The Idiot box is so much more idiotic now

With the levels of soaps degrading everyday, news being turned into soap opera, and the complete inability to tell the difference between one reality soap and another, many people are nostalgic of the Doordarshan days when series such as Hum log, Udaan, Shyam Bebegal’s Bharat Ek Khoj, Malgudi Days and Govind Nihilani’s terrific adaptation of Bhisham Sahni’s novel on the partition of India ‘Tamas”.
Yes there were those boring state dominated news broadcasts that became just the state propaganda, and many programmes were merely there because of who bribed who. Not all was good, but there were some terrific things on TV that we don’t get now. Neelesh Mishra has written a wonderful piece that I enclose here about ‘growing up with Doordarshan called :
“inside the idiot box of memory”
Let me take you to several minutes before 6 p.m. on crisp winter evenings in the 1980s. In a cobweb of narrow Lucknow lanes, my four young uncles would be about to return home on their Bajaj scooters, my tough cookie grandfather would be about to have his evening tea and on the first floor, my grandmother would be cutting guavas and bringing them to my twin brother Shailesh and me.
That was the moment when I would get up for the highlight of our winter vacation days, in the neighbourhood someone had so stupidly named Ghasiyari Mandi.
A massive click. I would switch on the thick cylindrical silver knob of the Uptron Urvashi TV set, encased in a wooden cabinet. Vertical vibgyor colour bands would show up, and then, suddenly, the rotating Doordarshan logo that seemed to us like two huge kajus hugging a rasgulla in the centre. Sublime, pre-24X7 moment. The moment my brother and I would have waited for the whole day, killing time to prepare ourselves to open the rolling wooden shutter on the TV cabinet.
Doordarshan was the anchor of my growing up years in Lucknow and Nainital……


