Sunday, September 03, 2006

Those were the days ...

Continuing with my "deprivation series", here is another posting of mine that dwells upon deprivation. Again, its the kind of posting which will make sense only to those who have lived a similar "deprived" childhood. According to the official statistics, more than 85% of India's population has experienced such a childhood of "want and deprivation". Since i am too bugged myself ( examination blues making me all jittery and nervous) to play any guessing game over here, i kill the suspense. I am talking about the kind of childhood spent in homes where satellite television made a real late foray. By late i mean not until 2000 AD. So you can easily arrive at the number of years (approximate that is ) of my life which have been spent living in what can be well and truly called "television's stone age". This in turn means that i had my more than fair share of "Krishi Darshan" looking at the clock waiting for the next program in the pipeline - mostly it used to be the still-going-strong Chitrahaar. Doordarshan inculcates in you loads of patience. Krishi Darshan was only one of those several mediums used by Doordarshan to this end. The inevitable and excruciatingly agonising brakes in the form of compulsory transmission of proceedings of the parliaments that used to come in between the live telecast of cricket matches tested your patience to the limits. Almost everyone (just tell me one person who actually bothered watching these parliamentary proceedings in all its gory details ? ) prayed that somehow one of the parliamentarians would go crazy creating a ruckus leading to an early closure of parliament's session. Quite often, our prayers were answered. Then more often than not, Doordarshan ran short of soaps and ended up with a retelecast (or reretelcast or even rereretelecast) of the same soap ( deliberately keeping it short of "opera"). Then there was this higly irritable World Of Sports where all you ended up watching was a kabaddi/kho kho match between two unheard colleges of some unheard university based in some unheard corner of Haryana. When you really ran into luck, you would be treated to the live telecast of a durand cup match between Mohun Bagan andMohameddan Sporting Club.
After enough of venting out my spleen on Dordarshan, i must also heap deserving praises and shower accolades on DD for the unforgivables that it has delivered with not quite clockwork regularity. Who can forget Ramayana or Mahabharata when the roads became deserted - a performance that captivated the imaginations of old and young alike. "Byomkesh Bakshi" was no less than Sherlock Holmes and then there were those a-bit-corny-but-still-entertaining Tehkikaat and the still going strong Shaktimaan. Added to it were the absolutely amazing and awesome tele adaptations of the equally wonderful short stories written by the likes of Anton Chekhov ( how can one who has grown up on DD forget Chekhov ki Duniya ?? ) and O Henry. And DD deserves a big big thanks for never letting the K factor dictate terms in this world of crass commercialisation. All said and done, i must point out that i have moved away from those days of yore and now subsist on the dose of programs dished out by my new dish connection. But DD has its own place of pride in my schedule; that is when i get to switch on the idiot box.


Nayan said...

Indeed doordarshan played an indispensable role to delineate the middle class of 80's and 90's unlike K soap operas where protagonist is a billionair and a philander ....

I miss those days of " oshin", "gul-gulshan-gulfaam" and " chutti-chutti" :((

Harshad said...

My habit of highlighting the sentences that I am about to read has left me staring through a visual screen of stripes... thanks to the contrasting colors on your blog :P

I look everywhere and I see stripes... still. Anyways... you forget Fraggle rock (!) and 'Kahani some-arbit-baba ki' who actually used to grow young! DD was good until TV was invaded by Star world (it used to be called something else then)... in fact one of the earliest adornments at home was a TV with multicolored stripes (which was the blank screen that used to be broadcast before a serial) accompanied by standard DD music.

The stripes before my eyes have almost gone now :)

Deepti said...

Coming from a similarly deprived background i totally understand what u mean...and agree... but from wat i have seen, dd too has started coming up with super crappy soaps, minus all the glitz and tacky glam of t K series... i wish they wud go back to basics na?

Anonymous said...

God !!!!! i don't believe that. Really?? how could survive on DD for such a long long period. Well then you do have a lot of guts and patience to stand you in your life. But then i'll also make it a point to watch DD for sometime every day. Lemme see what kept you so glued to possibly the most boring channel on planet earth ( after maybe planet earth). I do switch on the idiot box with clockwork regularity.


munna.... said...

abe thoda font size bada kar yaar ..

arunabh said...

my most sincere apologies :( how could have i missed out on oshin .. probably the best doordarshan ever had to offer. I also forgot to mention Stone Boy,Street hawk, Chutti Chutti .. those were truly the best days of my life.

well it took me reaaalllyy long to decipher wot u wre tryin to convey. Finally i got it. And the typically DD sound was peeeeeeeeeeeeeee....
but no dont get ne wrong notions it dint at all sound like someone peeing :d

yeah lately DD has also come up with its own series of craps. Even i pray they get back to those days of yore. Most importantly i wont mind the re or rere or rereretelecast of such soaps like stone boy.

yeah its sad ( not exactly) yet true. Gud .. u'll also fall in love with DD .. tho nt exactly

@munna ....
abe ctrl + ka use kar le naa . wasie next time se i'll take care of my beloved readers like b.. :p

siddharth_mohan said...

