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Days & Nights with Television December 18, 2007

Posted by astralwicks in Bhubaneshwar, Blogging, Culture, Entertainment, Family, Growing up years in India, india, jamshedpur, Konark, Mass Media in India, Media, Mumbai, Random, Reflections, T.V, Television, Television in India, Thoughts, Writing.
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Mumbai. Big expensive, glamorous city. I love movies and if you want to make them, then the eventual destinaion is Bombay. I hate calling it Mumbai, but…There is nothing good about the Times of India supplement Bombay Times, other than the fact that they still call themselves Bombay Times.

So I landed one day in the city of dreams in a train from Jamshedpur. Stayed with friends and tried my hand like every other TD and H, that is Tom, Dick and you know what. Those were heady days. Living and fighting and scraping bank balances and utensils to make ends meet. Things have improved a bit I must say. Only a bit though.

I work in television. Some months back I was opposed to it because of the proliferation of mindless soaps etc. I joined tv because it offers to pay my bills. Not on time as I initially thought, but eventually it does, so its better than my luck elsewhere.

Sometimes I am offended by the barrage of self – doubt that assails me. Its a nice cozy office with decent people who do their job, greet you and do not piss you. The work is mostly writing, which I enjoy. But even then – this doubt thing.

It was during work that I discovered blogging. A very good exercise for writers especially if one is blogging from office, like I do. You get 10 or sometimes 15 minutes to peg a thought, make it interesting, error free and contemporary and relevant.

Sometimes I don’t even know what I am about to write, till I actually pen it down. Other times one is distubed by colleagues or actual office work. Imagine – the keys are waiting to be typed, to be converted into a word, a sentence, a thought and it dies, without any prologue.

So television programming, blogging and an interesting city. What else do we need? Lots. One of those boring days I thought of something that sounded interesting. Why not analyze the effect of television on my own life. How has television played a role in my life? I thought it would prop a background to my work, would help in contextualizing. So my exercise begins.


The 1st time i watched television was in Bhubaneshwar.

At my grandparent’s house. They had a Konark television. One of the earliest Indian idiot boxes. Our first television was also a Konark. My uncle brought it with him one morning on one of his visits to Jamshedpur. It sounds romantic but I still remember the early morning of that day. I opened the grill to the house and saw by uncle get out of an auto-rickshaw – he was carrying a carton…it was a television…Konark. I, later on, visited its manufacturing premises, to change the picture tube.

I and my sister jumped with joy. It was the greatest joy for a long long time. Things were never the same after that day. We had a television but it was of no use.

The Antenna

I knew what an antenna was. We have a Marconi radio. It is a giant of a machine, which is now packed and preserved. That radio also had an antenna. I didn’t understand its function though. My father repeatedly tried to make me understand the ‘air waves’, but to no avail. They catch the ‘air waves’, he said, but how can you catch the invisible? I asked and wondered! Frankly it still makes me reel.

So we had a television and no reception. We ran to the nearest Television shop near our residence. We bought an antenna. Which one to choose? we wondered. 7 elements, 9 or 11. We finally went with 9. We fixed the t.v and the antenna and switched it ON.

The television started to beam its images into our household. It was a wonder. We could hardly see the image. There was ghosting that I have never experienced ever, weird net like creatures crawling over the screen, making a veil over the people and things, hiding everything. The antenna was on the terrace. Eager, energetic kids we were and we wanted to see the IMAGE clear and crystal like. The brother sister duo used to run 2 flights of stairs, grab hold of the iron rod and twist and turn it. Somebody downstairs, usually our father, used to shout up instructions, left, right, just there (of course in Telugu and Hindi) STOP.

We used to run down with great anxiety to check out the improvement. Even an incremental change used to make us ecstatic. The entire family used to look and marvel at the new improved reception. In the heart of hearts we knew that this was not going to last, that it’s a momentary pleasure afforded to us, transient. And it was so. After a few minutes things again took a u-turn and we were back to square 1.

And then came the BOOSTER

A small device that promised extra-ordinary clarity to revolutionize our perception. There was a change after the Booster was installed, but soon it assumed the status of your favourite relative who decides to settle down at your house. The booster soon became both inseparable and passe.




1. TV Movies Soaps » Days & Nights with Television - December 18, 2007

[…] astralwicks placed an observative post today on Days & Nights with TelevisionHere’s a quick excerptI work in television. Some months back I was opposed to it because of the proliferation of mindless soaps etc. I joined tv because it offers to pay my bills. Not on time as I initially thought, but eventually it does, so its better than … […]

2. v - December 21, 2007

gr8 stuff…

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