DD, a love affair

DD, a love affair

Sitting before the TV, looking at black and white stripes, I am reminded of the Doordarshan era. This was an era that had so little but was still way better than today’s abundance. Back in the era of harmonious communions and no distractions like smartphones and tech gadgets, families used to enjoy every television serial in its totality.

I still remember waking up to the melodious Mile sur mera tumhara, to sur bane hamara on DD National. This song was no less than a drug to me and everyday without exception, I would need my fix. DD was the channel that introduced me to the world of animation and fantasy. I would wait all week for Sundays to watch Mowgli followed by the intriguing saga of Chandrakanta. Malgudi Days, Nainsukh, Shaktimaan, Swabhimaan, Wagle ki Duniya, Tehkikaat, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Ramayan and Mahabharat were also among the much sought after TV series. However, the audience had to wait for a week back then to meet their favourite characters unlike the daily soaps of today.

Innocence prevailed those days and people considered the shows and their characters as a part of their family. During the telecast of Ramayan, nobody mustered the courage to sit on couches. In sheer display of reverence, everyone would sit on the floor and pay their obeisance to Lord Rama and Hanuman. This was the time when TV was a luxury and everyone could not afford it. People in the neighbourhood would gather at the house of an affluent neighbour and experience the world of motion pictures.

During extreme weather conditions, the connection would get disrupted leaving the viewers dejected. An odd man would then rush to the terrace to fix the antenna. The correspondence between the one fixing it and the one directing him from downstairs, was a treat to both eyes and ears. Upon culmination of an episode, an exultant and thunderous explosion of sudden approbation would echo inside the four walls of the house.

A special series for school children, called Tarang, would be aired during summer vacations, and would cater to all the needs of a child. It was didactic as well as entertaining. I hold a firm belief that DD was the one to venture into virtual teaching as there used to be informative lectures on Mathematics and Science. It is ironic to see today’s e-learning firms making a fortune out of what was originally a DD National initiative.

And how can we all forget the iconic jukebox, Chitrahaar? Telecast weekly, the string of songs could make anyone groove to the beats. People of all age groups would sit glued to their seats to be cradled in the tender arms of music. Besides, it did a great deal of good to our society by showing them the world outside India. Furthermore, campaigns like ‘Polio Free India’ and ‘Family Planning’ impacted the lives of all. Even the slogans of these campaigns like ‘Do boond zindagi ke’ and ‘Hum do hamare do’ became popular across the nation.

We have come a long way since, but I still feel that the mystical world of DD can never be replaced. DD, we truly miss you!