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Story listed as: True Life For Adults | Theme: General Interest | Subject: Family | Published here : 07/13/2017
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TV-IDIOT BOX or IDIOT'S BOX 
 
By mugunthanchari
Born 1959, M, from CHENNAI, India
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TV -THE “IDIOT BOX” or “IDIOT’S BOX” !
We are very crazy household! We feel proud of that fact! We did not own a TV for most part of our parenting. We had taken a very conscious choice at the insistence of our daughter.
As long as I was in college those were the days of black & white TV. There used to be a single channel Delhi Doordharshan which was beamed back from Dehradhun Kendra. Though, there were hundreds of addicts for even such black and white programme with ghost images and what not, I made a conscious decision to be away from TV. My timing of watching TV was limited to Fridays for Regional “Chitrahar” when we may get to hear one or two regional songs from South India. If Tamil songs were telecasted , that day there may not be any Malayalam songs and like that. So the crowd used to boo the state which was deprived of a song that day.
I had a roommate from Himachal and he was a confirmed TV addict way back in 1978-82. He used to straight away get into the common room from college. He used to start with Krishi Dharshan (Farmer’s Programme) and end his stay there when the announcer bid good bye with a Namasthe at 10 or 11 PM.
Poor guy could manage like that and with my notes hidden below my pillow till the last year final semester. In the last paper he got a repeat and had to waste one full year to clear the same.
After college and during my first job I had no TV with me. During our marriage we were gifted a black and white TV which was used by us. Later the same was handed over to our parents when we had to move away from Chennai to Madurai. Then in Malawi we had a TV locally bought with VCP etc. only to watch movies during weekends and to see British Council cassettes.
In 1999 we had to return to India and our daughter gave us an ultimatum that we should not buy a TV as she wanted to stay focused on her studies. Thus we had adhered to our promise and stayed away from the IDIOT BOX till 2005 when we moved to Thailand. By then our daughter was already in professional course and we never felt the need of a television as we did not miss anything.
In Thailand, there was a TV and CD player arranged by the company as part and parcel of the perks. We had the pleasure of watching CNN & BBC. All other channels used to be of in local Thai language. We could watch Thai Royal channel to admire their tradition and reverence for the Royal Household. CDs of Indian movies Tamil, Telugu and Hindi used to supplied by my neighbor and colleague as he was so fond of TV Channels he used to have a own satellite antenna for his use !When we returned from Thailand we bought a 56 “ TV which proved to a neighbor’s envy and owner’s pride investment ! We could use this for two years and then started moving far and wide.
I did fall flat for Mahabharat which was telecasted a few years back and looked forward to watching the same. But unlike a few of my own kin who start the day with all and sundry devotional channels at 4 AM and end the nights with many family dramas- mother-in-law vs. daughter-in-law I can hardly sit glued to the idiot box.

As a family we used to visit a household where the bread winner was in final stages of his life as he was terminally ill. One day when we had gone to his household, he was away in a hospital and his wife was sitting with a few neighbors watching “Sant Thukaram” a Marathi movie. Having understood the fact that they were not going to move their eyes from the TV screen we excused ourselves and wanted to move out. We were also politely told to sit and watch the movie!
In another case, a close relative of our family had lost his son-in-law. As we were staying near their household we would visit them during weekends to commiserate with him on the recent bereavement. Once we were told politely that we should make our visits during working days. I told him that we were busy on working days and asked him whether he had any issues on weekends. Pat came the reply that the family did not want to be disturbed when watching movies on weekends!!
Recently, I was speaking to my mother. She has a friend who has gone to the USA to be with her children. My mother when asked stated that all was well with her friend, but only issues was she called on Tuesdays and they speak for two hours. I told my mother that she must be happy that her friend has not forgotten her even after moving to the US. My mother expressed her anguish that she has to watch serials in Tamil in mute position for two hours every Tuesdays!
I and my wife used to watch a Tamil talk show which we were happy to watch a few episodes. Later we decided that the programme was brining more negative energy and thoughts as everything was revolving around illicit relationships, mother neglecting children, husband complaining about eloped wife etc. Consciously we have a put a stop to this and TV is only for weekend if we have any good movies or some children’s music or some dance programme.
Regarding TV news less said the better!!
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