I get that Coca-Cola’s ‘Do diye jyaada jalao‘ advertisement is cashing in on the festive season sentiment. Except that anybody who has grown up in a Diwali-celebrating culture knows that this is a with-family festival, not a go-out-celebrate-with-others one. That’s Christmas, Holi perhaps (minus the hooliganism & harassment) and yes, even Ganesh Chaturti & Pujo. But Diwali? That’s for diyas & rangolis inside the house, sweets with family.
I’m not being a religious fanatic here, just a purist on social customs.Yes, yes, I hear the voiceover suggest that we do something different this Diwali. But let’s bring it down to the basics, shall we, before suggesting change? The festival of lights essentially welcomes the Goddess of wealth into the house (in addition to other celebratory things, of course). Prosperity, beautiful concept as it is, is something that you wish for and celebrate with your closest family. It’s completely different from forgiveness or freedom or new beginnings, which are concepts you might want to go out and spread. Prosperity isn’t what you’re going to wish on the college principle who punishes you often or the girls’ hostel watchman. Incidentally, religious lights are not supposed to be blown out, by tradition so what’s that saree-clad lady doing foofing out the diya before dropping it into the youngsters’ baskets?
Also, what does a fizzy, sugary drink have to do with Diwali? Try as I might, I can’t think of Diwali as anything but ghee-filled sweets and rich, Indian food. Oh some alcohol as well, perhaps, with the card-playing, a tradition adopted from my northern friends. But cola? That’s for washing down pav-bhaji or at best, softening rum.
This advertisement bothers both, the social observer as well as the marketer in me.