Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Art of Reusing

Some of the below mentioned activities are advisable for children, some are not, while some are fine with parental guidance.

Wherever you see or read today, the one word that hits you is REUSE and RECYCLE! Just remembered a few things that we used to reuse as kids. So here goes:

Empty Cigar packs : This was between 1st standard till 3rd standard. Me and my friends dutifully hunted for used cigar packs on the footpaths, roads and near any petty shops. As soon as we got a few, we threw away the torn or soiled ones, while the OK looking ones were wiped and taken into the ‘secret production chamber’, that no parent knew where it existed! The packs were carefully made into a walkie talkie phone, which when you held in your right palm (between the index and thumb fingers facing you), would open up. The main tools used were a strong rubberband and a ball point pen (blue and red) to customise the phone to your requirements!
Any cousin or relative to visit the home would be shown the proud possession! And when they asked to give our phone for them to hold, we wouldn’t let them touch it,and we would run away to our production chamber to make some changes, lest our enemies duplicates the hi-tech phone!
Cycle tyres : Around the same time, it was a pastime to play with thin cycle tyres (Some boys would have small and plumpy scooter tyres, which made a ‘tob-tob- noise when you hit them). Cycle tyres were quite easy to get, as the nearby cycle shop owner would happily get rid of unwanted tyres. When Amma used to send us to buy a soap or when we suddenly found a 25 paise (on the window sill, with which we bought a Double Bubble Gum), we would hit the tyre along side (either with our palms or with a smooth chota stick), and as we turned so would the tyre, which obeyed us only when we had that small stick). As we stood at the shop, we would hang it on to our right shoulder, and would be back home in a jiffy if the house was down the road! Where most of today’s cars are parked on the roads would be our rightful lane to play the Tyre aata!
Magnets and Ball bearings : When with the cycle tyres, I remember collecting a box full of ball bearings (again this came free and easy, as there would be plenty of them lying in and around the cycle shop, some visible, some hidden in the dark soil, some shining, some black and out of shape…)
There was nothing as fascinating as seeing the ball bearings stick on to each other (similar to 3-4 people holding on to each other on a cliff, one holding the other’s leg) when a Magnet made its presence. The ball bearings would wobble when the magnet moved near it. Magnets would suddenly be in so much demand, that the round badge like things that Amma had purchased from 8th cross Rayara Gudi, and pasted on the metal window frame in the kitchen (or later the refrigerator) on which were Krishna, Rama, Raghavendraswamy, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Saraswathi etc. etc. would all be left to pile up on each other in the shelf as the magnet behind them would have been robbed!
Coloured Glass pieces : This was a very short lived hobby. Maybe during 2nd standard till beginning of 3rd standard. When we used to play Mann-aata, we would suddenly get dark brown glass pieces, while digging. While walking to the bus stand with Amma, I would chance upon a yellow shining glass piece. I used to collect these and watch the world through them. Such a surreal feeling!
Film Reel : Lengthy film reels would be thrown on roads, which we would collect and try to see if we could see the characters moving when we moved them really quickly. Negligible movement! Unless I found a reel with Rajkumar in it, I would not bring these into the secret production chamber. And I never found a reel with Rajkumar in it!
Scud Missile : These were clearly during the Gulf war, when I was in 9th standard. All that was required to make the scud missile was a small wooden plank (as big as your palm), 3 small nails, a rubberband and some matchsticks. The 3 nails would be partially hit on the plank to make a triangle. Two nails would be wound by a rubberband. A matchstick would now be placed, ready to be shot. When one of the nails having the rubberband around it would become hot (due to the heat transferred by another matchstick), the scud matchstick would fly into the air, to the enemy’s camp!
Hand made Cork ball : When in 4th standard, me and my friends spent considerable time in the summer trying to make our own cork ball. For this, we would go in search of Gobli mara / Rain tree (Acacia).
Once we collected lots of pods from the tree, we would then climb on to the parapet of my friend’s house to crush the pods (Why there? Who knows!). We would suddenly realise that Oil was missing -  so we would ask our friend Umesh to get some oil really quickly – he would sometimes get cooking oil, sometimes coconut oil. Now the grinding would start until it became a fine paste with a smooth texture. We would then make a ball, pouring oil on our hands and rolling the stuff in our hands in a circular motion. Then, it was the turn to keep the ball for drying on top of our house for a week.
After the exercise, we would wash our hands usually with 501 bar soap (used for washing clothes). However long we washed, the smell of the pods would stay for atleast for a day!
Grandpa’s Walking stick : Every house would have a walking stick -either Thatha’s, or your father’s Kashi Yatre stick, which would suddenly be more important than the cricket bat… because the stick would turn into a hockey stick overnight!
Magnifying glass : Commonly called Lens, we would keep it in our small pockets, take it to school, not to use it for what it is actually meant for, but to burn paper or dry leaves during Lunch break (January till March.) I think this was during 5th standard.
Matchbox : Collecting and sharing different matchbox covers was a hobby between 1st standard and 4th standard. But by 6th standard, only men of steel would learn the trick of using the ‘striking surface’ in various ways. Firstly, we would cut the piece and paste it onto the shoe heel. A match would always be hidden, unknown to the opponent. During a face off, the stick would appear out of no where and be rubbed on to the shoe… the lit matchstick would be put off by blowing it in a very stylish way, with the eyes seeing the opponent and only the lower lip moveing (as close to what we had seen our hero doing in films!)
