Sweetness and Light

Just want to bring a smile to the reader's lips - and an occasional thought. Will try to stay away from controversial topics - rather create my own! And would definitely welcome comments. :-)

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Nov 18 is a rather special day in my life. Precisely 24 years ago, we got our first TV set home that day. Now you may think of me as some sort of a weirdo for remembering such a date (especially when I cannot remember the birthdays of close friends, at least on time), but let me explain....there is a good reason not to forget the date. Nov. 19 is when the Asiad started at New Delhi (remember Appu?) We got the TV just a day before - as JIT as it gets. Of course, you may wonder why I remember the date when Asiad started. Its because it was also the then PM, Mrs. Indira Gandhi's birthday. And even at that age, it seemed too much of a coincidence to me.

Now don't ask me why I remember Indira Gandhi's birthday. I just do!

Remember those days, my friends? When there were roughly 5-6 brands of TV available - EC, Bharat, Weston, Beltek, Webel, Uptron, Sonodyne (reader, please add from memory if you can). Did I say available? There used to be a waiting list actually. And we had quite some wait since ours was a color TV - just launched in the market. We wanted a Weston, but ultimately had to settle for Beltek. It did well, actually, finally bowing out only in 1997, a good 15 years in service. Those were the days when acquiring a fridge, TV, telephone etc. was more than getting a consumer durable (the term probably did not exist then). It was acquiring a new status. Those were the times when neighbor's use of protagonist's fridge to make icecream was the subject of many a short story. You could boast about getting to drink cold water after a game of cricket because your dad had bought a fridge, its another matter altogether that your mom would not allow you to touch the fridge. You gave your neighbor's phone number for getting urgent messages (and I am not referring to text messages) delivered. And you befriended someone especially so that you could go over and watch saturday evening's hindi movie on his TV.

It almost seems another age, though it is just a decade or two!

Do I miss that age? No, I don't. And yet, coming to think of it, it had its own charms. Of course, I don't know how much of the charm was also because of my age - childhood is never as bad in retrospect as we might like it to be.

Ok, let me see how many pre-1992 hindi TV serials can I recall top-of-the-mind (arbitrary cut-off because thats when I went to stay in a hostel and lost touch with TV). Hum Log, Buniyaad, Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, Mr. ya Mrs. Ados Pados, Khaandaan, Ek Kahani, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Katha Sagar, Darpan, Shrikant, Wagle Ki Duniya, Mungerilal ke hasin sapne, Daane Anaar Ke, Flop Show, Nukkad, Show Theme, Idhar Udhar, Circus, Fauji, Ghar Jamai, Naqaab, Satyajit Ray Presents, Malgudi Days, Intezaar, Karamchand, ....... phew!

Dear Readers, please contribute. :-)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Absent Miss!

It was one of my childhood fantasies - to respond with an "Absent Miss", when my turn would come during the roll call. It just seemed a fun thing to do, but somehow the steely glares of most of my class teachers did not allow these thoughts to get out of the box at all.

Oh well, no idea why I have chosen that as the title for this post, except that I have been absent for a long while, and may be, just may be, there are more misses missing the lack of my posts than misters ;) (Wishful thinking, Thy name is Pankaj).

The general reason for absenteeism is of course the usual suspect - work. But that was not all. I also did manage to take a two-week break in between and go home (Kolkata) for Diwali. Did think about a number of subjects to write on - diwali celebrations at home, a nice movie (Lage Raho..), a fabulous movie (Dor), a disappointing movie (World Trade Center), a very interesting book (The Corporation That Changed The World), the renaming of Bangalore, the importance (or lack of it) of spelling (in wake of a recent decision by some UK college to allow sms spellings in student answer scripts).....you get the idea. There is never a dearth of topic to write on (especially when your livelihood does not depend on it). It is just the question of alloting time to it. I have been guilty there...supremely so.

I will be back. :)