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Friday, February 11, 2011

Teleshopping - Mayhem On TV

Team Being Cynical

I’ve often detailed the various reasons why religion pisses me off on a day to day basis. This includes the varying degrees of traffic jams thanks to badly managed and usually unclean temples or mosques on arterial roads, my inability to test my shotgun on various stray dogs and cows despite it being more humane than watching them roll over and die choking on plastic trash bags, the existence of the concept of Mangliks – a constant last refuge of women trying to get away from my harassment, and last but not least, Anuradha Paudwal.

But enough is enough. There comes a time in a man’s life when he has to make a sacrifice for the greater good. And since no one seems to be doing anything about this, I am going to continue the Hindu tradition of saving society’s ass by individually finding and killing everyone involved at something called GTM Teleshopping. (Cranks up the Rang De Basanti album on the iPod)

GTM Teleshopping has a variety of products to cater to your every need. This includes:

The Nazar Suraksha Kavach: The NSK (I’ll use NSK for the rest of the post because a Bangladeshi baby dies everytime I type the whole thing) is a “scientifically researched product meant to ward of evil-eyes”. However, this product only shields you from individual nazars, and not from those of Bhagwaan Shani Dev for which there is:

The Shani Shubh Yantra: The Shani Shubh Yantra (to be called SSY) aims to protect citizens from the bad effects of Shani Maharaj – who has famously destroyed the careers of Mohammad Asif, Lindsay Lohan and Sarath Fonseka amongst others. The SSY is a must to have in your household for all sorts of personal and career related good luck (except money – for which is there the following product)

Kuber Kunji: Kuber Maharaj is the *true* giver of financial fortune contrary to the belief people have in goddess Lakshmi. Infact the ad tells us that though goddess Lakshmi is the one who approves a loan, lord Kuber is the one who signs the release forms to give you the money. Imagine that. All these years I kept my damn house open on Diwali thinking getting robbed was part of the plan. However, if Kuber Maharaj is on vacation, you can always rely on the following product:

Dhan Lakshmi Yantra: That’s right – back to Lakshmi.

Some of you must have come across one if not all of these ads. And if you looked carefully, you’d have noticed a very clear pattern of B.S. which can be broken down as follows:

Choose an out of work TV actress

The first thing GTM always seems to do is choose an out of work, “sober” looking female soap star who can “speak to” other women (potential consumers) as mothers and wives. I mean sure – why wouldn’t I as an audience member trust the bitch who manipulates the family to meet her own needs, pits one bahu against the other over inanities to get sadistic pleasure, sleep in a 178 gauge saree with 45 kilos of jewelry on, and never die despite 4 flash forwards and a nuclear attack.

Plus, they’re women. So thanks to being Indian you don’t have to pay them as much. Put them in a heavy sari with some incense sticks and cheap digital religious backgrounds and you have yourself a screen saver that Panditji in Benaras will jack off to on his desk.

Set up the promise

Now immediately after the out of work actress introduces herself, she will shoot a volley of questions. Kya aapki mehnat ke anusaar aapko phal nahi milta? Aapne nayi car li aur uspe scratches pad gaye? Autonomy maangi aur AFSPA mila? IIM ka form bharaa but admission IIPM mein ho gayi? etc. Simple bullshit everyday situations which everyone goes through only so that they can create one “Aha!” moment in that dumbass viewer just like pharma companies rattle off symptoms to scare a viewer into buying their pills.

There is one critical difference however. While pharma companies still tell you to consult your doctor – these shopping networks claim that their products *GUARANTEE* success – material or otherwise. And they don’t do it once and let it go – they repeat it more times than George W. Bush “nuclear” in his head so that it came out his mouth properly. So I was usually asleep in my media and advertising ethics sessions in office, but isn’t there a law suit worthy situation right here? Millions of idiotic “faithful” Indians who believe in the power of miracles because they have nothing else to hold on to being told over and over that all their financial, emotional and spiritual problems will be solved through these yantras. Where the fuck is the line?