[Got caught doing this during SUPW class... made to paint 15 more chairs than others as a punishment]
Another use of the matchbox was to put small insects into it and release them in school / classroom!
Peppermint cover : This was one of the earliest tricks that humans learnt. After the chocolate / peppermint is totally chewed and swallowed, the cover would be pulled tightly by both hands and held close to the lips and blown. Beginners would get a ‘tussss’ sound, First graders would get a screeching noise while the Experts would be playing with the whistling sound!
Broom stick : Ramayana made us desperate for bow and arrow. The lucky ones would get a nice and strong stick of an unknown tree which would act as a bow while we (cursed souls) would have to be happy turning a broom stick into a bow and another broomstick for an arrow. Highly dangerous… we never managed to cause any accidents, but always heard someone tell us that some one in Rajajinagar/ Yeshwanthpura / Subramanyanagara lost an eye… we never believed it…but still we were scared of hurting each other!
Edges of the footpath towards the road : This was where we sat after playing cricket, and drank ‘Chombugattle’ water!. We would discuss about the game, rag, tease, eat bubble gum… While playing, if the match was ‘single side fielding’, then the batting side would sit usually on a compound wall behind the batsman (Usually there is one everywhere!).
Empty Bottles : These were used mainly during Deepavali, to light Rockets. In our days, we used to send some horizontally on the roads, what with such less vehicles.
X-Ray sheets : To watch the sun during Grahana, we would hunt for Ajji’s Xray sheet (that she had been given after her recent visit to Jayadeva Hospital near City Market). Once we started asking for the Xray sheet, Ajji would think it was being asked to discuss about her health, and she would quickly and obediently give it, taking it out from the bottom-most part of the ‘kabbinada pettige’, only to be later told that her Xray has become a toy for the young brutes!
Newspapers : Some of us would use newspapers for various things – to bind books, to make kites, hit flies, light the kerosene stove / hande-vole-uri, as a chart sheet to make collage, to fold and keep a piece of the newspaper under the shaking part of the Godrej bureau / shelf / almirah…
Soap cover : After taking out the new soap bar, the cover would be opened and kept under the clothes, for a few days, so that the aroma spread across the clothes.
Dairy Milk Foil : The aluminum foil one found in a Cadbury Dairy Milk, would be neatly kept in a school notebook, after rubbing out any crease on the foil! The metallic sound it made every time we held it was music to my ears. Even today, when I eat a Dairy Milk (which is the BEST chocolate in the world), I cannot forget how many foils I must have preserved in my childhood!
Bangalore Press Calendar : “The empty space behind the Bangalore Press calendar was where we wrote and practiced our tables, handwriting…” father used to tell this. For me, any empty space is worthy only to be drawn. And draw was what I did behind the calendar sheets! (Good, there was no back to back printing then!)
Old socks : This was after we came back from school, and without removing the school uniform. 6th and 7th standard. The tennis, rubber, cork or leather ball we had would be put into the socks and tied to a high beam / grill. Kept hitting the ball with SG bat to get the perfect shot, feet movement and posture!
Used Dalda / Farex Tins :  Rangoli powder in my house, neighbour’s house, or any one’s house would all be kept in either Dalda or Farex tin only! And these tins with Rangoli would be stolen to put the crease on our pitches i.e. my house compound!
Cleaning the comb: Bottom portion of any used Agarbathi would be used to clean the comb. Later on, used and dead toothbrushes would be used to clean the comb. Another typical sight was seeing my opposite house Ajji using a matchstick to clean her ears.
Old Ball point pen: We would love to fix the small pencils to the bottom portion of the ball point pen and write our home work faster than normal. Got a kick out of this simple act!
Winding the Pencil : We would twist and wind the pencil box using a rubberband and a long pencil. When left alone, the pencil would rotate, thus making us feel our pencil box is a helicopter! 3rd standard project.
Another activity was piercing the eraser with the pencil and hitting the table or the friend unecessarily, with our new tool! 1st standard assignment.
Eraser / Rubber as a seal : We would write our initials in reverse on the ‘rubber’ and print it on our text book /note book, hands, thighs, sometimes crazily on our forehead…. thus sealing our fate literally! 2nd standard.
Exam pad : Invariably, every boy’s exam pad (brown color with metallic clip) would be broken in at least one corner. That was because it would be used as a cricket bat after the exam!
Cardboard in the Agarbathi pack: would be used to as a make-believe telescope…which would be used on a hot summer afternoon as we stood in the middle of the road to see if the Joy ice cream gaadi is coming or not! Seeing through it, we always believed ‘objects looked closer than they appeared otherwise’.
Blade and Compass : To make carvings on school furniture (Some of my teachers follow this blog…so no more details)
Tamarind seed : We would have this in our pockets anytime of the day. We would rub it on the wall or the ground and keep it immediately on the cheeks or necks of those who would annoy us.
Notebook Cover : The hardbound covers of our previous year’s notebooks Lekhak, later Vidya Lekhak, would have the pages torn out, and the hard cover would be used as a table tennis bat.
This post has become much much longer than what I actually thought initially. If you’ve read it fully , thanks for getting till here. Hope you have enjoyed this post. Let me know even otherwise.