Its wholesome programming shaped me as an individual, like it did millions of others. We never realised it then, but Doordarshan kept India tied to its cultural and philosophical moorings – a bond that was yanked ruthlessly with the arrival of cable. Doordarshan left me with a thousand nuggets of nostalgia that I cling on to.
Heck, I was such a sucker that I often religiously watched “Chaupal”, the equivalent of New Delhi’s “Krishi Darshan”, for the folk songs after the chats about the wheat bug pesticide.
So you can imagine my plight when India were playing the West Indies, Malcolm Marshall (PLEASE CONFIRM IF IT IS A SINGLE `L’ OR DOUBLE) was about to bowl to Srikkant, and my grandfather would walk in for his morning puja. I think it was around the time when Doordarshan had first introduced slow motion action replays, god bless them.
Everyone feared my grandfather. So we would watch in terrified desperation as he switched off the TV in a split second, and sat down cross-legged on the floor to please the gods. Shailesh and I knew the excruciating drill we would have to wade through before returning to the match: first the tiny quilt placed overnight over the miniature brass Krishna and Radha would be removed to wake them up, then a little bath for the shiv ling, then a little scrub for Hanuman ji. Then he would make sandalwood paste and anoint the gods with it.
Finally all the gods were prim and proper, but India would be thirty-four for five wickets.
There were no such interruptions in the evenings, when all of us watched “Buniyaad”, “Bikram aur Betaal”, “Fauji”, together over dinner – except when they showed the Lyril ad under the waterfall or the Nirodh and Mala-D promos which jolted all conservative families and provoked senseless, embarrassed comments from everyone.
“I’ll just check the gas stove”. “Did Raju call? I’ll just check if he is coming”. “Did you lock the front door? I’ll run and check”. “Did you check your blood pressure this week?” Everybody wanted to check something right at that moment. Anything in the world to avoid watching the contraceptive ad.
I acknowledge, there were some days when I did not watch TV. That’s because I was on it. A tiny part of my Doordarshan experience in Lucknow was also appearing on TV to sing or recite a poem – or when I had won a debate contest and they called me to be interviewed because they could find no one else.
The first time before the mike was a near-disaster. The producer of the youth show turned out to be the head of the yoga institute by the Gomti where I went every morning to fix my S-shaped spinal cord. I was in bloody awe of him. I mean, everyone saw him as something of a junior Deepak Chopra. That, combined with the intense air-conditioning of the huge Lucknow Doordarshan studio ensured that my voice trembled and quaked and I blew it.
He passed some snide comment. I walked out. I wasn’t spineless, I had too much spine.
Once I went to the other extreme. Dressed in a white kurta, a tight churidaar and a karakuli cap, I sang and recorded a leftist qawwali on Doordarshan. It went like this:
“Is samajwadi shasan mein, mehmaan aapka swagat hai (I welcome you home, my guest, in this socialist regime)”. The second stanza read something like this, translated: “There is no sugar at home, it is so expensive/And there is no kerosene oil at the PDS shop/Still, in this pitch darkness/ I welcome you home, my guest, in this socialist regime.”
When it came on TV a week later, the second stanza had been deleted.
Rajni was luckier. She was able to get her voice – and the rage of millions of citizens — across on behalf of all of us. She gave form to the deepest frustrations of middle class India.
I wonder whether Rajni would come storming now to my Kailash Colony neighbourhood in New Delhi where MCD so badly failed to repair the road that residents pooled money and got a public road repaired by a private contractor. I wonder what Karamchand would have to say about the impact of inflation on the rising prices of his favourite carrots, and whether Kitty would nonchalantly say “Yes Boss.” I wonder whether Khopdi gave up drinking at the Nukkad – and finally shaved and bought a comb. I wonder if Basesar’s wife Lajwanti in Hum Log watched Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and offered some tips. I wonder if Phatichar left his home in the pipe and got a low-income group flat. I wonder if Mr. Wagle has bought a flat screen LCD TV.
And I wonder what my growing up would have been without Chitrahaar.
My friend Jaideep Sahni, the leading Bollywood scriptwriter, recently told me that he and his brother used to record all Chitrahaars. That is a level of dedication I cannot claim to possess, but Chitrahaar was easily one of the high points of my adolescent life. I loved music, but here was something a little more tantalizing for my impressionable teenage mind. In the times of the iron curtain, Chitrahaar opened up a new window for teenagers like me: a mesmerising paayal here, a little navel there.
When we returned after our winter vacations to Nainital, where we were studying and our father was teaching at the local university, we were back to a TV-less existence. We did not have a TV. Our neighbours did. So every evening we plonked ourselves in their living room and watched Chitrahaar and Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi etc. – until one day, voila – my father ordered an Uptron of our own. Not just that, it was a colour TV. Hah. It was as if the others had Marutis before you but your first car was a sedan.
Soon after, a new enemy entered the house.
It was called the VCR.
But VCR cassettes were expensive to rent and the prints scratched. So Doordarshan still ruled, at least at my home.
One hitch: the TV reception was pretty bad in Nainital, and strong winds and rain often twisted the antenna and ruined everything. So every other evening, Shailesh and I had a little shouting match between ground floor (where we lived) and the third floor (where the antenna lived).
“A little to the left!”
“Is it done?”
“No, no, right – point it towards the GGIC School!”
GGIC was the Government Girls’ Inter College, the repository of much of the teenage beauty in Nainital. The Doordarshan-GGIC nexus was convenient: fixing the TV antenna, with an eye on the GGIC main gate, became a popular pastime around the time the girls emerged in an orderly column after school.
Doordarshan also was the provocation for a cycle of events which led to my becoming a Bollywood lyricist. One day, minutes after watching the popular DD show “Surabhi”, I wrote a letter to the popular anchor Renuka Shahane and asked her for the address of my college-era idol Jagjit Singh. She very sweetly sent a handwritten note with the address, and I wrote and composed a song and sent the lyrics to Mr. Singh, asking him to sing it in his next album.
He never responded.
Years later, I sang the same song (“Khwabon ki ye zameen hai/Yaadon ka aasmaan”) to Mahesh Bhatt over Veggie Delight pizza in Mumbai, and not long after, made my Bollywood debut with Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai.
The first time I saw that song picturised on Bipasha Basu – after which my father jestfully suggested I write some bhajans to redeem myself – was on a promo on Doordarshan. I distinctly remember there was no cable that winter morning.
After such a long eulogy, I am embarrassed to admit that I don’t watch Doordarshan now. Perhaps Doordarshan changed. Perhaps I changed. But Doordarshan has remained to me what my small town is – the faraway, tiny island of memory that has so many personal stories wrapped around it, where I often take refuge when the past seems more comforting than the present.
I miss the Doordarshan of my childhood. I miss my naani. I miss the guavas she cut and sprinkled with the spicy “buknu” powder. I miss the stern-faced rasgulla seller with the thick twirling moustache who came sharp at 3 p.m. around the corner, carrying a wooden, glass-walled box on the head and selling gulab jaamun for 25 paise each. I miss buying tiny birthday gifts for my mother with our monthly pocket money of ten rupees, later raised to twenty due to inflation. I miss the Murphy radio my brother and I broke and hid under the bed until my father found out three days later. I miss the trips to the messy chaotic lanes of Aminabad.
I am a stranger to Doordarshan and those cobweb of lanes now. But I intend to reclaim my memories some day. It was just an intermission. I will reach out.
Rukawat ke liye khed hai.
neelesh.misra@hindustantimes.com
WHAT I MISS
about Doordarshan
Rajni
Karamchand
Chitrahaar
Ye Jo Hai Zindagi
Hum Log
Vicco Vajradanti ad
Udaan
Kachhee Dhoop
Phatichar
Nukkad
Ek Chidiya, Anek Chidiya
Nirma ad
Newstrack
Hello Zindagi
Surabhi
Cinkara ad
Prestige ad
Beebi Naatiyon Wali
Fauji
Buniyaad
Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan
Chanakya
Mahabharat
Mungeri Lal ke Haseen Sapne
Bikram aur Betal
Wagle ki Duniya
Ramayana
Mirza Ghalib
Shanti
Malgudi Days
“Ketchup Hota Kaddu Bhara”
Dekh Bhai Dekh
Bharat Ek Khoj
Byomkesh Bakshi
Spiderman
“Dekho beta ye to qudrat ki baat hai”

41 Responses to “The Idiot box is so much more idiotic now”

  1. austere says:

    Where did Lalloji and Veerawali and Haveliram go? I miss them.
    The only serial that comes somewhat close- but not quite- is Ba Bahu Baby. No,not the same thing.
    This brought back so many memories. Yes, that antenna adjustment. Much later-the common room, all the ladies of the ladies hostel jostling for a prime spot in the common hall for ten min of Chitrahaar.
    Thanks for posting this.

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  3. justbe says:

    what you call as ‘soaps’ and most in india call as ‘serials’…i musingly call them serial killers..and most of it actually are that way – subtle killers…helping watchers avoiding the self.
    a wonderful invention of mankind has turned out to be an idiot box. the kind/nature of serials/programs that you have mentioned i have heard nowadays are having problems even to get a slot..
    personally i dont see tv much except for ads and movies and news at times..still offlate i remember liking times group attempt on a program like ‘lead india’. it was a interesting initiative, not so ‘well directed’ though! if u feel like u can engage people on this blog to create a much superior and inspirational version of it on the idiot box.

  4. Preeti says:

    How completely nostalgic this article is. I too miss all that was said and more. But sometimes I wonder if our tastes were simpler then, we ourselves as people were less complicated, we accepted more easily and were satisfied with so much less. Terrific article

  5. Neelesh jee,
    ek Jhappi aapke liye…
    aur ek Shekhar jee ke liye.
    ek ek kar ke, sab yaad aa gaya,
    dil to khush hua par aankhen kyu nam hai…
    :.)

  6. Chirag Shah says:

    Hi Shekhar..
    To be frank ….
    I never thought you had a blog and you write so good.
    I came across u r blog when the same was suggested in an article by yahoo..
    http://in.news.yahoo.com/photos/slideshow/celebs-take-to-blogging.html?curPhoto=6
    I went through your blog and really liked the way you write…
    Enough of bothering on the first day… will keep visiting….Bye Take care…

  7. Chirag Shah says:

    Hi Shekhar..
    To be frank ….
    I never thought you had a blog and you write so good.
    I came across u r blog when the same was suggested in an article by yahoo..
    http://in.news.yahoo.com/photos/slideshow/celebs-take-to-blogging.html?curPhoto=6
    I went through your blog and really liked the way you write…
    Enough of bothering on the first day… will keep visiting….Bye Take care…

  8. Growing up in 80’s was so much fun…

  9. Mehul Gogri says:

    ya, I too used to see all those programs. Now at dinner time, I turn my back to the idiot box when those stupid soap operas are being aired. How the times have changed. Really enjoyed reading your piece. It was a journey down memory lane. Excellent !!

