Of Doordharshan and neighbors

The Champions league T20 is going on.. Probably by today it will be over. I am out of it because my home team is not playing the finals. But somebody asked me to come to his room so that we can watch finals with friends. He was all so excited like such thing is happening first time in his life. Such is Chennai. I am not blaming the city, but it is how it is now. From childhood I never remember seeing an exciting cricket or football match alone. Friends will be gathered at one place or other. No special plans will be made. Its just like “Come here” or “Come there” sorts. Is it really changed now or have I grown up? Worth a thought. 

It takes me back in my memory lane about watching TV. There was a TV in our house when I was born. So I really was not amazed by the small little box when I grew up. Skipping the half an hour English news daily for our grandfather, there was nothing interesting. But there were people in our street, who didnt have a TV at their home (Blessed are those people). So Sundays will be full of people right from 5’O clock in the evening. I kinda liked it and kinda disliked it. Because so many people will be coming to house. Disliked it because I was the little kid in the house and the whole street so everybody wanted to have a piece of muscle from my cheek. 

Even some Saturdays because it was the pre 1991 era, where each and everyone were forced to learn Hindi in our street, so Saturday Hindi movies were great hit too. It was actually fun to see people laugh for jokes they understand and praise the lyrics of the song for which they had taken a totally different meaning. I was fed up asking meaning of “Sholay” to these guys. Nobody ever said me that. 

Soon people became bored because of the repeated and old programs by the national television. The other way of movie watching was by VCR. We didnt have a VCR and we have never bought it. But our neighbors had it. Whenever they hire a new Cassette they will invite us. Most of the time there will be three movies. Not one, not two. I am yet to figure out the calculation of that. It was determined that only three films can be watched in a day. Since the neighbor was a fan of Ramki (dont trouble yourself searching for him in internet. He is a real petty hero for that), we ended up watching all his movies in the period of three years. 

Then there was metro channels. We even had Ceylon national channel available then, if we have our antenna turned to some frequency. Our uncle who visits our house now and then had the previlage of turning the antenna till we finish watching our favorite program. Then came the revolutionary cable television. The only channels were available then were Sun, Asianet and Star. We didnt understand whats going in Star TV. Sun TV aired its program between evening six to night ten. Asianet would air a tamil movie in the afternoon and malayalam programs in the evening. 

So the cable operator will air film of his choice in the afternoon 2.30 and night after ten. When we were on holidays or weekends we will be in one of the few houses which had cable connection to see this movies. Now I realize how really bad movies had a run in theater then. The movies which I had seen with awe is now not even worth a 30 second watch. Dad was not comfortable as we had to sit in others house watching movies so had a connection for us. I will never forget the the fuzz the cable operator guy did to give connection then. Now fill up a form in an website and dth operator is at doorstep before you close the window. I mean in the computer. 

Those were days. Though there were some ugly situations like when I was going to home to watch the cable movie, they charged (?!) us one rupee per person and I ended up beating the boy in the house for not giving his idly while watching the movie. But it helped us bond well. Everybody knew everybody in the street. Atleast they would have watched  a news hour or a movie together. They would have discussed a movie like they will change the fate of the actors if they were there in the screen. Now though we have two tvs and three dth connections. we miss the mingling with our neighbors. I am truly ashamed to say that I research about the likes and dislikes of some CEO in United states but I dont know the name of our next door neighbor. Just when pondering about that brought this boring post to you. 

If you had grown up in India like me, do you have any such experiences? I would love to know them. 



  1. Sinduja Chakrapani

    That was a good post 🙂
    I also remember goin to n gettin bak from these VCR Shops… They had such a huge collection of movies… and name name me or my sis suggest, my dad would shoo us off sayin dose arte bad movies… Then when he was sure we got into a decent taste in films, he’d let me n my sister go buy new movies… Also we used 2be scared 2open those casettes to see the film inside… Because we used to think, the min u open it, that part of the movie will be erased from the casette… And the shop owner was real friendly, that as tym passed, we went there just to chat with him for min together whether we bought anythin or not 😛 Dose were tyms

    1. Bragadeesh

      Thanks sins for the comment. When we used to go to the VCR shop, they wont believe it and give new movies. 🙁 bad people we had to take some elders with us to get those cassettes. There was one such shop in our street. He still haves only movies like Jallikattu, thangamagan and Airport.. If we ask he will say “Original print pa thambi”. Wonder what those guys would be doing now??

  2. mukerv

    Cool one pras…. The 10o clock Ramayana, He Man, Wed night Giant Robots, etc. are those nostalgic days..

    As you say, it is really too much of TV nowadays and quite boring to see the repeated telecasts. It really makes us lazy but however 10 years later from now, if we write a blog we wud be praising the current programs and wud be cursing the programs @ tat time.

    Life is crazyyyyyyyyyy

    1. Bragadeesh

      Very true.. I still wonder what new programs that they can bring to the viewers to have the glued to the TV. Its like dude.. give me a break from all these stuff. If one starts comedy show then we see that trend and dont start me with this super singer and jodi no 1 sorts.. Really irritating..

      Ramayana, He Man, Shakthiman, Chandra Kantha.. those were days buddy.. Miss it 🙁

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