Bru’s smelling ad in Sunday Times. Did you smell the paper yesterday?

By the way, did you smell the Sunday Times yesterday?
check below":-

Filter Coffee gives Ultimate Kick. (Don’t make an acronym of the capitalised letters!!)

Bru had a half page ad in yesterday’s Sunday Times (only in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi editions). We could actually smell the coffee.  Next to the Bru bottle was the copy “Wake up and smell the coffee”. Being a true scorpion, I had already smelt the paper because the aroma was so strong. (The smell had died down by evening.)

The smell was good. But being a filter coffee loyalist, I pitied the instant coffee lover!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Remember some of those ’80s ads?

Memory is a very tricky thing. We may remember some things and not other, less pleasant experiences. On the one hand, I know that what I remember is not exactly how life was in the past. On the other hand, I cannot doubt the truth of this memory. When we remember nostalgically the past memories, we wish we could relive or return to those good days once again. Compared to our present time, the time in the past seems to us so much freer, more energetic, more affectionate and more perfect. We yearn for those moments but we know they are irrevocable. Nostalgia can only confirm that the separation with something that we value and long for cannot be bridged in our present. It is an unfulfilling longing. We sense the lack. We sense the impossibility of retrieving the lost time. We feel regret.

Nostalgia is more commonly referred to not as a medical condition or a field of study, but as a feeling that any normal person can have. Nostalgia can often be associated with a fond childhood memory, a certain game or a treasured personal object. In the above given link, I have spoken more about my childhood memories. Amongst other things, I have mentioned a few of the ads I saw in the ’80s on television. Recently, I also wrote a couple of posts about the LIRIL girland the 1950s Johnson’s Baby ad. A few comments in the previous post asked me to write more about the old ads that we had seen in our childhood. Hence continuing on ads, I remembered (thanks to Sundar) a few more ads from the ’80s and penned some details, jingles, punchlines and stories related to them. All the readers who have seen these ads might have instant recall, I feel.

FROOTI: To this day, you can hear it on board any train: “Ey, thanda Frooti, cold draaaaaannnnk”. Mango Frooti had an original ad with a jingle that ended, “Mango Frooti, fresh and juicy” Later in the early 90s, this ad was set to the tune of the then-famous “Ice Ice Baby”. 

GLUCON- D: “Glucon-D, yeh jaan mein jaan daal de – peete hi!” variations include: “iske saath ek foot-patti, muft muft muft!” and “Mmm! Santre jaisa mazedaar!”, says the kid who turns into a superhero. One of the ads featureed this superhero stuck in a traffic jam inside a bus. The driver is really tired and they are moving real slow and in jerks. Suddenly, our hero clicks his fingers – Ah, I have an idea! He exits the bus running, and changes into Super Glucon-D boy and gives the driver some Glucon-D. For some reason, this not only refreshes the driver, it also eases traffic flow! Was that a metaphor to say that this drink also has a lot of fiber in it? I used to love Glucon-D. The orange taste was great. Almost as good as Orange Rasna.

TATA NAMAK: “Namak ho Tata ka, Tata namak!” went the jingle.

GAGAN GHEE: “Khao Gagan, raho magan!” went the ad phrase.

WOODWARDS GRIPE WATER: Kid crying. Mom taking care of kid. Grandma walks in. “Kya hua?” “Bachchi ro rahi thi” “Woodwards Gripe Water dede. Tu jab choti thi, tab tujhe yehi diya tha maine”. Gramma’s Mama walks in. “Kya hua?”… and like those Russian stories where the elephant, the chicken, the donkey, the walrus, the hare, the bear, the cossack, the chipmunk and the squirrel slowly add onto the rest of the story just to make it longer, this ad goes from mother to great-great-grandmother. All this to show that WGW has been around since 1919 or something. I remember seeing the Kannada version of this ad too. (“Yenaythu” “magu altha ide” “Woodwards kodu”)

COLGATE TOOTH POWDER: Village setting. Macho fellow is out in the yard, with his weights, in front of a couple of buffaloes.
Macho: Arrey Bhabhi, zara mera doodh-badaam aur koyla dena to!
Bhabhi: Arrey wah, devarji, badan ke liye doodh-badaam, aur daaton ke liye koyla?!
[Scene change, shows graphic of gums and teeth up close]
Voice-over: Khurdare padaarth daaton ki parakh kharaab kar sakte hain…. Isthemal kijiye Colgate Tooth Powder!

PRESTIGE COOKER: The ad featured a wife slaving away in the kitchen while her mother-in-law relaxed in the living room and the hubby was at work (I thought). The wife is really overworked and understandably loses patience and starts throwing kitchenware into the living room, and the other people in the house watch each utensil go over their heads (imagine the spectators watching a game of tennis).
Voice over: Phenk do yeh kadhaai, bekchi, yeh frying pan…Inse nata todo.
(The last sentence is accompanied by a huge vessel landing in the postman’s hands)
(Heaven slowly lowers a Prestige Pressure Cooker into the wife’s hands)
Prestige Pressure Cooker. Fry kare, deep fry kare, chun chun sikaai kare.
Jhat ubaale, pat pressure de [Cue to loud whistle]
Prestige Pressure Cooker. Jo biwi se karein pyaar, woh Prestige se kaise karein inkaar!
A second, very similar (albeit shortened) version of this ad plugged Prestige Pressure Pans instead of Cookers. Replace the word Cooker in the above with Pan, and that’s what it was.

GODREJ SHAVING CREAM: An early-mid 80s ad for Godrej Shaving Cream featured Vivek Vaswani as some sort of nervous reporter who is interviewing random men. The scene begins with VV approaching some clean-shaven CONFIDENT guy in a neat suit.
VV: Uh.. Ss-Sir, which shaving cream do you use?
Guy1, confidently smiling: Godrej!
VV: Why?
Guy1: Great shave, cologne fragrance! Wife loves it!
The guy is talking fast because he is in an elevator and has already reached his floor and is getting off. VV has to now pursue other guys, and he sees another guy enter the elevator..
VV: Sir, which shaving cream do you -
Guy2 turns around and displays his beard, smiles and says, in a deep voice: ME?

DABUR CHYAWANPRASH: Featuring the Marathi character actor Shriram Lagoo.
Kid: Dadaji! Badminton!
SL: uh-huh, pehle Dabur Chyawanprash
(voice over): Anwla aur chalees se bhi adhik gunon se bharpoor, Dabur Chyawanprash!

PAN PARAG: Featuring the suppressed histrionic mights of a fat Shammi Kapoor and Ashok Kumar and their wives (one of them was Asha Lata, maybe? They were the typical maa-wife roleplayer women of the early and mid-80s.
Scene: Shehnai playing in the background, it is the house where the wedding is supposed to take place, which is the bride’s house, and it happens to be Ashok Kumar’s house.
AK’s W: Suniye, ladki ke maa-baap aaye hain
AK: Arrey, aaiye, aaiye (ha ha ha ha ha, mandatory laughter from all four members)
SK: Baarat… thik 8 baje pahunch jaayegi. Par hum aapse ek baat to kehne bhool hi gaye!
(Shehnai stops, and sudden jarring music is played on keyboard while AK and his wife share a worried look… thinking… DOWRY!)
SK: Ghabraiye nahin, hume kuch nahin chahiye! Hum to sirf itna chahte hain ki aap baraatiyon ka swagat… Pan Parag se kijiye!
AK (relieved): Oh-ho, Pan Parag! Humein kya maloom tha aap bhi Pan Parag ke shaukeen hain… (he pulls out a tin can from under his shawl) Yeh lijiye Pan Parag
(closeup of SK’s face which brightens up): PAN PARAG!
(singer, probably Priti Sagar): Pan Parag, pan masala Pan Parag
Khatir-daari mein zaroori, iske bina mehfil adhoori
Pan parag, pan masala, Pan Parag!
Featuring Jalal Agha.
Scene: JA enters a party, and guests notice him and start talking to him.
Guest 1 (played by middle aged lady): Arrey lo, aagaye? Aaj kal to bade chaaye hue ho TV par, Pan Parag aur kya kya!
JA (smiles humbly): Shukriya.
Guest 2 (played by Vipin Handa, who went on to have a short-lived talk show called Aamne-Saamne): TV mein to hamesha tayaar rehte ho, aaj kahan hai tumhara dibba?
JA (smartly pulls out a pillow pouch!): To YEH kya hai?!
Guest 3: Ek se… mera kya hoga!!! (laughs)
JA: To aap DO lijiye!
Guest 4′s voice: Aur mere liye?
(JA turns towards the voice, sees its a really tall dude, and pulls out the whole strip and smiles at camera, while Priti Sagar sings the jingle).

VICCO TURMERIC AYURVEDIC CREAM: Featuring a very young Sangeeta Bijlani. This version is historic because it was always featured before one of the very first sitcoms that I ever saw on Doordarshan, Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi. starring Shafi Inamdar, Swaroop Sampat, Rakesh Bedi and Satish Shah in different roles – who doesn’t remember that one episode where he keeps saying, “What a relieeeeef!”
Scene: A wedding, the bride’s house, the females who are dressing up and decorating the bride (Sangeeta Bijlani) are supposed to be singing, while the parents are looking at each other sad yet happy… the chorus sings:
Bade naazon se paali hamaari banno, tujhe dulhan banaaye ree pyaari banno (shehnai) (lead female voice) tujhko haldi ka ubhtan lagaayein sakhiyaan (at this point there is cackling laughter from all the girls, as they apply turmeric paste to her legs and her cheeks) teri kaaya ko kanchan banaayein sakhiyaan (chorus) roop kundan sa chamke hamaari banno, tujhe dulhan banaaye ree pyaari banno… (at this point, she is going around the holy fire seven times with her hubby, and the wedding is done. The music changes, and they show the couple on their honeymoon, in what is probably Observation Post, but is supposed to be Kashmir, then her hubby jumps into a swimming pool, comes out, and drips all the water in his hair onto Sangeeta. (voiceover says something about Vicco Vajradanti Ayurvedic Cream, which you probably don’t notice because they are showing a young Sangeeta on the screen, smiling)
(chorus) Vicco Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream!
(female) Tvacha ki raksha karey, antiseptic cream
Roop ko sanvarey, nikharey har dam!
Haldi aur chandan ka anokha sangam!
(chorus) Vicco Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream,
Vicco Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream!
(at this point all the music stops, and in my mind I always hear the theme song of Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi start up!)

