The great Indian TV conundrum
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|   Jun 07, 2017
The great Indian TV conundrum

Its 7:30 pm and septuagenarian, Mrs A hastens through her household chores to be just in time for the 8 pm daily soap on Star Plus. Few blocks away, a homemaker and mother-of-two, Mrs B is hurriedly leaving for her evening walk only to ensure she’s back home to catch the next episode of her favourite soap on Zee TV, while Mrs C, rushes back from work to light the evening lamp, all the time wondering what will happen to the central character in the 9 pm serial on Sony TV.

This leads us to a Catch-22 situation –

Do people watch TV because they have the time, or have no time because they are glued to TV sets?

No, I am not against watching TV, neither averse to the daily soaps. But anything in excess could prove detrimental, and hence, everything is recommended in moderation. Continuous engagement with the idiot box, planning our schedule in line with the serials telecast, channel-hopping to catch different soaps, and obsession with the characters and story lines, is something that should be avoided at any cost.

Most serials portray similar value systems, and patriarchal/matriarchal family models where decision making is highly concentrated, and seldom advocate women empowerment. Female characters who are sundar, sushil, sanskari, draw more eyeballs, than their counterparts who are shown as smart, suave, and savvy. When people experience certain situations in real-life, they possibly liken it to something seen in such soaps, and thus, could end up seeking similar solutions, which may not be the best option.

Spare a thought for what all is at stake. Relationships and quality time spent with friends and family, time that could be devoted to alternate pursuits such as hobbies, spirituality, or philanthropy, or efforts to address larger and more pertinent issues, such as global warming or environmental degradation.

Wouldn’t it be more pleasurable if we spent the same amount of time on ourselves? Why not develop an art like quilling, read a good book, take a walk in the park, learn an alternate therapy like reiki, or simply delve into inner thoughts. Self-realisation is key, regardless of our age, or stage of life.

Meeting like-minded people or peers, and discussing matters of social importance, personal finance, retirement and estate planning, could also yield larger benefits.

The flood of daily soap operas, and host of channels, offering regional content, news, food and gourmet, movies and …. (the list is endless), offer something for everyone. So when the remote is monopolized in one hand, others keep awaiting their turn. How about allowing other family members also to watch their favourite TV shows?

Think of the long-term repercussions –the cumulative time lost in such a non-productive activity, which adds little value to our daily lives, the notional tangible/intangible loss we suffer had we chosen to spend time in more fruitful and fulfilling ways, and how it impacts our overall contribution to our family, society and nation.

So time is finite, not infinite. If used and invested wisely, it can offer immense opportunities, in terms of learning, monetary gains, and self-satisfaction.

The choice, is ours!!!

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