A myopic Doordarshan

Bamboo plants have always been a subject of interest to me.  If you have been in a surrounding where there is an abundance of them, then there is a high chance that you would know how fast they grow all of a sudden. But, like most of the good things that happen in life, the growth does come but only after a gestation period.

If I go back in time, if you go back in time, if we go back in time, then that gestation period would be evident in almost everything that has happened in our life, good bad ugly, in everything.

Let me go back in time for once- to the good old days, when the sun used to shine first on the dilapidated antenna, then on our roof top and eventually would fall on the bamboo pole which would hold that antenna, allowing the birds of our locality to perch themselves on it and bask themselves under the glory of the mighty sun rays.

Doordarshan. That was the sole channel that was available back then, at least to us,  at least in our area. We were living in a military campus, my father's job being a teacher in a school inside that campus. Given the quarters allotted to us, stacked one above another, it warranted a longer bamboo pillar for receiving the signals of our very own government controlled television channel.

Now, we could have had the antenna installed directly on the roof top, the way dish tv discs are installed nowadays, had we not received intermittent distorted signals.

The job to align the antenna to the tune of clear signals was always assigned to me. And I perfected the art of doing that. All that I required was a continuous real time feedback, i.e. auditory input, from someone watching TV sitting in our hall.

" Turn a little more!", they would say, and I would give it a bit of twists and turns, a very small one at that, so that they get to stay comfortably numb watching that stupid box.

But I ought not to term it as a stupid box, for my childhood days were crowded with the memories of Doordarshan TV serials. From what I can remember now, I remained glued to it when the likes of Captain Vyom, Malgudi days and Betaal Pachisi would make their way into our TV set. But despite those Tv serials, I would still manage to read books like Twinkle and Panchatantra. We didn't have any cell phones back in those days. Heck!  We didn't even have a landline connection. Letter writing was a fashion that everyone cherished to follow in order to communicate long distances. Of course we had PCOs and we took a long queue to wait for our turn, but life, when I talk retrospectively, was much simpler and abundant in time, an unperturbed time!

Things have changed, of course apparently and evidently, now. Have they changed for better? I will let you decide that. But for one thing, sometimes, the question should not be asked on the beauty of the sudden growth of a bamboo plant, but on what to do with it, to begin with. Are we making a correct use of it, now that it has started to reach its peak? Let's hope that it still gives us unperturbed time to think back, reflect and introspect. For, we all have gestation periods to reminisce about. Don't we? Let's wish that we will still have, after a decade or so, something worthwhile to think about.


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