Scene: A classroom in some Hindi medium school in a village. There’s a diagram of the front view of human teeth. Teacher has really really bad teeth.
Teacher: Bacchon, yeh hai hamaare daaton ki banavat! (looks around) Raju! Tumhare daat to motiyon jaise chamak rahey hain!
Raju: (played by Master Bittu, I think): Kyon na ho, masterji, main Dabur ka Lal Dantmanjan jo istimaal karta hoon!
(a few more dialogues by the teacher, extolling Raju’s good habits, which unfortunately I don’t remember because the short version of this ad received more airtime)
Another student: Lekin masterji, AAPKE DAANT?!

MAGGI 2-MINUTE NOODLES: Two kids, a brother and a sister, get down from their school bus and open the house gates and enter the kitchen immediately. And they scream in unison, “Mummy bhookh lagi hai!” The mom smiles and says, “Do minute!” The jingle: unfortunately only the first and last line remain fresh in memory, the rest of it disappeared because they played the short version of this ad for a lot longer than the original version.
“School se aate dhoom machaate
(second line)
(third line)
Ek hi baat pe (something) manaate, Maggi Maggi Maggi!”
Mom: Pal bhar mein tayyar….
kids in chorus: Khaane mein mazedaar!

DETTOL SOAP: Not a jingle, really. Just a short ad showing this woman in the marketplace, at work, in the bus on the way back home, and dust settling on her all through. She comes back home and voila! There’s a bar of Dettol Soap in the bathroom. Harish Bhimani provides the voice-over for this ad: “Dettol Saabun. Mail mein chupe keetaanuon ko dho daalta hai.” Simple and short.

SYLVANIA LAXMAN: The early ad didn’t have the singing bit. It was just Asrani who was a servant. And the lamps in the house all go phut at the same time, so his mistress sends him over to the store to buy Sylvania Laxman bulbs. He tries to remember, but by the time he reaches the store (owned by Viju Khote), he has forgotten what it was called…
Asrani: Ey bhai, Raam Laxman bulb dena!
Asrani: Aji kaise dukaandaar hain aap! Duniya bhar mein mashoor (and even at this point, VK starts to understand what A wants and starts to pick it out), uttam quality ka bana….
VK: To Sylvania Laxman bulb chahiye tumhein
Asrani: Haan haan wohi, lekin ek nahin chhar.
VK: Chhar?
[Aside: The reason I capitalized those lines was to show how they came into regular use later on. For example, my cousin went to BMS College and he was telling me that at one of the Cultural fests, at a Sales Appeal contest, one of the teams had to bring out an ad for underwear, and this guy goes...
Arrey haan wohi, lekin ek nahin, do hazaar!
Do hazaar?!?
(looks at the audience) Poore College ko badal daaloonga!!

ECE BULBS: This ad starred the artist better known as Ghanshu Bhikari (from Nukkad). On the way out of the house, Ravi Baswani’s wife says:
(singing) Bhool na jaana! ECE bulb laana! and then there’s a whole lot of people talking in different languages asking him not to forget…
Parsi: Dikra, bhool to nai, ECE bulb lavjo!
Bangaali aurat: Bhoolbe naa nee sho bulb ECE bulb
and the Bangaali aurat is the last one to tell him about the bulb, when he reaches the bulb shop owned by Ghanshu and says: Bulbbulbbulbbulbbulb….
Ghanshu sings: Jyaada de ujaala (and the bulb/tube lights up in his hand) din-o-din chalne waala ECE bulb aur ECE tube!

CASPER MOSQUITO REPELLANT: Scene shows a family of mom-dad-bro and sis.
Male voice: Maccharon ko jisse lagta hai dar
kids chorus: Woh hai Casper!
Male voice: Woh chemical jismein dugna asar!
kids chorus: Woh hai Casper!
Male voice: Shaam se lekar subah tak jale!
kids chorus: Woh hai Casper!
Male voice: Jismein ek nahin, DO conductor!
kids chorus: Woh hai Casper!
(voice over): Bhaarat mein pehli baar! Electronic mosquito repellent, Casper! (Only, he sounded like he said Kesper)

GOOD NIGHT MOSQUITO REPELLANT: I only remember the last line in this jingle: Sweet dreams, and Good Knight folks!

