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World TV Day: From ‘we’ to ‘me’

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In today’s fast-paced world where everything is available at the click of a button, does one remember the good old days when wanting and waiting went hand-in-hand?



The longing to watch Chitrahaar or Mahabharat is something the millennials will never know. With umpteen number of music channels and general entertainment channels (GECs), where shows go on for eons even if the storyline died its natural death hundreds of episodes before, showing whatever the viewer wants to watch 24/7.



Want to watch a drama, choose from the GECs. If music, click on one of the music channels; animation, there are enough and more channels kids can choose from. Unlike the ones who saw the rise of the Indian television.



For the ones who were born and grew up with television, shows like Hum log, Nukad,  Shaktiman, Rangoli and many others still holds a special place. And the clumsily-dressed characters made summer holidays even more special.



The characters were simple yet with a progressive mindset. Today it is quite the opposite; heavy makeup and regressive thinking. The connection build over the years made Lalitaji a household name and owning a TV set was really a 'Neighbour's Envy, Owner's Pride' and Mile sur mera tumhara was not less than the national anthem. The half-an-hour news capsules covered many stories as there was less noise and more news. Although, there are certain anchors, which make primetime news more entertaining than the melodrama, today.



Not only this, in the 80s and 90s, before the private television boomed, the entire family finished their chores before the favourite show or movie started.  Children finished their homework without being reminded, mothers prepared the meal and fathers left early from offices. The ‘we’ time was cherished.



With the onset of DD Metro, Zee and Star Plus, the audiences got the first taste of life beyond the international shows as well as shows with high production value. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Hip Hip Hurray and Tara brought with them the modern touch to family television viewing.  



And then came many more channels showcasing different genres from national to international markets giving a preference to one over the other.



Today, it’s all about me, me and me. Children watch what they want to watch while parents are busy with their favourite channels. Segmentation is the need of the hour is what the broadcasters say, giving birth to 813 channels (as per the 15 September 2014 list on MIB), but in filling the 24 hours in the day, the quantity has taken over the quality.



Today, how many of us eagerly wait for a show to begin or even alter our plans? Thanks to the long and sometimes dragging storylines as well as digital medium where on the command of a mouse everything will replay at our convenience, TV viewing has surely changed.



Nonetheless, till entertainment is there the mundane and monotonous lifestyle will be saved by the flipping of numerous channels. LOL!

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