Ad-Vani

Advani can use his yatra for brand promotion. At least some good will come out of itRupa GulabHeigh ho and away he goes again. As I write this, the intrepid LK Advani is busy enjoying his favourite pastime: undertaking a yatra. I sincerely hope he didn’t forget to include Memory Plus tabs in his "What to pack" list, lest he brings up Jinnah again. Needless to say, there’s a lot of opposition to the Leader of the Opposition’s proposed trip. Not just from the usual suspects like the UPA and me, but the VHP too. Unlike the RSS, they still have their tridents aimed at Advani. This time round, the excuse for the yatra is national integration or the minorityism practised by the ruling party or some such guff. But the real reason is, he’s hoping that the wheels of his rath will get the wheel of fortune to tilt in his favour again. Frankly, I don’t see that happening. I can’t see the people of India being shaken and stirred by his senile raving and ranting again. BUT, I can tell him how to make his fortune from this yatra: Become a spokesperson for brands. Ad vani: The voice of advertising. The one brand I absolutely insist he must be a spokesperson for is White Mischief Holidays. Its sign off, "I’m in the mood for mischief" would capture the spirit of his yatra beautifully. But alas, I don’t think all the money in the world would persuade him to say that. He’s quite wily, that one. How about the Bajaj Avenger? It’s ideal for negotiating narrow country lanes during the yatra and with Advani playing hero, it would make a more credible film than the current one on air. Can’t you just see Advani cruising past the Babri Masjid ruins, passionately declaiming, "I forgive the liberals in India for despising me." Cut to him driving past the prime minister’s residence, sighing deeply, "I forgive the voters of India for taking away my only opportunity to become prime minister". Cut to him driving past a Sangh Parivar office, shaking his head sorrowfully, "I forgive the VHP for badmouthing and attacking me about my Jinnah remarks." In the last shot, we see him waving to the crowds who cheer hysterically and swoon like fans at a rock show (extras will do that even for Advani, everyone has a price) as he delivers his final line, "I feel… I feel like God." Howzzat? This may just put his political fortune on the upswing too. The point is, he can be a spokesperson for every big and little thing he uses for his yatra. The vehicle he drives around in has to be a Mahindra Scorpio, of course, so he can say with complete conviction that "Nothing else will do (for India)." And move over Sachin Tendulkar, let Advani do the "Tyres with muscle" talking for MRF instead. Instead of Narain Karthikeyan zipping around on BPCL’s hi-performance fuel with a hot babe, Advani could do that just as well with Sushma Swaraj. Fortunately, ad agencies hire professional make-up artists, so she may just look more like a chic Desperate Housewife star than an ordinary middle-class Indian housewife. Together, they can deliver a brand new slogan for their party: India Speeding. Even the water he drinks should be bottled and branded Ganga Jal to prove what a devout Hindu he is. Since he’s going to be out in the sun for longish spells, Emami Fair & Handsome cream would be an appropriate brand to endorse. On the other hand, it may not cut any ice with people who firmly believe that handsome is as handsome does, so forget it. Well, here you are then. These are a few of the ways Advani can make a killing on this yatra without shedding one drop of blood, for a change. If he heeds my advice, he may just have a more than substantial nest egg to retire on. But he never, ever listens to reason. Or to me, for that matter. So let’s get down on our knees and pray that he gets laryngitis during the trip.