The One Where Gandhiji Turned In His Grave

Children have a way of embarrassing their parents. It’s just one of the many adorable services they offer. As a child, I also had my own way of embarrassing my parents. And it all began with a certain catchy jingle on television!

When I was three, there was no cable television; there was just Doordarshan (for those who don’t know or can’t remember or simply don’t switch channels when the cable dies – that’s this ancient TV channel where every show was preceded by a sad soundtrack and a montage of the Doordarshan logo being formed like dosa batter being poured onto the tawa (every show, except the news, which had a surprisingly upbeat and sinister soundtrack!)). While my parents watched the shows in the evening, like the rest of country, in an era with no Twitter, I sat with them for the adverts! I loved them, and I loved everything about them! The jingles were way catchier than anything I had heard so far (I had not yet been told that Jack and Jill fell off a hill and died). Which is why one day when my mom’s closest buddies said, “Sing for us, beta,” this happened: Mala-D Mala-D lalallalalallalala.
I can only imagine how mortified my mother might have been in front of her friends! As much-needed damage control, my mother taught me nursery rhymes, and the jingle from a lozenge ad (might have been Vicks). So like, every other Indian kid ever, I sang those to entertain my mother’s friends (unpaid child labor, I tell you!)

Anyway, so apart from displaying my (now-failing) amazing memory to you, I have also shown you how much I love and observe ads. A bad ad always gets to me, even today (I mean, seriously, WTF is a “washing machine scientist”!). Don’t even get me started on IIN, cos technically, more than the ads, it’s the idea that’s bad (woah, that pun was totally unintended, I swear!)

Funnily enough, a bad ad gets talked about way more than a good one. Once, while we were in school and learning about Gandhiji’s Dandi march and all that, this beautiful brand decided to give us shit with a pinch of salt. There was a new salt brand in the market and they decided to show us their entire salt-ing process in their advert.

This was, hold your breath: DANDI NAMAK!

They had an ad so long that it seemed to last for eternity while time stood still and you forgot to breathe because oxygen supply seemed so limited cos the atmosphere is just so filled with pollutants and other microorganisms that you –

Yeah, kinda like that.

Seriously, they just rambled, and showed us a lot of machines and… and I don’t know why the hell I still remember this, but like I said – bad is always more talked about than good. For days, this ad is all we talked about – at school, amongst cousins… I think my grandmother even made a bedtime story out of it (which was still shorter than the ad)!

I tried to search for ad on YouTube, but you guys are just lucky; I could not find it. I even searched for “Dandi Namak bloody long advert”; no luck. But imagine this ad playing before the video you actually want to watch on YouTube, and imagine there’s no Skip Ad button. Yeah, that was life before YouTube. We belong to a generation where we don’t spend 30 seconds on an ad on YouTube, and the 5 seconds before the Skip Ad button appears are excruciatingly long. When the Dandi Namak ad aired, we were that generation – in-the-making.

The ad made some comment about drinking less tea and paying for dandi namak instead (again – why do I remember these painful details!) I agree, namak is important. A gravy without namak is so bad that even the lovers of continental food wouldn’t look twice at it. But do you know what all recipes say about salt? Add Salt – To taste.

This ad turned out way too salty.

PS: I don’t remember this correctly, but I think this ad had Aman Verma in it. He later went on to barge into clean people’s toilets in Harpic ads.

I am joining in on all the Pepsi IPL action in my own style with the #CrashThePepsiIPL activity at BlogAdda.” (and I had fun writing this post)!
This Pepsi IPL, it’s not just about cricket. It’s time to crash with your own ad! Make your own Pepsi ad & if it’s chosen, it could play on TV during Pepsi IPL! And hey, it doesn’t end there… Even if you’re chosen as a finalist, you stand a chance of winning a prize amount of Rs.1 lakh! So what are you waiting for?


10 thoughts on “The One Where Gandhiji Turned In His Grave

  1. theteacerebration April 14, 2015 / 10:01 AM

    I really want to watch that to be shocked 😀 Missing those DD days 🙂


  2. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder April 14, 2015 / 10:29 PM

    You really did sing that jingle Mala-D ! ROFL! And, remember those tragic days when some politician died and for a whole long day or two Doordarshan used to play only Sitar/ flute recital… ! 😦


  3. Sreesha Divakaran April 15, 2015 / 5:11 AM

    You would have definitely seen this one! It used to come on all the channels. It aired for like a month or something!


  4. Sreesha Divakaran April 15, 2015 / 5:13 AM

    Bahaha 😀 I was three! It was catchy!
    I know, I remember that!! This one time, for a whole week that's all they played! I mean, a politician dies and we are forced to mourn.. 😐


  5. Keirthana April 15, 2015 / 7:17 AM

    Ha ha ha, that's seriously embarrassing 😀

    And bad adverts? Don't get me started on it. There are a ton of them floating around.


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