TV commercials and Some Entangled Memories of My Childhood

Every decade in human history is special and every decade has something to add in the constant building of human civilization. Our fashion, our style, our hobbies, our attitude, everything is different in every decade. For example, the kids born in The nineties can understand the relation between a pen/pencil and an audio cassette but a kid born in 2000 would indulge in the frenzy of I-pads.


I was born in the 1980s. Now, that was a decade of some spectacular changes. It was ahead of the days infested with terms like globalization, cable TV, liberalization, personal computers and of course TV commercials. It was that decade when color TVs were introduced in India. My family was one of the luckiest families who got to buy a color TV (By the way, the TV set was so good that it was in order for almost twenty years!!). It was the decade when Ramayana and Mahabharata made sure that you won’t find a single person out in the street if that vicinity has even a single TV. I still vaguely remember the Sundays when almost all people from our neighborhood gathered in our home to watch the Mahabharata serial. It was the decade when gradually TV commercials began to dominate our imagination. Then the liberal Nineties came followed by DD-Metro and other cable TV channels. With new beginnings, there came a flood of TV commercials. I still remember Doordarshan started to show TV commercials for a long stretch before the Saturday movie in the evening. Gradually, the commercial interval managed to take place in the middle of the movie. And finally, we reached the phase when to watch a 30-minute program on the TV; you have to endure 20 minutes of advertisement. Well, it is the change of the time.

But to be frank, as a child, I loved to watch TV commercials. Though sometimes, they can get on my nerves, but they never failed to mesmerize me with their creativity. The one TV advertisement, I think we all adore till now (And missed too) is the Magi noodles’ commercial. I mean, who has not sung the jingle, “Khele jab antakshari/ maggi, magi gaye sabhi/ magi se hi bhukh mitte/ bas magi, magi, magi” or “Bas! Do minute!!” while cooking the noodles. There is another commercial of some refined oil, where a boy did somersault around some puffed puri. I always tried to enact that when Ma used to make puris. (Yes, I was that thrilled by the add) Do you guys remember that Vics Action-500 tablets’ add? “Sardard? ha!  Naak bhi bandh?? ha!! Badan dard??? ha bhai ha!!!” were the dialogues of that particular add. Every time somebody was ill at home, I used to ask them all those questions :). It was different that I never got the desired answer (ha bhai ha!!) but it was worth trying. And the most special add during my childhood… “Jalebi?” by that cutest boy of the Dhara oil. All these commercials have some special memories during my childhood. Whenever we cousins played Ghar Ghar, we used to pretend going market and the shopkeeper would tell, “Deepikaji, liziye aapka sab saman taiyaar!!” and we would tell, “Yeh, nahi woh… Nirma detergent aur tikiya!” It is really amazing how some memories are so much entangled with TV commercials. Though Shaktimaan taught us that everything that glitters is not gold but our innocent minds get the fuel of imagining a different world with those commercials. They taught us to wash our hands with dettol and lifebuoy, in early stage of teen age, they let us know that there is a thing called safi that prevents pimple (no matter how odd it tastes, we tried!!), they taught us to play, explore, enjoy because every stain in your clothes, there is surf, nirma or fena.

As we reached new stages of life, TV ads have also evolved. There are some fantastic commercials by Bourn vita, Tanishq and others. I am sure, somewhere, someone is brewing memories with those ads just like you and me.


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