Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

PR kiya to darna kya: How Modi buys media

19 July 2013


The request for proposal (RFP) document of the Gujarat government that sets ‘targets’ for the PR firm that wins the contract to promote Narendra Modi’s image

In the latest issue of Open magazine, Jatin Gandhi lays his hand on a “Request for Proposal” (RFP) document of the Gujarat government that shows how “almost every day, the Indian media—and sometimes the foreign media too—is tricked or influenced by Narendra Modi‘s public relations machinery”.

Exempli gratia: “Modi’s Rambo act, saves 15,000” (The Times of India, 23 June 2013) .

The RFP besides setting targets for the PR firm that bags the contract (see image, above) also lists what is expected of a PR firm if it bags the contract to manage the Gujarat chief minister’s image.

# The hired PR firm should ‘arrange for national and international media to visit Gujarat and attend various events organized by the different departments of the Government of Gujarat’.

# ‘The number of media personnel for any event shall be decided by the Commissionerate of information after deliberation on the scale of the event.’

# “It is the Firm’s responsibility to arrange for the visits of journalists to Gujarat, any other part of the country or abroad. The expenses for the same will be reimbursed by the Commissionerate of Information on the submission of actual bills.’

The story quotes sources as saying the state government has already borne the expenses of scores of journalists, paying for their flights, travel within Gujarat and stay on assorted occasions (and multiple visits in some cases).

“Senior journalists are usually assured of luncheon meetings with Modi, with seating plans drawn up to boost their egos. The current Indian PR agency (Mutual PR) has so far arranged meetings between Modi and a range of newspaper and magazine editors.

“Starting this year, the government also has a budget allocation for taking journalists abroad on Modi’s foreign visits….

“At the Vibrant Gujarat summit earlier this year, a list of 20 journalists was drawn for a luncheon meeting with Modi. On this list was Madhu Kishwar, editor of Manushi and a fellow at the Delhi-based Centre for Study of Developing Societies, who has turned from being a critic to an advocate of Modi.

“Internal communication accessed by Open shows that the agency was wooing Kishwar, something she firmly denies.

She says that she is writing a book on Modi: “I am going to include a chapter, I think, on the myth and reality of Modi’s PR. There is no PR. I have written angry letters to the CM’s office asking for information for which I have been waiting several weeks now. They are so overburdened.”

“With Kishwar claiming she is oblivious to the machinery at work, the Gujarat government nevertheless gave her special attention because she was seen as one of the lone voices emerging from the ‘the Left liberal space’ favourable to Modi’s policies with ‘captive column space available to her in The Hindu, DNA and Manushi…’

Read the full article: The Modi mythology

Also read: ReutersModi interview: ‘sensational tokenism’

‘Network 18’s multimedia Modi feast: a promo’

For cash-struck TV, Modi is cost-effective TRP

Modi‘s backers, media owners have converged’

India vs England series, and ESPN’s crass TV ads

13 November 2012

KRISHNAKUMAR P. writes from Bombay: Is the Indian cricket fan so cheap?

Do only cheap tricks appeal to the Indian cricket fan?

When ESPNStar won the broadcast rights for India’s home matches for the next six years, Indian fans rejoiced.

First, there was hope of better telecast quality. Second, there was the promise of some erudite commentary. And third, there was the hope that the viewer would now get to watch the first and last balls of each over.

Above all, being a pure sports broadcaster with years of experience covering cricket, ESPNStar was expected to deliver a rich viewing experience as opposed to the kitschy fare delivered by earlier broadcasters.

In short, here was a golden opportunity for ESPNStar to begin the Channel9-isation of Indian cricket broadcast, by injecting some much-needed professionalism at a time when cricket has been packaged and promoted more as entertainment than sport.

But the manner in which the broadcaster has been promoting the India-England series starting on November 15 comes as a sad reminder that not much has changed from the time we were told that ‘it was tough being a West Indian or a Sri Lankan in India.’

The running theme in the ESPN Star TV commercials—‘Angrezon kit toh bajaa di!’ using, in different spots, a pungi, a dafli, a band, and basuri—is as bad, if not worse, as Neo Sports’s racist ads targeting the West Indians or the Sri Lankans.

