4pm, Sunday on Doordarshan

Growing up in 90s at Bangalore, I remember spending most of my evenings outdoors playing games like hide and seek, lagori or hopscotch. However Sunday at 4pm I’d glue myslef in front of our television which had a channel or two, ‘Doordarshan’. Our family would sit together to watch a kannada movie. Our curious eyes would fix on waiting to see which movie doordarshan had decided to play for us. When it was a movie that we hadn’t seen before, there would be so much excitement in the air. With such limited content they still managed to get us excited and happy.

In the past few weeks I’ve been re-watching a few of Dr. Rajkumar starring kannada movies and have moved into a nostalgia kind of mood remembering those days. I’m amazed at how our brains connect memories of such distant past and how it just needs a trigger like in my case it was re-watching a set of movies. I could feel those emotions of our living room encapsulating again in me while I re-watched. Of-late these are the simple pleasures I seek for and become child-like happy. I’m grateful to all the online content made available for us, which helps us browse back to old memories in a touch-play ease.

Also maybe because back then movies were meant as entertainment and taken as entertainment. Nowadays, with publicity, critics and media in general or maybe the concept and storylines coming out, somehow I’m left stressed by the end of a movie or series. It’s not a comparison to make, I understand, the world has changed and we’ve moved couple of decades forward. It’s just about how I feel, how much I enjoy and want to go back to those simple family or social message stories.

Somehow it makes me wonder, in-spite of so much new content made available through Netflix, online or channels, it doesn’t seem to make me as happy as I used to be, you know, waiting for my movie show at 4pm, Sunday, on Doordarshan in 90s. Maybe it’s just because it brings memories of happy childhood, or is it the storytelling? or is it about availability of vast content now that leaves me confused?

I can’t seem to boil down to why?, but, I’ll continue to watch a few more of those movies in the coming weeks and enjoy them with a cup of tea and some popcorn.




Cosmos, a story of space.

Have you ever been a sky observer? Such stellar activities happen high up in the air. I love the black curves of flying birds across a bright sunrise. They have always been behind the mountains of every drawing I made as a child.  A sunrise, flying birds, few mountains, many trees, a blue river and our little home beside. When you just start to think of living a life there, you can see this machine bird in your head. It’s an airplane, that’s made us travel the world with ease and comfort. In 90s when the airplane flew past our neighborhood, we would run out to take a glimpse and wave hands. It gave us thrill and left us amused. I wondered if there would be anyone up there who could see our tiny hands and wave back. I’m standing beside the tower that takes me to 103rd floor to put me in a glass balcony. Skyscrapers begin to look like vertical platform that operates messengers to move back and forth between the earth and sky. I get off and I’m wandering under the dark lost in the jungle of my own thoughts. I look up to see Orion, a constellation that I fell in love with. He hunts my thoughts and lets me explore. I’m swirling around in circles and racing through the sky to space to system to galaxy to web of galaxies and the universe. I have gained enormous energy. Slowly, I’m starting to feel heavy. I’m swallowed by a black hole and from nowhere I start dropping down at light years speed to wake up from a sweaty dream. I’m struggling to breathe my share of oxygen. We know that our atmosphere offering of oxygen has depleted over years. Maybe my DNA will pass on this information to my lineage in their genes. After many thousands or perhaps millions of years a new human is born with some of my gene strands who wouldn’t need oxygen anymore.

Space could be bright or very dark.  Space could make you light or very heavy. Space could be a question or it could give you an answer. It’s a knowledge house and is full of mysteries. It offers us many stories.

Ever want to watch an amazing series that can stimulate questions around life on earth and space mysteries? I recommend Cosmos, A Spacetime Odyssey and need I mention that I’m in love with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Planet Earth II

Whole of last december, I kept eagerly waiting for Sundays to watch Planet Earth II on BBC. If one’s heard Mr. Attenborough’s narration you’ll know what I mean, it’s like magic whispers telling you a story. Each episode distinctly focused on species residing in mountains, jungles, grassland, desert and cities. I’d say every frame in the episodes remain worth watching. Jungles, is my favorite episode.

A mighty rat’s escape from an owl in a grassland is shot so wonderfully and such a well placed music in the background, was almost like a hero-villain encounter. A nude looking bird turning into a colorful dancer when he sees a potential mate, wah, I’ve never seen such a grace before. In the cities episode, a male bird collects plastic wires, wrappers and many junk to build his nest. He invades his neighbor and steals his toy, a heart looking stuffed toy. It’s so cute to see him jump around with this piece of charm. He falls for the girl who comes to see his nest and gives his toy as a mark of their love story. Only in sometime he’s left heartbroken – to realize the guest wasn’t a girl and also he lost his “heart toy”. After all its karma, what goes around comes around.  Another story was of the nail sized glass frog and how he tries to save his children from the hoppers and flyers. At the end of every episode, you’d have seen a series of struggle, learning and harmony repeat. It’s after all the very essence of living.  

There were some creepy ones too. Snakes crawling to capture the new born water iguana, a hungry cheetah hunting a reptile, an eagle fighting her peers to eat up a dead fox and billions of locusts destroying crops. I preferred to hide behind the sofas while these displayed on television in such high definition to make our experience feel almost real. The crew has done such an outstanding work in getting to the remote corners of our world and capturing the tiniest of detail.

It inspires us to get out to the real world and become friends with nature. It reminds us that we share our planet. It feeds our curiosity and quietens our ego. 

Highly recommended. Planet Earth II.