In 2013, an Oglivy India Google advert warmed the nation’s hearts with a viral advert. The three and half minute advert begins with an elderly gentlemen reminiscing to his granddaughter. He tells the story of his Muslim best friend Yusuf, with whom he would steal sweets with as children when he lived in Lahore. In 1947 this friendship came to an end when the family had to move to India. With the aid of Yusuf’s grandson (and of course Google) we see the two friends enjoy an emotional reunion.
The Google ‘Reunion’ is heartwarming story of how the internet allowed two friends to be reunited, two years ago this actually happened. Two neighbours in the USA, part of the South Asian diaspora become friends. One is a young man named Razin from Gujrat in India, the other Wazir from Hyderabad, Sindh in Pakistan. Their friendship transcends borders and is based on what they have in common like their geographical location in the USA as well as their trips for Friday prayers together.
In this time, the friends would share stories of their life which included Wazir’s retelling of the Partition. The Partition is a painful memory for many, and Wazir recounted losing a dear friend. The name of the departed friend, Takimdas, stayed with Razin. Months later Razin spotted this name as the author of a Facebook comment, he reached out and soon realised that this was the same childhood friend that Wazir spoke of.
70 years on, Wazir and Tikamdas may just be reunited!
Today, India Cricket Captain, Virat Kohli is the face of clothing company Manyavar. A 2017 advert saw Virat walking through various celebrations from numerous religions reminding the viewer that India is for everyone to come together and celebrate.
Both real life stories and the marketing campaigns seek to remind the people that while politicians were and still are sharing a different narrative, there are stories of family and community, based on love and friendship which can never be forgotten.