Understandably, ESPNStar has just come back into the subcontinent and would want to garner as much attention as possible. And admittedly, these ads are just to tell the viewer that the coverage of the series is available with Hindi commentary.

But rather than absolve the broadcaster, this only raises another disturbing question: Does ESPNStar think that the Hindi speaking/listening fan cannot understand the nuances of the game and the only way to connect with those fans is to appeal to their basest instincts?

And does it think that fans are only interested in seeing the Angrez getting bajao-ed and would not be interested in watching a hard fought, evenly matched series of cricket?

What is even more disappointing is that, unlike the Neo sports campaign, which was in the innocent pre-IPL days, this comes in the age of the shrinking dressing rooms and when player camaraderie that cuts across nations and clubs.

Could ESPNStar not have celebrated this newfound camaraderie to promote a big series in India, the home of the IPL?

It is not like STAR cricket doesn’t know how to promote a marquee series on its cricketing merits with a dash of good natured humour and wit. You just have to wait for another ad break between overs to see the ads promoting another cracker of a series being played a couple of time zones removed.

A South African fan asks his Aussie counterpart, ‘Hey Bru, what do you call a world-class Aussie cricketer?’ and goes on to answer: ‘A retired cricketer’. Another spot has the Aussie fan returning the complement, saying the best chance South African fans have of seeing a Dale Steyn wicket on this tour is when he walks in to bat.

Back then, Neo Sports found itself taken to court for its racist ads.

Considering that this time around it is our former colonial masters that are subjected to some old-fashioned bajao-ing, ESPNStar may well get away with it. But make no mistake — these ads are crass, tasteless and offensive.

To repeat: IPL is a circus, IPL is a circus

12 March 2012

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been called plenty of name by its baiters. Now, as if to live up to the label that it is but a circus—a carnival of cricket, cinema and commerce—the Twenty20 league has come up with a superbly produced TV commercial that underlines the point for those too challenged to discern.

Is there space for another Kannada news channel?

25 January 2012

On paper, the media market in Karnataka is not the largest of the four southern States. The conventional wisdom is that unlike Andhra Pradesh, we do not have as many eyeballs; unlike Tamil Nadu, we do not have as many urban centres; unlike Kerala, we do not have a booming retail market; and unlike all three, we do not have deep pockets.

But the reality is slightly different.

Karnataka has more newspapers and as many news channels as the biggest of the four States. To the existing stampede of TV news channels—TV9, Udaya News, Suvarna News, Kasturi News, Janashree and Samaya—one more will be added tomorrow, when former Kannada Prabha and Suvarna News editor H.R. Ranganath‘s Public TV goes on air.

Question: is there space for one more Kannada news channel?

Photograph: A hoarding for the soon-to-be-launched Public TV on Cunningham Road in Bangalore (Karnataka Photo News)

The dumbest TV commercial of the year, so far?

11 January 2012

After watching Abhishek Bachchan in this priceless Idea 3G ad, you can only hope his baby takes after Aishwarya Rai (justice Markandey Katju please to note). And they are touting “smart” phones, mind you.

Link via Nastika

Also read: What an idea sirjee to kill newspapers, magazines

All that glitters is a big gold scam about to burst?

13 October 2011

RAMYA KRISHNAMURTHY writes from Bangalore: Always never very stable, my blood pressure has been shooting up alarmingly over the last few months, and—surprise, surprise— poor Arnab Goswami is not even the cause of it.

Each morning when I skim the newspapers; each evening when I switch on TV; and all day as I go around town gawking at the hoardings or listening to FM radio, the sight and sound of gold has begun to have a disastrous effect on my BP—and all this before NewsHour starts at 9 pm.

Just what it is, I wonder, that has resulted in this sudden societal craze for the yellow metal that goes beyond Akshaya Trithiya.

Have we, as a society, become the wisest investors on the planet, or have we lost all sense of balance? Are we collectively saving for a rainy day, or have we suddenly become materialistic beyond belief? Are we showing our spending power without compunctions, or are we going down the sad road of Kerala?

(When I can’t quite decide, I also ask myself another question privately: have I, as a woman, become a bit of a freak to so loathe what most other women crave?)


