Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Does Rani make it sadder?

So the ad for the new product from Coehlo’s is on heavy rotation. Every time I hear the jingle, which I think borrows melodically from a popular chutney song one line sticks out, “no more an' tawah”. My initial reaction to the line was anger. This is because I like tradition. Buisness, however, is about innovation and increasingly more so. The new best practices for businesses are found in the world of technology.

I think, though, we can all agree that the line from the ad leaves us divided as we consider that yes, store bought sada roti is convenient and an innovation but at what point do we start to value tradition over those things?

We all but lost public phones. Which came first the chicken or the egg? Is it that TSTT wanted us to buy cellular so they stopped maintaining those now relics of the past? Or did they foresee the market going cellular and so diverted resources to the development of that area of business? What about the person who lose they phone but still can’t wait to get to a land line as we used to? If I don’t have a cell should I not be able to make a call unless I’m at home or somewhere that would allow me to as they did back in the day given it had to constitute an emergency? Or maybe we were nicer then and generally less concerned about money and so you could have been allowed a call that wasn’t a matter of life and death. And no, I haven’t forgotten that some places allowed strangers to make calls for in some cases as much as two dollars if memory serves me right.

So now we have sada on the shelf. Did the writers of that ad think that saying “no more bilna an' tawah” is a desirable state of affairs? Maybe they did a focus group and nanis and Ranis across the country say they tired sweating over the hot stone jus so the family go have fresh home made roti. I hear the product in no way compares to the real thing. So now we have what is being called by some a sub-standard product and if all goes well for Coehlo, a day to come with no bilna and tawah.

We have long known that the price of progress is high but it raises a difficult question, does Rani make it sadder?

Disclaimer: The writer of this blog enjoys whole wheat sada, a hot shower, a cup of hot water in 60 seconds and other modern conveniences.

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