Tag Archives: MARY KOM

A “RENEGADE” & THE “FUNNY PEOPLE ” !

The visit of the President of the United States (POTUS) is an event to remember. But, when Barack Obama decided to visit India for the Republic Day Celebrations it triggered unprecedented excitement as after all he was going to be the first ever US President to visit India twice and the first ever to be the Chief Guest at the R Day Parade.

To begin with, the visit offered 24 hour news (gossip?) channels an opportunity to shift focus from “really grave” issues such as the survival prospects of a live fish stuck in a boy’s wind pipe. Having long mastered the art of saying the same things in many ways – What will Obama do in India? Will Obama do anything? Has Obama done anything ever? – “in depth” expert analysis was provided. Nothing was too banal or sacred and Obama’s stomach ailment was explored ad nauseum and almost the entire nation was now an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of “acid reflux” – which was going to deprive the POTUS of the sumptuous and spicy Indian cuisine. Acid reflux?Its our very own “khatti dakaar” !

An earlier Amul ad covered this incident when Obama’s personal physican diagnosed him with “acid reflux”.The Tag Line ..Obamasala Nahin…is a play on the name Obama and the hindi word for spices –“masala”- and translates into no spices for Obama. While the Punch Line…No Spices Here……endorses the taste and virtues of Amul butter.

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Obama’s US codename “Renegade” was known to all and his seven layered security was reported upon in so much detail that even the US Secret Service learnt about its own capabilities watching these Indian channels. Also, ISIS got to know enough to threaten POTUS with beheading inside the White House itself! But some like the Delhi Police weren’t amused on being the outermost layer in their own lair (the farther the better?)!!!!

American “super dogs” were the toast of all channels. Their reported abilities and traits caused de-recognition of “desi” dogs as dogs itself. One guest on a show was at a loss of words when asked why Indian dogs in the forces did not have an officer status akin to their American counterparts. The reporter though tried to suggest that American dogs were smarter as they were thinking in English (Bihar Police dogs would be be gung ho in Bhojpuri?) !

Obama’s USD 1.5 million armour plated Presidential car –the Beast – mesmerized us Indians who are even deprived of wipers (Tata Nano) and other basic safety measures in cars.To ameliorate the situation “manufacturing” hubs in Punjab announced that one can get even his Maruti 800 converted into “the Beast” for a pittance and choose any colour as well. Fluorescent Green with MSG logo is a rage!

In the midst of all this the Americans rapped the Pakistanis on the knuckles over ensuring zero terror strike during the visit or be prepared to face the consequences. This left the neighbours red faced and obviously warmed the cockles of all and sundry in India.

An Amul ad on the US warning to Pakistan depicted this incident with Uncle Sam walking along with the Amul Girl dressed as a NCC Cadet and humiliatingly threatening a caricature depicting the Pakistani Army to ensure an incident free visit.The The tag line “O, bam abhi nahin” is a play on Obama’s name and the hindi word for a bomb and translates into “no bombs now”

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Just before the visit was too happen Obama cancelled the Taj Mahal due to the sudden demise of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. This was a dampener of sorts but for some it was good news as they could now merrily spit and deface the monument once again.

An Amul ad had highlighted this issue previously in 2014.

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Finally..Finally..Obama and Michelle arrived.

PM Narendra Modi broke protocol and received Obama and the First Lady at the airport.From then on, for the next three days, it was the personal chemistry between the two that drove the agenda.

Visuals of the ingenuous “chai pe charcha” (talks over tea) at Hyderabad House between Obama and Modi were beamed the world over and it was a unique one- on- one, in full public view but in private too. The body language and the personal rapport were indicative of a level of comfort unseen between US Presidents and Indian PMs.

This Amul ad on Obama’s visit shows two caricatures depicting him and Modi respectively in the lawns of the Hyderabad House in the same setting as it was during the “chai pe charcha”. The Amul girl has been shown as serving the butter laden toasts being savoured by the two leaders.

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The Tag Line..Buddy buddy baatein?.. is a play on the word “buddy” showcasing the bonhomie between the two leaders and the hindi word “badi” meaning big, which illustrates the fact that it was during these talks that perhaps the two leaders laid the foundations for the big breakthroughs achieved during the visit.

The Punch Line….. Bread Butter Bromance. Simply endorses the Amul Butter and the “brotherly” bonhomie between the two leaders.

Obama attended all the functions with a sense of purpose and commitment. He broke protocol during the R Day Parade by attending for two hours instead of the security stipulated 45 minutes. He also made it a point to break into Hindi, whenever he could.Obama’s speech at Siri Fort Auditorium was replete with examples of Indian icons such as Mahatama Gandhi, Swami Vivekanand, Milkha Singh,Kailash Sayarthi,Mary Kom and Shah Rukh Khan.Infact Obama’s attempt at a Bollywood dialogue…”Senorita ..bade bade deshon mein… “ struck a chord and further showcased his intent and positivity towards India and the relations between the two countries.The joint hosting of the popular radio chat “Mann Ki Baat” by Modi and Obama further underscored their personal rapport and was a unique way of demonstrating the growing bonding to a larger audience.

Much of the credit for this rapport goes to the highly successful US visit of Modi, He and Obama bonded based on their humble beginnings and have since carried it forward. The two have demonstrated tremendous statesmanship in taking bilateral relations forward. It’s quite a feat for a second term President, who is considered a “lame duck” to risk his political legacy for India ,whose citizen were once referred to as the “funny people” by Eisoenhower. This is  especially remarkabke for a US President who has lost control of both houses of the senate after the recent midterm elections.

An Amul ad on the US mid term elections to the senate covered this development in the US political sphere.

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The delegation level bilateral discussions fed on the rapport between Modi and Obama and major breakthroughs were achieved in the fields of civilian nuclear cooperation, India’s quest for a permanent seat on the UNSC, defence cooperation and bilateral trade. If India will benefit so will the US. India will bolster the US’s case in the international strategic sphere and is also a major economic market for the US to tap.

It has taken 70 years for the world’s leading democracies to draw closer. As one commentator has aptly put “it’s the dance of the stars” that are finally fortuitously placed to allow Indo-US ties to come out of the shadows of the past. A shared China centric view, common threats in the form of global terrorism and India’s rise and potential as an economic power are the three pillars of this transforming relationship.

Pakistan and China added to the fun by behaving like a jealous couple. Pakistan sulked at being passed over by the US for arch enemy India .And China uncharacteristically betrayed its anxiety at the sudden warmth between India and the US.

In the final analysis India should remember that the US always keeps its national interests foremost and so she should never be blindsided by any personal charisma or rapport or strategic promise, but maintain a pragmatic course.It was an immensely successful visit by the POTUS and the results will definitely emerge in time.

Overall the visit was an emphatic success and tremendously choreographed.The first ever Guard of Honour by a woman officer,Wing Commander Pooja Thakur, and the first ever all women’s contingents of three services were a special legacy of the 66th Republic Day celebrations that even the Obamas will remember. 

To round up the zany side.

The media focused so intensely on the numerous hugs between the two leaders that at a point it seemed as if it was dying to identify if they weren’t “straight” !For their part the two couldn’t really keep their hands off each other either!!!

Then someone remarked how Modi upstaged Michelle Obama’s fashion tastes (???)! Mrs Obama versus Mrs Li Xinping is fine but Modi versus Michelle???? Well, this happened because NaMo consistently wore some “cool” and chic kurta’s and bandhgala suits.One which caught the eye the most had his name embroidered in vertical stripes.So much so that the observers felt he had upstaged the first lady of fashion in the world !

Amul caught on the idea and made use of the same in this well timed ad on the personalised monogrammed suits wirh the Amul girl showing off the company branding in the same style as Narendra Damodardas Modi was embroidered on the PM’s suit designed by Bipin Chauhan.