Why don’t they distribute them across Kashmir, or our BIMARU states, or every place there is a natural disaster. I mean I’m quite certain that a lot of agitated farmers whose land has been grabbed by the govt. to build highways in U.P. would fall all over themselves to get some Kuber Kunji or Shani Shubh Yantra. Rahul Gandhi must be totally willing to invest in an NSK given the number of people who touch and play with him and look at him with jealousy and envy, especially Varun. Why are they letting go of such major markets if their products are so unbelievably powerful?

Cover all bases

Next up, different people who all seem to have undergone their own set of complications talk about their experience with the product. This normally includes the businessman, the student, the wife, the depressed chick, and most importantly – the person from the other religion who did not believe in ritualism but has now become a believer. Let’s take a few examples from the NSK advert:

The mother:Meri bacchi ki taraf sabhi attract hote the. Usse pakadna chahte the, uske gaal kheenchte the. Accha to lagta tha ki who sabhi ko itna attract karti hai. Waise to mujhe nazar pe yakeen nahi tha…par maa hoon naa, bacche ke maamle mein risk…”

First of all, what the hell kind of mother are you who likes that people are attracted to her 4 year old daughter? Have you never heard of Michael Jackson? Of child rape? Of the millions of little girls in India who get molested by people from within the family and have no idea it’s even happening to them? Who the idiot lets all sorts of aunts and neighbors touch their kids anyway? And if your child was getting sick constantly why would you only take her to one doctor? You realise some doctors are better than others and one might not be able to diagnose it? That the mirchi around the little girl’s head might just be a placebo and she might actually take that at face value and try employing that shit instead of going to a doctor in other acute illnesses?

And since you bought the NSK you’re allowing other people to touch your kids again? You don’t deserve to be a mother – your ass needs to go back to primary school.

The scientist: Next up in the advert, the out of work TV actress tells us that the NSK is a “scientifically proven” product. Then a random gentleman in a lab coat comes up whose job title is “Research Analyst”. WTF is a research analyst? From where? Lovely Professional University? What kind of scientist are you? How many research papers have you authored? Do you teach somewhere? Can I see a CV? If you’re going to come on screen and tell me that “Science has proven that there is some energy between two people where one person can dominate the other” from which we need protection, I better see some credentials. You know why? Coz last night there was another person who said the same thing to me wearing a lab coat – only difference she was Russian and in a porno.

The sad girl who couldn’t get anywhere in life: Then we have a sad looking girl complaining about (paraphrasing here) “Mera rishtaa ek acche ladke se ho gaya, who bhi software engineer. Lekin 3 din baad rishtaa cancel ho gaya. Mera koi bhi kaam bante bante reh jaata tha”.

First of all, let me say this. Considering that you’re on TV complaining about how you’re not finding anyone who wants to marry you – it’s no secret that you’re a behenji. I give you two options. 1) Plastic Surgery (Especially since you might have a lot of money lying around thanks to the effects of the Kuber Kunji or Dhan Lakshmi Yantra) or 2) Go back to school and get an education so that you can uplift your status from being a permanent receptionist or call center agent.

Second of all, mera koi bhi kaam bante bante reh gaya? Have you heard of a blowjob? Ever? Try it. It’s used at the workplace the most because of the exact same reason – it works.

The Sikh: (The Sikh angle isn’t played in the NSK but used heavily in the SSY spot)

I have a major problem with this segment. First of all, the Sikh conforms to the transporter/bus owner stereotype whose payments are caught up with various parties. As I have many Sikh friends who are from a business family – let me tell you – their payments NEVER get stuck. It’s why they have a sword in the house. And payments getting stuck? No chance. So immediately I can recognize its bullshit.

Second of all, they always make the Sikh say – although our religion doesn’t agree with this, I am now a true believer in the power of Shani Dev. I would like for these guys to show a Muslim say this on national TV. I dare them. Exact same words – no matter what profession they choose to show him in. And where the fuck is the SGPC when it comes to these spots? If I’m going to be sermonized everytime I try and enter a gurdwara just because I didn’t wear a turban – this idiot better not be able to make it out the gate alive.

