Ad-Vantage Cupid by Bikram Vohra


Marriages are made in heaven but you have to pay for them here on earth….writes Bikram Vohra

marriageMy friend is in advertising. Life for him is a jingle. Now, his daughter is getting married. He has designed this rate card that shows the young couple holding a piggy bank with the legend: Marriages are made in heaven but you have to pay for them here on earth.

His wife has promised to leave him if he continues this embarrassment.

The list of potential sponsorships cover the design and decoration of the marriage area like they do in sports and he has them split into Main Sponsor, Support sponsors and co-sponsors. The company making the jewellery for the newlyweds will be permitted three thirty second ads on stage as will the groom’s tailor, the bridal dressmaker and the make-up lady.

The pundit will be allowed two commercial breaks between the rites and guests will be seated in sections marked Platinum, Gold, Silver and Standing only depending on the size of the shagan.

For a minor franchise he wants to open up a series of food stalls, tempura, dosas, bhelpuri, fish and chips, Italian and kebabs, a video games mini-arcade and a small TV theatre so guests can keep themselves busy while waiting for the bride and bridegroom who are inevitably late anyway.

My friend has some more ideas but he first has to deal with his wife who thinks he is nuts. Why is she being so huffy, he says, it is imaginative, it is innovative and it pays the bills, everything is sponsored these days so why not weddings… if it works we can start a company and you can be on the Board, Sharina can be the Chairperson.

Nice thought, I say, but Sharina may not be there, she has threatened to leave you if you carry on with this nonsense, minor point that’s slipped your mind, old son.

Women, he says, why can’t she see the enterprise as a business thing, I mean, when we got married the first few years she wouldn’t ask for doggie bags in restaurants, we used to leave all the chow mien and garlic chicken we’d over ordered. Got her to change on that but it took years.

Marriage is not a Chinese dinner, I say, there is a sanctity to it, you can’t sell pieces of the ceremony to the highest bidder.

Why not, better than moaning over the bills.

Last heard of, he was going ahead with the idea. He calls me last week and says, if I get a sponsor for the Ladies Sangeet I’ll be ahead of the game… you think we could squeeze in two rounds of tombola between the dinner and departure of the barat, full house five thousand tops?

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