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Though Amul found enough in the visit to take out four topicals, sadly it missed out one on the 66th Republic Day itself especially with its numerous and unique firsts. 

Lastly…The master stroke almost got missed out.PM Modi invited Obama and the American’s took over the security and thus Modi’s first R Day went incident free.Smart boy.For the next one lets call ISIS Chief Baghdadi.What say ?

Parting shot…Any guesses whom does the US Secret Service refer to as  Renaissance, Radiance and Rosebud in the Obama Presidential entourage 😉

POST SCRIPT 

Other than the nuclear deal it’s only the personalised monogrammed suit of Narendra Modi which has managed to retain its sheen from the not so recently ” concluded Obama visit.

The suit was associated it controversy when Modi’s opponents used it to attack his pro poor credentials.In fact the suit was seen as a factor, during the Delhi Assembly elections, in swaying voters towards the Aam Aadmi Party as it made Modi seem elitist and far removed from the underprivileged sections of the society.

However there was a clever twist in the tale when Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to auction the gifts received by him for garnering funds for the Clean Ganga Campaign.The Surat Municipal Corporation was entrusted with the responsibility.

The auction evoked derision,criticism as well as support but most of all keen interest and even keener bidding.bidding . For a total of 460 items the bid amount collected was a whopping Rs 8.33 crores with the replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Pashupati Nath temple drawing bids of Rs 1.11 crores.

But the star attraction was “the suit” which drew 47 bids and was sold for a whopping Rs  4.31 crores. The bidding had stabilised at 1.48 crores on the second day of the auction but on the third day it sky rocketed to the final amount.The successful bid was made by Dharmandan Diamonds’ Hitesh Patel .The prized item is now gracing the reception of the diamond firm.

This Amul advertisement on the auction of Modi’s suit shows the Amul Girl looking at a display of the famous attire with a Narendra Modi mannequin donning it.A photo depicting the moment Modi wore the suit while receiving Obama completes the background to the suit and it’s claim to fame.

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The Tag Line …And the highest coat is… a take on the high bids drawn by “the suit”.

The Punch Line …Utterly Button-ly Delicious… is a play on the famous Amul ad line.

The high bids and the cause for which the auction was held may help in blunting the damage that the suit had caused to Modi’s image but in a sense it was good fun too as never had a dress made it to the headlines in such an emphatic manner.

I for one am eagerly awaiting the China visit !

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ALL HAIL MARY KOM -THE UNBREAKABLE ‘BHARATIYA NARI’ VER 5.1.1.1

She was just 18 and was going to church on a Sunday. Wearing a traditional wraparound dress she took a rickshaw.Suddenly the rickshaw puller caught her hand and tried to molest her.A kick and a punch later he was lying flat on the ground.The girl had saved herself.And destiny had played its card to give India its future Boxing World Champion – MC Mary Kom aka Magnificent Mary!

Born in a poor tribal family of Manipur, Mangte Chungneijang (MC) took up  boxing after Dingko Singh’s gold at the 1998 Asian Games and adopted the name Mary (her deep faith in God) & Kom (tribal title).Practising punches late into the night, her goal was simple: to lift her family out of poverty and live up to her name.

Women’s boxing had not come off age in India in the 1990s & early 2000 when Mary took up the sport.From fighting poverty,facing her father’s ire for making an unconventional choice to over coming her disadvantage of height and reach she braved it all and eventually came out on top.Mary was a multiple World Champion by 2006.Mary then gave birth to twin boys and took a two year break to raise them.Against all odds she once again won the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in 2008 & 2010 and a Bronze at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. 

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Now the five time World Champion set her eyes on an Olympic berth and was the lone Indian woman boxer for the London Olympics 2012 where the sport was making its debut.Mary Kom won the Bronze and was the lone Indian boxer to win a medal.The fact that she was a mother of two only enhanced her reputation and people recognised the sacrifices the “super mom” had had to make to achieve her dreams.

