A couple of days ago I was reading through Mr. Baradwaj Rangan’s writing on ‘Switching Channels’ in the Indian National Daily ‘The Hindu’, wherein he wrote on how he abstained from watching Television for a month and the affect and effect of it. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/switching-channels/article6194533.ece
Interestingly I had completed a year of abstinence from watching the Television on the day his writing broke in the newspaper. Only I could not write it for ‘The Hindu’ - so this blog, as a poor cousin!
Unlike Baradwaj Rangan, who should be a busy writer, I have quite a good amount of time to kill, as presently I am in that envious state of having every day as a Sunday and where the television would have certainly helped.
Why I gave up switching on ‘my’ television is a not a very closely guarded family secret, but interestingly, like Baradwaj Rangan, I too did not find anything much amiss. In fact, I would dare say that this abstinence saved me, as I did not watch the FIFA 2014 and see Brazil losing 7-1 to the Germans. Well, I worked in Brazil frequently at one time and I had learnt Deutsche to some extent, ending up having good friends from both the countries. As I did not see the game, I could not comment on hearsay and I could hopefully stay neutral to both. Unlike Baradwaj Rangan's television, the one in my house boasts the access of some 250 channels and counting and I pay a fortune every month for this luxury which I have not been using.
The positive aspect is that I found that I am now spared from the rhetoric of news that I cannot use, the ‘n’th time of viewing Jason Statham’s ‘The Transporter’ and the sequels, Jackie Chan’s ‘Rush Hour’s, Arnie’s ‘Terminator’s and Sly’s ‘Rocky’s and all numbers of First and bad ‘Blood’. Pity is when even TLC has been repeating and repeating its travel and food programmes that I have become used to the talks, the scenes and the activities by rote.
I also find that I have more time now, for reading three news-papers in two languages every day, from this end to the other, using the now not-so-dull sharpness to close the hard and evil levels of Sudoku and daring to attempt the crosswords once in a way only to find that I may need to give up TV forever if I wish to qualify to the elementary levels of the Crosswords.
Reading of newspapers include the occasional ‘inserts’ (despite the best of efforts, the Indian newspapers could not succeed in eliminating this easy to reach homes inserts in the newspapers), the tid-bits and flyers that are inserted in the daily newspapers by the local business people, zipping the newspapers of their advertising revenue and yet using them for distributing to readers. These ‘inserts’ more often range from amusing to annoying standards and guide on one’s knowledge of how a language could also be but should not be. Confused? Now you got the essence of the ‘inserts’!
The negative side of my abstinence is that I have become the soft and captive target for my wife’s unending questioning, on various subjects, to which I have the least clue and on occasion for petty quarrels too, unsettling the tranquility created at such a sacrifice by me in abstaining from vision, er television. She knows that I have now much savings, in terms of time of course, and that I can very well spend some for her or she has a right to take and use it. I can’t argue on that, if I care to still maintain my daily sustenance and body weight!
So I magnanimously leave the full authority on the ‘Idiot Box’ to her and retire to my ‘den’ (which, indeed, it is; making a home to many ‘immediately unwanted but maybe wanted in future material’ and I suspect many a time that that could include yours faithfully too) to make and send consulting proposals for which I receive an occasional response. The only regular responses seem to be coming from unknown faces of ‘friends’ on the Facebook.
Now to quote Mr. Baradwaj Rangan (with a minute change – on time) one should be feeling that ‘a year, without something you don’t really need, can reinforce your conviction that you don’t really need it’ – at least till you have Facebook and an internet connection.
Isn’t it? What do you think?
You tell me!
Krutagjnatalu (Telugu), Nanri (Tamil), Dhanyavaadagalu (Kannada), Nanni (Malayalam), Dhanyavaad (Hindi), Thanks (English), Dhonyabaad (Bangla), Gracias (Spanish), Grazie (Italian), Danke Schon (Deutsche), Merci (French), Obrigado (Portuguese), Shukraan (Arabic), Shukriya (Urdu), Aw-koon (Khmer), Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai (Laotian), Kob Kun Krab (Thai) and Asante (Kiswahili).
Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy