Journalist, likes people-watching, no-DSLR shutterbug, revels in the absurd and the nutty, loves books, blogs, travel, food, and tries not to be a cantankerous customer.

Sravanthi C

Making the most of Independence Day

| Updated on August 14, 2013 Published on August 14, 2013

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If the e-mails I get are any indication, 2013 is the year of Independence Day marketing. It seems like this is the year I-Day as a marketing occasion is bigger than ever.

Most I-Day promotions so far, in my experience, have been restricted to sales exhorting you to buy with “full freedom” and buffets at various hotels and restaurants. This is no debate, though, on whether I-Day should be a marketing opportunity, just a look at how marketers have seized the chance creatively.

A hotel in Gurgaon has constructed a tri-colour galangal cheese chiboust. (A chiboust, I’ve learnt, is a pastry cream.) The chiboust is white, the green comes from a basil jelly, the red from a blood orange clafoutis. Then there is the tricolour cheesecake by a New Delhi bakery, which reminds me of a tricolour burfi we were served many years ago as part of a meal on I-day at our college hostel. (Now wasn’t that a pleasant surprise?)

There are green, saffron and white salads, and brown and red kabab and curry platters let the colours of Independence shine through accessories such as chutneys - it would be a disservice to dismiss these artistic creations as accompaniments.

But this post is not restricted to things culinary. There are utilitarian things as well, and as creative as they come. An ironing board, for instance, covered in green, white and saffron stripes. A Mumbai hotel has furnished its restaurant in shades of saffron and green.

There are stoles for women in the same colours, in prints, silk and tie-and-dye. Sports socks, with a patch of green at the heel and toes, and green and white stripes bound by saffron at the shin.

There are marketers selling I-Day-themed tours (to Delhi, Jallianwala Bagh, Wagah, Porbandar, Sabarmati Ashram) and activities at the mall for the kids (flag making and tri-colour pin wheel making). One enterprise is selling the national flag and donating the proceeds to charity.

There will be many more ideas as the week progresses, I am sure. But how many of them have contended with not-so-sporting objections to their artistic interpretations of the tricolour? Years ago, an online community I am a part of was discussing something on these lines, and a baker friend said she was afraid to use colour combinations of significance in her cakes in case someone objected. A colleague had similar reservations. Despite finding them very pretty, she said: “Oh yes, these socks might certainly get the boot!”

Published on August 14, 2013
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