It was a Sunday morning in the mid 80’s, but me and brother woke up early. Done with the daily chorus, we ran to amma for breakfast. By8:30we were ready and so were our nieghbours. All of them assembled at our home and obediently sat in a row. Amma served us hot pakodas and tea. It was 9:00am and we were thrilled. Time for He-man and Masters of the Universe. I still recollect the excitement on our little faces for it was the first Sunday after the small 18” Keltron colour TV came home – The Sundays before that there was at a nieghbours’, couple of blocks away (Black & whilt 15” monitor). So we were the proud owners of a TV. After getting disbursed, me and bro watched The sword of Tipu Sultan and Mahabharat with parents. A break and in the evening children gathered again. Giant Robot!!
Chitrahar, Chitrageetham, Rangoli, He-man, Tipu Sultan, Mahabharat in the beginning and Reporter, Chandrakanta, Tu Tu Mein Mein, Superhit Muqabla a few years later -There were very few things to watch and only one channel – Doordarshan, but all of us eagerly looked forward to it.
Once private channels were allowed in the early 90’s Doordarashan had a steep decline in viewership. I personally think Doordarshan who had a modest beginning with just a small transmitter and a makeshift studio , could never stop being humble and therefore got kicked out As far as I remember, the last program I saw in DD was India’s first super hero – Shaktimaan and that was the end!! The quality of programs delivered by Cable and Satellite Television was much higher to what DD gave. It continues to earn profit from cricket tournaments though..
From then we saw an exponential growth in the number of channels landing in, but whenever I switch on my TV, I can only browse through these umpteen channels and never be satisfied to stick to a program.
Malayalam channels – I wonder why they are not fed up showing the same movies that they have been showing for the past 10 yrs. And some of them we would not have even heard of, but still Super Duper Mega Bumper hits!!! Hindi channels have only reality shows and their replays – Dance, Sing, Comedy and that’s it. At the end of the day if you want to see some good ooking, NDTV was the first choice. But now barely clad models fill the screen – Bikini Destination or Kingfisher Calendar hunt or some cheer girl selection for IPL or Formula1. Its like a 24X7 Bay Watch there. And news.. Oh God!! News channels are in plenty, but 5 news would be there which is shown over and over again. And then UTV Bindaas. Only reality shows – Emotional Atyachar and Date Trap (and the replays ofcourse) are the only 2 programs that run in this channel for a full week until the next episode comes in the week after. I pity the kids of today for there is no kiddish cartoons.Everything in cartoon channels are violence or high funda. And sports channels are there, ..May I should take up interest in them. However, right now nothing looks innovative or interesting. Only disappointing!!
Haven’t seen everyone in the family sitting together for any program. Now we only fight for the remote to switch to our favourite channels. Disappointing again!! Cant understand when people say they have turned Couch Potatoes ?!?!?!?
Even now when I think of what to watch or discuss with friends on what programs they see, we all talk about the pleasure the poor quality videos of Doordarshan delivered. Strange isn’t it?