One of the enduring memories I have of tongas in old time Delhi is the blinkers that the horses wore. Also called ‘blinders’, these help the horses to look straight ahead, and be blind to peripheral distractions.
Now that’s real horse sense. Something we humans could do with – what with all the ‘mindgrab’ that the world attempts to do.
Drive down any decent stretch of road in any of the metros. What do you see (other than the traffic)? Hoardings, hoardings and more hoardings, of all sizes. It is an all out assault on the senses. And in Chennai, for instance, the scale is colossal. You cant lift your eyes without it being taken by some advertisement or the other. Politicians take the cake. They are all over. Then the commercial adverts – with titillating models displaying their wares. If you think that you can somehow escape by exercising iron will over your eyes, and not allow it to turn left or right, you are wrong. In the median divider in the middle of the road, you may well be subjected to an endless row of advertisement signs, an Ad every ten or fifteen feet. Timed to perfection, one advert per one blink of your eyes in a moving car. Slam, slam, slam…it just goes on and on – there is no escape.
Same is the case with TV. You cant see a decent cricket match without offering yourself as a sacrificial victim at the altar of commerce. Ads, ads, all the time. Between the overs, and during the overs too. When a fellow scores a boundary, or a fifty or a hundred, or when a wicket falls, or during water breaks…Just imagine having to put up with the same Ad over and over again…For eg, this ad of some email website, which shows a man clad in just his underwear running out into the streets screaming his “yoooooreka” joy about the website…or that one by a cell phone company that demonstrates how slim their phones are, by showing a man and a woman slashing each others clothes with the cell phone in a fence fight of sorts….
And then they sms ads to your cell phones. And hound you with calls….”Mr Defenseless! You have been selected to receive our Gold Card, free of charge…”
Neigh! Neigh! Neigh!