  10. Koizen says:

    this is so nostalgic…
    everything reminds of an era gone by

  11. Hema says:

    Thanks for reviving my teenage memories.Few minutes down the lane of unassuming nostalgia gave a perfect weekend booster.
    In addition DD introduced and taught me (may be many South Indians) the rich and wonderful language of Hindi,I remember recording Chitrahaar songs and decipher each and every word in the song… trying to recognise a Mukesh here or a Kishore Kumar there…it introduced me to Bollywood!
    How could you forget the “Quiz Time” hosted by Siddharth Basu in your list we would wait the whole week for Sunday 9. PM.. (Alas..why there is dearth of such programs now..)
    We would also wait for regional movie on Sunday afternoons..waiting to see a Kannada Movie but in the bargain saw many beautiful regional language movies..
    And there was KathaSagar which portrayed many short and crispy stories penned by prominent writers.
    You Tube has Ek Chidiya, Anek Chidiya.. enjoyed seeing it again with my teenage daughter.
    Thanks again
    Hema

  12. ruchi says:

    that was a golden eara of t.v not now, we have vitness excellent acting and direction and stories.
    most i miss about my childhood is chaat, kulfi, choole bature, all that for 50 piece and on the door dilevery.
    i miss watching spiderman friendly neighbourhood, panchtantara , sunday movie where whole of my neighourhoos use to be in my house and break during movie when we use to have our dinner. i miss simple life , only few needs and family time with my parents, siblings and grand parents.
    i feel we children of 80’s are golden children.

  13. Shikhar says:

    my fav. DD programs…
    ‘Karamchand’, “Phatichar”..(now even the name sounds super funny and I don’t remember it clearly what the serial was about),
    “Surabhi” (because it was full of information),
    Chanakya (I want to watch it again and how we use to tease Bajra..),
    Mahabharat, Ramayan,
    Mungeri Lal ke Haseen Sapne (Raghuveer Yadav and Nena Gupta and also a character called ‘Lakhna Dakat’ …ha..I loved it..and now you can guess my age…),
    Malgudi Days, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Byomkesh Bakshi…..
    I think he missed….”The World This Week”, “Kila Ke Rahasiya” …ha

  14. Shikhar says:

    my fav. DD programs…
    ‘Karamchand’, “Phatichar”..(now even the name sounds super funny and I don’t remember it clearly what the serial was about),
    “Surabhi” (because it was full of information),
    Chanakya (I want to watch it again and how we use to tease Bajra..),
    Mahabharat, Ramayan,
    Mungeri Lal ke Haseen Sapne (Raghuveer Yadav and Nena Gupta and also a character called ‘Lakhna Dakat’ …ha..I loved it..and now you can guess my age…),
    Malgudi Days, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Byomkesh Bakshi…..
    I think he missed….”The World This Week”, “Kila Ke Rahasiya” …ha

  15. Shreyansh says:

    this article also reminds me of how when i was a kid, i used to wake up to the music of the chitrahar on those sunday mornings…. later on followed by mahabharat that i watched regularly with the family members….

