In any other developed city of the world, billboards are just a few and certainly not there spoiling the view. But, in Mumbai…well, in a way, hoardings prevent you from the direct view of people doing what they ought to have been doing indoors. If Japan is the land of the Rising Sun, Mumbai is no different; at many many places it is the land of the rising bums after they have finished doing their job.
Why only Mumbai? You can drive anywhere in India and you can see we have ruined the view of most picturesque sites, lush green fields, and hills by erecting huge hoardings.
Ads on the TV? Anyone who has watched a movie on any of our movie channels will tell you that we have ten minutes ads after every ten minutes. Essentially these make no difference to your understanding of the plot. In most Hindi movies you know the ending even before the movie starts and you are there only to watch the rain-dance. However, most of your patience wears out when there are ads just before the long awaited ending.
You want to watch a cricket match? Well, these days they are able to put in up to seven ads between two overs. In the IPL matches they even give each team Strategic Time-out so that they can squeeze in another thirty ads. Listening to songs on music channels is another experience in catching up with the latest brands being sold. Just in case you are one of the rare watchers actually interested in a match or a song, it frustrates you to observe that whenever the ads are displayed the volume automatically goes up.
I guess there is one aspect in which the similarity between ads and mosquitoes ends and that is that – if you have seen ads on the TV about it – any number of sprays and coils are available in the market to keep the mosquitoes out; but, there is none to keep the ads out. Your ‘choice’ has already been made like those people in the villages of Bihar who find their votes have already been cast when they reach the polling booth after walking tens of miles.
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