In Doordarshan many people shared a common thread. I remember many debates being triggered when cable television was just finding roots in India, and many people worried about its bad influence on children, on the limitless distraction it provided. But I think, cable TV has sort of made television less interesting as when it used to be with countable programs, most of them running only for 13 weeks. You could feel a sadness as the 13th episode came to a close and feel sorry at having to say goodbyes. Those goodbyes never happen now, because you may find the same vicious characters over and again, lasting through years, plotting the same evils. It is of course interesting to watch Discovery or History, but you cannot form an emotional bond with them – they are information. Neither moving like Oshin, nor simple-hearted like Swami. There are no jingles like “Jungle Jungle”, nor any “Ta na na nananana”‘s that you could not stop humming.
During those years of DD, there were comedies like the Flop show which made you laugh, and the romantic soaps like Kashish or No one but you which made your heart jump. But the best part of all of them were, that everyday in school we could go back and discuss them endlessly, because everyone would have watched them. We can discuss them today and could still find someone who would remember a vague story from Honi Anhoni, or the characters from Circus. Though it is sometimes hard to think of Shahrukh Khan as a TV actor, but I remember all girls of my class swooning over him when he appeared first in Fauji. Of course, all of us fell in love with him then.
It was lovely, this doordarshan we all called the idiot box, which everyone loved to hate when there was nothing else. How life used to come to a stand still when there was mourning and all DD played was some sarangi for two days. People sometime watched even that.
How much there is to common memories.