  16. Maddy says:

    Talking of television,I am drawn to write by a big-ticket ING Bank television commercial (http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=WGvTRd-48VI ) that’s playing on various television channels in India. While the commercial is very creatively constructed by McCann Erickson and does its job, it exposes the very fabric of Indian culture and its traditions which are soaked in unabashed mammon worship bordering at grotesque.
    We very often hear many of us claiming how Indian value system is superior to the crass materialism of the western world. This commercial demonstrates in forty seconds, how hollow that claim is and how far away is it from truth.
    Infact there is no other culture or society that I have known, in which materialism is so mainstream and grossly explicit. The conspicuous and inane usage of monetary currency in our culture is ridiculous.
    Right from the time a child is born in our culture, the ugly overt display of money begins ostensibly to demonstrate our love. It’s no wonder that love in our culture is completely coloured in money. Monetary currency used to circle dollops of love on a new born. More the denomination, more is the love. Apparently.
    Mere desh mein paisa sirf paisa naheen hai …
    Kabhi pyaar ke rang mein ranga hai paisa
    The unabashed use of money at a Hindu Mundan and sacred thread, Bengali Mukhebaat or at a Sikh Dastaar- bandi continues all through the child’s growing up period. Where else can you find a true measure of love, but in our traditions, where you can actually measure it in rupees?
    Mere desh mein paisa sirf paisa naheen hai …
    Paisa naheen yeh to duaoon kee boli hai …
    The use of money as a gift in festivals such as Eid and in Malayali tradition of Vishu demonstrate love for a child.Raksha Bandhan where a brother returns his love for a sister in form of monetary denomination and countless other occasions where money bizarrely acts as ‘cement’ of a relationship
    Mere desh mein paisa sirf paisa naheen hai …
    Paisa naheen yeh to rishtoon ke rangoli hai…
    Currency notes are a common denominator of all our religious festivals across India from North Indian Kanjak and to South Indian Gollu. The currency is ludicrously omnipresent in all mahurats, hawans and pooja thalis across any kind of divide.
    Mere desh mein paisa sirf paisa naheen hai…
    Paisa naheen yeh to sapnon ka paudha hai …
    The conspicuous use of money in dozens of matrimonial traditions across all cultures crosses all kinds of limits. The brazen materialism visible at North Indian weddings consisting of money-sweetened ceremonies like sehrabandi, mehandi, haldi, chura, joota-chhupai, mooh-dekhai, pheras and countless others is disdainful. The throw of coins when the bride leaves her home at vidaii is a real loony tradition. As if the whole concept of dowry wasn’t enough of asinine wrapped in absurdum.
    The vulgar explicit use of monetary currency takes a most disproportionate dimension in form of garlands of currency notes.
    Mere desh mein paisa sirf paisa naheen hai …
    Mere desh mein paisa sirf paisa naheen hai

  17. DQ says:

    I dont know any of these serials, never watched any what so ever
    .
    .
    being in a hill station myself
    .
    .
    could only get bangladesh channels
    .
    .
    Biman airways adverts,and they showed a tiger in the advt, always thought we could see tigers from planes
    serials…
    man from atlantis, tarzan, the knight rider, charlies angels, as we were one of those few who had a tv then, the entire galli waalei would flock in our house, every sunday was more like a party, all poor and rich sat together, that was the best thing i felt…the laughter held no dicrimination….
    .
    .
    going to calcutta saw proper hindi stuff during winter holidays
    nothing really remains in my memory, few adverts, lijjat papar i think
    .
    .
    the beauty of not having much to watch on tv, made us be creative, would rather run out of the house and play games like
    .
    .
    gulli danda
    patang baazi
    latoo
    cricket
    badminton
    adventures out in the streets
    pithoo
    hide nseek
    chor police
    jump around roof tops
    .
    .
    so many characters flowed forth in these ventures and adventures
    .
    .
    though being from a conservative family back ground, with stern parenting, and selectiveness of friends and social people
    .
    .
    I enjoyed most with the coolies, who wud play the flute, when they would be tired, the musical notes, the beauty, yet havent been matched in any of the flutes i have heard being played till date, by professionals
    .
    .
    playing with all the street guys, more like a mini gang i was in…lol…the only girl
    .
    .
    with my brother along
    .
    .
    No i dont think TV was in any way a part of my growth as of in any order
    .
    .
    Smile

  18. Dev says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    This was such an incredible and nostalgic post. It made me want to go back to those times, for ever. Iam reminded of “Radio Days” by Woody Allen. Most of the important feelings are so universal.
    Thanks for sharing this with us and congrats to Mr Mishra for writing this beautiful piece.
    Regards
    Dev

  19. Neeta says:

    It seems like a past life.
    I’ve never processed television or nostalgia correctly.
    Very hilariously written!

