Online newspapers, virtual computer and Doordarshan days

god knows why these online edition of newspapers don’t give all news on the home page. i was trying to find an article i read in print on the online edition of the economic times and there i was sifting through sections and subsections and more trying to locate the article. final result: the article was lost in the vast maze of the web.


came across a very good news piece on silicon india. this about a virtual computer where you can save almost everything you want to.

“K. Ansar and P.P. Ismail, final year computer science students at an engineering college in Vatakara, about 45 km from here, have set up, the prototype of a virtual computer in which you can store all your important documents, favourite music, colourful pictures and even videos.”

looks like it will be similar to a gmail drive. however, the founders are saying that the speed of this application will be a little slow for now.


indian television is celebrating its 30th anniversary, so said Sony TV during a late night ad.

i watched this ad on sony TV that was more like ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara‘.

although i am not very sure of the event. wikipedia says that doordarshan started its operations in india in 1959. also couldn’t find an online video of the ad to share with readers. do tell me if you have any information on the same. also please give me link to online video, if any.

but this brought back memories from my childhood days.

sinhas were the only family in the colony who had a TV, a black and white one.

when indira gandhi was assasinated in 1984, the government learned for the first time the power of drawing crowd sentiments through TV. doordarshan continuously aired the good deeds and life of indira gandhi for many days at a stretch. many people had their first dose of TV during this time.

being close to the sinhas (father shared a good rapport with sinha uncle at workplace), the thakur family almost always got the best seat to watch TV.

Nevertheless, papa was always against us watching TV at some other person’s place. he had clear notions about respecting other people’s privacy and that couldn’t be compromised even for a luxury like watching TV.

if not a neighbour’s TV, get us a personal one. the message was clear from the boys, with obvious support from ma.

finally giving into our desire, papa brought home our first TV. it was a black and white TV from Weston. back then it cost us a huge Rs 1500.

during those days, TV was not a thing to be watched privately. even when you wanted some privacy, you weren’t allowed. people would knock at your doors, beg to be included in the crowd, and lastly you have to let them in.

the biggest crowd was on sunday evenings. it was when the evening film was to be screened. kids would take their place on the floor from 4 pm onwards since there were other programs as well – spiderman, vikram betal, dada-dadi ki kahaniyan, singhasan battisi and many more. the ladies would quickly complete their household chores and take their place on the bed or the sofa. very few men would want to be part of this crowd unless it was a very recent or popular movie.

if you had a TV then, you were the toast of the colony. many favours too were exchanged for fetching them a good place at home, a place from where they could easily see the TV. very few families would want to make relations bitter with you, lest they miss the luxury of watching TV. the newly television was that much a craze in those time.

however, just as we finally went for a personal TV, so other families. because they didn’t approve of intruding over other people’s privacy, and because they wanted to watch TV with more privacy, and because the TV sets became more affordable, the other families too started purchasing their own sets.

the crowds started petering away. for the first few months, it was terrible to watch TV alone. change, howsoever bitter, is easily adapted. we soon adapted ourselves to the changed situation.

the second turning point in the history of television in india was when cable TV was launched.

when cable TV was launched, very few families had a connection. although people were fascinated by the variety in programmes, they weren’t ready for paid television.

father was against taking a connection since it would affect our studies. doordarshan’s programming schedule was quite favourable to students. the programmes started not before 8.30 in the night. in fact, we took our first cable connection only in 1998, when i left for delhi.

in the meanwhile, i was one of the forced audience of doordarshan. as if to repel crowds, suddenly the program quality of doordarshan got from bad to worse. on sundays, they showed art films meant only for a niche crowd. if it was a mainstream film that was showing, ads comprised a major part of the time. while showing the hugely popular movie Tezab, the doordarshan people cut many scenes to accomodate the ads.

nowadays, anyone who has access to cable TV seldom watches doordarshan. also there is competition from internet. doordarshan days are over. but the present dose of entertainment offered by channels is no better, although it catches TRP ratings, god knows why (that’s another story).

Thus, talks about doordarshan are often nostalgic. this i think will be missed by todays kids. they have such a variety of programs being dished out on such a variety of channels that they will not be able to attach their loyalties to one such program or channel.


2 thoughts on “Online newspapers, virtual computer and Doordarshan days

  1. Pingback: An advertisement that I dreaded « ItyaAdi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s