MIDWAY : Incredible ads

I have no inkling as to how one manages to figure out such things but there appears to be an interesting fact on tigers: the roar of a full-grown tiger can be heard more than a mile away. Indian tourism ministry, with its slogan ‘Incredible India,’ has pertinently used the jungle cat to have its ‘publicity roar’ heard thousands of miles away.

As soon as I got through the emigration at the Charles de Gaule airport in Paris, one cutely coined slogan by Incredible India caught my eyes. On the hoarding board, a sturdy tiger was coming out of an ancient temple at a khandahar-looking place, possibly somewhere in Rajasthan. Referring to the graceful feline beast, the motto read: All the Indians are not hospitable and vegetarian!

Well, India is a great habitat of tigers in that currently, out of nearly 7,000 tigers that roam in the jungles of different Asian countries, more than half are found in India. How many of them, if any, are hospitable and vegetarian, one may never know! One intuitively tends to rule out such possibility, anyway. However, if man should eat meat, why shouldn’t a tiger eat grass, leafy vegetables as well as legumes? And there is no reason a human being is necessarily hospitable and a tiger aggressive.

Anyway, Westerners seem to have cherished the thrilling growl of the elegant beast and are now thronging to India. India saw a record 4 million tourists in 2006. Incredible job by Incredible India! And part of the success in bringing in the rubbernecks goes to the tigers, too.

At home, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has come up with a clumsy slogan: Naturally Nepal. This said, my observation could be arbitrary. In a glossy French tourism magazine, I recently saw a smart ad on Nepal. The land of the Buddha and Mt. Everest, the title stared up at me. Wow! How wrong I was, Naturally Nepal is actually at it, I maintained. The ad continued: 7 flights a week to Kathmandu, my happiness saw no bounds; Nepal Airlines deserves kudos for this bang-up job, I thought complacently.

My eyes rolled down to the eyes of the Buddha and the slopes of Everest, to end on a sad note: Qatar Airways. Naturally Nepal and NTB should share a common motto: We love farming out! Incredible, indeed.