The helpful in-laws: Perhaps the best amongst all the bases these ads covered was one in the Dhan Lakshmi Yantra. In this, a woman gleefully narrates (paraphrasing again) “mere swargwaasi sasur ke chale jaane ke baad, unke dost ne phat se property ke kaagzaat humein dilaa diye”.

Now isn’t that nice. So helpful is the Dhan Lakshmi Yantra that it won’t even give you the time to mourn the death of your in-laws. You’ll instantaneously get all the property and cash they left behind so much that no matter how much money you spend, you’ll never be out of it! Lakshmi ka hamesha aapke oopar aabhar hoga. So really, if you hate your in –laws, buy this because they are guaranteed to pop it within a few days (45 days or money back guarantee) of your purchase.

Product quality and pricing

Now that they’ve made all the promises they’ve had to and shown how people in different situations have benefited, they proudly display the product.

Let’s start with the NSK (Sold as a pendant, locket and bracelet). Now I don’t know about you, but wearing something that looks like a testicle with a pimple on it around my neck or wrist isn’t my idea of fashion. Especially since in your advert you’ve said it’s a 3000 year old Anatolian tradition of hands craftsmanship (while showing pictures of Eastern Europeans and a Chinese dude) And ladies, seriously? You want that thing around your neck? Men don’t stare at your chest enough that you want to give them an excuse?

Then we have the Kuber Kunji and the Shani Yantra which come with detailed instructions as to how to make them effective. For demonstration purposes lets talk about the Kuber Kunji.

  • First you’re supposed to have a bath before opening (Obviously)
  • Wear yellow clothes or use a yellow cloth to sit on in front of the Mandir (Why yellow? Why not orange? Or blue? Or pink? Where is the explanation? What if you’re epileptic? What if you’re Shah Rukh Khan from My Name is Khan?)
  • Make a Swastika in a thali and decorate it with products from the Kuber Kunji which includes Charan Paduka, Photo Frame, Badi Kunji, Choti Kunji and Kuber Yantra. (I’m guessing that’s why the Germans are so poor, they can’t implement this shit)
  • Recite Kuber Beej mantra 108 times. (Again, who’s counting? If you’re so deep in prayer can you really count? What if you do it 109 times? Or a 107? Or if you stutter? If you screw up the words do you start again? Does it count as half? WTF IS GOING ON?!)
  • Present your mano-kaamna to the lord in front of whom you were praying and then tie the Choti Kunji around the neck of the family’s breadwinner. (No instructions on what to do if you’re wearing an NSK and if they’re allowed to clash. Also, if your wife goes to work, she obviously can’t wear it – which means you will make more money and she will lose her job and burn in hell so that you can feel ever powerful)

Ofcourse, all these products come with a money back guarantee, which is as likely as M.S. Gill clicking a self-shot picture with an athlete with his own camera.

Conclusion

You’d imagine people will be able to see through this superstitious rubbish and the fake promises being sold through such crappy products. But for a country built on worshipping stone idols, women forcibly lactating to get to see Ganesh drink theirs and property disputes that go on for donkey’s years over which sign will be more acceptable over a piece of land – I guess it would be naïve.

Thousands of people seem to already have been burnt by this – as I found through a quick Google search. Frankly, I have no sympathy for these people. As far as I’m concerned, you brainwashed rascals deserved it. As for the rest of us, we should be debating whether such kind of advertising should be allowed to continue on TV. But then again I expect too much. What else can one expect when a “Nazar Suraksha Centre” selling nothing but these charms at Select City walk Mall in Delhi is crowded full of all our “educated elite”.

2 comments:

  1. Bro,

    This is serious shit...you write well...lovely!!!

    Keep up the good work...this was really well written.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like this post. It gave me important knowledge & nice post to read & gather useful info. Thanks for this shsring.

    ReplyDelete

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