Look around you to see what I mean: there you have Kannada filmdom’s ace brothers Shiva Rajkumar and Puneet Rajkumar falling prey to the lure of cheap lucre and endorsing this obnoxious phenomenon in a manner their father would never ever have.

The elder brother asking you on radio to get the gold you have at home tested at the Kerala jewellery store (Kalyan) that has paid him to say so; the younger one exhorting you on television to pledge the gold you have and take a loan from the Kerala gold finance firm (Manappuram) that has paid him to say so.

Look at the newspapers: most of the the large, lavish advertisements in our dailies are those of the Kerala jewellery stores that are all over town or are planning to open shop soon (Malabar and Muthoot, Joyalukkas or Jos Alukkas), rival firms from across the border (revealingly) separated by a mere letter or two.

Look at the Kannada television channels: smaller local firms like Shree Sai Gold Palace use smalltime actresses to tout their wares and announce their schemes and discounts. Some like RR Gold Palace narcissisitically flaunt their owners as models, like a latter-day Lee Iacoca.

Why, one of the gold dons even (K.P. Nanjundi of Lakshmi gold palace) even produces and stars in a Kannada TV serial, and am told hosted a conference of a conferences of the jewel-making community of Vishwakarmas recently with the who’s who of Karnataka politics in attendance.

And then you have sites like churumuri, publishing periodic pictures of the actress Ramya or Ainditra Ray, all decked up in gold and other metals.

I know the theory well enough to understand what’s happening: That India always has been a massive gold consumer if not the biggest; that gold has always been a great form of investment, far safer than real estate or stocks or bank deposits; that even at this value, it is a safe investment, and so on.

I am aware that this is not a phenomenon unique to Karnataka and is probably happening in most of the southern States, if not in the rest of the country. And I am aware that even in the days of yore, homegrown stores like C. Krishniah Chetty & Sons and Jewels de Paragon were the big advertisers.

And, anyway, if people are buying gold with their own money or pledging their own gold, who am I to complain?

Still, looking at the gold rush, looking at the manner in which film stars are being used to woo gullible masses, looking at the number of shops opening their doors, looking at the unrealistic levels gold prices are shooting up to, etc, I get the sneaking feeling that we have well and truly entered a giant bubble which might burst any day.

I won’t use the word “scam” yet—and the newspapers and TV channels and FM stations won’t for obvious reasons too—but my guess is we may not have to wait too long before do so.


Photograph: Actress and dancer Lakshmi Gopalaswamy at a press conference on the eve of the 13th Jewels of India show in Bangalore on Wednesday (Karnataka Photo News)


Also read: Surely, all that glitters is indeed gold?

Don’t ask us what it is, but it sure costs a bomb

Has Akshaya Thrithiya become a major scam?

Amazon kindles a fire in a small Apple harem

2 October 2011

SHASHIKIRAN MULLUR writes from Bangalore: Big people are saying that the unimpeded march of the iPad has finally been met by able competition. “The march has met its match,” they assure.

I’ve been cheering the progress of all things Apple, and only Apple, but this pause in a major Apple affair has warmed me. May the best tablet win, and may the winner match my measure, too.

A few weeks ago I put my 13” Macbook Air on the shelf and began to cuddle up with the petite 11”, the custom model.

She is said to be slower than my last love, but she doesn’t show it. She should have some less resolution but I can’t see it—the infallible ingredient of the perfect affair, the blindness of true love.

Our embrace is yet unbroken, and my ardour exceeds my expectations of my 52-year-old self. In this state of affairs, not merely is my 13” jilted; uncared for and untouched hours sometimes is my iPad 2, who stands pouting in the dark inside my bag.

She doesn’t deserve this: There is none yet to beat her allure, and there is not one on whom my magazines show as they do as they unfurl on her: The Economist, Time, NY Times, Esquire and, most of all, Popular Science.

Sometimes I ask her to wear a surprise, like the Lufthansa in-flight magazine, and in the last two issues there burst forth from her the colors of Patagonia and the bubble of Buenos Aires.

How she sizzled!

