Mar 26, 2007

The Good Old DD Days....

Wow...How many kaapi fans existed in obscurity!And how many has my blog brought into limelight!! (I know this is some tooooo loud trumpet blowing ;) , this is also to immensely thank all my dear friends whom I pestered to read my blog and post comments, ("Leave your footprints there" - I ordered) . Thanks once again guyz...not just for going through my posts and posting your comments..but also for continuing to be good friends with me after all these rounds of pestering..(Read this as...there are many more rounds to come... :) )

This post, as you may have rightly guessed, is about Doordarshan, not the DD as it exists today, but the DD of yesteryears...when you didn't have the satellite TV or glamour associated with it. Doordarshan had a few serials then and even fewer movies....and even fewer news broadcasts....And thats precisely the reason why it was adored... by men and women and children alike for reasons of their own..

If you are Tamil, you would definitely remember 'Oliyum Oliyum' (the two words pronounced with a subtle difference in Tamizh, emphasizing Tamil's rich phonetics - roughly translating to 'Light and Sound'). It was a compiled collection of Tamil songs from old and new movies alike and was aired on Fridays from 7.30 PM to 8.30 PM. I remember our entire family and neighbourhood (Our home was an easy home theatre to people who didn't have the luxury of the TV) finishing their weekly chores as early as possible to line up for this programme. We yearned to watch our favourite heroes and heroines..My dad preferred songs from the evergreen 'Shivaji and Devika' movies, while the younger generation preferred the contemporary heroes or the latest movies..And alas, you never get to watch songs from the just-released movies, if you thought it was going to be out there, it was usually time up :)

And so..Oliyum Oliyum was a super-duper hit then..People went mad if the power was cut during Friday evenings. Trust me..I dont remember having seen a single ad in between the programme. With the advent of the satellite television and competition it offered, the programme underwent some cosmetic changes intially...Some girls who tried to look cosmetically good, tried to add spice to it reciting totally unrelated poems in between songs, some supposedly funny drama was staged at the background while the songs were being played at regular intervals ....and yet the glamourous competition was too fierce...I should rather say the indigenous programme lost the race..Am not sure if it is still being aired at all...(Any concrete info guyz??)

There are other programmes that I remember as well...Chitrahaar was the Hindi version of Oliyum Oliyum..broadcast on Wednesdays...Though this was restricted to the middle and upper class masses, this was a hit too...until.. you know what..
The most awaited programme of the week was the Sunday movie in the vernacular language..We got to watch atleast one movie per week..We had to watch what was aired...It wasn't a viewers' choice..And yet the same old neigbourhood crowd gathering with cookies and kadalai to watch it(even if it is the umpteenth time, they interpret the movie better each time they watch it)..Answering nature's calls was strictly prohibited during the course of the movie..Remember there weren't any ads either...People could stir only during the news breaks..Who cares about news ;).

I had my personal favourites too. In addition to the above programmes, I was fond of the regional-language movies (supposed to be National award-winning ones) broadcast every Sunday afternoon in alphabetical order(Assamese, Bengali, ....Tamil,Telugu) and was eagerly waiting for the Tamil week( two Tamil movies on a single Sunday then ...hippee..). I patiently watched the news for the hearing impaired (another interesting one) and the Sanskrit news aired just before this movie, lest I miss the start...
And I was simply becharmed with he introductory music of the Doordarshan...recollect it??
I also adored the Ramanand Sagar's Ramayana and Mahabaratha that were aired on Sunday mornings...Mukesh Khanna, Nitish Bharatwaj (Bhisma and Krishna respectively) were literally worshipped then. In my opinion, more of such mythological programmes depicting the epics should be encouraged..After all, we are many centuries old...


Try contrasting all those to the state of DD as it is today...it is pathetic to say the least...Dont get me wrong..Its not that I'm not for modernization or the global competition..I welcome the private channels and the competitive advantage they have brought to the industry...I am just a little unhappy that Doordarshan, still the only channel that reaches out to some of the remotest hamlets in the country is somehow unwilling to improve its standards..technologically or creatively...

This blog is not just the memoirs of the good old DD days...I welcome your suggestions to make DD survive in today's cutthroat television market...not only in India..but also worldwide...
It is not easy, it is not difficult either...We have to identify where exactly the problem lies, lay down our suggestions...wait..all said...when and how is it going to be done...I mean who is going to bell the cat??

