She looked around to find a way out of the dark house using a torch. Sirens unexpectedly erupted, ringing throughout the giant house and the grounds, as a light started revolving through the window. She saw a bang on the door and… “che poyaloda”(oh it is gone) screamed my grandmother after receiving an interruption in the climax of her regular TV serial. She started cursing the electricity board for their improper service in the locality. She added that it has happened twice and at a time when some of her favorite serials are in the verge of disclosing some mysteries. My grandmother is a TV serial maniac who starts watching TV from 7 PM until 10 PM. We have dinner in between but her eyes are stuck on the TV screen and the dialogues from the characters.
(Most of my posts mention about my amma. The right hand side is mother and left is grandmother)
I visit my grandmother’s house once in a week. She calls me in advance to confirm my arrival and prepares all the delicious dishes that I love to eat. I reach there by 8PM and get the privilege to witness her non-stop TV serials.
Once I was having my dinner and she said that Vishnu is a very cute and nice boy and she loves him a lot. I asked her the whereabouts of Vishnu and she said that he is a little boy who sings song in “junior star singer”, a TV reality show on Asianet channel. I was surprised to hear her reply. My grandfather always teases my grandmother for watching TV serials and taking them seriously. He said that he is not interested in them and watches them just for passing his time.
There was a party and I was with my grandfather listening to his friends who were discussing some issues related with a property connected to a temple. In the middle of the discussion, my grandfather turned at me and pointed to a person saying “see he looks like Ananthan”. I was wondering who this Ananthan is and asked him in anxiety. He replied that he is a comedy character in a serial that started 4-5 months ago. Later the family members discussed this and laughed at the grandfather who was always there to protest the serials and tease my grandmother.
My grand mother gave me a list of some popular serials that included idea star singer, devi mahatmyam, parayi petta panthirikulam etc. and advised me to see them daily. I agreed with a gentle smile nodding my head, signaling the acceptance. I am not used to serials and don’t get the time to watch them. I even got the chance to see some of the ladies in the neighborhood crying while watching a mega serial. :)
Six weeks ago my grandmother called me and asked whether it is possible for me to reach home. She said that the Television is not working properly and she is not able to see her favorite serials since one week. She said that she asked some technician to repair it but still of no use. I reached home and she was waiting for me in the front of the house. The moment I entered the house and she insisted me to see whether I could repair the television. I tried the level best but was not successful with it. Her face was dull and appeared like she did not have any food for a week. I could not bear her silence and took my vehicle to the nearest store and purchased a big TV. The moment I installed the television, her face was lit like a lamp and a sweet smile appeared on her face. I was satisfied with my purchase.
We had a big dish in the home though which most of the Malayalam channels were viewable. I searched the internet and tuned several channels for my grandmother. Some weeks later she called me and said that she took a cable connection as the channel featuring her favorite serial is not available in the dish. The photo shown above is of the old dish that is now a house for birds and plants.
I brought the new mobile and decided to take some pictures from the locality. While I was at the back side of the house, I could see the dish receiver placed naked on a drum with plants surrounding it. It was avoided from the day my grandmother received the cable connection.
If you could closely monitor the old people watching television then you will be able to find the depth of their viewership. My grandfather’s sister moves her head along with the actions of the TV characters and sometimes starts searching for them when they are out of focus. :)
I read an article recently that says, reading books can increase mental work whereas watching movies and television on a regular manner affects mental behavior and thinking capability. I would suggest that parents should take care for their children who watch televisions or play games continuously. They should teach them to use it as a means for time pass restricted to few hours a day.
In olden days people used to spend time with their family, discussing funny incidents, sharing knowledge but today TV serials have robbed their valuable moments leaving them in from of the television. In my childhood only Doordarshan channel was available that had limited movies and serials and children used to play quiz and outdoor games. Today children have shifted to Dora, ben-10, Tom and Jerry and action packed-movies making them engaged in front of the television. Watching television is fine but becomes a problem when it affects relationships.