You also got me nostalgic about my growing up years with DD. i still have hazy recollections of the then prime time serials like buniyaad, kahaan gaye woh log,humlog. Since i am much older to you , you won't be able to associate with the early 80's

prachi said...

Is some1 (the type o shorties ya use :)) :)) :)) ) getting sentied about DD?? thats something rare - really rare - really rare :p.Unfair - you mention Shaktimaan but do not mention Aryamaan :d i think have already gored u enoh .. so i take a break. Good piece but was this deploring or praising - left me confused.


arunabh said...

well i can recall humlog whose retelecast i think i watched. i guess it was the one which started off with ashok kumar introducing ppl or sumthing very close to tht.

gud to see also getting addicted :p it helps me in lots of ways .. so guess it mite also work out 4 u
this was a hybrid between the two extremes of emotions

Yashika said...

Amen! Glad that satellite tv is here to stay! Though the doordarshan days were special in their own way- waking up each sunday morning to catch a glimpse of "chitrahaar"... snuggling up in front of the tv to catch that old movie... moms finishing up chores early to catch the much-awaited soap... et al. Now all that seems light-years away! Nevertheless, great read and interesting topic!

Anonymous said...

i tried watching DD for a couple of days but its (do not mind my saying that) disgusting :(( its so boring . maybe till 2000 AD it was interesting but that was so many eras back. So wel no more DD for now or just tell me something that you feel i should try. New blog pic ... really good. The first time you have put on a pic with you really in a jolly mood :)


Anonymous said...

he he he he !! quite good description of those days of yore. DD surely once was the best channel - ofcourse when it was the only one tere :p


arunabh said...

ohh ..yeah i missd out on mentioning the sunday evening movies .. which were even better when they were the black n white ones. Almost always turned out to b a family get together of sorts :)
it has been some days since i had changed the blog pic. another pic straight frm delhi... mayb thts y u found it better :p
thanx thanx thanx

Anonymous said...


Sai said...

all said and done .... jungle book started there be ... best carton series ever :D .... animated wildlife !!! .... abbe thanks be ...else i would still be unsuccessfully trying to comment on ur page....

arunabh said...

just too cryptic.. i dint get ya

was just wondering how many others did i miss out and the list almost seems endless.. jungle book, malgudi days, neev,oshin .....
n u can give me a cc @shack for the favour :p

Yashika said...

Trial comment...

Yashika said...


yashika said...

hope this works :(

Jitin said...

hi arunabh! u don't know me... but i m one of sushobhan's good friends from thapar... & like u a blogger too... i was recommended to ur blog by sushobhan... & though i hv read quite a few blogs till now... this one is exceptionally good... by the way i read ur latest post on doordarshan on "deprivation" & like u i hv also had a similar childhood... so i can fully comprehend & experience ur feelings... right now i m a bit short of time but i will definitely read ur other posts too...
keep up the good work buddy!!!

aanchal said...

Hi Arunabh,
Stumbled upon your blog via "Google -> Chekhov ki duniya "

I dont know, if i should be asking, but
"Never mind the turtle. Don't you think you're sure to win? "
can you tell me, if ,what i understood, is what you wanted to explain :)


arunabh said...

I don't really mind your asking the question but for me to be able to give you a satisfactory answer, i should first know what did you deduce from that statement? Fair enough? :)
Btw, I dont know, if i should be asking, but
Your blog name is aanchal but you have signed off as Ekta?

aanchal said...

Hi Arunabh,

The mention of turtle alludes to the story between rabbit and the tortoise , where the "slow and steady wins.." and never mind the turle could mean , "never mind if YOU are slow (or others are slow and steady ? ), but aren't you sure enough to win ? " , turle also means, "Overturn accidentally ", so as to say, "dont moind if situations overturn accidently, you will still /can still win ". which one, or none, huh ?
Somehow , I wanted to be sure enough if I read it correctly , hence asked :)

Making up for what I did not write, when I wrote to you the last time ..
huhmmmm...I have had a 'deprived' childhood that you just descibed here. As before, I do not know what your deprived 'means', but mone was that we never had TV till I was in sixth std! My sister and I used to go to our neighbours on Saturday , and watch the movie there.
And the serials that you are talking about, like 'kahani ..some random baba ki..' , and all of these were watched here, at their home.
"Deprived" was a beautiful usage , btw..!

My pseudonym name is aanchal , and ekta is my real name, and I prefer to go with 'integrity' (ekta aka unity aka integrity?) , aanchal is choo girly anyway !

PS : you write meaningful, keep it up :)


arunabh said...

@ekta (as you like it :) )
Firstly, i apologise profusely for the late reply. But i was home for Diwali vacations and was hence "technologically-deprived" with no net connection at home:)
Regarding the hare-turtle story, what i actually meant was that i am not all that bothered about winning and loosing. My slowness and my unsteadiness is bound to spell my doom. However, it still doesn't make too big a difference to me. Although, your interpretations sound equally valid:)I guess i should have conveyed it in a better manner.
And believe me, my childhood closely mirrors that of yours. We also started off by watching television at our neighbour's place. It was only much later that we got a television set of our own.
Btw, you don't write half as bad:)
Pardon my curiosity but what is the Open Coffee Club?

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