Back in the 90s, rising population was a hot topic. “The rate at which India’s population is growing, it will overtake China in the years to come”, experts said. Unfortunately India wasn’t happy with this achievement. This was much before India had discovered a way to utilize its plentiful population.
Doordarshan, in those days the sole entertainment channel, joined the Government’s drive to spread the message of population control. And so happened a host of advertisements featuring condoms. While most of the ads made viewing television with family uncomfortable, there was one ad that I had started to dread.
It goes on like this.
A police wallah sees a man hiding something in his pocket and gets suspicious. The man hesitates to produce the thing when the policewallah asks him to. This makes him more suspicious and he decides to use force. The man gives into his forced request and offers a short view of the thing in his pocket- it was a condom and the man was too shy to flaunt the thing.
And there started my troubles.
In those days Nani had come to our place. Nani used to sleep with me. The TV was placed in such a way that both we (Nani and I) and my parents were able to see it from the other room.
Nani wasn’t able to see clearly because of her poor sight, but she would follow all serials and also advertisements. Each time this condom ad appeared on TV, she missed just that part where the man gives a short view of the condom. And she would instantly question me what was in the man’s pocket. I didn’t know what to answer and I would somehow escape the question with useless bantering.
But the questions didn’t cease. This happened almost everyday. Since there was no fixed timing for the ad to appear, I started missing TV altogether until Nani went back to village.
I looked for the advertisement on Youtube but couldn’t. Maybe you can send me the link. Talking of old Indian ads, I came across this blog that features a lot of them. http://ddnational.blogspot.com/. Go through this and bring back the old memories.
Also read this another post on Doordarshan: