Remember the outdoor advertising a few years back?
For the sarkari or sarkari type ads designed for plebian tastes, you had a wall painted with safedi & the message printed in neel. After some time, the colours faded and street- urchins took unprintable liberties with the syntax of the message.
For real class products like suitings – shirtings, there was a galvanized board which was actually made by joining various sheets. More often than not, it was painted garishly as a distorted approximation of a print advertisement and after some time, one of the corners managed to hang out precariously.
In the last few years, however, there has been such a marvelous change in the quality and the concept of the advertisement hoardings that to me it seems this is the single most visible indicator of our economic development.
Leave apart the big malls or swanky showrooms, even the corner juice-wallah has life-like Shahrukh or Rani Mukherji sitting atop their shed, extolling the virtues of the respective cold-drink.
And this is not restricted to only the consumer products. The tyre shops, garages, cycle repair shops, hotels, property dealers, gyms, beauty parlours – everyone is in to these glam hoardings (do they still call it that?). The bus stops, train stations and everywhich place is a collage of glamorous advertising.
Sometimes, it feels all these hoardings are talking about some different India - a shiny, smiling, bright, blemishless India, which is altogether on a different planet. If only....