Monday, December 18, 2006

Tales of the Idiot and the Idiot Box!! 

So I've been super busy and then I'm also planning to go to Kolkata later this week. So those are the basic excuses for the delayed absence :) Not that I had a dearth of writing material though. I feel the list of yesteryear Hindi movie cliches that I plan to write abt, have a lot of potential - I'd say at least "15 comment worthy" (yeah, I'm gonna classify my posts in terms of how commentworthy they are). But then I wrote this pretty interesting email to a friend and the idea of this post came to my mind and I just had to get it down before I forgot it. So here it goes ...

Sundays are very different for me right now. I try to keep my Sundays free. Fridays and Saturdays normally involve a fair bit of staying up and driving. So Sundays are lazing days. I normally indulge in an afternoon nap. Maybe go for an early movie. Do my laundry in the evening. Call up home ... Sundays, now, also give me the "Tomorrow there's work" feeling. All in all Sundays now are characterized more by stray errands than anything momentous. But things used to be very different as kids. And as I thought through Sundays from the past and their meanings across multiple time frames - it struck me how big a role TV had during my growing up days!!!

I was very young then. Maybe ten. Maybe twelve. Maybe nine. Young enough to not remember too well what age I was. At that time Sundays were "Hindi movies in the evening days." Every Sunday Doordarshan would show some Hindi movie in the evening. Those were simpler times. There was no cable. There were no reality shows. We didn't even have Rakhi Sawant hogging news coverage all the time. All we had on Sundays were the movies in the evening. I remember that I used to open the morning newspaper with phenomenal anticipation to find out what movie they were screening that evening. I would then run to my father with a curious face. "Dad, they have some movie called Professor starring Shammi Kapoor. Is it any good?" The suspense used to be tremendous, as dad would pass a judgement on the movie and that meant a lot to me. Occasionally he would praise a movie and give me some additional trivia (I remember he did that for Mehmood movies). And then there were days when he would deem a movie completely unfit for my childlike innocence (I remember he did that for Ek Phool Do Mali). That would mean another week of waiting and I'd blast the Doordarshan honchos for spoiling my Sunday evenings.

I remember Sundays also had a regional language movie in the afternoon. The one that followed immediately after the news for the hearing impaired. But those movies had no charm for me. Coz the only regional language I spoke was Bengali and all the Bengali movies they ever screened in that slot were very depressing with famines and an unattractive woman always playing a central role :( So yes, Sundays then were only "Hindi movie in the evening days"!!

By the time I became fourteen, Sundays had changed a lot. VCRs had penetrated into mainstream India and watching movies on Doordarshan was loosing its charm. But the Sundays reacted well to this change. We had entered the 9-10 Ramayan/Mahabharat era. Life would reach a standstill as the entire nation came together on Sunday mornings to re-live the countries biggest epics. I used to have lunch at 1 in the afternoon those days and my Mom was kind enough to allow some lunch time TV watching too. So Indradhanush and Space City Sigma were hot topics for Sunday afternoons. Occasionally when Mom was a little more lenient, I would slip in an episode of Stone Boy too (does anybody else remember that show?). So effectively the Sunday TV extravaganza had moved from an evening affair to a morning/afternoon affair.

A few more years passed by. I was a little older then and considered the then Sunday craze Jungle Book kinda lame. I was probably the only one in the country who found the song "chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai" obnoxious. So while everybody raved abt the show, I kept it away from my morning staple. The other craze then was Ducktales, another children's favorite. But let's face it, by then I was too old for animated ducks without clothes below their waist!!! My favorite Sunday attraction had once again moved to the night time slot. It was a show that in many ways changed Indian television by introducing us to the notion of countdowns - the one that started it all - Superhit Muqabla. Yyup! I watched that show and am not ashamed to admit that I even participated in one of their competitions (if you care for more details then lemme tell you that I had voted Romeo Naam Hai Mera from Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja as my song of the week). With a host of erstwhile forgotten personalities like Baba Sehgal at its helm, the show found super success and I was part of the audience that waited all week long to find out who would reach "Hall of Fame" next weekend.

As I said in the beginning - Sundays are so different now. No TV whatsoever. Occasionally a movie. A lot of reminiscing though and that's what I did with this post. Whatever!