NECC (National Egg Coordination Committee): A very famous ad, because the jingle was catchy. Calendar (Again, I am using the famous character played by Satish kaushik in Mr. India): Meri jaan, meri jaan, murgi ke ande!
Dilip Dhawan: Khaana meri jaan, meri jaan, murgi ke ande!
Female: Omlet khilaoon, fried khilaoon, boiled khilaoon!
Priti Sagar’s voice: Khilaoon murgi ke, murgi ke, ande hi ande!
(voice over, probably Harish Bhimani): Sunday ho ya Monday, roj khaayein ande
Calendar (with an egg held between thumb and first two fingers): Fantash-tick!

NATIONAL INTEGRATION ADS: There were about three of these ads… they were long and I used to remember each and every line.
The first ad was the one with popular sportspersons (Kapil, Gavaskar, Milka Singh, PT Usha, Prasanna, Padukone, to name a few) carrying the torch through different regions of India. The background music was inspiring and ended with the national anthem tune.
Second was the famous “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara”:
(Bhimsen Joshi): Mile sur mera tumhara tooooo soooor bane hamaara… sur ki dariya har disha se behke saagar mein mile… baadalon ka roop-a lekar… barse halke halke…. oooooh mile sur mera tumhara tooo soor bane hamara….
(Rajasthan, featuring then-famous bowler Narendra Hirwani sitting on aqueduct) (your) tarang (and) (my) tarang… ek vat baniye (our) tarang!
Tena sur mele mera sur dena milke bane ek nava sur da
(Shabana Azmi right outside the Taj Mahal): Mile sur mera tumhara to sur bane hamaara
(cast of Tamas, supposed to be the Punjab element)
Female chorus: Sur ka dariya behke saagar mein miley
Male chorus: Baadlaan-da roop lehke
Deepa Sahi: Barsanei hole hole….
(we move deep south, and musician Balamurlikrishna is on the beach with Cricketer turned umpire Venkataraghavan and some others… including Kamal Hassan who doesn’t sing but just gives a Digjam pose) Isayindaal… nam iruvarin… suramum namadaahum (Veena music, while Kamal shows off his Digjam pose.)
isaimel raagaahum aadise aarugal mugilai mazhaiaai pozhivadum pol isai! nam isaaaaaaaaiiii!
(woman singing dhik tak dhik ta jhoom… etc etc)
Shift to Karnataka. (man dressed in Coorg attire) Nanna dhwanige ninna dhwaniya (woman) seridante namma dhwaniya (you can also see prakash padukone here)
Shift to Andhra. (man and woman together) naa swaramoo nee swaramoo sangamamai mana swaranga avatarinche
Shift to Kerala. (mallu dude on elephant) ende swaramum ningalude swaramum ottucheru namm-ode swaramai!
(cut from one Communist state to another: Bong boatman slowly rowing boat on the Hooghly)…. Tomar shoor modir shoor… sristi hoouu… hoiko shoor… (repeat thrice)
fourth time: sristi hoouu hoi ko taal (change music to manipuri/nagaland type with people walking past with their arms interlocked around their hips)
(male) Tomar moro shoorono milano (female joins in) shrishti hoo chalo chapano
(music while Goa is shown and they show Mario Miranda’s cartoon styled paintings…)
(Mallika Sarabhai in Gujju) Maley soor jo taro maro, bane aapdo soor niralo..
(Tanuja representing Maharashtra): Majhya tumchya jultya taara madhur suranchya barasti dhaara
(Shrillest voice of ALL, Lata, first singing for Waheeda Rehman) Sur ki nadiya har disha se behke saagar mein mile
(now for Hema Malini) Baadalon ka rooooop leke barse halke halke
(Sharmila Tagore) hooo mile sur mera tumhara
(now they make no pretense and show Lata) Mile sur mera tumhara… toooooo soor bane…. hamaara….
(music increases in volume and speed again and they show the TRIO – Ganga Jamuna and Saraswati, Amitabh, Jeetendra and Mithun, with their arms around each other) Mile sur mera tumhara, to sur bane hamara
(everyone singing together) to sur bane hamara! to sur bane hamara!
(song turns into end of national anthem, Jaya he, jaya he… just the music, while each beat forms the Indian flag and the silhouette of Gandhi)
end title: Har Dil Mein Jagaayein Rashtrajyoti…
The next one was on the same lines, and was different people singing “Baje sargam, har taraf se goonje bankar Deshraag”. Among others, popular musicians like Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Allah Rakha, Balamuralikrishna, Zakir Hussain were seen in this song.

GOLD SPOT: (Guy): She’s crazy about (something)
(Girl):As crazy as he’s about (something else) and hits the tennis ball into the guy’s mouth, who manages to remove it just before they sing: (together): As crazy as crazy as we’re about… Gold Spot! The Zing Thing! Gold Spot (two bolts of thunder courtesy synthesizer) Gold Spot!

AMUL CHOCOLATE (voice over at the end by Harish Bhimani)
(Girl): I am too old for dolls, too young for the Disco
(Guy, I think this was a very young Aftab Shivdasani): But I think you’re just right for Amul Chocolate!
(Voice over): Amul chocolate! A gift for someone you love!

