Skip to content

Feed your hunger. Before you start an epidemic.

February 1, 2010

Hunger is the root of all evil. Not just obesity. We are starved to the bone. For things that range from amazing to good to unnecessary to bad to ghastly to the *unutterable*.  What feeds this hunger though? Is it what you want? Or is it what you need? I call the former – greed. I call the latter – hunger. I want a fancy college degree but what I need is mind-opening education. I want a cool job but what I need is stimulating work. I want the iPad but what I need is a glass of water (no really the Indian winter is gone already and Feb has only just reared its head). I can keep listing our myriad hungers but really there is a FAMINE out there. With each famine, there is in an outbreak of an epidemic – crime, terrorism, discontent, war, murder and other unpleasant monsters. And they’re not always this visible. The epidemics we are responsible for don’t exactly make breaking news. The monsters of our minds are left to flourish on their own. Our very existence becomes an instrument of suffering. For ourselves. For everyone else around us. And this bothers me. Bigtime. My personal hunger is to feel empowered. And to empower. I try to not starve. By feeding my own hunger. More often than not though, the fight is to spot what it is. We are so distracted, we barely register things that hit us between the eyes. Once that happens, we can feed ourselves. We can row our own boats. If we want to, that is. I’ve been a closeted writer my whole life. The only thing the keeps me from having a panic attack when I hit the  ‘publish’ button is the hope, that maybe some reader will spot his hunger, feed himself, row his boat – curtail an epidemic.

This post would’ve come much later ‘cept that a commercial I saw today (and LOVED) has taken my mind to our hunger again.  The Indian snack food segment recently welcomed a new entry – Parle Agro’s Hippo which has been positioned as “a guilt-free snack for hunger moments that can arise anytime and anywhere.” The snack is delicious, addictive, comes in fun packaging with entertaining back-of-the-pack copy and it’s called Hippo for gossake. Everything about it is heartwarmingly cute. What caught me by the collar though was their commercial.

Created and executed by Creativeland Asia and directed by Ram Madhvani of Equinox Films, the film shows ‘Hippo’ (supposedly scary hippo – you are his eyes so you can’t tell) approaching participants of war, riots, adulteration and child labour (amongst other crimes) and startling them into fear. He then extends a bag of Hippo. (Scroll down for my dream-inspired, marker-pen rendition of the pack-front). People eat, get happy and shun their sinful deeds. A lovely Kishore Kumar song that literally translates to ‘spread love as you go’ plays in the background.  The VO says “Hippo believes the root of all evil in the world is hunger. So please, don’t be hungry.” Some dramatic oh-look-how-the-world-has-changed sequences follow that could’ve been toned down but I feel they cater to Indian sensibilities at large. I’d have like to see all of Hippo too. But I don’t mind the mystery. I’ll fill my days with Hippo Love on twitter in the meantime.

Now. It’s just another commercial telling people to pick up a snack. But anything that says “btw feed your hunger” will get attention here. Also, if you can, try Hippo. It is yum. While you munch on it, try to figure what your larger, epidemic-spreading hunger is.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: