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Model grandma

She is a familiar face onTV.. Meet Ava `Dadima' Mukherjee, the ayurveda grandma

THE PITH of all advertising is creation of a factitious demand for products. It is never an easy endeavour. Given such a Herculean target, advertisement campaigns would not be bang on, unless they employ motifs true to life.

`Himalaya Dadima' is a roaring success story as far as advertisements go. Grandmothers are pegged in the collective Indian consciousness as dispensers of time-tested herbal concoctions when someone in the family takes ill. The Himalaya Dadima advertisement puts this popular conception to good use.

The other day, Himalaya Dadima was in Chennai to give a fillip to a promotional campaign by The Himalaya Drug Company in the city. Only recently did the company launch a new fairness cream.

The name behind the symbol of `grandmotherhood' is Ava Mukherjee. Brand ambassador for Himalaya products since 1999, she says, "There are times when you have to model for products you don't like. At such times, you go on a guilt trip. My experience with Himalaya has been very different. I can vouch for its efficacy. I have been using their herbal products even before I became their brand ambassador."

A chat with Dadima reveals her versatility. She's been a copywriter, an off-and-on writer and a translator. A memorable moment in her life was when she gave away awards to "unusual grandmothers" at a Grandmothers' Conference held in Bangalore, sometime back.

"There was this woman who was a bartanwali. When her neighbour passed away, she began to look after his orphaned children and educated them. Now the children have grown up. They have written articles about the woman who became their grandmother."

Ava Mukherjee is an unusual grandmother in that she has dozens of grandchildren across the country. "I am happy when children recognise me and call me `Dadima'," she smiles. Interestingly, she does not have her own grandchildren. Not yet. "My children are not yet married," she explains.

P.F

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