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Friday, October 30, 2015

Revisiting DD…the period that was…


The period was in the early 1980s. The mono channel Idiot Box would ‘cater all tastes, keeping to a rigid schedule,” to borrow the words of Maureen Freely. On weekdays the programmes would start from 6 am or 7 am with a Doordarshan symbol appearing in slow motion accompanied by its trade-mark music on the screen. Immediately, a saree-clad presenter with folded arms would wish the viewers ‘Namaskar’ and list out the programmes that would follow. The Indian economy was all but closed then. Radio and television were the state-controlled. 

The news hours would offer the viewers a mono story, only paying attention to the concerns and interests of the babus at the helm. Tejeshwar Singh, Rini Simon Khanna, Usha Albuquerque, Gitanjali Iyer, Salma Sultan, Prannay Roy, Neethi Ravindran, Sunit Tandon, Vinod Dua, Kaveri Mukherjee were not only familiar faces of the days but they were often given a rock star treatment by the people. Limited on air time 7am – 9am and 3pm to 10pm on weekdays almost every programme line-up was quite intently followed, such as Sports, and even Saturday Children specials.
The Sunday special had every one, young and old fixated on the treat. On this day of rest, Doordarshan worked harder at entertaining its audience, airing programmes the entire day. Every member of almost every household raced with time to be promptly in front of the television set each Sunday morning. Passions and professional practices were set aside as the epics ‘Mahabharat ‘ and Ramayan stole the show leaving no room for much else , for one full hour. Filling its void later was the story of the great Indian legendary Tipu Sultan that followed.
Sunday was no longer considered a day of lazy-ing around , once more , household chores were to be done with lest one missed out on the weekly Hindi feature film that evening.

Not to be missed too on Fridays were the all time hits – the classic Bollywood oldies but goldies titled “Chitrahaar”.

Black and White or Coloured irrespective, the few and far commercial advertisements still ring a tune just like the all time favourites fondly remembered by those who grew up listening to them like the top charts. “Washing powder Nirma” “Lifeboy hai jahaan tandurusti hai wahan” “ Liril’s refreshing advertisement made its model’s name a household one ,and Onida’s , neighbour’s envy owner’s pride” , are a few of the sing -along’s.
Soaps were then also able to capture hearts and operated as addictively as today’s, but were laced with morals. Most popularly and warmly reminisced are the likes of “ Hum log” “Nukkad” , “Mungerilal ke Haseen Sapne” the carrot-munching detective “Karam Chand”, “Malguddi days”,and “Buniyaad” will always go a long way and last as memorable treasures to be cherished.


Forwarded by: Jainendra Nigam PB News Desk    prasarbharati.newsdesk@gmail.com

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