But, alas! I cannot read a book on the beauty, and I cannot write for long on her. The feast of her colours and her blinding radiance mean that we engage in intense spells that are not so long as a book demands, or the time you usually give to tap and re-tap and tap again 500 words that satisfy you.

No, a book and a long joust of writing ask for a companion who is gray, sober. For me, writing happens on the 11”, and I read books on the somewhat stout Kindle, who, when not in my hands, leans on the taller iPad in my bag.

I should be happy with my small harem, but my eye hasn’t stopped roving, and it is caught now by the brand new Kindle Fire.

Are the big people right?

Could she be the one?

The one love who is more than my last and all my lost loves? Can I enjoy Outlook India, the short office document, and also War & Peace and Crime & Punishment on her?

And, O yes, how good is the surfing experience?

I cannot tell for some time. I have been an ardent Apple fellow, but Apple’s favours come slow to India. And Amazon’s Kindle came to India after two models had been used and discarded in America.

The Kindle Fire arrives November, first for America, and Amazon’s site does not say which model of her they will send here, and when.

Until then, I will read of her with the promising name, and ask regarding her secrets, and steal looks of her in the hands of others, with some doubt and also with much hope, because even if she will eventually not stand up to the iPad she is certainly almost as photogenic.

There have been times in my life, like in the days and nights of my youth, when I have been more than happy with just a picture.

Also read: It isn’t so easy to woo an iPhone4 user, sister

Adolf Hitler and the rise and fall of iPad

An Apple a day keeps Steve Jobs away from us

What if Microsoft, not Apple, had made iPod

11 similarities betwen Apple and Rajnikant

Naada habba with an eye on the North and West

28 September 2011

The 401st Dasara is upon us. On the first day of the nine nights, U.B.Vasudev in Tampa, Florida, forwards a panoramic picture of the main Amba Vilas palace in Mysore, the cynosure of all eyes, all lit up.

This picture, as viewed from the Jayamarthanda gate, overlooking the Doddakere maidan and Chamundi Hills, has been stitched together using four different frames captured by Vasudev in March 2010.

This is how it looks during the day, without lights.

Especially for some of us who grew up in the erstwhile Royal Mysore, this time of the year is very nostalgic. It would have been nice if Mysore Dasara was what it used to be,” writes Vasudev.

The palace, which turns 100 in 2012, is also the star of Karnataka tourism’s print advertising campaign this year, hammering home the point that the Mysore palace attracts more visitors than Buckingham Palace.

A few years ago, the palace attracted more visitors than the Taj Mahal.


Vasudev also forwards a YouTube video of the anthem of Mysore composed by the late Basappa Shastry.


Also read: Dasara in punya bhoomi vs Dasara in karma bhoomi

On the morning of the first day of the nine nights

What is so famous about “world-famous” Mysore Dasara?

All that glitters is gold for the next ten days

My daddy, His Highness, the Maharaja of Mysore

Once upon a time, this day, another age

In the nervous 90s, stitching up some old memories

Because action speaks louder than words?

3 August 2011

Never believe anything until it is officially denied,” is an old, if cynical, saying.

So, the media reported yesterday that B.S. Yediyurappa broke Venkaiah Naidu‘s laptop computer after he was asked to step down as Karnataka’s chief minister by the BJP parliamentary board, and that he slapped a BJP minister (from north Karnataka) who has been one of his closest buddies who woke up him with bad news.

Naturally, the official denials were quick in coming.

The dhoti-wearing Naidu clarified he did not carry a laptop, although it could well have been a laptop placed in front of him. And although several newspapers carried the story, The Times of India, which frontpaged it has clarified it was sourced from two anonymous BJP insiders.

Now, as it to put an official stamp on the incident, Amul even has an ad.

Keep quiet… Mr Naidu, you are an RS member from Karnataka. Tell me, how many times have you visited the state and spoken to the MLAs and MLCs who got you here. You know nothing about Karnataka.”

Why bother since it’s about soda and water?

18 July 2011

The start of a big series is three days away; the 100th ever encounter between the Coloniser and the Colonised. But guess what India’s skipper and his premier spin bowler are squabbling about as they prepare to face what seems like the more well-rounded Test team in the world today? McDowell’s No. 1 Platinum and Royal Stag.

