"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Buying Into The Dream

Like most Indians, I have cable television.

I am offered almost 100 television channels in Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English.

The English language channels are a necessity for me. I speak none of the other languages.

I do however flick through the non-English channels; occasionally enjoying the high production values of song and dance routines from a Bollywood movie; smiling at the ham acting of a local soap opera; and always interested by what advertisements reveal of the Indian Zeitgeist.

One constant aspiration, that to my eyes seems particularly sad, is this.

The advert was so successful that it became the first of a four-part series, telling the story of a doomed, colour-uncoordinated romance.

And the phenomenon is aimed not just at women. There are plenty of products and sales pitches solely for men.

One of the ironies is that the actors in all these advertisements are Indian “super-stars”: highly successful film actors; and beautiful.

The girl in the first advert, apparently rejected because of her dark skin, was in reality, Miss World, before she stormed the heights of Bollywood.

Meanwhile, back in my motherland, I gather from newspapers that another advertisment has fed into dreams and values,

Drawing comment and questions.

But I, too, am far from impervious to a well-crafted dream.

One response

  1. Lucille

    Just got to sort out my freckles – they start to merge in summer – then I’ll be on the next plane.

    May 1, 2010 at 2:21 pm

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