I have no idea where he came from. I mean I was never any good at geography and to know where he came from I was supposed to be adept at the geography of the universe or astronomy, as my teachers often told me. He did mention some mumbo-jumbo that sounded like somewhere in the Andromeda galaxy.
I stared for a while and said, ‘Is this near CP?’
‘No. My house is more than 2.5 million light years away,’ said the alien. The funny thing is that I met him just outside the PCI or the Press Club of India as I strolled out after an hours meeting with old friends. He looked like any other journalist and walked towards me, saying, ‘I’m an alien. I need shelter in your home for a few nights.’
I was about to compliment him for his bold and innovative approach in the masterful art of begging and fleecing but noticed that he carried in his hands a gadget that I had never seen. So I asked, ‘Where did you rob this from?’
‘This is my universe position locator and I managed to reach this planet only because of this,’ he replied. This was when I foolishly asked him where he came from.
It isn’t meeting an alien or taking him home or his looking just like any of us that I am planning to talk about. I have been intrigued these past two days at his language being shaped from the ad slogans that we have been using here on our planet. It seems that these aliens have been fascinated by the way our admen think and distort perfect words to mean anything that they intend to sell. This is the influence that I noticed in the language of my alien.
One of the first things he said as we reached my home was, ‘Har ghar kuch kehta hai!’
I was about blurt out that the slogan was from the Asian paints ad but I stopped myself short and asked, ‘Really?’
‘Yes,’ he said with a twinkle, and added, ‘neighbour’s envy owner’s pride.’
By this time the lift had reached the seventh floor and we had walked to my flat and as Specky, my wife, opened the door, the alien pointed to her and then to me and said, ‘Fevicol ka mazboot jod hai Tootega nahi!’
We laughed but I was thoroughly intrigued. So I asked him if the people on his planet in his galaxy thought our ad slogans were the way we communicated.
‘We think you have a great language. Taste Bhi, Health Bhi,’ he replied, and then added, ‘We have come here to know how you go about putting words so beautifully. Dimag ki batti jala de.’ I’d have accepted his explanation had he not proceeded to give me a tight slap on my left cheek while uttering this cheeky line: ‘Dobara mat poochna!’
We were in a way made for each other because each time we read a great ad-line we were prone to shout: No one can read just one! This wordy boost is the secret of our energy as slogans and even the alien admitted that our communication was like Tyres With Muscle and Born Tough. No Confusion, Great Combination is what fascinates an intelligent mind,’ I said. The alien smiled and replied, ‘The taste of India is in the slogans here and not the monuments or the jalebis or samosas.’ I nodded in agreement. Ads, both in the av-media as well as the print media were fast forming and framing every kind of conversation we were having. Just go out in the streets and you’ll find even the common street Romeo lustily calling out, ‘Fresh n juicy’ as he stalks the girl next door. Taste the thunder and reclaim your life are used by students of even the primary classes in their essays. Yes sir, ads have not just besieged us but over-run our subliminal senses, conquered our minds, and made our day-to-day language of communication full of punches that are lifted from them.
This was when I decided to interview the alien. I thought it would be nice to publish an interview with an alien on my blog as it would make me famous overnight. So I began by asking him a few rapid-fire questions, ‘What is it that people on your planet do best?’
‘We make money the old-fashioned way… We earn it!’
‘Do you have laptops and desktops like we have here?’
‘Everything is easier on a Mac,’ he answered.
‘What message do you come here with?’ I asked.
‘Live in your world, play in ours.’
I was truly foxed, so I tried to confuse him by throwing in a different sort of question and asked, ‘What do you do when you fail?’
‘We Try Harder,’ the alien said.
‘What do you really believe in?’
‘Making Tomorrow Better.’
‘Which hashtag will you prefer for the IPL?’
‘#CrashThePepsiIPL,’ he said without even one moment of delay.
‘How will you define yourself?’
‘High Performance, Delivered,’ he said. And I decided to call it quits.
Ads, I thought are the truth of our modern day world… and so are they in the worlds beyond. This is the truth today. But the strange part is that I needed an alien to make me realise this truth. Well, even that night when I told him that it was late and that it was time to sleep, he smiled and said, ‘This alien never sleeps!’
This Pepsi IPL, it’s not just about cricket. It’s time to crash with your own created ad! Make your own Pepsi ad & if it’s chosen, it could play on TV during Pepsi IPL! And hey, it doesn’t end here… 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 guys?
19 April 2015