Mr. Kalra, aapki bahu kya karti hai?
My heart skips a beat.
The clever man changes the topic effortlessly, and points the limelight towards Atalji.
This is the side effect of working in advertising. Nobody knows what it is that I do.
“I write,” I told my dad when I got my first job.
“And they give you money for that?” He can’t believe I actually have a job that involves writing.
My in-laws have stopped trying to understand what I do. When I first said I work in an ad agency, his grandma said, “matlab?”
I told her I make ads. She suddenly stiffened, “You’re a model?”
“No, no. I make them. I make the ads. The models work in my ads.”
“You’re a director?” and elderly aunt quizzed.
Er, not really.
“You’re the cameraman?”
“You work in the TV channel?”
Thankfully dinner was announced.
My parents wished for a normal child who would become a doctor or a lawyer. And here I am, a copywriter in full bloom. Aaj kal ke bachhe, they say sorrowfully.
And when anyone asks them what I do, they say ‘service karti hai.’
Whatever that means.
1 week ago