A woman with the potential to make it big. It is not that she cannot: she simply will not.
The closest anyone has come to being an adopted daughter.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Memories of spiders and camels

Memories of my childhood invariably involve All India Radio and Doordarshan. Even now, as I listen to the 6 AM Vande Maataram or the trademark Doordarshan jingle as the undulated orange logo smoothens into a proper shape I get goosebumps.

However, this article involves to two of the most popular jingles from my childhood. The first goes back to a 12 o'clock Sunday morning cartoon of Spiderman, which was my most awaited show of the week. This was way, way before the more popular feature Hollywood film series of Spiderman came into existence. At that age, Spiderman was sensational, since he was the only superhero we could watch on TV, and also because he was the only known superhero to me (once again, at that age) whose undergarments remained underneath his trousers.

I simply loved the song, but could never decipher what most of the words were. As I grew up and found the mp3 on internet, I listened to it very carefully and noted down the lyrics. Then I realised what a moron I was, since the lyrics were available on the internet already. The more interesting aspect, though, was that no one, I repeat, no one of my age, who used to sing the song with as much gutso as I did, knows the lyrics by heart.

I suppose it's my duty to provide the lyrics here for the sake of everyone. If at least one person breaks into a smile while reading this and/or hums the tune subconsciously, I'd know it was worth the effort:

Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can.
Spins a web, any size, catches theives just like flies.
Look out, here comes the Spiderman.

Is he strong? Listen bud, he's got radioactive blood.
Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead.
Hey there, there goes the Spider-man.

In the chill of the night, at the scene of a crime,
Like a stream of light, he arrives just in time.

Spiderman, Spiderman, friendly neighbuorhood Spiderman
Wealth and fame, he's ignored, action is his reward
To him.
Life is a great big bang-up, wherever there's a hang-up,
You'll find the Spiderman!


The other song, though, is a Bangla commercial jingle. This one goes back to the 1980s as well, was very popular during the 1990s, but faded away in the new millennium. It was a riot in my college days, and I clearly remember myself shouting at the top of my supremely-deprived-of-musical-sense-of-the-minimum-order voice in the metro stations, porticos and empty classrooms. It went like this:

মাথার ঘন চুল যখন মরুভূমি হয়ে যায়,
Oasis নিয়ে আসে মরূদ্যান মেঘের ছায়ায় ছায়ায়।
Oasis খুসকি তাড়ায়, Oasis উকুনও মারে
Oasis মাথাকে ঠাণ্ডা রাখে,
Oasis double-action hair vitaliser, Oasis!

This roughly translates to:
When the dense locks on your head do not exist any more,
Oasis justifies its name in shadowy clouds galore.
Oasis removes dandruff and gets rid of lice,
Oasis keeps your head as cool as ice,
Oasis double-action hair vitaliser, Oasis!

And invariably, without thinking anything, as if in an innertia, an obvious ting-tong is uttered, an interlude All India Radio always used between commercials.

PS: Can anyone provide me with a snap of an Oasis Hair Oil container or box? I vividly remember that the logo resembled the outline of a camel.


  1. shottyi i ki kore likhish bolto eto deep rooted jinishgulo with such an ease. i simply loved the piece and just to let u know spiderman was even my personal favourite character .even i waited for the show to be telecasted on the tv.

  2. electrifying, shortlyApril 26, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    Came across the following in cyberspace some years back...wonder why it didn't catch up-:)

    spiderman spiderman
    dori dhoira jhuilo kyan
    poira gele bhangba thyang
    spiderman spiderman.

    spiderman spiderman
    octopus er 8 ta thyang,
    tomare dhorte aaise kyan,
    spiderman, spiderman.

    spiderman spiderman
    mukhos feilya palao kyan
    dont be coward, be a man,
    spiderman spiderman.

    tumi na thakle spiderman
    mon-taye kore aan-chaan,
    duniyar joto polapan
    tomare je chaay spiderman.

    spiderman spiderman
    biya korte do-rao kyan
    Mary Jane je tomar jaan
    spiderman spiderman.

    abar tumi aaila fire
    Bangla dyasher ghore ghore
    box-office re koirla maat
    spiderman jindabaad..!!

  3. onekdin por mon satty satty bhalo hoye gelo je this blog deserves a heartfelt appreciation. as many do, i too live in a tremendous chain of associated memories. reading this a train load of pictures ran through my mind which stopped at the climax sequence of ratatouille; its that good.
    (btw, porer gaan tao durshorsho - especially ei line ta onekdin mone thakbe, biya korte do-rao kyan, mary jane je tomar jaan)

  4. Thanks for the memories! Of course I (too) hummed the tune as I read along with the lyrics, but for me, the first paragraph holds way more memories - of waking up at 5:30 AM and going off to primary school by 7.

    As for the main course, I hope that you have heard the latest variant:

    SpiderPig, SpiderPig,
    Does whatever a SpiderPig does.
    Can he swing from a web?
    No he can't - he's a pig
    Look oooooooooouuuuuut,
    He is a SpiderPiiiiiig!

  5. Spiderman jokhon hoto tokhon amar boyos bodh hoe bochhor 3ek... sei boyose utsahito hoye spiderman-er moto orar cestae janla dhore anek jhhulechhi!!

  6. The blog brought back many memories associated with oasis and when we look at the options of entertainment available to children on diff forms of media we feel lost out.At the same time waiting a whole week for your favourite show had its own charm which children miss today.