Friday, January 28, 2011

An Ad In Extreme Bad Taste - Bajaj DTSI 150

Recently I was surfing the channel and came across a new ad. It showed two young boys, I would say they would be in the age group 5-7, maximum 08 years. As my little daughter was sitting with me I did not switch the channel – she felt something was coming up for kids and so did I.

The two boys, dressed in school uniforms, came and sat on two motorcycles and started playing a game – that they were riding the bikes. It was all make-believe of course. The first boy (who was sitting on the bike that made the ad) mentions something about his motorcycle and the second boy makes a face, saying his bike does not have that particular feature. The first boy again says something about his bike and the second boy replies that his bike does not have that feature either. This goes on for some time, the first boy voicing the features of the bike and the second boy categorically saying that his bike does not have any of these wonderful features. Then a girl, of their age, comes dressed in school uniform, and the second boy asks if she wants a lift. The girl happily agrees and sits with the first boy. At that moment, the second boy’s father comes out. The second boy jumps down from the bike and says “Main nahi jaaonga iss boring bike pe” – I will not go on this boring bike!!!!

The culprits: BAJAJ DISCOVER 150
Sensibility towards audience: NONE
Social responsibility: NONE

As a brand that talks of family values (they have been using the family theme in most of their ads) it was extremely disappointing to see that BAJAJ would stoop down to something like this. A 07-year-old telling his father that he will not sit on his father’s bike because he finds it too what does BAJAJ recommend? That the father get a new bike just because his son feels it is not upto status, that the boy in the BAJAJ Discover 150 Bike has a better social ranking and he will lack behind as he does not have that bike? The only reason to bring in the girl and show that she goes with the boy in the BAJAJ bike is to humiliate the other child – if you do not own this bike you do not have any social standing, that you are an embarrassment and one would feel ashamed to go out with such a person??!!!!!

Did BAJAJ really think no one would take offence? As a brand that has been around for quite some time now, the basic minimum that BAJAJ could do is to make an ad that has some sense and responsibility in it....not a brand that has to show down another model in order to make itself look better. It is a shame that such ads are being made with our little ones and targeted at them – of course an ad that has a little one in it would draw the attention of the little ones. It’s a shame, that’s all......and the only good deed Bajaj could do now is to pull this disgusting ad off the air, if there is some little bit of shame and responsibility left in the Bajaj brand that is.....

There are many other ways to show the merits of brand....employing little ones and making such unwanted remarks like ‘I don’t want to sit on your boring bike” may boost your sale....but will it increase your repute too? I seriously don’t think so......

And like I always say and believe in:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ

Happy Parenting!!!!

Debolina Raja Gupta

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When You See Your Work In Your Toddler's Tears...

The last few weeks were hectic. With the launch of your magazine round the corner, the work is sure to go up fast fast fast. And there are so many things you need to finish just RIGHT NOW....nothing can be left to tomorrow, or even to 'after some time' it seems.

All of my work days have a set pattern. I wake up most days and wake up my little angel. Get her ready for school (of course the usual cajoling and running around the house to make her finish that glass of milk and to tear her away from that morning cartoon show she loves to catch for ten minutes before I whisk her away in my arms to the school bus). Tell her she needs to finish her lunch and have lots of fun as well.

I stay at the gate till I can see my daughter's image turn into a small dot, till I can no longer see those tiny ponytails or see the wave of her hand as she waves me goodbye and blows kisses at me. And the moment the bus is out of sight, I dash. The moment my baby is off to school, my mommy mode gives way to the work mode.

I got a call this week from her school. From her teacher. That my baby was being extremely fussy and touchy about things and that she was crying a lot. That she suddenly was craving for more attention and assurance, that she was not ready to part with any of her things even for a second.

As hubby and I sat with the teacher, we knew what was going on. It was my work, that work that I was consciously taking care to not interfere with her world, but that did manage to get into her little world by bits and pieces. And now I could see my work in those little, yet so-difficult-to-look-at tears that rolled down those cheeks and straightaway pierced my heart. I knew I had to get this sorted.

I tell parents all the time to not go on a guilt trip, but to be honest, of course I went on a guilt-trip immediately. For, all of her actions were screaming out only one thing, that somehow, she felt she was not the main focus of my world anymore, that there were more important things in mommy's life now......

Every parent who goes back to work feels this way, isnt it? You really can't blame yourself. We all take the utmost care to make it clear to our little ones that they are our top and only priority, rest all will follow....but they do pick up things...