Rajiv Gandhi: 69 ads over 41 pages in 12 papers

21 May 2011

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: On the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi‘s 20th death anniversary today, different ministries of the Congress-led UPA government are falling over each other to demonstrate that the “collective flame of political sycophancy” continues to burn brightly and shamelessly.

While Rajiv Gandhi’s widow Sonia Gandhi and their son Rahul Gandhi talk of “austerity” when it suits them, nearly a dozen Union ministries and a couple of State governments have released tens of ads through the government-controlled Department of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP) to remind Indians that such a man as he walked this earth.

In eleven English news and business papers published out of New Delhi, there were 65 advertisements amounting to 38¼ pages, glorifying The Great Leader, without whom India wouldn’t have entered the 21st century.

Hindustan Times: 24-page issue; 9 RG ads amounting to 5¼ broadsheet pages

The Times of India: 32-page issue; 10 ads amounting to 6 broadsheet pages

Indian Express: 28-page issue; 10 ads amounting to 5 broadsheet pages

Mail Today (compact): 42-page issue; 8 ads amounting to 7 compact pages

The Hindu: 22-page issue; 6 ads amounting to 3½ broadsheet pages

The Pioneer: 16-page issue; 7 ads amounting to 3½ broadsheet pages

The Statesman: 16-page isuse; 4 ads amounting to 2½ broadsheet pages


The Economic Times: 16-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1¼ broadsheet pages

Business Standard: 14-page issue; 4 ads amouning to 1¾ broadsheet pages

Financial Express: 24-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1½ broadsheet pages

Mint (Berliner): 12-page issue; 1 ad amounting to one compact page

Among the departments and ministries seeking to remind the nation of Rajiv Gandhi’s magical powers are the department of information and publicity; the ministries of commerce and industry, tourism, human resource development, social justice & empowerment, power, micro small and medium industries, information and broadcasting, steel; the state governments of Haryana and Rajasthan; and Rajiv Gandhi centre for biotechnology.

Last year, on the 19th death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, the historian Ramachandra Guha wrote in an edit-page article in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that on May 21, 2010, perhaps Rs 60 or 70 crore were spent by the taxpayer — without his and her consent — on praising Rajiv Gandhi. Since the practice has been in place since 2005, the aggregate expenditure to date on this account is probably in excess of Rs 300 crore.”

On his birthday in August last year, The Telegraph reported that “Union ministries released more ads on Rajiv Gandhi’s birthday today than on the anniversaries of the rest of India’s Prime Ministers put together in the past one year, Press Information Bureau sources said.”

For the record, The Telegraph received four ads amounting to 2½ pages this year.

Should M.S. Dhoni be endorsing liquor products?

6 May 2011

Long years ago, shortly after India had won the World Cup for the first time, Kapil Dev promoted soft drinks. “Lucky consumers” who landed the right kind of bottle crowns had a chance to meet and greet the captain of the 1983 team. Why, he would even come home and drink a bottle or two with you.

India has won cricket’s quadrennial showpiece in circa 2011 once again, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, perhaps in the spirit of the times is,  well, promoting McDowell’s  VSOP brandy. Winners in this case (pun intended) get a chance to “meet and greet Dhoni“, the captain of the victorious team.

Little wonder, “conservative” Madras is all het up at the sight of the Chennai Super King promoting a liquor brand in hoardings, ads and other promotional material. An NGO has even taken out a protest march. The former Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss has piped in.

“It is disturbing to note that your participation in surrogate liquor advertisements ruins the lives of the millions of Indian youth. I hereby request you to reconsider this and withdraw from these ads and thereby save millions of Indian youth,” Ramadoss writes in a letter to Dhoni.

The questions are obvious: Should sportspersons in general and cricketers in particular be endorsing alcohol-related products and events? Is surrogate advertising by liquor companies going out of control in cricket (Kingfisher is associated with almost every IPL team in one way or the other, besides owning a team named after Royal Challenge)?

And, above all, is there no end to the greed of cricketers like Dhoni? Is he ignorant about his influence on the young, or is “Captain Cool” just too chilled out for our comfort? If Pullela Gopichand could reject a fat cheque from the soft drink majors, which the likes of Sachin Tendulkar couldn’t resist, why is it so impossible for Dhoni?

