Looking at hoardings and billboards while driving can be quite dangerous. Irrespective of this, we have them in every city. Many of them catch my eye and I cannot help looking at them for a quick second or two before turning my concentration back to the road.
This Sunday morning, I put on Pandit Jasraj's Chadhiye Mulaka Sultan on my iPhone which has an AUX output to my car audio system and headed for Poorna Tiffins for my weekly tryst with steaming hot idlis. As I drove down the Begumpet main road, I saw Baba Ramdev in various yogic postures on the small boards that were installed on the road divider. He was in Hyderabad recently for a week-long yoga camp. Some of them had the swamiji blessing his followers. My mind went back to the voices of gratitude that I had heard on television thanking the baba for his pranayam and yoga for curing them of chronic illnesses.
At one point the picture on the boards suddenly changed to Abhishek Bachchan exhorting me to try the Idea Cellular Internet Modem. Sirji, what an idea, I thought to myself! He looked rather odd in a tight T-shirt though. I wondered how he managed to keep his stubble at the same level over the years. I was trying to do the same myself but with the hair on my head!
As I turned right at the Punjagutta cross road, I noticed Jaganmohan Reddy, my senior at school and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister's son smiling at me from a huge banner. Time can change so much. Apart from the moustache he now sports, this guy had changed in so many ways. Was he always interested in politics? I would never have thought.
As Pandit Jasraj broke into a taan after dexterously making his way through the mukhda of the piece, I pulled my car over near Poorna Tiffins. After I had had my fill, I got back into the car and Panditji started from where he left off.
As I made my way back home, I was quite startled by Akshay Kumar lying shirtless on the floor with a pretty lass behind him, unbuttoning his Levi's jeans! Well, well, pretty bold, I thought! Advertising has undergone such a sea change over the years. Nobody is even complaining about these ads anymore! Not that they should.
Back on the Begumpet main road, I noticed an old man letting out a guffaw with a computer placed next to him. It was a Dell hoarding. A closer look revealed it was somebody called Raman Roy, apparently the father of the Indian BPO industry. Who cares if Raman Roy uses a Dell? Who is Raman Roy? This was the first time I had heard of him. This ad sucked. When I think about the Apple ads, I really pity Dell and Microsoft. Especially this one led me to promise myself I would never buy a Dell!
As Panditji was deftly weaving his way through the closing parts of the Raag Nat Bhairav piece, I reached home and parked my car.
Paak parvar digaar, raham karo, sada rang bani rahe,
Nizamuddin Awaliya, Chadhiye Mulaka sultan...