the ad-mad world ?
The redolence of the adrak-Wali chai filled my nostrils, ending my early morning blues. I had a long day planned, and the Chinaware with the hot concoction provided the perfect impetus for the same.
After finishing my routine chores, I checked my social media, which is a crucial task, busy or not! So you can imagine my plight on the night of the outage Then, my eyes fell on the yellow salwar suit I had recently purchased and had kept ready for today. Yes it was the first day of Navaratri, and the resplendent lemony shade attracted me just like the way it had done in the boutique!
Despite the restrictions on a fun-filled evening, this years festival held out on its own at least it was better than the earlier year. I saw loads of messages across different platforms speaking of how women needed their rights and how it was necessary to respect women as she was the embodiment of Maa Durga herself etc. etc
I walked back to the drawing-room to have my breakfast and switched on the TV, a rare occurrence in my world in todays times of the OTT predomination. I then began switching channels. Well, my options were sorely limited. Either it was the warpaint-loaded women portrayed as your normal bahu in the forever regressive serials or some supernatural serials, which I didnt even bother to check the cast. Or a reality show which had anything unreal, or a historical which made me tickle myself the way history was ruthlessly distorted for TRPs. And how could I miss the News channels? By the time I surfed all of them with anchors screaming of the latest drug heist involving the son of a superstar and discussing the latters parenting skills, I was at my wits end. My breakfast had turned cold, and I was yet to check out the movies.
Breakfast won over, and I was about to switch off the idiot box when the latest ad a new one aired on the channel. To those uninitiated, there have been a few advertisements off late which have made us sit up and notice their content. Like the Cadbury ad consisting of the dark-skinned female cricketer being greeted by her guy was much applauded and I loved it too, or the ad denouncing the traditional practice of Kanyadaan stealthily replacing the term with the brand name. While the pseudo-seculars lauded the efforts, many didnt notice the true factor hidden in the social message garb.
But todays advertisement was the icing on the cake, and for once, I cringed. As a writer, I dont battle an eye when I write hardcore erotica, but this put me off It showed a woman instructor blatantly staring at the peeping undies of the male client. The actors werent newbies but well-established ones in their own right. This brought to my mind how a female RJ had embarrassed a young sports hero on a national platform a couple of months ago.
The irony of the situation hit me hit me hard. What if the situations were reversed? We talk of how women have been objectified for time eternity. But if objectifying women isnt right, then is doing the same to men acceptable? Is this the gender equality that we are talking about? When are celebrities going to take responsibility for what they endorse, knowing they have a tsunamic fan following?
Alas I left for work, still flinching the moment my minds eye saw Rashmika stare at Vicky Kaushal (you know where) just wondering if the guy would have accepted it if not putting an act for the camera. I wondered at our hypocrisy as a society.
Happy Navratri to all of you!