Condom Story of a Twentysomething Fool

Recently one of my friends suggested that I should look for an advertising job. That discussion led to sharing my ad film making experience with him. Before he adds masala and spreads fake story, as precaution, let me publish my version here :)

Rewind to college days.

As part of an Advertising assignment, we had to produce few video ads based on certain themes. Instead of choosing a familiar, uncomplicated and jovial subject, I decided to make an ad on condoms. Let the blame be on the age…the phase when kids go to any extent to prove their nonexistent intelligence without realizing how idiotic their actions are!

Coming back to my ad – the aim was to convey the importance of using condoms. Familiarizing the product being the first step in the process of film making, I decided to buy one. There were no super markets or upscale stores close to college, so the only place where I could get it was a medical shop near our hostel. I leaned against the counter, scanning the shop to find out where it was kept. When I saw a strip of Moods sachets hanging, I felt relieved and happy. The shopkeeper asked me, “Hmm? What do you need?” I said, “Vicks menthol”. Like a loser, I walked to my hostel room with useless menthol drops not knowing why I bought them.

To arrive at a quick solution, I shared my problem with my junior roommates. One of them, a micro biology student asked, “Akka… do you want one for male or female?” Before I could even say anything, the B.Com girl affirmed, “Yes yes…condoms are definitely not unisex”. 

Since the cyber café search histories were monitored diligently, I didn’t want to do any research on this misleading topic from the hostel. If you are wondering if there were no better ways, let me remind you...this happened during a time when mobile phones were not smart enough.

To help myself, I recalled all the sleazy portions from Mills and Boon and novels of Nora RobertsI realized that in fantasy, there are lots of necessary detailing that deserve attention and a condom holds least significance. The reader will definitely be annoyed if the author reminds the hero about taking precaution while he tries to slip his hands inside the heroine's blouse. Then I thought I would ask my pregnant sister to shower more gyan on the topic. But I did not want to take a chance with her unpredictable hormones. Pregnancy mood swings could cause lot of emotional damages, I have heard. I didn’t even want to ask my ‘always jump the gun’ cousin because I feared even before I finish explaining the project to her, I might get a call from my mother asking why I need a condom. 

Later when I remembered the “garb nirodhak goliya sirf mahilaoke liyeDoordarshan ad, I was convinced that I was right. I asked my roommates to consider learning zoology instead of biology and accounts, for future benefits. 

I went to the same shop again. With all the courage gathered and a straight face, I placed the order, “I need 3 condoms. Pink.”.
After a brief five seconds pause, he said, “I don’t have pink ones.
Me, “Any other color? Like…dark green, sky blue, lemon yellow?
He, “I only have white. Beta, color doesn't make any difference to how it works.
Me, “Okay…give me one white. And do you have colored balloons?
He, “I don’t sell it. But I warn you…don’t ever use balloons. Very dangerous!
I burst out laughing, couldn’t stop even after reaching my room.

Anyways, long story short…I made a very shitty ad with the things purchased. 

PS - Dedicated to the guy who initiated this post. Who's he? The one who closes loan deals worth million Dirhams almost everyday. Oru puli :D 


An open letter to Vineeth Sreenivasan

Open letters are very much in trend these days. I too have been wanting to write one for a long time. 

However, whom to begin with was a tough decision to make considering the fact that I have got lot of prudent questions to ask and personal anecdotes to share with many significant people in the world.

After an intense filtering process, I short listed few people and of them, I decided to write my first open letter to the boy next door, Vineeth Sreenivasan. If you are wondering why I have narrowed down my choices to this guy, my only reasoning is…“ഓൻ നമ്മളെ Kannur-കാരൻ മിടുക്കൻ ചെക്കൻ അല്ലെടോ!" :) Congrats dude, you have won over Arnab Goswami, Mohanlal, Dalai Lama, Baba Ramdev and Jayalalitha.  

Disclaimer: Written in Kannur Malayalam so that my emotions do not get lost in translation :)

Dear Vineeth,

First things first. "ജേക്കബിന്റെ കഥ ഉഷാറായിന് കേട്ടാ. നാട്ടിലെ പ്ള്ളറെല്ലും ഓന്റെ മോന പോല ആയിനെങ്കില് ഈട ഭരിക്കാൻ LDF-ഉം ബേണ്ട, UDF-ഉം ബേണ്ട. നാട് താന നന്നായിക്കോളും. ഒറപ്പ്!" 

When I watched your first movie, I exclaimed at my friends with disappointment, "ഒറ്റ ഒന്നിനും പാടാൻ പോയിറ്റ്‌  ഒന്നു മൂളാൻ പോലും അറീല. ചുമ്മാ യൂട്യൂബ്-ഉം തട്ടിക്കൊണ്ട്‌  ഇരുന്നോളും. Waste!!" 

Then I watched your next movie. I reminded my friends, "എത്രപ്പാട്  തട്ടം ഇട്ട മൊഞ്ചത്തി പെണ്ണ്ങ്ങള്  പൊടിയും തട്ടി ഈലേക്കൂട പോയി; ഒന്നിന പോലും ആരെങ്ങിലും line അടിച്ചോ? തല്ലിപ്പൊളികള്!" 

After watching the next one, I couldn’t help saying this to them, "സെൽഫി, കുൽഫി എന്ന് പറഞ്ഞ് mobile-ലും പിടിച്ച് സമയം ബെറുതെ കളഞ്ഞോ. അതിന കൊണ്ട് എന്തെങ്കിലും ഗുണം ആരിക്കെങ്കിലും ഉണ്ടായിനാ? ഒരു കള്ളന  പോലും നിങ്ങള്  എപ്പങ്കിലും പ് ടിച്ചിനാ? useless-ഉകൾ!"

Ahh...how I wished, like in your movies, if my friends could spice up my mundane home-cook-office-eat-sleep life. 

Beyond this, my friends couldn’t take my ranting. Like every other conventional cinema loving Malayali, they too opened the big fat book of 'greatest ever Malalayam movies’ and began to preach, “ഓ...പുതിയ  കൊറേ  ചെക്കൻമാര് സിനിമ  ഉണ്ടാക്ക്ന്ന് ണ്ട്. പഷേ, പഴേതിന്റെ അട്ത്ത്‌ പോലും വെരൂലാ. സിനിമാന്ന്  പറഞ്ഞാല് കിലുക്കം, ചിത്രം, അമരം..."

“എന്ത്ന്നാന്നപ്പാ നിങ്ങള്!” I interrupted, “Stop resting on your laurels. Move on. എന്ത്  പറഞ്ഞാലും അപ്പം തൊടങ്ങും - നാടോടിക്കാറ്റ് , മണിച്ചിത്രത്താഴ്, തലയണമന്ത്രം!"

Meanwhile, in the background – “മങ്ങലം കൂടാൻ ഞമ്മളും ഉണ്ട്  ചങ്ങായി..."

Suddenly one of them suggested, “Goa-ക്ക്  ബ്ട്ടാലോ?”

Since I believe in the saying 'what happens in Vegas Goa stays in Goa', കൂടുതൽ എനി ഒന്നും പറഞ്ഞ് over ആക്കുന്നില്ല:)

Vineeth, എന്തായാലും Thanks-ണ്ട്, കേട്ടിനാ...for all the awesome movies made so far. Looking forward to many more. Cheers!! 

Much love,
Pink Mango Tree
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