In Defense of Limits

I am old enough to clearly remember the days when TV was not the all consuming entertainment entity that it is today. There were exactly two channels on TV - very creatively named DD1 and DD2. If you were not watching News, Krishi Darshan or Surabhi on DD1, it meant you had succumbed to the lure of entertainment on DD2. 

By entertainment, I refer to the 2 weekly comedy shows by Sri Adhikari Brothers. Conversations in school on Wednesdays never failed to mention Sriman Srimati. (It just occurred to me, that as of today, the actors who played Sriman and Srimati are no more. Just made me feel a little older). 

There was also Rangoli, the weekly show that exposed us to the big bad world of Bollywood songs. If "indecent" songs like Choli Ke Peeche were played, we were promptly sent out of the room to bring water or to set the table. Few smart people managed to record the good songs for viewing later. My grandparents were quite progressive in that sense. They would record the Rangoli shows on VCR and that would become our source of entertainment when all cousins would descend at their house during summer vacations.

One movie per week was played on Doordarshan on Sunday afternoons and if your house door was open, you would hear the same dialogues from all houses in the colony. It was a ritual most families wouldn't dare miss. It wasn't as if the folks at DD made the effort to show you the latest movies. In 1997, I think the award for the most telecast movie would have gone to Satte Pe Satta. We didn't complain though. Lack of options meant, the seven brothers singing Pyaar Humein Kis Mod always found sympathy with us. 

Everything was measured - if you want more entertainment, get out of the house and run around in the sun, because this idiot box can offer only so much idiocy for a day.

Sunday mornings were reserved for discovering your religious side. With Samay's commentary, the whole country would levitate into the world of Mahabharat. When Draupadi was dragged into a filled courtroom, there would collective gasps followed by a subsequent increase in speed of cutting vegetables. We knew good would win over bad. There was no other way around it.

Back then, we watched TV when we had nothing else to do. Today, people watch shows as a way of doing something - it is *the* hobby, not the thing you do when you run out of hobbies.

And the pressure of keeping yourself entertained is so high.

If you have answered in the negative to the question about whether you own a Netflix subscription, be prepared for weird looks, a mixture of sympathy and condescension. 

If you have not seen Game of Thrones, like me, let it be known to you, that you are *this* close to losing your status of being a well-informed, young responsible member of the society. 

You don't binge watch? What's wrong with you? Have you gotten yourself checked? Is there something wrong with your attention span? Do you live under a rock? How can you stop at one episode?

You love politics and you have not seen House of Cards? You are such a hypocrite! 

You know what worries me the most? That there is no limit to entertainment. It's everywhere. There is no finish line. Stand up acts on Facebook, Netflix on your mobile, Prime on your mobile, Hotstar on your TV, Youtube on your laptop. You are never away from entertainment. And you never run out of entertainment. At no point, does the entertainment source say, "Ok, I am done. I have run out of things to show you." 

Quite literally, from here, till the end of life, you can just keep watching  something mindlessly on a screen. 

I crave for the simpler times, when there weren't too many options. When content would get over and you were forced to look at the real world, read a book, or take a walk, perhaps. 

Oh what the hell. Let me just get it out of the way and say it.

I don't watch Game of Thrones, or House of Cards, or Breaking Bad. And I am proud of it.

Please don't judge me for being stuck in the 90s?


  1. I am a 90s kid and proud of it. I don't know what Game of Throne look like and TV in our days were much simpler and beautiful...Banegi Apni Baat, Buniyaad, Dekh Bhai Dekh and even the detective serial Tehkikat. It were the days of yore. Life was simple and no over the top coating. But, do watch Girls in the City on Hungama that first came on web. It's a breath of fresh air.

    1. Absolutely! Such awesome shows you mentioned! :D

  2. Having multiple choices/alternatives for entertainment is not such a bad thing. In fact, it's probably the best thing to have happened. If there's a show you don't like, or aren't interested in, you can always switch to another channel on the TV, or move to videos on the web.

    Of course, in the 'good old' days of DD1 and DD2 (bleh), going out for a game or to meet friends were better alternatives to dull and drab content being dished out. Some uof us had radio sets. But hey, what's stopping us from doing the same today? It's in our hands to regulate/schedule our activity.

  3. I heard schools are hurriedly working on updating their history and geography syllabus to include lessons on Westeros and Essos. About time too, i think.

    What? You don't know where these places are? Such an uninformed and uncivilized citizen of this planet. How will you teach your children GK? How how?

  4. Awesome post as usual.. I have not been a 90 s kid.. But could totally relate to the part of finding joy in simple and real stuff like a good long walk, a conversation with a friend, spending time with family or reading a book.. By the ways, I am proving that I am not a robot to comment on your blog!

    1. You are not a 90's kid? Hmm. I assumed you were!
      But, yes, agree on the real stuff. We need to do more of that! :)
      My blog asks me to prove I am not a robot. And I own the blog. So. Yeah. :D


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