The age of Doordarshan

One of the things I miss about my childhood is Doordarshan. We never had cable at our place when I was a kid and got it only when I was in college. Hence, doordarshan used to be the common form of entertainment apart from playgrounds and summers spent at grandmother’s place. And I am glad it was. Television back then (I am talking about the late 80s, early 90s) was sacred. As in, we kids were allowed only select tv serials at select hours of the week (and not everyday!) Hence, the anticipation of waiting for the favorite program to air, used to add much charm to the whole ‘tv watching experience’. It was hardly the “idiot box” back then as it is today, with the infestation of so many channels and so many (useless) programs. Doordarshan in its earlier days was awesome!! Over the span of 10 years or so (from the ages of 5 to about 16), I had many favorites on doordarshan. Mostly aired during the late 80s and early 90s. Shows like Tom and Jerry, BQC, Vikram Vetal, Chanakya, Udaan, Oshin, Surabhi, Malgudi days and Dekh bhai dekh are the ones I remember fondly till today. The husband too, used to watch all these shows when he was a kid and we often talk about these old shows, catching snippets of them on youtube. It feels warm talking about the shows we saw as kids, living in different states in different childhoods. Yesterday, one of such talks led to the talking of tele serial Udaan. I used to love that serial to bits. And I was surprised to see that the tune of the serial automatically came to my mind yesterday after so many years! I immediately jumped up, grabbed the laptop and did a quick search on youtube only to find that the serial is not available online. And the only way to get hold of it is by ordering a dvd of it (which is unavailable currently on flipkart). But seeing the clipping of the opening title track brought all the fond memories of DD flooding back. And I sighed-“those were the days”. Doordarshan had some kickass programs those days, and so many of them were so ahead of their times. Especially Udaan. I mean, how often do we see portrayal of women in realistic and strong roles. Roles that are fit to be ‘role models’ for young kids. Like many young kids (especially girls), Kavita choudhary used to be one of my role models growing up. I wanted to grow up and remove the injustice and put the wrong doers to shame.

That program had amazingly strong characters in the roles of Kavita, her dad and (if I remember correctly), her husband. Just listening to the title track yesterday gave me instant motivation and the same energy I had felt as a 8 year old when I used to watch the program. For many years, as a kid, I had cradled the secret ambition of being a police officer (or anyone who punishes the law-breakers). While in school, for the elocution competition, I had spoken about Kiran Bedi after doing a lot of research on her. I fondly remember getting inspired by fictional characters like Kavita or real ones like Kiran Bedi. Somewhere along the line, my love for being a police officer was quietly replaced by my love for Science. And now, the only thing I can do is wistfully look back and remember Doordarshan for airing shows that did inspire me in a big way.

Over the past many years, I have stayed away from television. Be it in India or here, I keep myself away from cable. No reason in particular, but neither the husband nor I are particularly fond of television and hence we end up not taking cable at all. I did catch some American sitcoms recently when they came on netflix, and I felt glad I have kept away from cable!

PS: I had written this post some weeks back, but got to posting it only today.

PPS: I have been having a hectic few weeks where I sigh with relief every friday and say a silent TGIF!!


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7 Responses to The age of Doordarshan

  1. Nostalgia.. how can I forget chitrahaar and the one that showed new movie clips.. Wednesday and sat.. because in hostel only that was allowed..

    At home watching buniyaad .. I forgot there was that lady whe did one too.. yeah rajni and udaan.. and tamas…

    Those were the good old days…

    Then those college serials .. subah.. etc etc

  2. nightflier says:

    such a nostalgic post! 🙂
    I also remember a show which starred Pallavi Joshi (as a navy cadet ?) dont remember the name. but it was much liked by me.
    Also such restricted tv time ensured that we were exposed to quality I think. These days there is just so much junk around, difficult to filter. These days my tv viewing is limited to only food and travel shows (yes I am growing old!) and a few american sitcoms once in a while.

    • pallavi joshi’s only serial i remember is alpaviram. The one where she goes in a coma. Dont remember if it was DD though.
      Talk about loving food and travel shows!! I catch snippets of food network on youtube and man, that stuff is addictive!!

  3. haddock54 says:

    Very true. We too made it a point to take the cable connection only after the kids were out of school. But we did have some good serials on DD (and some good English serials too) like “Some Mothers do have them” “Mind your language” etc
    Like you said I too keep away from the Telly and put on the radio which is almost on for 24 hrs. Its said that World Space has been yanked out of India.

  4. We too don’t have cable, but we netflix a lot of shows …

    I get this deep nostalgia when I think of Doordarshan days. I have coined a term, “oldist” I crave for all things that were in the past and think they were better. I am afraid I am not moving forward at all.

    ∞ © ∞

    • Srikanth says:

      I think its not just you.. I think a lot of us from that generation are in the same boat.. I feel exactly as you do.. I feel I am a total misfit in today’s world.. How I wish I could just rewind and go back 25 years (to 1988)…..sigh.. I can feel my eyes wet…

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