Diary of Hobbitt

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

March Of Time- Radio & Television

Time was when as kids we would listen to jingles on the radio and sing along whenever we heard them - I still remember the famous Glycodin syrup ad , which went something like this - " mummy had a coughing fit, dear dear me ,All day all night ,dear dear me, Glycodin will make it go ,just you wait & see, la, la , la la, la la" (oops forgotten this line) "glycodin for me ! ". The there was the famous Lifebuoy ad - Tanduristhi ke raksha karta hai Lifebuoy... " which one still remembers when one sees Lifebuoy soap ! All these ads belonged to an era much before the advent of the television.

A major development in the area of entertainment was brought about with advent of the idiot-box - today's kids would be hard put to believe that there was a time when television did'nt exist in Indian homes! TV medium being part of All India Radio , programmes were decided by it and even telecast would begin only in the evening and wind up in the night -24 x 7 just did not exist ! I still remember eagerly looking forward to Chitrahaar every Wednesday evening and a movie every Sunday evening. Television sets being expensive ( by those days' standards ) , owning a TV set was a big thing ! Parents also did'nt suffer from anxiety about children neglecting their studies to watch TV, simply because the number of programmes were not many (most of them were in fact quite boring e.g krishi darshan ) and neither was the duration of telecast very long . It was no different when Indian television went for a makeover ,changing from black and white to colour- By now Doordarshan ( as it came to be called ) increased the duration by having some programmes in the morning as well on Sundays and a few hours in the afternoon on weekdays. The nation got hooked on to watching "Hum Log" (India's first ever daily serial ) , followed by Ramayan and Mahabharata- simutaneously Doordarshan encompassed the entire nation and not only the big metros. By now companies vied with each other to sponsor programmes and thus came into existence, ads on tv too ! Some of them like "Washing powder Nirma, doodhi se safedi " , Lalithaji 's Bhai Saab "( Surf ), "such much kaafi bada hai " (Okay Bathing soap), "Utterly Butterly delicious"(Amul Butter), "Char Boondon wala " (Ujala whitener) cannot be forgotten .

With the advent of satellite TV, visual technology progressed by leaps and bounds and today 24x7, multichannel technology has brought about a whole change in the concept of TV viewing . On the negative side it has spawned a whole lot of undesirable traits- eye disorders, corruption of young minds , division among family members ( each one wanting a different channel) which in turn has led to multiple sets in one house with each member viewing his/her favourite channel within the confines of one's own room !!

With technology progressing over the years , ads on TV have also become more and more sophisticated. With fierce competition among companies advertising their products, companies are out to make more and more innovative ads and with a view to woo and impress their target audience are leaving no stones unturned in their efforts - there are funny ads (e.g gillette shave gel, Motorola's new model cellphone , ), cute ads ( hututu-brand Horlicks or some such other drink meant for hyperactive kids with harassed moms), musical ads ( with Airtel scoring high above the others in its signature tune ), stupid ads which fail to have any connection with the product being advertised ("Don't be a balti "-still have to figure out what the ad is trying tp convey ! ). Business ethics seem to have gone down the drain as some companies try to run down rival company's product by making a spoof of the latter's advertisement - recent case being the cola wars. Looks like companies either have nothing new to say about their product or lack the imagination to promote their own product !

There are somethings in life , which even with progression will never die- this applies to the humble radio also. TV tech . may have progressed rapidly ,but the common man will still never cease to listen to radio - with more and more FM channels increasing day by day , the common man is equally hard put to choose which music channel to listen to. For him it is equally difficult to choose a FM channel to listen to as it is to select a channel to watch on TV !

In the meanwhile the advent of commercials on TV & radio has spawned an entire generation of jingle singers - the tiny tots pick up jingles and along with it become experts at knowing which chocolate, or which drink , will fetch a complimentary gift if bought - the outcome of this is that most parents are harrassed into buying a particular product just so that a pencil , or a game or a comic follows as a complimentary gifts. During my childhood the only such complimentary gift that existed was a charm bracelet that came along with Binaca toothpaste- as for parents being compelled to buy , mum was the word ! We never even dared to voice our choices ! Parents made their own decisions , and we children simply went along with them , for we were the generation that were drilled into following the rule -"children should be seen, not heard " !

As with all other things the march of time has also brought in its wake an evolution in behavioural pattern of children - "children should be seen, not heard " generation has given way to a " children should be heard and seen " generation, so much so that parents often rush for medical help if their child does'nt exhibit these traits .

Its amazing how much influence ever changing technology has on the pattern of human behaviour


At 2:16 AM , Blogger KayKap said...

You take me back to the days I was growing up; i remember it was for the 82 Asian Games that Color TV debuted in India; still remember the Opening Ceremony and the mascot, Appu. And yes, we used to wait for Chitrahaar, heaven forbid anyone asked us to do something in that time, but come the Sunday movie, the songs would be the time we would wander off. And, yes those ads. We were quite content with not having 24hrs TV; the programs offered on Sunday's were enough. And, some of those programs were good, Hum Log, Buniyaad, Tamas, Mahabharta, Ramayana, Different Strokes, Star trek, Knight Rider, Ghost Busters...Ah! Those were the times...we thought they would go on, but...we forget the March of time is the only constant. Thank you for taking me back down memory lane. Have been following your daughter's blog till now, adding yours in to my reading list.


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