After a lot of brooding and sitting going over the events of the past, I jotted down a few signals that I realised were signals that my work was affecting my daughter and that I needed to take a different approach:
Signal #1:
My daughter hates my laptop, I know that for a fact. She knows it is that one thing that can for sure keep mamma away from her for a long time. So whenever she wants to plan something naughty, something that is forbidden, she asks me to work on my laptop.
Signal #2: Whenever anyone tells her they need to speak to her mum, she replies that her mamma is very busy
Signal #3: My daughter has become extremely touchy of late. No matter what the issue or what we say, almost anything and everything reduces her to tears these days.
Signal #4: Mood swings are a regular part of our family now. One moment she is extremely sweet and friendly, the next she does not want to talk or play at all.
Signal #5: Refusal to mix with other and only cling to mamma. She refuses to go and play with friends, and even when she does, she wants me to be always present in front of her eyes, to be near her so that I can either hold her hand or she can come over to me and I can give her a hug.

There are many more signs I realised I was too busy to notice of late. Babies have a different way of communicating than us grown-ups. They cannot voice their hurt or tears in so many words, so all that is bound to come out some way or the other. And in most cases involving toddlers, the tears and the tantrums are signal enough that the parents need to sit down and take a look at what could be going wrong. It may be tough to handle your child in such times, and of course you may get frustrated, but scolding or ignoring your child will only make the situation worse, and in graver scenarios, can seriously harm your baby's self-confidence. In my case, I have figured out the changes I am going to make in my work and lifestyle. We were always giving her our 100% love and attention - now we will make it to 200%. And we are making sure that we will reinforce and make her realise each day that work, and everything else, is unimportant (as compared to her and the time we spend with her).....Of course work is important, we need her to understand that sometimes mamma and papa can be busy with some very important work, but otherwise, she will be sure that she is all our world and all that we need from this world.....

And like I always believe in and say:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ

Happy Parenting!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Perfect Pout

So our Bollywood divas and directors and screen stars were under the impression they had mastered the much sought-out ‘perfect pout’……well, they have basked in that myth for long….now its time to make way for…………....The three-and-other-tiny-year-olds of the world…………………
A big applause ladies and gentlemen for our band of babies….yes, babies is still the term we adults have specified for them, though I am sure pretty soon this will change too…..a baby who makes a perfect adult go nuts like the biggest nut of ‘em all? And again, the same baby who can bring a perfectly serious and no-nonsense adult down to his/her knees, and reduce a macho adult to tears…..well, if we still call a being possessing such super-powers as ‘baby’, we are surely missing something!!!!!

I have been silently (and of course sometimes shrieking and pulling off my hair and going nuts and behaving zonkers) observing the doings of my little girl for the past three years…you see, that was the time she decided to bless us by choosing to be a part of our lives and giving me this yet-unknown opportunity of looking inside the life of a ‘baby’……much has changed since that first second she came out into this world and the first moment I held her to my heart and felt myself live all over again, while she looked at me with a wink!!!!what!!!...I was under the na├»ve impression that babies, when born, have their eyes closed…so you can imagine how it was for me when my tiny bundle looked up at me with a wink…and I am sure there were the beginnings of a smile at the corners of those amazingly pink lines that were her lips…..

Now, coming back to the pout-factor…here goes:

I want cake (at dinner time)…, not at dinner time, you can have it tomorrow…. POUT
I want only one piece…….okay, finish your dinner and have a piece…..POUT
I want now……okay okay, just a small piece then……POUT
I want big piece….
Don’t tell me you were going to ask me what happened next???!!!!!

I don’t want to sleep….POUT
I want pink milk……POUT
Mamma is not playing with me…..POUT
Papa is not letting me do A B C on his laptop…..POUT
Mickey Mouse is not coming to me (her toy mickey had fallen off the bed and she asked it to come back to her….mickey mouse come up come to navya and play…she was 2 years then)…POUT
Phone is not coming back from bye-bye (after she threw my phone from the 23rd-floor to make it go bye-bye)…..POUT...scuse me...I thought I was supposed to pout was my phone that went bye-bye forever...remember?!!
Sun is not singing poem (at 2 years..she was calling out to the sun and asking it to sing Jack n Jill)…POUT
Moon phat gaya (moon is torn)…POUT
I want to eat spicy….POUT
I don’t want to eat spicy (after she gets a taste of what spicy is)…POUT
I am not a small baby I am big baby (on being said she is small)……..POUT
I am small baby I want godi (pick me up)……POUT
I want to sleep only with papa today…..POUT…..why is mamma not sleeping with me?.....POUT
Papa go to the other room…POUT…..papa has gone out….POUT

I know…sounds pretty confusing….same here…the pout rules are still quite unclear to me…though I am trying to decode this baby-world of pouts…..I am sure I won’t be able to do it sometime soon…so you really have to wait and wait and wait…POUT

And in the meanwhile if you happen to make any headway into this mystery…please do not let me know, I would rather figure out for myself ;)

And like I always say and believe in:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ

Happy Parenting!!!!


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