The lost and found world of DD

Yaad kiya dil ne kahaan ho tum, boomed our Bharat black &white television in the hall. That indicated it was half past seven in the morning; time to get up.

Way back in the late eighties and early nineties, getting up at seven in the morning was no big task for me. My parents knew I was acting the early bird to catch the songs on Rangoli, but they didn’t mind that. They didn’t care as long as I woke up early.

I can’t recollect exactly when I got bitten by the old hindi song bug, but I can trace the origin to my Rangoli days. Regular songs used to be the Patita number, Parichay’s musafir hoon yaaron and a relatively new Sonu Nigam’s achcha silla diya tune (I can’t recollect the film’s name, though).

Much of the Sunday was spent in front of the television. Mahabharata followed the news bulletin and by the time it ended, it was lunch time. After a scrumptious meal and a light nap in the afternoon, a little time was allotted for hide and seek. But at six, it was back to the TV to catch the evening film. In Madras (yes, it was Madras then), on Saturdays it was Hindi films and the Sunday flick was  Tamil. For a long time, I didn’t know the distinction between the two languages. Don’t’ ask me how – I wouldn’t be able to explain it. That was not very bad for a six-year-old, whose world revolved around TV and films, no matter what language the films and serials were in. Books came a year later and studies didn’t figure in the list for a very long time.

Anyone raised in the DD days would know that soap operas were still not bad or prohibited for the children. And, it was not that we spent long hours in front of the TV. Buniyaad, Nukkad, Kaliganj Ki Bahu and Qile ka Rahasya; the list is endless. I was so terrified of the palanquin bearers’ cries ‘hun huna’ in Kaliganj that I never slept in the night, after watching the series. My mom admonished me, “If it scares you so much why do you stay up to watch it. Get to bed early.”

But, the next week again I watched it like it was a fairy tale, not caring about the drama that would unfold later in the night.

On days when I threw tantrums or refused to do my homework, those serials were my bait. My mom warned me that she would not allow me to watch the serial if I didn’t behave. And that trick worked better than a spanking or scolding. For me, it was a very fair deal.

In 1992 after the Gulf war, cable TV made a very clandestine entry into our lives. Though the earlier content on cable was nothing less compared to what DD dished out, it took a while to uproot the national TV’s impact and replace it with its own.

Today, I can’t recollect how many years it has been since I watched Rangoli. I happened to watch an overhauled Rangoli that had the anchor reading out requests from the audience.

By Jove! They played ‘yaad kiya dil ne’ again. However, call it over-exposure to cable TV, or the new look of it, I promptly changed the channel. I will catch that later on You Tube, I thought.


7 Responses to “The lost and found world of DD”

  1. Rajagopalan Says:

    Wonderful.. almost all of us have gone thru a similar experience, i mean, whatever the glitter of channels today, somewhere, sometime all of us miss those days.. the nukkad, circus, fauji, ramayan, mahaabharat and the list, as you said is endless..

    keep these wonderful pieces coming in.. once a while, its good to get back to memories… esp if you are like me, who prefer loneliness to parties!! tc.. Raj

  2. Rukmini Says:

    It is a true case of quantity over quality. Today we may have zillions of channels to view but nothing that could leave such an impression on us as some of these old serials that you have mentioned.I’m sick of black and white characters, lame stories and the reality TV madness.

  3. Shruthi Says:

    DD!!! Oh man, that Mahabharata Sunday you described is identical to the ones I had at home too. Sunday breakfast was almost always poori and chole, my grandmother’s cooking…

    Sigh, DD formed my addiction to TV and I miss it sometimes, especially Tehkikaat, Shanti, Swabhimaan and all the historicals which my mother used to put on to make sure bro and I ate dinner 🙂

  4. jungle book, chandrakanta, rangoli, chitrahaar……jaane kahan gaye woh din!

    abhi toh akkha zindagani ka rukh badal gaya hai!


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