I admit it, I'm always a sucker for these tongue-in-cheek uses of Indian mythology for product advertising.
Note: I got some interesting comments on this post.
Anand sent me a link to an article, The Invention of the Hindu, by Pankaj Mishra:
Hinduism is largely a fiction, formulated in the 18th and 19th centuries out of a multiplicity of sub-continental religions, and enthusiastically endorsed by Indian modernisers. Unlike Muslims, Hindus have tended to borrow more than reject, and it has now been reconfigured as a global rival to the big three monotheisms. In the process, it has abandoned the tradition of toleration which lie in its true origins.
And on a lighter note, Anand Vishwanathan tells me that the figure in the ad, whom I had taken to be a character from the Mahabharata, Bhima, because he is shown with a mace, is actually Kumbhakarna, a demon who was the brother of Ravana, the villain of the Ramayana, who slept for months at a time. Which makes the ad funnier than I realised.
And Partisan adds: What's even funnier, the tagline says: "Kannai Mooditu Vangalam", which means, "You can shut your eyes and buy it." Just the right pitch for a sleep-inducing air-conditioner, right?
I learn so much from everyone's comments -- thanks once again for them.