Cricket Fever

It was the night of Valentine’s Day. Another snowstorm was predicted for Boston, and it looked pretty much on its way. It was all calm, lovey-dovey. But not with Indians and Pakistanis. Especially the ones in Boston. Most of them had to cancel their plans of watching the match together with friends, thanks to the impending snowstorm.

People like me were not ready to give up so easily. I had heard of this place called Hit Wicket. We called them up, and they told us that they were going to air the match, and there was no per head fee as advertised on their website. They told us that the restaurant would be open until 2:00 am, but they close early if neighbours complain. That’s it. My friends and I dressed up in blue, and left for the place. I and my other friend missed the national anthems of India and Pakistan because we were looking for a parking spot. When we got in, it was like heaven. Nothing looked like Valentine’s Day or snow day. The colours we could see were mostly green and blue. There was no table left for us. But the waiters knew how much it meant to us, and they let us pull a table out of somewhere and place it somewhere else from where we could watch the match.

I had never watched a match before with the rival country in the same place as I. It was exhilarating with the jeering and clapping and screaming and banging tables. You did not miss out on the happenings if you went to the loo; there is commentary in there too! The menu looked lip-smacking and thematically arranged for cricket lovers. Sadly, they could not get our drinks and food (not all of it), forget about getting it on time. We made some noise about it, but could not get angry at them. The waiters at Hit Wicket are extremely cheerful and genuinely so. They love cricket and they love cricket fans.

By the end of the first innings they wanted us to leave (the entire restaurant). We were making too much noise. They had started cancelling the orders placed. The bar was shut long ago. We begged and promised to not make any noise. The waitress let us stay. When we told her that she was sweet, she said that she did not have an option really. They treated us like kids. It was extreme fun.

After the first innings, we came back home, and I continued watching the match until it got over at 6:00 am. It was a great treat after a hiatus of years. I went to sleep peacefully.

Today is another match between India and South Africa. Cricket adverts are crazy, and here’s the spirit for this game:

India has never beat SA in World Cup. Star Sports came up with this advert –

And here’s some typical Indian cricket fan response to it –

SA has never won the World Cup 😉

Cricket fever is waiting for tonight again at Hit Wicket! It is and awesome place, and if I get to eat anything there today, I will review their food in my next blogpost! Happy Cricket!

Address: 1172 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139


Indian Advertisements

For my Consumer Behaviour class, I have to present something, that showcases what we have learned in the class. My professor loves to know what is happening in countries other than the US, so I thought of picking up Indian adverts. I have not really watched TV in a year, but back home when I did, I used to criticize adverts more than the actual stuff that I was watching. There are many stupid ones, and quite a few are impressive, smart. Here are some that I have picked for my class. My list was longer than this, but there is time constraint. I hope they will show some aspects of India, in terms of norms, values, taboo, and other societal and cultural things attached with India, and how marketing people have made use of those.

1. Arranged marriage – A guy’s family sees a girl’s. The guy just looks at her, and agrees. She is beautiful, and that’s enough for him. His dad has a list though. Can she sing is what he asks. She sings, and says that she can do more, and dances too. Mirinda, as a brand, in India, is about doing what you feel like doing, fearlessly. – The language spoken is Tamil.

2. Office humour – Camlin is a lot about creative adverts. This is just a build-up for the next advert to come. I might have to cut this out. The language spoken is, of course, English.

3. This advert speaks for itself – Language spoken is Hindi

4. India-Pakistan war – The never-ending war, where we have only tried putting each other down. Airtel has always used some good adverts, and this is just one of them. Language spoken is Urdu

5. Bollywood – This advert is a funny take on a typical Bollywood romantic dance number –

6. Norms and values – The song in Hindi says that we are changing, advancing, but we still respect our culture. In India, if your foot touches someone by mistake, they touch you, and then touch their forehead, a way of saying sorry. Some such other norms and values – I might get rid of this one, because I don’t personally like a lot of those “norms and values”. But I might even retain it, because it is not about my feelings, it is about showing to the class what’s what.

7. Cricket. Cricket. Cricket. It’s a religion in India, that almost everyone follows. Cricketers are stars, Gods. IPL seasons are mad, and there have been some amazing adverts that have gone viral during cricket seasons. This is a very old advert that every Indian can still watch and enjoy. Brings goosebumps. I might have to cut this out though. But it’s very cute, so I might keep it.

ZooZoos, who are actually masked ballet dancers, took India by storm in the season two of IPL. They were a marketing campaign by Vodafone networks

and They speak unintelligible launguage

8. Diversity – India is so diverse, that it is really difficult even for an Indian from one part to understand one from another. Unity in diversity is one of India’s mottos, and a lot of brands have used it beautifully.

Nike has used cricket and diversity – Bleed Blue –

Amul, unarguably the favourite dairy brand of India – British brought it to India, and called butter “utterly butterly”.  Even Indians in the US look for Amul butter everywhere –

CocaCola – It says that we are all the same. We look different, but our favourite cold drink is the same –

Last but not the least, an advert by Incredible India, a marketing campaign by Indian Government, to promote tourism in India. It covers the snow-capped mountains, deserts, backwaters, nodding head sideways when meaning “yes”, ayurveda, yoga, Atithi Devo Bhava (Sanskrit for “Guest is God”), etc. –

I was going to include Raymond suitings adverts too, because they have proven that babies, puppies, a sweet husband, a reliable son-in-law, can never go wrong. They have mostly used modern Indian households to show these. But it would have been kind of a drag. I was also going to add the Fevicol Moochwali advert. You live the story of a poor girl stuck with a moustache, and just as you fall in love with the character, she dies. But there’s rebirth 🙂 I might keep this, depending on the time left, and how the class will have responded to all of the above.