  20. Sir,
    So much that India has changed from the DD to the DTH, BPO, IPO, Internet and Mobile, with the regional aspirations on the national agenda in these 20 years Idiot Box is no more Idiotic as it may seem.
    With 350 channels 24×7 Indian audience is no more idiotic. The only thing they might not know how big the TV industry has become what we know is bigger than the Indian Film Industry.
    Watching Live telecast of OBAMA’s oath and 63 hours of Mumbai Terror the kind of information transmitted visually and in closest known language and the option of fighting over the
    helpless gadget the REMOTE have brought families in the same room again.
    Most of the families who had the privilege of B/W TV sets are today enjoying more than one screen in their home. Sometimes more than one in the same room a TV a Monitor/Laptop and more than one Mobile.
    If few of us in a family have more than one REMOTE and an option to choose and make your own choices this is INDIA SHINING today.
    Vinod Agarwal – No offences I am myself struggling with the remote while my mind is on this Blog.

  21. Harb says:

    There is a saying in Punjabi “Baapu bapuu kehnde san tan barra sukhi rehnde san, baapu baapu akhvaia tan barra dukh paia (when we used to say papa, papa we were much happy, now when we ourselves are called papa papa we are much sad and suffering.)”
    But alas, baapu bappu kehn da time hun dobara nahin aa sakda, so nor likewise of those days of Doordarshan. Both of which though had their times of distress as well, I may add. Doordarshan will often become fuzzy and papa’s stern looks will often send shivers down your spine for no apparent reason.
    Harb

  22. hari says:

    All those programms and “Aisa bhi hota hai” and “The turning point”.
    Hey guys I wonder what happened to Priya Ranjan Das Munshi.A great activist politician I would say.Did a lot for prasar bharti and CAS setop boxes to protect children from midnight porn of cable tv and vox channels from Europe etc.
    But most prominently he seems to have been hushed into silence after he vociferously brought into parliament the idea of bringing ‘AlZazira-the true middle-east TVchannel’ into Indian mainstream viewing to get a balanced view of the situation in the middleeast.
    Last heard he was admitted into a hospital for chest pain in October 2008.
    ***
    One thing that needs to be done is allow all major voices of the world to be heard everywhere besides BBC and CNN(including all their propoganda and all,let people decide who’s speaking what truth.)
    With reviving and strenthning of Bretton woods institutions we also as the world community need to strengthen UN system,the international Legal system and all other international bodies recogonized by the sovereign countries.
    Before America pushes around others to abide by various resolutions and international laws America herself should also answer for her own indiscretions.And admitting to her own mistakes of the past she should inhand with other leading countries of other continents take to a new oath-a new commitment- to imrove the international system by making it more fair and inclusive.Giving greater place to international comradery and cordiality than single-minded pursuit of greed and fear.

  23. Anonumous says:

    Talking of Television and News reporting, there’s this comic about PETA sueing u(Shekhar Kapoor) over animal rights abuse which u might find interesting
    http://www.flyyoufools.com/shekhar-kapur-animal-abuse/

  24. mitra says:

    The one programme I would like, Doordrshan to telecast again is ‘Bharat ek Khoj” I still remember the costumes, sets… and some of the actors,but fail to recall their name.

  25. raj walia says:

    You amaze me with all your posts Shekhar.
    My eyes were getting wet as I was reading the whole article. But at the end I consoled myself by saying that “Nothing in this life stays the same. Everything changes… and the change will go on…”
    I miss my Doordarshan days too.. ahhh… what a life…

  26. Its amazing how a lot of our favourite DD content is on youtube. Malgudi Days, Byomkesh Bakshi, just about everything.Quite a nostalgic piece , this one Shekhar

  27. Chaitali says:

    Wow I want a channel with all that in it and also add chhayageet. 🙂

  28. Asha Pillai says:

    one of the best postings i read in recent times…it brings back a lot of memories..thank you

  29. Saurabh says:

    It shaped my childhood too, and of course the quality of programs cant be matched even today. I used to love:
    Mitti Ke Rang,
    Alif Laila,
    Tehkikaat,
    Byomkesh Bakshi,
    Bharat ek khoj,
    Surabhi,
    Chitrahaar,
    Subaha Savere,
    He Man
    Gayab Aaya
    Stone Boy
    Alice In Wonderland
    Jungle Book

  30. Navin says:

    “the rotating Doordarshan logo that seemed to us like two huge kajus hugging a rasgulla in the centre”……
    LOL! Nice nostalgic piece 🙂 I do miss Tamas, Bharat Ek Khoj & Malgudi Days.
    Cheers!

