Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mall'd from all sides

There seems to be steady addition to the number of shopping malls around the place I live. With so many of them, Hyderabadis are not far behind their counterparts in other metros. I needed new batteries for my watch so visited Titan in Amrutha Mall.

Amrutha Mall...yes, this used to one of those 'original' malls in the busy Somajiguda Circle...with Midways, Minerva, etc. After ages I visited this place, also wanted to see if those old shops are still there like Pallavi and some others. After the widened road and the flyover this hardly looks like a shopping mall, not to mention that horrible stench at the dark and dingy cellar parking. In fact I didn't know such a parking existed coz earlier we would happily park all around this place. I was disappointed to see that now Pallavi sells only sarees and no dresses.

With so many malls around my place I think very soon we are going to be mall'd from all sides, all within a distance of 2 - 3 kilometers. Though I'm not a regular at malls coz I don't ever do window shopping or even find time for it.I shop only when I need something...most of the times I end up in desperate buys. GVK One has a very spacious Shoppers Stop with good collection of trendy ethnic wear....mostly tops with a poor collection of bottoms (but nothing to beat that real original shoppers stop dresses that were there in early years of this brand, can't believe that I still wear a dress, bought from their Bangalore outlet , sometime in 2000), hope that the proposed Fabindia outlet here will have more variety. City Center appeals more for its Crossword and Sahib Sindh Sultan, Lumbini has a good Food Bazaar, Basil there is just ok, what with the dearth of veg-restaurants in Hyd. Central of course has lots of stuff, but always crowded; I really enjoyed watching movies at PVR. Closer home is Big Bazaar that has Rajdhani for that authentic desi khana served in huge thalis. Cinemax is more a multiplex on the lines of Prasads. Haven't been to Ashoka mall at the intersection of Road No 12, the Music World there is quite tempting. Maheshwari group is coming up with a mall at Nagarjuna Circle. And I heard there'll be at least too more on Road No.3. I really don't understand how the retail outlets sustain their business with presence in all the malls at the same time...the same brands everywhere.

Malls don't spare me at my workplace too:) There's Inorbit Mall coming up literally next to my office. Doesn't it look like being mall'd from all sides!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tata Tea Jaago re Campaign

I liked the Tata Tea "Jaago Re" campaign for its novelty, use of media, innovative approach to social advertising in community building. Check out the link below to know the details of this advert.
All of a sudden*

It was a strange moment of nostalgia
Of days that were what I made them to be
When I was in college
Of time that was spent reading, writing, listening to music

Time spent with friends and cousins sharing same interests
Especially in music
Buying, borrowing and sharing cassettes
Saving all that was possible to add to the list of priced possessions
Don Williams, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Michael Bolton, Pink Floyd, Madonna and a long list of favourites
On some holidays a medley of favourite numbers would play on
With the living room door bolted from inside
Often singing along with photocopied lyrics
As siblings we had our choice of music
Love songs vs soft rock
Hindi songs vs English numbers vs Hindi pop
Classical music vs ghazals
On radio and casette players and later walkman
Not to miss an hour long program on Yuva Vani for latest pop numbers

Carpenters took me on a high with "such a feeling" and "there's a kind of hush"
Denver and Williams - my eternal companions
Incurable romantic what I am...
Still never lose a chance to play and replay those favorites
Some evenings with George Michael or Lionel Richie
"Father figure" and " it me you are looking for"
Those innumerable hits from Grammies in late 80s and 90s...

I listen to most of them today
But the experience is never the same.

(*Felt really nostalgic when Sandip laid his hands on an old Don Williams cassette and played one of the afternoons in summer...I simply could not control the flight of my thoughts, fondly remembered the time, people and places)
No real stuff this!

After ages I got interested in following a TV serial. Aired on Real Channel, I felt it was worth a watch... thought this would be different from those never-ending sagas of weeping and wily women in those unreal and utterly non-sensical 'stories'. Called 'Namak Haraam' with Narayani Shastri in lead role it seemed to tread a different track, seemed interesting coz it could have thrown up some relevant conflictual situations faced by several women in decision making roles, perhaps, more so in administrative services. But soon it was not to be...I simply couldn't figure out how a potentially interesting storyline could suddenly get transformed into a mushy love-triangle-sort-of-thing with the actual issues the serial was trying to address getting completely sidelined. Stereotypical characters with typical emotions resurfaced - where has that headstrong character of the District Collector gone? What about issues of idealism in today's world and her dedication to bring in and live the change she wanted to see? Why is a woman in lead always made to show up her emotional side, no matter how tough she is personally and professionally for that inevitable twist in the story?

Call it TRP or competition, can any channel worth its name has some content that is dedicated to real issues? Can it not sustain its viewership on the basis of such content and still compete with other channels? Not sure if we will get back simple and sound drama that communicates and entertains and drives good sense - all at the same time, makes the viewers ask questions, makes them reflect on reality around them... make them socially aware and so on.