Amul commemorated the feat with a fitting and odious ad depicting Mary Kom’s medal winning feat and her twins shown playing with the medal.

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Taking a break and giving birth to her third child Mary soon went off the boxing map.In 2014 the sport made its debut at the Glasgow Common Wealth Games (CWG) and making a comeback Mary  lost to Pinky Jangra in the trials who went on to win the Bronze at Glasgow.

The daggers were out and the critics had written off Mary and some had even grudged her for promoting the biopic ‘Mary Kom’.In the final round of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games trials “the comeback girl ” once again fought Pinky Jangra.And Won!And the rest is history.

At Incheon Mary won the first ever Gold medal for an Indian women boxer at the Asian Games in a closely fought Fly Weight final. The legend of Mary Kom just got bigger- the Super Mom had now become the Unbreakable Wonder Woman.

This is where I come in with some hard facts.

A word of caution for the boyfriends of the MC Mary Kom Boxing Academy graduates- while on a date please carry head guard, gum shields, abdominal guard for the family jewels, insurance papers and a slip giving out whom to inform if found knocked out! And yes maintain distance- outside hooking range-when getting too mushy!

Amitabh Bachchan (Big B) will now need to be approached for re-shooting the famous song “Mere Angne Mein Tumhara Kya Kaam Hai” which extols the virtue of various kinds of wives – “Jiski Biwi Lambi,.Patli..Choti…” (tall,slim,short) – to add “Jiski Biwi Boxer…. uska kamre mein kya kaam hai”- obviously its better to sleep in another room than getting punched for snoring or for changing the TV channel without warning!

Infact with a “Boxer” wife most in-laws related issues are also likely to be resolved “amicably”.

I was wondering that its a good way to resolve political rivalries too.Boxing requires same height -weight opponents.So the line up for the marquee fights in the Indian Pollitics Boxing League for Women could be Jayalalita versus Mayawati, Sushma Swaraj versus Mamata Di, Uma Bharti versus Vasundhra Raje & Sonia Gandhi versus Aambika Soni.

Since Jayalalitha is jailed she can be matched up with Om Prakash Chautala as well (Learning of the prospect Mr Chautala immediately sought bail). For same “political corner” opponents, Arvind Kejriwal shall refer the bout , this way the opponents can atleast punch the referee and avoid a no contest!  And to resolve disputes the adjudicator shall be Suresh Kalmadi, for his impeccable record of integrity.

Coming to the Amul ad/ topical on Mary Kom.It depicts the release of the biopic ‘Mary Kom’.The scene is a take on a poster of the movie showing Priyanka Chopra (PC) as Mary Kom, attired in a similar sports gear and throwing a punch.The Amul Girl is shown as a second or a sparring partner holding the punching bag and wearing protective gear .The movie has been critically acclaimed and is aSanjay Leela Bhansali production, directed by Omung Kumar.

The Tag Line…Kombatant !… is a play on the name of MC Mary Kom and is a fitting expression for the boxer who has had to combat many a odd to reach the pinnacle of her sport.It also doubles up for denoting a fighter, which all boxers are.

The Punch Line..Everybody’s Favourite Box..is a subtle hint for the not so discerning that the strip is about a Boxer and ofcourse endorses the primma donna status of the Amul Butter as being the favourite butter box for all!

Before I sign off.A word for the “home minister” Onkohler-Mary Kom’s husband- Keep up the good work and you are as much an inspiration as your wife!!!

Lastly,Alia Bhatt should represent India in boxing to avoid Sarita Devi type judging and refereeing controversies.A walkover is a better option for her opponents – better than being alone with her for four rounds!!!! 

And my title is tribute to the unbreakable spirit of Mary Kom who has recast the image of a “Bharatiya Nari”.

The ver 5.1.1.1 – 5 World Championships, 1 Olympic Bronze Medal & 1 Asian Games Bronze & Gold Medal each!

The movie needs a sequel…2016 Olympics…Mary Kom…Gold! A PERFECT HAPPY ENDING!!!!