Skip to main content

Why the boob tube needs a boob job



Some 20 years back, I returned home to find thermocol strewn all over the living room. Unbeknownst to me, a new way of life was in the offing, one that had more than 2 channels and where lifeguards with red swimsuits saved the day. To relive that feeling, think back to a time when you scurried back from school to catch Small Wonder and Wonder Years and a little later, Home improvement and It’s a man’s world. And you wondered how children in America were kissing mouth to mouth with such aplomb.

Before we were enslaved by social networking, television time was not easy to come by. In my case, it was simply the case of too many people vying for one solitary device. Grandma never veered off from sun tv. My sister never veered off from bold and the beautiful and santa barbara. In between all of this, I was supposed to find space, even though I didn’t understand what the heck I was supposed to be watching. And then Baywatch washed everything over.

Of course you’ve been there. Of course, you’ve told your folks about how Baywatch was about rescue and fending off disaster believing they would fall for that while you waited patiently for Pam and all the others to strut their stuff as they ran across the beach with ‘I’ll be there’ playing in the background. And for the want of space, you did all of this with the entire family watching. From time to time, granny’s eyes would wander to the screen and ask if the women didn’t have money to clothe themselves.

Of course you’ve been there, when watching, the subjects on screen decided to suddenly get frisky. Then they would make out. Then they would decide to take off their clothes. And then would materialise a near sex scene that made everybody squirm in their seats. So what started off a wholesome family entertainment took a ghastly turn. It is one of those serendipitous moments when your hand refuses to find the remote and eyes refuse to leave the screen and everybody is forced to suffer in silence.

How can you forget the times when you went back to school to discuss Friday’s Philips top ten? And when you fought for what was deemed your right to television. When a fight broke out with your sibling over what to watch and both ended up getting censured. In those trying times, the joy and thrill of watching television watching lay in what one had to traverse to get there.

Now, the television has achieved near archaic status. You can’t chat on television or see photos or follow celebrities. Everybody gloats over the number of channels that are afforded to them. 400 they say, as if it were a matter of personal pride. While in reality, after scouring through every photo on facebook, chatting yourself to death and reflecting on what the twitterati have to say about the state of the world or the state of their world, you just plop yourself on a chair and watch the first channel that lulls you into a deep slumber. If you haven’t yet figured, the 400 channels is just an illusion of choice.

Personally, the lucre of television has long since faded. After granny passed on, the television sits alone, bereft of all the attention that was once bestowed on it. I still take care (dad disagrees vehemently, but you know who to believe) to carefully dust it once a week. There are no more battles to be fought in order to earn television time. It sits forlorn, much a yesteryear star whose days of glory have long since passed.

20 years hence, the television at home has gotten bigger (Pam Anderson will be proud) and better. And so it sits, all 29 inches of it and a home theatre for company. Still waiting for that elusive boob job to restore it to some of its past glory.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When an Iyer met an Iyengar

If you see my parents, they look like the quintessential arranged marriage couple. After nearly 35 years together, they still take care not to touch each other while posing for a photograph and my mother’s smile dangles precariously between a smile and a grimace. But this image discolours the truth a tad.
Some 40 years back, they met at work, fell in love and got married. The talking point of the union being mom’s status as an iyengar and dad’s as an iyer. Simply put, the iyers and the iyengars are two castes of the Brahmin community, each, when given the chance, profess superiority to each other on all counts. If you listen closely, an Iyengar talking about an Iyer will say ‘Iyer a?’ in a condescending tone. And vice versa.
Mom tells me that when she told her dad about the marriage, he vowed to stand by her at any cost. Dad never told me what happened, but allow me to hazard a guess. His mother (my grandmother), threatened to go on a fast unto death. My dad threatened to go on a parall…

Unfair and unlovely

If time is money, the demonetization drive has ensured that many Indians are already very rich because they have suddenly been taught the virtue of patience.
A crossing near my house got to be very busy and a new signal was installed to help regulate the flow. Every single day, I see people break the signal from all sides without paying heed to their safety or anyone else’s. The people who break the signals glare at you for following the rules. You feel guilty for being patient.
The signal is red and people behind you are honking as if there was a reward for it. People shout the choicest of epithets at you for not moving and standing your ground. Either that or I need to go for an eye check up and see if I am colour blind. In another part of the world, orange maybe the new black but as far as I know, red is not the new green.
Stand in a queue at the railway station, in the petrol bunk, airport check-in counter ,or to pay a bill, and there will always be that one asshole who tries to…

Rasam rice

On some days, Bangalore weather becomes nostalgic. And for some time, everyone is permitted to live in the past. On one such June day, the sun wistfully playing hide and seek and the clouds emitting just enough raindrops for an instagram photo, the weather flirting with winter, the craving for rasam becomes telling.
Rasam. Rasam rice. Whichever, doesn’t matter.
First, use your fingers to make space in the middle of a heap of rice. Don’t protest when the dollop of ghee gleefully sinks into the rice. The rasam should scald, otherwise the ride isn’t worth it. The flesh on your fingers crawl when you dip them into the rasam, but trust me, keep with it. No good thing has been known to ever come easy. The impatient wait for a few seconds and an insignificant morsel is savoured. Gooseflesh ensues.
Slowly but steadily, bigger portions are savoured. to enhance the experience and attain nirvana, combine it with crisp papad and sandige.  Personal favourites include molagu rasam, thakkali rasam, jee…