“Marketing ke naye funde” – you may have heard this adage before. Santosh Bakaya’s doodled bookmarks and ebook bookmark can give you a useful tip or two in marketing.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings Season 2 with your hot cuppa and cookies. ☕🍪😊
“Don’t throw it away…”
My yell would have shaken our humble little abode, but the humble house, not forgetting its humble roots, did not shake.
Because there was no yell.
I had managed to rein it in at the last minute, only shaking a restraining finger and glaring at Kanchan into stopping what she was doing.
“But…” She stammered, casting one look at the thing in her hand and one questioning look at me.
“It is a bookmark,” I said.
“I hope you did not throw away any of these.”
She gave a squeak of anguished bewilderment and scuttled out of the house, like a harried rabbit, without answering my question.
Within a minute she was back with at least ten bookmarks.
“I thought these were pieces of useless paper, so I threw them away.”
“But they are all dirty, they cannot be used now.”
I glared at her, like a cat that has been defrauded from her cup of creamy milk.
With a stab of guilt, she removed the dust from them, looking closely.
Impressed by my amateurish scribbles on them, she asked, “YOU have made the drawing on these book ma…rks?”
“Yes, but now throw them back. These are pandemic times, and you are not supposed to do such things – go and wash your hands. ”
Before I could complete my sentence, she had already thrown the bookmarks in the dustbin and was vigorously sanitizing her hands at the washbasin, looking apologetically in my direction. I shed a silent tear at the premature demise of my doodled bookmarks. Only I would remain witness to the art the world missed.
“Whenever you are reading books and you want to remember, where you stopped reading, you put a bookmark between the pages, so that you remember from where to continue.”
“Is this also a bookmark?”
I whirled in the direction of the voice.
It was my daughter who had emerged from her room, still groggy-eyed, but voice indignantly sharp and clear.
She was showing me my Kindle, which she had gifted me a couple of years back on my birthday.
“This was also lying between the pages of the book. Murakami will be so pleased to hear this,” she smirked.
Before I could spring to my defence, she continued her attack with renewed vigour and before I could put a pout in place, I heard her mobile camera click.
What had she clicked?
“What a costly bookmark between the pages of the book – and a story I love so much! To think that I spent ten thousand rupees on a gift which is being used as a cheap bookmark!”
The glaring confrontation lasted half a minute and then she went back into her room, yawning. I couldn’t get a word in to explain it was my Eureka idea of advertising my ebook!
Kanchan could not understand her outrage but now picked up the Kindle from between the pages of ‘Drive my Car’, one of the stories in ‘Men without Women’, Murakami’s collection of short stories.
“What sort of a bookmark is this, madam?”
“It is not a bookmark, it is a Kindle. You read books on it.”
Her eyes kindled for half a minute. The moment she touched, the cover page vanished and the next page came up. “This is a moving bookmark! Ismein to picture chal rahi hai!” (There is a movie running in it!)
With the look of a girl who had just got a peep into the bioscope, she kept the Kindle back among the pages and went back to her chores.
But from that day onwards, her eyes would kindle whenever she came across bookmarks lying between books and stopping her work, she would spend at least a couple of minutes admiring the doodles on them.
One day, she came, looking very happy, and very self-consciously pulled out something from her pouch which she always carries with her, but also forgets to carry back – the scatterbrain that she is.
I looked at her inquisitively and then gaped at the array of beautifully designed bookmarks that she arranged on my writing table, with tender care.
“I made them all, aunty,” she said with a proud twinkle in her eyes.
My eyes refused to leave the bookmarks that she had so lovingly made for me.
“The didi where I used to work has gone back to Delhi, she gave me many things when she left. I found many old birthday cards amongst those things. I dejined these book ma….rks from those cards,” she said, looking happy.
“I had thrown away ten of these, I dejined ten new ones for you.”
Did I tell you that Kanchan is a designer par excellence? A self-taught one. Just a few days back, she had designed some wonderful masks, and before that she had designed her own saree with shimmering lace, what more designs did she have in mind? Before I could allow my horse of imagination to run riot, something seized the bridle.
My mobile phone clicked. There was a message in our family WhatsApp group. It was a photograph. My Kindle serving as my bookmark for a printed book had now gone viral, thanks to the sting operation.
I had no choice but to gnash my teeth as I heard my daughter’s giggle from her room. And the next moment, the newbie marketing whizkid in me gloated over my surreptitious advertising gimmick. Whether that peeping Kindle resulted in sales of the ebook will be another marketing lesson for another day.
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