Comments and Suggestions are invited...

Mar 18, 2007

Filter Kaapi...


Coffee...Cafe...Cappucino..Kaapi...Call you what you like...Serve it hot or cold....Have it first thing in the morning or the last thing in the night....Take it from the traditional silver 'davara tumbler' or cup-and-saucer...Have it instantly or from the filtered decoction...Have it black or white or the typical Indian brown...If you can't survive a day without this magic potion in any of the above alters, read on, this blog is dedicated to you...

What makes this drink so indispensable everyday? Is it the taste that drives you crazy? Not exactly, I don't get to eat all my favourite dishes everyday..and am sure no one does either..there must be more to it than taste..
Is it then the aroma that can wake you up from your slumber? Maybe, but I wouldn't call it the reason for this drink to be so popular....Is it the pleasure of drinking something hot after a typical cold shower? Could be, but there are many lovers of cold coffee as well...Is it the caffeine that stimulates your nervous system and boosts your energy? Quite possible...Or is it the usual best answer - the right combination (in whatever percentages) of all of above?? Or is it none of the above??? Take your pick...its truly an objective answer..(in the Ayn Rand's truest sense of the word).

My pick is none of the above..To me, its more of a sort of Pavlov's condioned reflex. The very mention of kaapi (mind you, its kaapi not coffee) conditions an avalanche of chemical and
physical actions( and their reactions) in my body. I imagine my mom sitting near my bed (while I'm in my catnap or siesta) with a 'davara tumbler' of hot dark (not black) filter kaapi. I can sense the aroma and fathom the taste. I instantly pull myself away from bed (and the sweetest dreamz) and take my rightful share...Ah, those were the days.......

I became a kaapi addict at quite young an age.I was fascinated by the ads and the captions for coffee on TV. Remember this..."Kaapi na.. Narasus kaapi thaan..Baesh baesh...romba nanna irukku"....and the unforgettable sensual laugh that follows? I was drinking kaapi (I had too many specifications as well....twice as much as decoction as milk...right shade of brown, the right tumbler, davara.....) when my friends were drinking the much healthier Bournvitas and Boosts and Complans....Kaapi was an adults-only drink in my family..It was one of the first rules that I broke..

Well, today things are different...the reflex has been unconditioned...I am not a kaapi addict anymore...I drink kaapi's other alters as well - cappucino, dark coffee, cafe du lait and...... I drink tea as well..
Well, I call it growth....Call it what you like...

The prices have changed as well. A cup of coffee is good enough to be the main course rather than the appeasing drink after that....People are abandoning this all-time-favourite drink to its North-Indian-rival, tea due to health reasons..The world is going green..Tea could adapt itself to this...coffee retained its originality...and lost the race...well..not entirely...Health researches keep oscillating for and against a dish...Choclates that make you gain a few pounds today will prevent heart diseases tomorrow...Our dear kaapi is now being charged for a few heath risks today..but I'm sure time would prove it innocent, not only because kaapi is great and my intuition says so..but also because I firmly believe in the inconsistency of health researches....

Well, my head has reasons for me to drink tea this evening, but my heart is always with good old filter kaapi...Afterall I have reasons to believe that it is filter kaapi that symbolises the Java programming language...:)

Mar 17, 2007

First Thoughts....

Well, I guess I have to explain why I decided to start blogging...A sort of disclaimer..I've always been dangerously encouraged by friends that I have a thing (whatsoever) for writing. Maybe they were too fed up with my bragging and decided to say something for courtesy sake or some of the more daring ones decided to expose me ;). Whatever the reason is, it has brought me this far...

Another reason maybe because I believe that when you pen down your thoughts (or rather key them down), you interpret them better. "But why should you publish them on the web? (open them for others interpretation)? " I asked myself..And I refused to blog until I found a convincing answer..

I did concoct an answer finally..It was simple enough...I didnt pen my ramblings down(neither keyed them down) untl I decided to blog...Now isn't that convincing enough..

And as regards the title, all my scribblings here are those interpreted straight from the heart, not pre-compiled...just like Java..Now wait, isn't Java compiled at times?So is my blog...And for those geeks who've rightly guessed that I'm working in Java, yes, I am supposed to work in Java...

And a final disclaimer..I am certainly not Miss.Spelling...I misspell a lot:)

Those were my first thoughts..Good luck and thanks...