Or, thambi, are we getting too squeamish about all this?


Also read: Since Kingfisher airlines is only to promote water?

CHURUMURI POLL: Twenty20 to promote 60-30?

RAMACHANDRA GUHA: Cricket’s cheap tricks, lingering hangovers

All the news fit to print; all the booze fit to air?

Yella OK, andru Kingfisher police station yaake?

When the boys are imported, why not girls too?

6 April 2011

When the “good doctor from the University of Southern California University” outsourced a cheer leading squad from the Washington Redskins for the first edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the hope was the usual entrepreneurial one. That in the months and years ahead, the pom-pom weilders would be indigenised.

But IPL-4 is around the corner, and it turns out, the desi dhamaakas are still not upto it. Result: supporters of Royal Challengers Bangalore, will have to make do with mischief makers from South Africa, who showed their wares to the pop of the flashbulbs, at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Photographs: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: Vijay Mallya‘s RCB: Desi or IMFL?

The girls promise mischief. Are the boys upto it?

Bangalore boys get a thumbs up from global girls

CHURUMURI POLL: Are T20 cheer girls obscene?

CHURUMURI POLL: Should cheer girls be banned?

Bowling around the wicket from over the wicket

2 April 2011

Cricketers turned commentators, especially the Indian ones, are rarely renowning for turning their phrases. The former all-rounder turned politician, Kirti Azad, bowled a lovely doosra last night, describing Lasith Malinga‘s freaky slingshot action thus: “He bowls around the wicket from over the wicket.”

Kamalapura 3. Hampi 4. Vijaya Vittala Temple 9.

17 March 2011

A 14th century empire as as seen by 21st century backpackers, Varun Shashi Rao and Ranjan Bhowmick, in a new television commercial for Karnataka Tourism.

External reading: How the commercial was made

Also read: How ‘Papa’ Wakefield brought Darwin to Kabini

Like, how you scoop a saree is how you score?

28 February 2011

In which the Sri Lankan all-rounder Tilakaratne Dilshan‘s famous Dilscoop™ turns into a Pallu Scoop at the expert hands of the actor Anjala Zaveri.

The most idiotic commercial of the year (so far)?

22 February 2011

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes:  Much of television is generally mind-numbing, but the latest TV commercial for the TVS two-wheeler, Wego, insults your intelligence like nothing else.

When accidents are spiralling out of control, when we are facing a spurt of head injuries and teenage deaths, when traffic police and NGOs are exercised over how to curb all this without playing spoilsport, here comes a TVC which shows teenage girls new ways of embracing death—by doing acrobatics on a pillion- ride on a scooter.

Obviously, the commercial comes with the standard disclaimer, usually glossed over by idiot box watchers, that the ad is performed by professionals and is not to be tried at home.

Still, what is the message that the commercial sends out to its target group, young men and their impressionable girlfriends, a daughter to some, a sister to somebody else?

That trying out such stunts is hep?

That such callisthenics “rock”?

That putting your life on the line to show your love is “fun”?

Does T.V. Sundaram Iyengar & Sons—a solid, “conservative”, family-run company that prides itself on its values and ethics—have no qualms of what such advertising could be doing to young minds, if not in urban centres at least in the small towns and villages, where too such commercials are received?

Has TVS heard of “peer pressure”? Or hasn’t it?

When will we ever learn that there is no need for bravado on the streets? Safety should be the criterion. As it is, our terrible roads, insufficient lights, monster vehicles, maniacal drivers—and mobile phones—play a daily of dance with our young ones. take enough lives.

TVS takes it to a new height. Or is it depth?

I know I can write to the advertising standards council of India (ASCI) and complain, but does TVS really require a fiat from the industry body to react?

Dancing tips for the batting nawab of Najafgarh

21 February 2011

How to play the upper cut?

Virender Sehwag receives a four-step recipe from Ranbir Kapoor in the latest Pepsi TV commercial:

Upar se aane ka,

Neeche dabaane ka,

Peeche uthaane ka,

Haaa, haaa, haaa!


