Kulchas, Rajma-Chawal, Scotch, Snobbery and Swearwords. The city, going by its history and by sheer legacy, has always been and behaves as if it were born to be the kingmaker. It has always had this scheming thought process which habitually devised devious plans to dethrone one and coronate another. Going by that axiom AAP’s victory comes as a surprise to some as they came back to power for a record third time in the relatively short history of the half state. This too in spite of the anti-incumbency factor and a rhetoric-driven-high-pitched-battle where none of the two contesting parties (counting out the Congress for obvious reasons) left a stone unturned. So, what’s the take home from the recently concluded ‘Dilli ke Chunav’? Shattering all the notions about its emotion driven ‘dilwala’ nature, Delhi has proved beyond doubt that its ‘dimaag’ and ‘discretion’ are in place. With 7 out of 7 seats in Lok Sabha elections, Delhi dished out a hands-down victory to the BJP in 2019, however, showed them the way when it came to Vidhan Sabha, while giving a green signal to AAP as an inaam for their welfare policies and perception of empathising governance. That inadvertently brings us to BJP and its dismal performance in the Delhi elections. What good has been done by AAP in the last 5 years can be analyzed at leisure, but what all went wrong on the part of BJP that they ended up with an embarrassing loss needs to be understood and understood strategically. While I largely agree with Dr. Subramanian Swami that in India ‘emotive’ narratives are more likely to succeed than anything else specifically in the elections, but this time it seems high-pitched nationalism is precisely why BJP failed!! Why? I got my answers when I was reading a newspaper article on the same while sipping at my cup of tea ‘haule-haule’ when a dialogue popped up in my brain from the film Sholay…’कितने आदमी थे?’ The rest is this story…

Let’s begin with the basics. Both the parties had a level playing field to conceive, create and execute their narrative. One had a shrewd and cutting edge dark horse as its director, shooting his third movie. The other one had the greatest showman as the director with an ace crew at his disposal. Most importantly, it was backed by the largest production house of the industry. Now everyone will agree that the success or failure of a movie relies almost entirely on the SCRIPT. Script is something that directors/producers begin with and that’s where the CONTENT, DIALECT, TONE, MANNER and FLOW OF THE SCREENPLAY is finalized. Therefore, even if the BJP had consciously zeroed-in on the narrative that they finally had, that of provocation, they could have been more balanced in phrasing and articulation. For example, when you say, ‘Desh ke Gaddaron ko…’ you leave scope for ambiguity as to who are you referring to. That amounts to aggravating and threatening those who perceive themselves, rightly or wrongly, as gaddars (read minority). Secondly, it is high time people and parties understood that high pitch, raucous rhetoric and fear mongering by way of speeches that instantly conjure up gory visuals is not an effective way to be heard and acknowledged. Even if you are sick and tired of those who shamelessly blur out disparaging things about the nation and even if ‘shooting them in the head’ is the only solution, you don’t resort to slogans like ‘…Goli maaro salon ko’. Even a quintessential, heartless butcher like Gabbar Singh had some ‘usool’ when it came to how he said what he wanted to say and meant. He had his subtle yet equally chilling and effective ways of threatening! What is the suggestion when he says, ‘Jab gaon main koi bacha rota hai to maa kehti hai, so jaa nahin to Gabbar Singh aa jayega…’ or when Thakur says, ‘Humne Kutton ke saamne roti daalna band kar diya hai’. He did not say ‘मुफ़्तखोरों’ or ‘कामचोरों’ ke saamne, which would have been relatively much weaker, nor did he provoke them by saying ‘haramiyon’ ke saamne. ‘Kutta’ fits the bill…it does the job of conveying the angst quite well. The present day Thakur may well have taken a couple of lessons from Sholay’s Thakur and could have been more discerning in his choice/s. He could have said something to the effect that we have identified the traitors and their days a numbered…’देश के गद्दारों को, माफ ना करना सारों/सालों को’ or ‘नहीं चलेगी दहशतगर्दी, गद्दारों से कैसी हमदर्दी?’. You do not say ‘काट कर फ़ेंक दो’ or ‘गोली मार दो’ even if you were planning to actually hit someone hard. Any kind of communication which effuses images of beating, bloodshed or butchery effuses images that majority of human hearts refuse to endorse and hence rejects it as a reflex action. Knowing well that Gabbar and his crew were just characters in the make-believe world of a movie; one still felt the intimidation but not repulsion. Did we?? He never said, ‘I’m the ghastliest of all’ instead he worded it as, ‘Arre oh Sambha…Kitna inaam rakkhi hai sarkaar hum par?’ which had the same effect minus the goriness. We all remember Gulzar’s famous lyrics from the film Satya, ’गोली मार भेजे में, भेजा शोर करता है…’ Never once during the whole song did we feel uncomfortable. On the contrary, we reveled along with the gangsters as they indulged in merrymaking. This only goes to reinstate the point that the platform, the background and the context in which something is being said is as important as what is being said.

Further, its fine to have star campaigners by all means but it should be ensured that none of them slip into scene-hogging monologues and go beyond what has been strategically scripted by seasoned writers. In the case of BJP’s campaign, it probably went wrong right at the conception level. Some may argue that ‘nationalism’ comes   do so in Delhi.

But BJP’s plot somehow smelt of desperation. The screenplay was sketchy, lacked congruity and the dialogues (most of which I thought were cooked up by the characters themselves for effect or heroics) downright commonplace. While ‘Goli Maro’ kinda things are not only divisive and even suicidal, even ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ or ‘Vande Matarm’ off late seem to transport your thoughts to some kind of separatism…which is not at all a healthy sign. Dr. Manmohan Singh and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat seem to be making sense when they made they made some remarks in the context of nationalism recently. Dr. Singh’s observation – “Patriotic slogans are creating a militant idea of India” or Mohan Bhagwat asking us to ‘Avoid the word ‘Nationalism’ as it seemed to refer to Hitler, Nazism or Fascism’ do merit attention in this mindless mad rush for power.

‘पर हित सरिस धरम नहीं भाई। पर पीड़ा सम नहिं अधमाई ।।

‘There is nothing better than welfare of others and there is no greater sin than injury to others.’ That I think should serve as a template to a happier and healthier democracy in India. It is as relevant today as it was when Tulsidas ji first observed and wrote it down in the sixteenth century.