Man runs, panting hard, but not slowing down. All around him is a barren, lifeless desert. The only accompaniment with him is – a chair. Perched on his shoulders. Why would he run with a chair on his body through a desert? Where did he come from? And where does he want to go? Is he stealing the chair? Or does someone special need that “special chair” somewhere across the desert?
Next, picture a similar scene.
2 young men with *HoldYourBreath* a lovely cushy Sofa. Running through a highway for a change. The same questions.
These scenes have been directly pilfered from the Lead India campaign’s advertisement running on television. Take a look, if you have so far been blessed as to be staying away from television and think it is my imagination playing really imaginative tricks.
Now, the two scenes that I described succinctly above happen all over the country – Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi etc etc etc. Guys and girls – all of them representative of the great all-knowing Indian Middle class – angry, frustrated and in a hurry. They do not discriminate – plastic chairs, expensive sofas, cushy duvets, rocking arm-chairs, bean-bags and cane rockers. All piled up on heads, shoulders, autos, tempos, trucks, buses – boats even.. Some of them are in such a hurry, they do not even wait to see if the chairs belong to them. No waiting for the doors to open. Just pick what you are sitting on and scoot.
The cops sip their coffee and gape. The land-lords whose chair is going can just watch in amazement. The poor – they do not even have the luxury of a chair. They are just confused – what the hell is that youngster doing – they can pay some daily-wager to do this menial task. Surely, there must be some pay-off at the end of the fancy chair race.
Slowly the dumb ones start following the herd mentality and join the race. A physically challenged ingeniously cycles away with his precariously balanced chair. Maybe this way he can beat the system and win the amazing race.
All the runners look grim. Or angry. They all appear to be high on red-bull. Slowly the mystery is solved – or rather deepened. All the fancy furniture is piled up in the middle of nowhere. Wannabe shot-putters throw the wood-work with amazing precision. This sure was not supposed to be the trial for Indian Olympic shot-put team – was it? I wish it was – we might have won some gold medals the next time.
The key to this grim mystery hits you from the testosterone filled background score. The time for sitting down is apparently up. YOU, yes YOU are responsible. Don’t point fingers. Don’t stay frustrated. Don’t give excuses. You are the answer. Whatever the question. That is what the lyrics suggest. Or something to this effect. And yes, the time for feeling guilty is up too. The youngster understands – it is time to pile on the furniture and run run run.
Finally the climax. Once the young lady throws her last bit of furniture – silence greets the crowd. It is finally time for the solution to all the problems that never come in your question paper, but still slap you on your face every day. The lady heaves a fiery torch on the pile of furniture and all is aflame – the furniture I mean. Now is time for tranquility. The video does not tell us what happens next. But it is not so hard to guess:
Of course, the media would have a field day post this. And considering the kind of mileage our political parties derive from the mundane, they would have their take on this too !!
And while this happens, we could just sit back and interpret what hurts us more. The slap on the face by the daily problems that we face in myriad forms like corruption, inequality, joblessness, incompetence and terrorism etc etc etc etc etc. or the statement that THOU ART RESPONSIBLE !!
- Remember the 2G scam. Not Raja, you were responsible.
- Remember the CWG Scam. Well, Kalmadi is innocent. You were responsible.
- You were responsible for the 26/11, 9/11, 13/12 etc etc etc
- You were responsible for the genocide of Tamils
And the solution to it was peaceful protests – or that was what
Daddy Currency Gandhi told us. Burn Candles. Dharna. Fasts, Hunger Strikes. Bandhs. Satyagraha. Ha, he was wrong. The solution is to burn furniture. So that the one thing you were good at doing – sitting and plotting your flight out of this nation, is also jinxed. When you burn furniture, the noxious smoke of burning wood will react with the anger in your hearts, confusion in your mind and hunger in your belly to voila, give you the solution to all the problems that you face. Your voting will not change a thing. Don a mean look. Get grim. Aggressive. Run. And burn that goddamn chair that you are sitting on. The time for that is up already. But still do it. Else you will be bombarded by more such senseless videos. Even RGV could not have come up with a more inspiring video.
So the next time some Pandu cop asks you for that mamool, just take a chair and burn it.
I will just sit (on the floor, obviously) and calculate how many chairs we need to burn to get the Dollar to 40 Rupees in the meantime.