I swear... Sundays are so different... occasionally some TV, sometimes some booze...

but that thing os... oh god... the weeks starting again...

sundays also meant special Luchi - Aludum at our place... Ma has something in her hands...

awwww geeezzz.... u made me emotiional... sniff sniff....

Love, laughter n keep the Faith

i remember stone boy. vividly.
stoone bo-o-o-o-oy
and there was a football match with him telekinetically moving the ball, a song called lovely mauritius, damned product placement, and he had an afro.
oh, and you werent the only one who hated the anime jungle book. i mean...grah. sher khan was a wuss.
Shaggy..You know what, I never did grow up watching DD but I do remember all my summer time at my grandmothers place watching the shows u mentioned!! And along with Jungle Book (I can't believe u remember that silly song - all the kids were singing it!) there was this nasty fantasy serial called Chandrakala or Chandramukhi..something along those lines..do u remember what am talking about?? Absolutely funny come to think of it!!! Have u seen Shakthimaan?? :) Hee hee!
sundays r always laze-around-at home days for me...by the time i get up its almost afty n b4 i know it evening comes n then on time passes in figuring out how to get over the 'monday morn' sickeness that strikes me!!! :):)...
n a small extention of my previous observation...after u post after a long time u normally dont reply to the last few commenters in the previous blog...but now u just dont reply only to my comment u reply to all the others....wow!!! thats a tremendous improvement dude! keep up the good work! :)
@junior - oh when i am in Kol all days are luchi days :D aaaaaaaah!

@mr basu - wow another stone boy fan :) and talking abt jungle book - how long did that show go on - i think it was thirty years or something - the thing just wouldn't end!!!!

@gg - Chandrakanta good person!!! Chandralekha was great song by AR Rehman while Chandramukhi was mediocre movie starring Sridevi and Salman - how much info i impart :D

@xyz - when xyz teaches something - everyone learns - if needed i will reply to your comments twice :)

@xyz - see, i just did it :)
how can i forget stoneboy.... i dont have ppl from kolkata around me here in delhi...and i wonder where all those kids (now grown up) are who've thrived on superhit muqabla ....jeeeez i even remember the title song...super-super-super hit muqabla hit muqabla hit muqabla :)))))
your blogs take me back to a time immemorial ...and sumtimes bring tears to my eyes....life was so less complicated and fun then!
instead of replying to my one comment twice i think it wud be more smarter and make more sense if u cud just reply once to ALL my comments! :)

you forgot Malgudi Days...

Ta na na na na na na naaaaaa...

The very song which almost became an Anthem with a Bengali Rock Band... that very song...

amazingly vivid thoughts from an equally befuddled mind... hee hee...

Love, laughter n keep the Faith

life was so simple those days. I used to love watchign chitrahaar, he man , star trek, street hawk tamas, fauji..gosh so many of them, and we would sleep after watching the 9oclock serial. it was fun those days :-). thanks for reminding those days
Ah, I loved Superhit Muqabla. It was a classic. Of course, I ditched it for MTV Oye with Neelam but that's pretty much what everybody did.

Now I've downgraded my Sunday viewings to Desperate Housewives on ABC.

But you know I'm secretly yearning for ads like Vicco Vajradanti.
@madhura - oh yeah! i remember the tune and also that the soap queen Ekta Kapoor was a VJ tose days and said "Mein hoon Ekta Kapoor, Hazaron mein mashoor ..."

@xyz - stop scolding a little boy! cheeh!

@junior - was Malgudi days on Sunday too?? I thought it was on some other day

@risha - oh thanks for reminding me abt He Man and Street Hawk. Street Hawk I rmember was sponsored by MRF as was some weekly sports show produced by Kapil Dev ... what was the name ...

