Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Let's celebrate a circus called India

Cows sunbathing on expressways. Bare-bodied sadhus on cellphones. Chappal combats in Parliament. Spitting and urinating in public places. Chaos, golmaal, jugaad... all pieces of a vast multi-cultural mosaic called India.

The Times of India invites the entire nation to come together to help create this mosaic, with A Day in the Life of India. All you need to do is to shoot a photo or video , draw a cartoon or just tell us a joke , on anything you feel makes India, India. You can come up entirely with your own idea of what to create, or take up one of various assignments we have drawn up under each of these categories. For example, a video on "the chaos on our roads", or a photograph on bizarre signboards messages.

The best entries stand a chance to win attractive cash prizes ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 5 lakh as well as loads of cool merchandise - whacky T-shirts, crazy bags and mugs, all with images that say: this happens only in India. And what's more, the best work will be showcased prominently in The Times of India, Times Now, Zoom and Radio Mirchi.

So how do you get started? First, just log on to our dedicated website for this programme, .

Take inspiration from the loads of cutting-edge material already put up there - great ads from the past and present, hilarious photographs and cartoons from TOI's archives and more. Then put on your thinking caps, pull out your cameras (or sharpen your pencils) and create your own take on how "we are like that only". Or simply keep your eyes and ears open; there's no dearth of mad, loony, frustrating or plain absurd things you'll come across in your daily life to capture on camera.

Once you have your photo, video, cartoon or joke to submit, just upload it on the site; (it's very simple, much like how it is on popular video or social networking sites). Or, simply join the conversations taking place on the website. Share your comments on all the stuff that's featured there, or take part in simple contests like captioning pictures or completing jokes.

So how about celebrating all the quirks that make India the unique place it is?

Some of the themes that you could explore in your entry 

Chalta Hai India : Don't we all know the infamous "I don't care" attitude. Dumping garbage on roads, playing cards at work, cops sleeping on duty... the list is endless!

Pushy India : We love pushing and shoving, be it in a bank queue, on a public transport or at ticket counters.

Overloaded India : Typical scenes of over-usage of capacity of all kinds... remember the famous Fevicol ad?

Bizarre India : We inherit the strangest of customs, rituals and superstitions and pass it on generations after generations, like idols drinking milk, walking barefoot on fire, etc.

Golmaal India : Bribery, underhand nexus, cutting corners, phoney red lights, touts and fake brands.

Jugaad India : We invented this phenomenon. It is all about bending and bypassing rules to get a job done.

Chaotic India: We live in complete disarray, no lane driving, chaotic parking, queues for procuring ration and temples on Thursdays...

Technicolour India : A medley of colours that India is... ghagra cholis, kitschy trucks, Holi ke rang, etc.

Incredible India : The beauty and heritage of India, the monuments, wildlife, beaches and the resplendence of festivals.

Sign of the Times : The happy-go-lucky use of English in India. Remember all the times you have seen signs saying "child beer" or heard people entering a building from the "backside".

Points to remember 

* One person can submit more than one entry

* A panel of judges will select the award-winning entries. The popularity of the content on the website will also be looked into.

* Only original entries will be accepted. Further, entries should not be pornographic, offensive or sensitive in nature.

The contest is open till March 15, 2011 

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