One of the great charms of cricket is its anecdotes and surely Virender Sehwag, an icon of batting at its simplest, features in one of the greatest?

Playing for Leicestershire against Middlesex, Sehwag found Abdul Razzaq revere-swining the ball alarmingly. He called his batting partner Jeremy Snape and said he had a plan.

“We must lose this ball,” Sehwag said matter of factly.

Next ball, Viru smashed the ball clean out of the ground. The ball was lost. The replacement ball would, obviously, not reverse right away.

“We’re all right for one hour,” he told the non-striker, who told Warne.

Also read: Water melons, threshers and the World Cup

Nothing official about it yaar, kee farak painda?

Yum Ess Dee has the bat. Do you have the balls?

If pesticides in Pepsi can piss you off, how come…?

Pepsi chief Indra Nooyi‘s Mysore connection

Nossa krishns é agora um dos desenhos animados

16 February 2011


Três dias após a leitura de um discurso feito para o ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros português, o nosso Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna torna-se um ajuste de caracteres para os desenhos animados. Amul cortesia dos desenhos animados.

Water melons, threshers and the World Cup

8 February 2011

“An Indian game accidentally discovered by the English,” was what the sociologist Ashis Nandy called cricket 20 years ago in his labour of love, The Tao of Cricket.

Pepsi takes the provocative hypothesis to its logical conclusion through its World Cup commercials explaining the trademark shots of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kevin Pietersen.

Also read: Nothing official about it yaar, kee farak painda?

Yum Ess Dee has the bat. Do you have the balls?

If pesticides in Pepsi can piss you off, how come…?

Pepsi chief Indra Nooyi‘s Mysore connection

You are almost tempted to say ‘Intel Inside’ but…

1 February 2011

You are almost tempted to say ‘Intel Inside’, but then you realise that the thinking man’s sex symbol, former Miss India and actor Gul Panag, who thankfully turned 30 recently, is actually pimping a microchip made by its arch-rival, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Just one more in our continuing series on the commodification of women, not that we mind.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News


Also view: One more example of commodification of women

Another example of commodification of women

Another example of commodification of examinations

Like, bombers get scared looking at bombshells?

Now, what will those fools do with these kids?

Surely all that glitters is more than just gold

The best ice-candy melts before nice eye-candy

What it takes to smoothen some rough blades of grass

Denims, diamonds, Miss India and the Mahatma

See, a brand ambassador always gets good press

Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear

Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear

3 January 2011

If Ramya Krishnan can be the brand ambassador for a “wet grinder”, why can’t a “face” promote products made by the sweat and toil of faceless artisans, commodification of women be damned?

That’s what the actress Roopashree does at an exhibition organised by the Karnataka state handicrafts development corporation, in Bangalore on Monday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News


Also view: One more example of commodification of women

Another example of commodification of women

Another example of commodification of examinations

Like, bombers get scared looking at bombshells?

Now, what will those fools do with these kids?

Surely all that glitters is more than just gold

The best ice-candy melts before nice eye-candy

What it takes to smoothen some rough blades of grass

Denims, diamonds, Miss India and the Mahatma

See, a brand ambassador always gets good press

What an idea sirji, to kill papers and magazines

7 January 2010

Idea, the cellular phone company owned by the Aditya Birla group, unveils its latest television commercial envisaging a paperless age.


Can you imagine a life without hard copy newspapers and magazines which you can touch and feel? Can you get all your news and views, pictures, maps and cartoons from a cellphone?

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Will you buy a paper for Rs 7?

Radio Mirchi can’t play a cross-border farmaish?

6 January 2010

Also read: Can newspapers bring peace between India, Pak?

Don’t blame the boys for lack of preparation

29 September 2009

If Australia beats Pakistan, India is out of the Champions Trophy. If Pakistan beats Australia by a slender margin, India has to beat West Indies by a huge margin. If Pakistan beats Australia by a huge margin, India has to beat West Indies albeit by a lesser huge margin.

All very confusing? Not if you drink Pepsi—as Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ishant Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Praveen Kumar and Robin Uthappa do. Not even this advance, under-water preparation was enough to prepare them for the ravages of a rained-out match against the Aussies last night.

Bookmark Uthappa’s classic line at the end.