  31. raj says:

    Hi,
    I guess even the old TV serials of India cannot compete with old pakistani plays. Unfortunately pakistani tv serials have started making crap stuff..Tv serial should be of maximum of 10-15 episodes and it should clearly define a start and the end.
    The reason for this is due to the lack of creativity to explore new ideas and other thing is the lack of sense in the audience.
    Life in India has become very fast and people just want quick masala fun. No one has the time to think about logic and sensible stuff..
    Indians are careless people and wear a mask. I don’t see any patriotism in Indians but they just fake it. I wonder if any TV channel will commision a show which shows the life of a soldier,or which gives complete information about the day to day life of people protecting the border..
    I get most of the information about India from BBC documentaries and its just a shame that they take more efforts to explore India than Indians.
    There are loads of exciting and breath taking stories but unfortunately no one cares. They will only care if it is appreciated by West..We are still a Nation of Slaves.

  32. I remember those direction-finding sessions when my sister used to be in the TV room and I used to be on the terrace and my mum acted as the intermediary. DD was clear but we were trying to get a clearer DD Metro. It just brings back so much of nostalgia.

  33. Guddu says:

    also Barrister Vinod & Giant Robot

  34. randhir singh says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    This was such an incredible and nostalgic post. It made me want to go back to those times, for ever. Iam reminded of “Radio Days” by Woody Allen. Most of the important feelings are so universal.
    Thanks for sharing this with us and congrats to Mr Mishra for writing this beautiful piece.
    Regards
    randhir

  35. Kapil, NY says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    Good post although i am commenting after 6 months. I never knew that you were a blogger, although i confess that i read the Big B’s blog everyday. I was googling for your serial Udaan. The Wiki doesn’t mention it in their article about you nor does the imdb.
    But you were so cool in that serial. I was still at school when Udaan came in DD and in between all the agitations of the lady officer came her cool boyfriend. Jeez i could’nt believe it was the same guy who directed Mr. India and other flicks. Man you are multi-dimensional.

  36. Babu Syed says:

    “The World This Week” and the Quiz prog hosted by Screwala… But deep down south we enjoyed the tamil programmes from Sri Lanka jamming the DD frequencies , though!

  37. pc speicher says:

    It is really an interesting one. There are many more. I remember Surbhi and Mile sur mera tumhare track. It is so refreshing.

  38. oboes says:

    Hey, really good web page. I really came across this on Bing, and I’m happy I did. I will definately be coming again right here far more typically. Wish I could add to your conversation and bring a bit much more towards the table, but am just absorbing as very much data as I can at the second. Thank You

  39. praym says:

    i really miss the old doordarshan and everything related to it. from the samachar tune to all the memories which form many contours of my early adulthood(and of many like me). today there are hundreds of channels but we still lag on entertainment thousands of srials but no real story. humlog buniyaad and everything mentioned above were lovable but one serial i really wish to see once more is PHATICHAR.
    thank you

  40. Deepanjali says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    Was quite thrilled to find the DVD of Udaan in the store, so picked it up and just finished watching it. Was moved to tears – the serial had so many cathartic moments…Your rendition of a reserved, dignified and gentle DM was so beautifully nuanced, loved your silent smiles and the romantic aura you were able to generate! This is just a fan note!

  41. Mahesh says:

    Shekhar,
    Am responding to a much older post. Ran into it when I was searching a specific episode in Bharat Ek Khoj and related historic reference . The episode itself detailed a good historical development in Indian philosophical history, it was enacted with a “panth” and its “guru” wedded to the philosophy of natural causality . The guru is shown preaching (if I remember words correctly, please) – Prakriti hi ham sab se karti karati hai . One of the disciples asks – to guru ji ab ham kya kare ? Guru says – khaye , piye aur nache.
    Karl Marx termed this thinking as “mechanical materialism”.
    If you could please help me in getting down to the specific episode (and related historical reference), it would be of great help.
    One another thing, don’t tell me you didn’t miss “jeevan rekha” (LifeLine). !!! 🙂
    Thanks in advance,
    Mahesh.

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