Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Vijaya Bank is better than Harpic. Truly.

Badal, my very young & happening web designer says this is easy. This blogging. Thousands and millions of people all over the world do it, he reminds me. ‘So just do it’ he says encouragingly, sounding a lot like the swimming coach who tried to get me to dive once upon a time, with almost the same words.

The predominantly young Indian populace of 540 million, age 24 or less, include all these net savvy youngsters fed and weaned on blogging, in this galloping and globalizing country, growing at 9.4% p.a.. But for old fogies on the other side of the age 25 fence (pretty far from the fence too)… you know the rest.

A beginner has essential rights. One of them is to behave as a beginner. E.g. finding excuses not to do it. I need to find time from allocating and overseeing work, doing my studies, various home tasks, what with the Indian system of being part of a household consisting of the bai, the mali, the driver apart from the residents.

This morning, my bai said ‘Didi, Harpic theek hai, lekin it is Vijaya Bank that cleans the loo best. I have been asking you to get it for such a long time.’ She insists that is the name, and it sounds potentially ominous, in relation to soon to be less clean loos in the home.

I did go across to Haiko the local supermarket, and quietly searched for Vijaya Bank, in the soaps, detergents and home care aisle. When I tell her there is no such brand, she is indignant.

‘Of course, there is. I bought it myself the other day, from the corner Reliance Stores. For the other home I work in’.

Somehow, it was easier to go to the newfangled self-help retail supermarkets such as Haiko to look for a 'bank'. No one would be looking over my shoulder at my purchases, but to go and actually ask to buy it, in a mom and pop joint that we call the baniye ka dukaan, well…

A chore is a chore, and loos need to stay clean.

I go to the tried and tested Reliance Stores, where Girdharbhai was presiding as usual. ‘Do you have Vijaya Bank?’ I ask nonchalantly in my best I-always- ask- for – Vijaya- Bank inside- a – bania- dukan voice.

Girdharbhai did not bat an eyelid. ‘For washing the toilet, hai na? Sure, I have it. I’ve heard it’s quite good’ he says empathically. Like a good bania shop owner, he has an opinion on most matters related to the home.

Wow! So, yes, I’ve now got Vijaya Bank home. And yes, it seems quite good for its intended role in life.

And yes, I recommend it whole-heartedly. Go ask for it.

It’s just spelt a wee bit differently. It’s Easy Off. Bang. So there is a brand called Easy Off Bang. I am hoping saying it a few times will make it fall off the tongue smoothly. . Apparently some companies do not believe in keeping us market research agencies in business with nomenclature research and all that stuff. Or perhaps they did research this name, who knows. Everyone but me had heard of it. And then, when both Harpic and 'Vijaya Bank' belong to the same company, it does not really matter either way, does it?

And come to think of it, I would rather ask for Vijaya Bank, than Easy Off Bang next time to Girdharbhai. When both sound like some heist I’m participating in, a bank is the more sober version of the two. Easy Off, Bang de do versus Vijaya Bank le aao.

In the era of blogs and chatting, and scrapping, what’s in a name anyway? If Kewl can be cool, and my can be mah, why not Vijaya Bank expand its monetary role in life. Phonetic spelling is the key to the future..

Last word: Let’s hope my blogging experience turns out to be more successful than the diving one ever was.



badal said...

Great Start Didi!

Siva said...

Hilarious post!!

Anonymous said...

Great piece!!! You blog too. You never told us.
Hmmm..can you guess who is this…Off course.. from SS!!!

booyeeaa said...

Gr8!! Pcs.Besides don't we bengalis beieve "Jaha bahanno(52) thahayi tipanno(53)"as long as the end goal is achieved.What's in a name!

debashish said...

excellent piece of writing, it made a lotof sense to me,tks to being a low brow,keep blogging,venting out,blessed be