@hemo - wow! you remember MTV Oye! even i had forgotten that. i remember even then famous Ruby Bhatia did some episodes - right?
How can you forget SPIDERMAN
Also there was another very popular show called GIANT ROBOT.
Lots of reminiscing in your blog posts!
hehehe i remembered the robot programme...it was called 'johnny sokko and the flying robot'...
keep up the blogging sagnik ...u provide a lot of entertainment to soooo many people...btw why dont you write a book....
Hey there...not into blogs but was asked to check out ur's and i am impressed...I love the one on "back ups"...must say those who do have back ups have self esteem issues...also loved the "usual suspects"...it was hillarious...but sweetheart...i am a woman and i love to shop but i do it for myself...feels good when u look good....keep up the good work...All the best!
@anonymous1 - yes "Spiderman, spiderman ..." and Johny Soko too - but I don't think Johny and his Robots were on the Sunday slot. btw, i loved the fact that he used to speak into his watch to call the robot :D

@anonymous2 - yup! i guess i have reached that age wher eyou can look back and impress the new generation with the sheer fact that things were different earlier :))

@madhura - thank you for the very kind words :) i would write a book if only i had the talent and the ... well talent :)

@anonymous3 - oh thanks. so who refered you to this part of the web?? and if you shop to look good - kudos kudos - i have no problems with that - but do you think that bags make a person look good?? but then i don't know much abt fashion :(
Have been going through a lot of problems lately in my personal life....a friend who i am sure you would'nt know,had recommended me to check out some books,movies,blogs etc...ur's really uplifted my spirits!
And u are welcome!
"but do you think that bags make a person look good??"- No wonder women are from venus and men are from mars...men would never understand!:D
Malgudi Days also ran on other days... but I remember it coming on sundays...

and johnny soko was fun... tho it was not a sunday slot... definitely... I liked the way the robot took off... that weird robot thingie...

there was this other show... knight rider which was brought in as a replacement for street hawk... but did miserably... i liked the sliding of the panels to reveal the machine guns... and the whole nitro boost thingie was drool...

maaannnn... i wanna go back home!!!

Love, laughter n keep the Faith

well of course you have the talent....why...you have an active audience already!!!...im sure if i start blogging noone will even read my blogs..let alone comment...:))))
just organize some thoughts n start writing short stories ....but yanywayzzz keep blogging...n post sum pics of yourself on your blogs...(curiosity u see!)
He-man was also part of Sunday entertainment wasnt it? Or am I mistaking it for some other day of the week? And err, about Superhit Muqabla, I voted on that as well..twice. Cant remember the exact choice, but Im pretty sure it was some Aamir Khan song :P
Sundays only stand for the - Shoot, have to go to work tomorrow - feeling now! No TV. No real going out! Just sitting at home doing the mundane. And then logging on to work to see what's going to explode in the morning!

Glad there are others like me! :p

I do miss Sunday DD movies! Lurved them! :D
anonymous - hope your problems are over and you are all fresh and chirpy coz then you will read my posts with a clear mind and thereafter stop reading them :)

@junior - yup! knight rider that had our Baywatch man as a crime fighter :))

@madhura - oh! my pics are all over the place - even on the blog in some posts - don't remeber which one though - sadly they are not wroth looking at :(

@ron - yup! Spidey did indeed come on Sundays and wohooooo! the whole Superhit Muqabla mailing thing makes me feel so much better :)

@qsg - why are we like this? are we too old :((
@Sagnik: Naah...not to old - just experience-rich and worldly wise! :))
You took me down a memory lane....I started my sundays with Rangoli....the only day of the week when I used to get up before 7....Coz rangoli used to start at 7.15 am and continue till 8.10 followed by news.Then I used to watch all the programs that you had mentioned in your blog....I was fond of watching "Ek se Badkar Ek", do you remember that countdown show with that cute lady?....Those were some days....When DD Metro was started..they did a show on MJ..with Javed Jaffery hosting it...I had recorded the entire thing on VCR. They do not make such programmes these days..sigh!
hmmm...found them....my curiosity is appeased :))...are you terribly modest or what....
Of course! And with regular doses of Spiderman in the evenings and He-Man from 9:00 in the morning!

Thanks... it was really nostalgic.
i think it was world of sports sometime in the afternoons around 4 or so right...there was also showtheme, and i loved that animated cartoon ad...ek gilarihi talking abt ek and anek...didi yeh anek kya hota hai :)

(was unable to sign in for some reason)
Aaah.. so u finally came back, but this time I was late! :)
How could you forget the News for the hearing impaired and that fat lady enacting the news yaar... its still fresh on my mind!
And wow u mentioned Stone Boy.. I remember I cried so much when he became stone again.. I had asked my Mom why serials had to be only 13 episodes and not longer.. (if only I had guessed that Ekta was listening to my question then!)
Hey.. I remember that Muqabla thingy.. I can still sing that song Baba sang...

