Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Indian narrative is layered. The how is more important than the what of the story

Hindustan Times Email Author New Delhi, July 23, 2007
Trained in Hindustani classical music, Joshi grew up in small town of Uttar Pradesh with strict parents who banned the film and pop stuff until he was a teenager. Somewhere, he managed to connect the dots of his roots with the shoots of globalisation.
"At times, cultural pride becomes a handicap. We don't have to be insular," says Joshi, who cut his teeth with Ogilvy's creative veteran Piyush Pandey, picking up the threads of an Indian idiom in a me-too ad world before building his own ideas that connected the seemingly unconnected.
Global confectioner Perfetti thrives in India on Joshi's ideas that include a near-impossible mix between Bhojpuri and Italian with catch lines like, "Alpenliebe, zara idhar deebey!"
Joshi says India has its own storytelling tradition, reflected best in Bollywood-style narratives and theatrical traditions that deserve their own place in the global milieu. He is quick to acknowledge the likes of R "Balki" Balakrishnan, Lowe's creative chief, for all-Indian slogans like "Hamara Bajaj" but affirms his own signature style that relies on melodrama, verbal tang and music.
"The Indian narrative is layered. The how is more important than the what of the story," he says. "And I have tried to tap into the classical rural traditions of this country."
For all that, Joshi is happy to sit on the international jury in places like Cannes and New York and in brainstorming ideas with creative colleagues from elsewhere in Asia. He takes inspiration from Indian classical musicians jamming with world music leaders, than local hip-hop artistes.
"I would rather have Ravi Shankar jam than a coroner from South Bombay who sings cover versions of Paul Simon or Bob Dylan," he says.
Writing lyrics for Bollywood songs on the side, the man whose career graph coincided with the rise of private television in India is now mapping the art of storytelling for a global digital world. As a Net and gadget freak, he has his own property on Second Life (, the Internet site where fantasies are created and sold like real estate.

No comments:

Post a Comment