Male: Daad, khaaj khujli ka dushman?!
Chorus: B-Tex Malam, B-Tex Lotion
Male: Eczema ka jaani dushman!
Chorus: B-Tex Malam B-Tex Lotion, B-Tex!
Another, more recent B-Tex ad Ravi Baswani is scratching his shoulder and back, when Archana Joglekar steps up and sings a parody of Tirchi Topiwale:
RB (irritated with the itch): Oye Oye!
AJ: Khujli karne waale! B-Tex lagaa le!
B-Tex lagaake tu apni (aa aa aa)
Daad, khaaj khujli mitale
RB (happily displaying a tube of B-Tex): Oye Oye!

KINETIC HONDA: (scooter, featured a very young Javed Jaffrey out of a job and suddenly getting a scooter) .
song: Honda! Kinetic Honda! It gets to you, you’ll never be the same again! Honda! Kinetic Honda!
voice over: Kinetic Honda! What a scooter OUGHT to be!

CINKARA: This is vintage Javed Jaffery. JJ is overloaded with work. And just as he is about to think the pile on his desk can’t get any bigger, the secretary hands him some more papers…
voice over: Yeh bechaara, kaam ke bojh ka maara!! (he faints)
voice over: Inhein chaahiye Hamdard Ka Cinkara
(JJ drinks it, and in the next scene, breaks through glass and hands in his reports with a flourish)
voice over: Hamdard ka tonic, Cinkara!

MAGGI HOT AND SWEET TOMATO CHILLY SAUCE: It’s Different: Had a bunch of ads starring ‘Karamchand’ Pankaj Kapoor and Javed Jaffrey. One of them featured them as spectators on a tennis court… and at the end,
JJ screams, “Koi mujhe bataayega, ki Maggi Hot and Sweet Tomato Chilli Sauce mein aisi kya baat hai!” and Pankaj Kapoor nonchalantly motions to the crowd without taking his eyes away from his sandwich, and the crowd yells, “IT’S DIFFERENT!”, and the tennis ball lands in his lap.
The other, more famous ad, also brought back the imitations of Ajit, the awesomest gangster of 70s films. JJ is dressed as Ajit, and is talking to his henchmen while Pankaj Kapoor is busy opening up a bottle of Maggi Hot and Sweet, and Lily the mistress is at JJ’s side…
JJ: Thodi hi der mein hamaara helikaapter Hindustaan se door Birmingham pahunch jaayega. Michael, tum cycle par jaao… (at this point, Pankaj Kapoor takes out a Maggi bottle and thumps it on the table, and everyone fears gunshots and hides)
JJ: Saara shehar mujhe LOIN ke naam se jaanta hai, aur tum yeh kambakhat tamatar ka saaas!…
PK (interrupting): BOSS! Yeh tamatar ka saas nahin, Maggi Hot and Sweet Tomato CHILLI sauce hai, It’s Different!
JJ: Saaf saaf kaho tum kehna kya chahte ho!
PK (imitating JJ): This saas, is different, Baas!
(Lily giggles)
JJ: Lily, don’t be silly!

COLDARIN: Man at work screws something up (maybe breaks some glass or drops a sheaf of papers) because he has cold and related headache, and senior goes:
Senior: Yeh kya haal bana rakhkha hai? Kuch lete kyon nahin?
Man: Bahut si dawaiyan lee, sir, but kuch farq hi nahin pada.
Senior: Coldarin lee?
Man: uh-huh
Senior: Tumhein maloom nahin? Coldarin sardi ki khaas dawa hai.
Voice over: Sardi se aaram, chusti se chale kaam! Coldarin!

VICKS ACTION 500: Featuring Dheeraj Kumar as a fighter pilot with headache and cold. And of course, as soon as he pops a Vicks Action 500, he gives his smile and is back in the cockpit!

STREPSILS: Featuring Vijayendra Ghatge. He is enacting a scene in a movie where he plays the lead role!!!!! And the last dialogue is something like… “Good BYE, MADAM!” and then he starts to cough… so someone pops him a Strepsils… and then he starts charming whatever female is around him.
Another Strepsils ad featured a cartoon where a lion walks onto stage and decides to roar into the microphone, but only manages to meow. There is general laughter from the audience. Then, of course, it pops a Strepsils and ROAARRRRSSSSS.

BROOKE BOND RED LABEL CHAI: The typical young mom (also featured in the Maggi noodles ad) is at the market, and she asks the shopkeeper (who in reality provided the voice for many ads and voice-overs):
Woman: Aji Brooke Bond Red Label Chai to deejiye
Shopkeeper: Aji chai to chai hi hai, paani ubalo, patti daalo, doodh shakkar milao, aur pee jaao. Ismein kya khaas hai??!
Woman: Peeyo, to jaano!
(song, probably Preeti Sagar again):
Baagon ki taazgi laaye, packet bhar shuddhta aaye
Brooke Bond Red Label Chai! Har baar tasalli dilaaye!
Brooke Bond Red Label Chai! sachmuch hai bejod chai
(music stops, and woman continues): Aur daam bhi kifaayti!

NIRMA WASHING POWDER/SOAP BAR: Featured some good looking young girls including Sangeeta Bijlani… female lead and chorus singing the song, while the four gals wash their clothes and carry on with their daily housewife life, which includes travelling in autos and buying lightweight vegetables and dealing with goody-goody kids, maybe. There are clips of other members of the family (decided younger members) pirouetting in bright clothes supposedly washed by Nirma)….
Washing powder Nirma! Washing powder Nirma!
Dhoodh si safedi, Nirma se aayi,
Rangeen Kapda bhi dhul dhul jaye,
Paani mein rehke bhi yeh kam gale (at which point, my neighbour aunty would always say, “Bari sullu helthare”)
Dheron kapde dhoye aur jyaada chale
Washing powder Nirma! Washing powder Nirma!
Thoda sa powder, aur jhaag dher saara! (music)
Rangeele kapdon ko pal mein ujaala!
Rekha… Geeta…. Jaya aur Sushma (they show the four different girls, including Sangeeta Bijlani getting into an auto.
Sabki pasand Nirma!
Washing powder Nirma! Washing powder Nirma!
(with harmony): NIRMA!
(at this point in the ad, a girl wearing a polka-dot skirt is spinning around, and she turns into the Nirma girl on the packet)
Future modification of the jingle had the line “Nirma detergent tikiya iske jhaag ne jadoo kar diya”…

RASNA: This ad became a huge hit when it was played right before and during the fifteen-minute cartoon, shown on Sunday evenings, Spider-Man. It just consisted of a lot of kids drinking Rasna, and it included the fat uncle who drinks a huge jug of Rasna. Jingle:
Ras ki rachna Rasna (chorus: RASNA!)
Tarah tarah ke swaad ki rachna rasna (chorus: RASNA!)
verse: Ek packet se ban jaaye batteess gilaas (music)
Rasna ka har zaayeka sabke man ki bujhaaye pyaas!
Ras ki rachna Rasna (chorus: RASNA!)
At some point during this ad’s release, I think the long version had even the names of all the 10 flavours (the 11th flavour introduced, Mango Ripe, was one of my favourites, was added later on and got its own jingle which I quote below. The 12th flavour was Kala Khatta, I think, and then there was Masala Soda (Jaljeera) which was always misspelt as Masala Sooda.) in the verses of the song. Once Rasna became part of the Sunday morning line-up of ads, they added a cute female to the ad, and I believe that girl’s parents wanted more money or something, eventually she grew up a little bit, and they made her endorse another cold drink – Sudha. The ad for this drink went thus: It shows the girl, you can see she is grown up, and she says: Pehchana? Badi ho gayi hoon, na? Aur (my taste has become refined, too)… Sudha… etc etc…. In the meantime, Rasna found another cute kid who was younger for their ads. They got their buck-toothed girl, and everyone was happy.
Anyway, my point was, Rasna added the cute kid to the ad and added the punch-line: I Love You, Rasna!
Mango Ripe jingle: Mango ripe! Mango ripe! Naya hai Rasna Mango Ripe… Koi samay ho koi bhi din Rasna Mango Ripe ka din (mmm yummy) (different ways of drinking Mango Ripe: either with water, or as milk shake – at one point they had the shake bottle free with some offer) Mango ripe! Mango ripe, mazey ka Rasna Mango Ripe! ( I LOVE YOU RASNA!)
At some point in time, Harish Bhimani started doing voice-overs for Rasna ads and started to mention that it was a product of Pioma Industries. And ever since, programs were not sponsored by Rasna, but by Pioma Industries.

STREET CAT: This ad featured one of the first “rap” songs ever on Indian television. Here’s the jingle, as far as I can remember it. People with fake tattoos of cartoon characters, maybe. A couple of kids with sunglasses. Two guys with jeans, maybe? I sort of remember some polka-dot ensemble but I could just be “trippin’, yo!”
(chorus:) Boom boom shaka laka boom boom shak! Street Cat’s gonna knock you back!
Say man, check the mean machine. It’s got what it takes, it’s just the scene,
It’s called the Street Cat! Moves like a rocket. (something) Whole world in your pocket.
Straight handlebars and wide wide wheels,
Now go show the world you got a clean pair of heels!
(chorus:) Boom boom shaka laka boom boom shak! Street Cat’s gonna knock you back!
Street Cat!
Straight handle bars, alright. This bicycle was the first of its kind in India, with the straight handle bars. Every kid who wanted to show off went nuts.

CEEMA BULBS & TUBES: Featuring actress Sridevi. “Sima bulbs and tubes…”

PSPO BULBS: yeh PSPO nahi jaanta….

NIRMA SUPER: Featuring Deepika…(popular during Ramayan days)
Shopkeeper says: maan gaye Deepika ji aapki paarkhi nazar aur Nirma Super dono ko…

LIJJAT PAPPAD: Featuring 2 huge rabbits munching pappads…
Lijjat papad…karram kurram…kurram karram…mazedaar lijjatdaar…swaad swaad mein lijjat papad…hehehehe….Sri mahila grih udyog ka Lijjat papad.

I hope you had a nice time walking down the memory lane and into the ad world of the ’80s! Readers are welcome to write in the comments section about the ads that I may have missed.