“It also has its own tragedies, its own environmental issues (parking problems, urban air pollution); its own class struggles. An organisation called Youth for Equality, for example, has taken up the issue of Reservations, because it feels upper castes are discriminated against by India’s pulverised lower castes.
“It has its own people’s movements and candle-light vigils (Justice for Jessica, the model who was shot in a bar) and even its own People’s Car (the Wagon for the Volks launched by the Tata Group recently). It even has its own dreams that take the form of TV advertisements in which Indian CEOs (smeared with Fair & Lovely Face Cream, Men’s) buy over international corporations, including an imaginary East India Company.
“They are ushered into their plush new offices by fawning white women (who look as though they’re longing to be laid, the final prize of conquest) and applauding white men, ready to make way for the new kings. Meanwhile, the crowd in the stadium roars to its feet (with credit cards in its pockets) chanting ‘India! India!’”
After reading the last two paragraphs, I immediately ctrl-tabbed a window to check this ad out on youtube, only to realize I’d been had. I’d confused pastiche for journalism, but really, is any plot device taboo for Fair and Lovely? Have a look at this:
Not to be outdone by the likes of Arundhati Roy, I wanted to make a script for a Fair and Lovely ad that better embraced the zeitgeist while being a hundred times more offensive. With a little help from my friends, I have the following:
A young Dalit schoolkid with polio wants to play Cricket in the school grounds, but the upper caste kids bully him around and laugh at his disability. He is not allowed to play.
Our boy hangs his head in shame and walks home, [cut to] where his sister gives him a 5 rupee sachet of Fair and Lovely Fairness Cream.
A week later, Dalit boy becomes fairer than his peers, and thanks to his radiant skin and hyperextensible polio arm, he throws such a curve ball that [cut to:] him all grown up and fair and handsome, playing for the Indian cricket team.
[Cut to]: Australia needs 6 runs to win the Match, Symonds is batting. He is bowled around his legs, the stadium erupts. Our Dalit naujawan runs up to an exasperated Symonds and delivers the punch line, along with a sachet:
“Tum bhi Fair and Lovely Apnao. Kyunke Har Bandar ke Andar ek Sikandar Hota Hai“
[Cut to:] Sister who chimes in with “Har Caste ke liye Cost Effective hai”
A young aspiring rocker wants to join famous goth band (Demonstealer), only problem is he is dark. Band members insult him and send him away, coz rap is for blacks not rock
Young rocker goes home and listens to his Megadeth record…angry again plays in the background.. His sister comes to him and says “Dont get angry, get fair & lovely!”
Background music changes to a rocker discovers fair and lovely..turns goth-white within a week
Goes for the auditions and blows everyone else out of the water. [Cut to:] Young rocker singing at IIT Livewire as headlining act. He sings Aryan Again to the tune of Megadeth’s Angry Again.
28 year old software Engineer from Chennai creates profile on Orkut: Sends friend requests to every girl in his area, office and every cutie that shared a desk with him through school/college.
Girls check out his profile picture, repulsed by his “dark” looks, they refuse to accept his friend request.
Down on luck with no chance of getting laid, he chances upon a fair and lovely ad while watching “midnight masala” on Sun TV
Reluctantly he goes to the local baniya, and hesitatingly asks for a ..fair…and lovely…like he is asking for a pack of condoms from that old “Moods” condom ad.
He runs home with it, like he’s discovered the fountain of youth and immediately applies it.
[Cut To] Local photo studio, where apna engineer is getting pictures clicked on a bike. Photographer says, “Lagta hai flash ki to zaroorat nahi hai”
With new profile pic uploaded on orkut, women start sending him friendship requests [cut to:] “You have 300 friend requests!” – Says the computer screen to his utter disbelief!
Our hero is overwhelmed!!!!
Cut to…Our hero walking on the beach with a girl in hand, clutching a tube of….you guessed it..Fair and lovely!
A young Indra Nooyi finds her career going nowhere at Pepsi. All she is used for is comparison tests with the colour of the bestselling cola with random firangs saying “It needs to be about two shades lighter than Indeeera.”
Vikram Pandit at Citi is in similar dire straits and finds he is in demand only on ‘DiverCiti @ Citi’ photos are being taken.
While watching Rang De Basanti, they suddenly remember Fair & Lovely an evil racist product they’d spend much of their youth protesting against. ‘What if it really works?’ they ask themselves in a Brian De Palma-esque split screen.
After a few weeks of smearing the gunk on their faces, they notice the white people around them including their bosses, starting to turn black: a skin colour change accompanied by speaking in ebonics, spending all their time being stoned and shiftless, and pelvic thrusting random people on the street a la Evil Peter Parker in Spiderman 3.
Soon they live up to F&L NRI’s brand promise, cleverly cadged from Rin – Whiter Than White. They’ve become as Gods or Independent Light Sources that blind people with their brilliance through the bare act of stepping into a room. Cut to product shots with “Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns” by Iron Maiden playing.
Credits: Script 2 and 3 to Ashwin Salian. Script 4 to Hathyasaibaba.
If you’ve got any ideas, pls contribute.