Wednesday, September 16, 2009

'Doordarshan turns 50'!!!

A cup of hot ‘Masaleywali Chai’ (masala tea) with some hot snacks, and see your home turning into paradise after a long tiring day at work. Switch on the TV and browse through your favorite channel (news channels in my case…now don’t say they are boring…I know that!!!) and relax on your couch…what else you can ask for! J Now that was exactly the scene in my life yesterday after reaching home late in the evening. Ok I don’t want to make you bore giving details of my everyday events but something interesting which I am sure many of you must be aware of, hopefully. Our good old once upon a time our favourite and only channel available turned 50 yesterday! And this was the prime time news in many of the top (in terms of TRP ratings) channels. Which one? ‘Doordarshan’ yaar!!!

DD started broadcasting in India Sep 15, 1959 when UNESCO gave the Indian government $20,000 and 180 Philips TV sets. Hmmm…i wish I was born then so that I could have established 2-3 channels on my own. Kidding!

Not very long ago Doordarshan, once was our favorite channel. And the unavailability of satellite channels was not the reason behind. So what is the reason behind this once a most wanted becoming totally ignored old member of the family? I remember my association for ‘Doordarshan’ has been quite a long. Not that I was born before the cable TV revolution era but my family (and me too) made it clear that we wont take any cable connection till I complete my board exams. Now whether that decision helped me score better marks or not is a different story all together. I don’t have much idea about the golden age of Indian television, when people talk about serials like Buniyaad and Hum log, which were Indian television's first soap opera. But whenever you talk of ‘Doordarshan’ one thing that flashes in my mind are the weekend’s programs on Sundays especially ‘Sindabad the sailor’, ‘Mogli’, ‘Alice in wonderland’, ‘Malguri Days’ and of course my favorite ‘Chandrakanta’. I used to miss my Sunday painting classes just so that I can watch these favorite programs of mine. Another favorite was ‘Alif Laila’, which used to come at night time and I used to watch even when my entire family was sleeping. And of course how not to mention great sagas of all time 'Ramayana' and 'Mahabharata'.

‘Doordarshan’ has got so many memories of mine and I am sure yours as well attached with it. The ‘Doordarshan’ era was really a golden one and so were its programs. The way we all cherish our memories with those serials I don’t think we can get the same nostalgic feel with the serials and programs of the current lot, except a very few. Each one of us could relate ourselves with the simplicity and grounded nature of those programs and their characters, which turned out to be their USP. Life used to be equally simple where morning used to start along with the signature tune of ‘Doordarshan’ playing first stanza of 'Vande Mataram'. How can we forget that montage and the visual images? Day used to end with the ending of the transmission. I still get nostalgic every time I hear it. Yes, now in ‘youtube’ of course.

So what went wrong that we got detached with this favorite channel of ours? Why we all ditched those simple and grounded characters for these new age glamorous wamps?

Is it the “commitment for healthy entertainment suitable for family viewing" the main reason for it being left out single in the race, in this highly competitive market where sex and TRPs are almost synonyms. Still ‘Doordarshan’ enjoys the widest terrestrial reach which caters to remote and border areas that are often neglected by other channels due to their commercial interests. However, a recent survey by TAM (Television Audience Measurement), the television research agency, said that ‘Doordarshan’ not only commands the highest channel share compared to private networks but attracts a far greater number of viewers.

But the million dollar question is ‘are they watching it by their choice or because they are not left out with any other choice’? Well time for some reality check to be done. Whatever be the present scenario, ‘Doordarshan’ holds a very special place in our hearts. Always has been, always will be. But the irony is that we are getting this news of ‘DD turning 50’ from some other channel.

We all have our share of stories with our association with this good old friend ‘Doordarshan’. Would love to hear yours. Please feel free to share.

1 comment:

  1. Buniyaa and jungle book superb. Even i used to wait for Mahabharat and The Ramayan...
    Even today I search for those old gold memories on youtube.....