Al-Baari Residencia TVC by Al-Jalil Developers comes out to surprise all of us. It grips some of us by the sheer simplicity of the idea that communicates the message, while others were taken aback by the thought behind this deceptively simple communication. Why would any Chaudhry consider himself out-of-place at a position that gives him everything from wealth and power to pride and authority?
The idea behind the concept is fine. The route taken to transform the idea into a story is not without flaws. On the first look, the ad seems insightful. A Chaudhary living in a rural atmosphere among livestock rightfully needs a modern lifestyle. It is understandable to aspire to a contemporary living. To mock the age-old traditions or culture of a specific class is unacceptable.
In the last decade or so, agricultural lands have turned into housing societies offering modern-day amenities. The farmers of Punjab could hardly resist the temptation of getting hard cash in exchange for their lands. Farming is a tedious job. Cash is liberating. The development of housing societies has become cancer around the major cities of Punjab like Lahore, Faisalabad, Sialkot, and other smaller Cities.
Instead of growing vertically, like all modern cities, our landholders are spreading their tentacles in any direction they can. The horizontal growth of the City will eventually have irreversible damage to food security. Al-Baari Residencia ad has struck a fresh blow. Livestock is a subsidiary industry of agriculture. The ad gives a subliminal message that farming and animal husbandry is exchangeable with the comforts and luxury of an extravagant and status-conscious lifestyle.
The Chaudhry (farmer) of today is likely to disagree with the idea presented by Al-Baari Residencia. The younger generation will be more vulnerable to the temptation of luxury. Despite being an agricultural country, we are losing contact with our roots. The rich soil that we have can become a stretch of gold-producing land in the wake of food security concerns of the world.
Selling land is the most unproductive business. We need farmers and livestock experts to make healthy food easily accessible for everyone. The role of development authorities and other concerned departments is critical to stop the negative trend of horizontal growth of cities. There are several illegal societies in Lahore like Al-Fajar City, Al-Sadiq Garden, Al-Rehmat Housing Scheme, Al-Rehman City, etc. Iqbal Garden, was banned by LDA for being developed on green land, only when the project was already underway. Al-Baari Residencia gets the attention of all of us due to the overpowering persona of Sohail Ahmed and the value of a creative idea. The idea is interesting. The thought behind it lacks maturity and vision.