May 16, 2007

Whatever sells..

When you have ten seconds to get your message across what will you say?

In an advertising class, the prof. pronounced emphatically, "Imagine you are in a lift and you are selling to the person next to you. How will you do it?" So one can arguably come up with witty one-liners.. shock the daylights out of the person concerned.. anger the individual.. incite passion.. play on emotions or instinct.. whatever..

Regarding this matter, I always believed that one should state the obvious and leave the matter at the hands of the discerning individual.. who might decide to whether he wants it/needs it/ or simply has to have it.

Well, in the long run/on a long enough time line/in the real world, of course it doesn't work that way - proven by the thriving advertising industry. But apparently on the local train they appreciate obvious selling. When a train is pulling out of the station, always only when it is pulling out of the station, a few dapper young men, shout out their 15 seconds. Often, these are directed at someone in particular. In the few seconds that the hooligans have to "eve-tease" the young women, they recklessly play it safe - by stating the obvious. It's their only chance and certainly, the message must not be lost. Hence it follows:

"ae chashma!".. to the girl wearing spectacles/sunglasses,
"oi newspaper!".. to the girl fumbling with the flying newspaper,
"arrey! gir gaya".. to whoever dropped whatever..

And then everyone in the vicinity turns to see the object of attention.

May 3, 2007

Grandmother's stories

The days grow longer.

I'm watching the city grow. Towards a four-track railway system. And as a result towards an inevitable extra point of entry/exit in the sunken pedestrian subway. And like other nostalgic tales avidly told. Like stories that begin with words but end as mysterious smiles. Tales that require a gentle shaking of the head to bring the narrator back to the present..

I will say that I used to travel on the local train everyday. That for two whole months in January and February, the sun rose with me. The great ball of fire began its gentle ascent as a wonderful gleam. I'll mention that I once saw a young woman take a picture of the sunrise with her Camera-Phone. (They were new back then, I'll add.) I will fondly remember that as I stood in the gangway leaning on the side, book in hand, I used to watch the pages bathe themselves golden in the early morning glow. Then, everyday, I'd look up and watch the sun for a few minutes, as it rose behind buildings and hoardings, old and new... and especially when framed against the massive crane on top of an under-construction highrise. And in March I'd watch the sunlight stream in through an unfamiliar orifice inside the subway.

And I'd think that I'm watching my city grow.