afaqs!

Guest Article: Bodhisatwa Dasgupta: Of Tamasha, Grown Men Crying and Advertising

By Bodhisatwa Dasgupta , JWT, New Delhi | In Advertising | December 11, 2015
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On why ad men love what they do.

Every once in a gentle while, I like to do things that make me uncomfortable. It's my Bear Grylls moment.

Last night, I decided to humour my wild side and watch Tamasha, a movie, everyone's been talking about. Being Hindicapped, I usually try and avoid Bollywood movies. It's a pain, not so much for me - but for anyone who accompanies me.

"What did he just say?"

"What does that word mean?"

"Wait, what happened?"

Bodhisatwa Dasgupta

So there I was, watching a pretty decent movie about a guy who's stuck in this rat race, telling his dad a story about himself. When I looked around, I saw full-grown men with Movember beards crying.

I have nothing against grown men crying. I do it myself too, sometimes after a nice hot shower over a sympathetic glass of Bourbon. I'm as emotional as the next guy. But, for the life of me, I just couldn't figure out what there was in this story, to turn strapping adults into sniffling, blowing nosey dingbats.

And, then it hit me. It was the damn narrative.

Nine out of 10 men (the 10th being me) identified with actor Ranbir Kapoor's character in the film. They were him, in that room in Shimla, telling his dad that he hated Maths. They were him wearing that tie in the morning, they were him on that traffic signal, slowly nudging his way in an aimless, directionless race.

That made me think about the profession I've somehow gotten myself into - advertising. And, how every morning, I can't wait to get to work. I'm not a workaholic - far from it, in fact. Just that, I absolutely love what I do.

We love what we do.

Otherwise, why would we still be here, after all the heartburns, the divorces, the cruel mails, the abuses, the lack of respect, the long hours, the sleepless nights, the toxic systems, the laughable salaries?

Why would we be here, if we didn't absolutely love what we did, day after day after endless day? Sure, all of us want to chuck this damn job and "start off something of our own." Or, "retire and write a book or something."

Sure, we keep saying we've had enough. We've reached saturation point. And yet, I look around. Most of us are still here, doing what we've been doing all these years. And, by and large, loving it.

I know who I was in that movie, I missed half the dialogues. I was the clown, complete with the crazy hair, the big red nose, the big eyes, the painted lips and the baggy pants.

I was the smile amongst the distorted frowns. And, I have only advertising to thank for it.

The author is senior creative director, JWT Delhi.

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