Saturday, July 24, 2010

What's there is a name?

When Shakespeare asked this, little did he realise that ages later we would have a variety of replies - rather retort - to his question.

Remember Amir Khan as the adorable 'Ranchordas Shamaldas Chanchad' in 3 Idiots. Of course his character is strong but so is the recall value of his name in the film. And again, this week's release Khatta Meetha starring Akshay Kumar has a very uncommon name to his character - Sachin Tichkule. In all the promos, he stands out shouting his name, which acts like a brand value for the film.

Decades ago, we had Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay in almost all his films and Salman Khan as the chocolate boy Prem in at least a dozen of his films.

Today our name works like a trademark of sorts. Whatever name we carry will be our trademark for entire lives. Hence, new-age parents spend hours on internet to find a unique name for their child. Similarly in popular culture including films, TV serials, advt, comics or novels the names of characters help in brand/product recall. Would you every forget Lalitaji from Surf Advt or Ba and Mihir after watching Kyuki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Same is the case with Ranchordas Shamaldas Chanchad and Sachin Tichkule.

When I was growing up in the 90's most of my classmates and cousins were named Pooja, Shweta, Poonam, Payal, Ruchika, Megha, Kriti, Ashish, Rachna, Arun, Abhishek etc. But today my nephew’s classmates bear names like Navya, Siona, Agni, Geet, Vitul, Shreshth, Pariket, Himaghna etc

And it doesn’t end here. The pets too are named differently. Gone are names like Tommy, Jacky, Tiger  for doggies, New-Age pooches flaunt glamorous names like Jake, Goldie (my neighbour’s pet), Snoopy (that's a friends pet) even Rachel. And hey my fish have snooty names too, I call the orange shoal Blossoms and the black one Patice.

Actually, it’s all a part of the society being more conscious of their image - how we look, how people speak about us etc. This includes right dressing, right mannerisms, right schooling... and bearing the right name is actually the first step in this process.

So here goes to our new-age sensibilities and new-age names.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Living in the EMI era

Came across an advertisement by Levi's which says that now people can buy apparel from them on EMI (Equated Monthly Instalment). Levi's has a tie-up with a certain bank and a purchase with this designated bank's credit card will let buyers pay in EMIs.

And this situation doesn't seem funny considering that a decent pair of denim from this brand would cost anything around Rs 3000 -4000. Many will advice that if this brand is so expensive then why buy at all. However, a quick market survey will sensitise you that almost all decent brands cost the same. And remember I'm not talking about premium brands like Tommy, D&G, Gas. 

Given the way everything is becoming expensive day by day, may be we'll soon see banks offering loans for daily commodities - like denim loan, vegetable loan, loan to take your family out, loan to get your house painted, loan to pay another loan. AHHH.... this list continues.