Good one yaar... mujhe mera Sunday-bachpan yaad dilaya... :)
I wouldn't say that I remember all of the mentioned serials for that matter...but I do remember Jungle book and Mahabharat/Ramayan series quite well...Oh and Sree Krishna...I enjoyed that more! It's strange how much we actually miss those days...even though technically speaking...we have come afar.
Brilliant sagnik. Trip down nostalgia lane. Growing years, the wonder years :) Did you really participate in Superhit Muquabla? LOL. and you just brought back the nightmare of baba sehgal who my mind had told me had ceased to exist.
And does a trip to Kol mean we'll have to wait another month for the next post?
hey, me too ... I too used to wait to see who is in the Hall of Fame next week on Superhit Muqabla. But reading the post, I realized the ones which I used to see, Jonny Sokko and his giant robot, then Spiderman ..(and hum all the way that evening .. "friendly neighborhood spiderman") and stuff like that ...and ofcourse Sunday evenings used to be days when we used to get the badminton court from the clutches of the girls who were busy watching the evening movie and ofcourse the sunday afternoon news for the hearing impaired and the regional movie which used to more funnier.

Have fun in Kol.
So EVERYONE misses Doordarshan....the days of simplicity and neatness.

It's nice to see an entire generation of people feel the same way. I'm sure people a little older or a little younger can't relate as much:-)

If you are in cal in Dec end, drop me a mail. Most prob I will be in cal around the last two days and we could catch up?
You can check out some of the famous TV shows from Doordarshan (DD)like Malgudi Days,Ramayan,HeMan,Tom and Jerry on my blog http://rajanikumar.blogspot.com
You can check out some of the famous TV shows from Doordarshan (DD)like Malgudi Days,Ramayan,HeMan,Tom and Jerry on my blog

@qsg - good one :) i am going to use that now :)

@lavs - i didnt like rangoli coz they showed only old songs. chitrahar on Wednesdays however showed 2 new songs at the egining and hence i used to freak out on that

@madhura - not modest at all. you are just being kind :)

@sudipta - thanks :)

@risha - oh yes, i dont think there is a single one of us from that generation who doesnt remember the ek anek song :)

@tsg - oh heck yeah. i was upset too when stone boy turned into stone :(

@aindrilla - yeah with all our technique we have produced shows like bigg boss :(( sad!

@m - oh baba sehgal is back :) i chanced upon the man in at least two shows on TV this time :)

@kausum - you know somehow your comment remined me of rasna ads hat were a big part of the spidey show

@magnolia - alas! we now hav fear factor instead :(

@shareen - yup! we are old :(

@pu - i am supposed to go to some village for some picnic thing yar end. will buzz you if i actually am in civilization still then :)

@raj - thanks man. will check out.
I think Indradhanush and Space City Sigma were aired between 10 am and 11 am....for u r lunch slot there was this quiz show...which I vaguely remember.....and if u want to spend u r sundays in a better fashion I can forward u Jaimine Patel's contact numbers....
jaimine hoo?

laabh eentaaresht bujhi? hehe hehe...
You brought my Sunday alive! I so remember Stone Boy..was such a fun show! And Spiderman mornings. Superhit Muqabla evenings which would be discussed on Monday school bus discussions!

Amazing, Sundays were precious way back home!
whao dude! u got a fan club anywere? I could start one u know ;-)

Miss those good ol' Sundays :-)
Good writing, this. Does anyone remember the old ads? Nirma? Vicco Vajradanti? Vicco Turmeric? "Phenk do yeh kadhai ye degchi, inse na naata jodo..the Prestige Pressure Pan?" Javen Jaffri in the Cinkara ad? And there was this show called WAH! Kya Scene Ha! with Archana Puran Singh and she would wiggle like a worm when she said it "Wha! Kya Scene hai!" *Sigh*, yea..we're getting old.
Sagnik - Did you finally write about the cliches in Hindi movies. Quite keen to know what your ideas are.

I acted in stone boy as Archana, Master Manju's sister. It’s so lovely to see so many of you still remember the show!!! i do agree those were the days of good shows!!
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