On a lazy worked up day, there I was contemplating what “to do” when our media manager, Sharna informed me of the rather unexpected good news. She had been loitering over the idea of giving one of our brands/campaigns a big break in the media through the many different specialized programs there were, but none seemed to be a good fit, or the timing was just not good enough. In such a situation, it was highly unlikely she would come forward with a scope of publicizing our efforts for the brands in a manner that’s largely unpracticed at our premises- to go ON AIR!
As expected, the featured campaign from Ogilvy’s portfolio was to be my celebrated Air Action launch campaign. Being rather “simple and conservative” in nature, this campaign had garnered enough interest and fame in the right quarters to be adjudged as the best work with the Ogilvy trademarks to-date. Soon I was called into action, being incontestably selected as one of the “speakers” for this upcoming tele talk-show on ETV. Before I could gulp in the good news, the second thunder struck me… it was my dear old colleague Mehedi who was to be the other speaker in this show.
“Ride on the Top”, as stupid or grammatically incorrect the word may sound, was to be the program that would give me the platform to speak on air, in-front of a million boggling eyes. Just like the way we are always born without the “choice” of which parent combination we want, I was unable to choose which ugly-sounding program would be my launch platform.
By the time time we received the draft questionnaire of the things to be discussed, I was certain… this episode would be a bomb! Given the wide array of questions and scope to speak freely, the butterflies in my stomach quadrupled just with the thought of “what if ” situations on air. Luckily, enough supportive hands were around cheering us all the way through (going as far as arranging mock interviews for the 2 ishtupids as well)!!!! Clearly, I was the one that sucked and was all tensed throughout the trials, while my counterpart cleared all levels with flying colors. This was NOT going the way I had predicted!
With hours spent fixing the right wardrobe and wrong hair-do (yes, I took a hideous haircut just before the day of interview… and obviously, it sucked!), there was I was… the man in the shining (thukku Tel Chipchipe) armor (i.e. formals) ready to face his “30 minutes of fame”.
As I went about finishing the daily chores and preparing myself for the upcoming onslaught while riding on the top, I could clearly feel my palms getting greasier and hair mistier by the minute… it wasn’t how I wanted it to be, yet it seemed that’s the only way I was going to be 😦
Fighting off the Dhaka traffic with Mehedi and Sharna by my side, I was soon faced with the ominous sight of Jahangir Tower aka. ETV Bhaban in Kawran Bazaar. Hungry and fidgety, the 3 went about scavenging for food in the corporate bazaar of Mr. Kawran. The gold-digging me could not help but entice the rest into the rather poorly located Barrista coffee lounge, only to face the dilemma of “only yuck food available here”!
Finishing up the platter (or lets just say… being forced into finishing, considering the million we were paying for the food), we were soon greeted with a wide-smiled producer named Mr. Some Shaheen. On the very 2nd line, being unusually pampering, I appreciated the title of his program. Quickly he responded, with a shockingly colloquial accent, “Ji, amar program ride on the tof onek koshte khuje pawa ekta naam” (Yes, my program’s name ‘Ride on the Top’ is indeed a hard-found one). Heart-broken, I dreaded the worst- how pathetic would this program be???
I had already given up on anything exciting or indulging form Ms. Sarah Ali’s end (the supposed host), and now the last hope of having a good producer was dashed as well!!! It was only going the HIGHWAY.
Oh! By the way, on a cautionary note, if any reader hasn’t been exposed to the idea of how the on-screen make-up works, you tube it! but DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME, it only succeeds in making a girly-man out of you. As we were introduced with the bimbo anchor, my dearest colleague got down to the usual business I specialize at (at least, most of the time)….sweet-talking with the hostess! Nevertheless, after some tensed waiting and getting tired of girly-made-up men all around, we the barbies were set on the stage of “Ride on the Top”.
What happened next is what you will now find out here