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    Volume 9 Issue 16| April 16, 2010|

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Advertisement is not only good for business


Of all the ads I have seen on mobile telephone sets, and there are ten per minute on any channel, the best was the one in the Hindi fillum, Nayak. Now you have to be a pretty good researcher if you want to get the best in life and that is why I stayed unmoving from the channel featuring the movie the other evening. I was also alone in the house. In the picture, that is another name for a film, Rani Mukherjee's dad snatches the mobile from her as it was ringing and throws it into a burning fireplace. Of course he was angry. Moist-eyed Rani rushes to the fire, picks up the molten mobile from inside the now even more furiously burning fire, and with her petite palms (that's how they looked on TV) she doused the fire on the mobile and held it to her bosom. Well, it was a little higher but then it does not sound filmy otherwise. But the greatest part in the ad was the fact that the mobile kept on ringing throughout, inside the fire, molten, and outside. Now if that is not a solid mobile set, which is? Unfortunately, I could not get the name of the company because that had melted. I believe they could call it Prem-kia, or Rani-sung, or Moltenrola.

My greatest setback of that evening is that I never found out who the caller was. You see I picked up the ad in the middle of it. The way she was sobbing though when she got it back looked like it was from the income tax people. So, should not she have been happy to let it burn away? Aa-ha! There is twist here. Rani being a good citizen and an unusual film actress had actually paid her tax for the year, but the IT people lost her file. Boo hoooo! So, why would Rani's pita put the mobile in the fire? There is a further twist in the story. He was not Rani's dad. That is one option. The other is he was the IT guy dressed as her dad. There are all sorts of possibilities in a Hindi movie, and that's another name for picture. To sum it up, I think you and I shall be seeing two different Nayaks. For decency's sake, we should.

The problem with ads is that we often misuse the trust that the public has in a recorded or a written statement. Take for example the university teacher who put up in the front of his car the notice in big black fonts: On Emergency Teaching Duty. It actually helps him get help from the traffic police, who believe he is some important person; otherwise why should he block half his car's window? So they stop all other vehicles, including the truck carrying perishable Hilsa for the Boisakhi festival. But the teacher's crisis car is not the only one the duty-bound deshopremik police have to ferry across the mayhem that is the order on our city roads because there is the car sporting the notice: Newspaper Reader, followed by another which says: On Important Private Duty. And, therefore ladies and gentlemen, the ever-rising traffic jams on our streets. You see you have to be a good researcher to gather the essence of a problem.

Before I conclude I must make a mention of Naba Barsha greetings, or of Eid or New Year's, from people you do not know, or from companies you have never heard of. You wrongly assume that that is all but advertisement. Your name and address, often a photocopy, is pasted on the envelope containing a pretty card. You ignore it obviously and trash it. But be careful, it could be from someone trying to woo you into a new relationship, as if you did not have enough relatives already, but that is a different issue. If you are looking for a new long-standing meaningful bondage with your kind then perhaps a good place to start is your festival mail from the unknown, for therein lies the 'known' of your future. So, when you think a card is peddling a golden necklace that royalty wore or a new apartment in Cox's Bazaar, it could in fact be a paramour offering you that as starters. The best is yet to come. You see you have to be a good researcher to get to the bottom of things, which is exactly what I have done, as I am almost at the end of my usual space on the page.

Why was that car in the traffic jam displaying the notice: Newspaper Reader? Oh that. That is just the car-owner's reaction to vehicles which say Sangabadik, Press, or Sangbadpatra. Where would the media be without the reader or the viewer?
Have a great Bangla 1417!


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