To understand my excitement on seeing these words in 6-point Times New Roman, I must take you back a few months. After being injured in an accident, I’d been laid up (no orgasmic connotations intended) for some months. To kill time, I started writing songs, and putting them to 3 chord tunes. Nothing terribly original. Just rhyming lines about lost love and the rock ‘n’ roll way of life. Trying to be the 6-string toting cowboy from Bangalore.
Once back on my feet, I headed straight for a studio and a recording. I even went as far as calling my effort an album. And if that wasn’t enough I made 200 copies and sold them at 50 rupees a piece. To help me on my way, I had a shark breathing up my pants for the 10K loan he’d given me at 15% a month.
Now sloppy as the recording was, the music wasn’t received badly. Between me and a partner in rhyme, we managed to palm off most of the 200 at our respective colleges. To ease my guilt, I explained to every one of my buyers that the album wasn’t worth the money they were paying. But they were sure I was a budding star. (Blooming idiot I thought was closer home.)
Some even asked me to autograph their copies. Certainly Ma’am. Though I can’t say I wouldn’t have responded with greater enthusiasm if it were a bared bosom and a permanent marker I was offered. I’d watched enough music videos to know that was a possibility, however remote. ☺
Encouraged by the confidence of my mates and helped along by fantasies of permanent markers, I began to think I could cut it as a musician. I decided to start with jingles. A friend who I discussed my career plan with gave me directions. To an ad agency on Church Street in Bangalore. Lintas he said, offering to take me there. Kind fellow. So off we went on a Saturday afternoon.
The reception area was deserted. So we stood around clearing our throats. Minutes passed, and then a head popped out. And then another.
“Do-Re-Me-Can-Ai-Com-Po-Se-Yo-Ur-Jingles”, I went. Not in so many words. But that was the gist. They got the drift, but to make sure, I also offered to write the lines. At no extra cost. Introducing, Value Added Services, from Manoj Jacob and Partners. Notes for notes and lines for free.
“Buddy”, said a red-eyed bloke. “You’ll be taking away our jobs if you do that.”
Much as I wanted to admit that I quite welcomed that situation, I held my tongue. And instead enquired about the nature of their work.
“Copywriter”, he went on. “We write ads.” (Incidentally, the bloke is now a much respected adman whose latest script is a much talked about romance of cradle snatching proportions.)
Enlightened I stepped out of Lintas, Church Street, Bangalore. With the light shining bright on a new career plan.