A mid-morning memory

Saturday mid-morning, a sudden rush of energy. The house feels like it’s been drowned in dust. Despite how I romanticized the far-away firang lands as being relatively dust-free, two days without dusting results in a gossamer layer of dust. I dust and sneeze. The unwashed utensils mock me in the sink, and are cleaned. The overflowing laundry basket is no less sarcastic, and is taken care of. Suddenly the mildest hint of dirt is annoying, and I embark on an almost religious mission – to get all surfaces and textures in the house squeaky clean. A few hours later, the mind and the house are ridiculously uncluttered. Then, a squeaky clean song surfaces in the mind. The kinds that you don’t associate with specific moods. A little channel-surfing bumps into this favourite.

I hum the song for a little while, and then for some reason our old big, knobby black and white TV comes to mind. Certain weekend afternoons. Saturday spent watching “regional cinema”, reading the subtitles. Interrupted by news in Sanskrit. Maybe that’s why I alway associate Sanskrit with snacks. Sunday afternoons watching Hindi cinema. I love afternoons. They have none of the pressure that a morning brings. You have to be busy in the morning hours, doing something. At least that’s how it was during the school years. But the afternoon, with the promise of drowsiness and half-empty streets is welcome. Very welcome.

There’s this picture that I scanned a while ago that spins me into that afternoon mood. My aunt and mom watching television, with me slumped on my mother’s lap, sleeping with my face towards the television. The TV screen says “Prasthuth Hai Feature Film Ka Shesh Bhaag“. (Is it any wonder that Amrutanjan adverts also make me sleepy?). My aunt and mom are sitting extremely close to the television set. Next time my mother asks me to sit ten feet away from the TV screen I’ll just whip out this file.

Ma, me in her lap, and aunt - Sunday Afty Movie

Now, I shall go watch the feature film ka shesh bhaag.

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19 Responses to A mid-morning memory

  1. Primalsoup says:

    Yay nostalgia! Rishi Kapoor movies, Doordarshan and amma insisting that a certain distance be maintained while watching TV — all of it sounds very familiar. How much I resented all the TV rules that we had – maintaining some unscientifically computed distance, not snacking while watching TV, not lying down while watching TV and not hearing the end of it when all/ some of those rules were broken. I think there ought to be a new Facebook group called – When I was your age, we watched Doordrashan.


  2. Hehe πŸ™‚

    I had this notorious reputation of being a watcher of every single film on Sunday afternoons..be it Bengali or Assamese even!! Of course Saturday evenings were reserved for the Hindi film!! And Chitrahar and Oliyum Oliyum…not I’ve gone all soft and nostalgic!!


  3. bhumika says:

    Miss those days when β€˜rukawat ke liye khed hai’ was the most common message on tv, Chitrahaar was perhaps the most happening programme on Friday eve and Salma Sultan’s matching rose was an obsession…This post surely brought back some great memories.

    Lovely pic !


  4. rads says:

    de-clutter: That’s on my agenda for the day once I kick everyone out on their respective to-do’s.

    I remember this song. See, Rishi did top-o-the-train dancing even before SRK made it famous! πŸ˜‰


  5. km says:

    If only Doordarshan knew how much people loved that channel in the ’80s…


  6. mumbaigirl says:

    wonderful photograph.


  7. A B&W TV (Telerama?), Hindi movie on the TV, mom watching in an American Georgette sari – aaahhhh, brings back my Bombay childhood days. My brain automatically wants to mime the Marathi announcer coming at the end of the movie, “Punha aapli bhent sandhya kaali saadhe saha vasta. Jai Hind” [we will see you tomorrow evening] πŸ˜€

    LOL at Sanskrit and snacks.


  8. Those regional language films would come in alphabetical order of the language – remember those days when we’d try and calculate how many weeks before the next Tamil movie!


  9. neha says:

    ahh the memories!


  10. bindumathew says:

    nice art pls welcome tobindumathew.blogspot.com


  11. Anil says:

    Completely agree about the afternoon thing. Aha, those timeless days.

    Which one was this, EC TV, Dyanora?

    Feel like tuning back to DD fare now, and not without reason too!


  12. Primalsoup: Oh yes, the million TV rules. Including how many “hours” could be watched. My parents tried all kinds of things – including having a scoresheet. I am proud to tell you that none of it really worked!

    gooddaysunshine: (What a lovely name – especially as it’s raining outside!) I loved the regional films. I am pretty sure that my reading speed vastly developed thanks to the quick to disappear subtitles.

    bhumika: The matching rose! What an obsession that was. I almost miss her drone on tv sometimes. Almost.

    km: Yes, then they would have never stopped. But what to do, nostalgia doesn’t work that way. if DD was still the centre of the universe, the universe would have been a very boring place. I think. πŸ™‚

    mumbaigirl: Thanks. πŸ™‚ I wonder how my dad feels about me randomly sticking up photographs that he clicked 25 years ago.

    Bhelpuri: EC TV I think. I also have a soft corner for Krishi Darshan. Back in those days my dad worked in the Ministry of Agriculture, and i felt it was my duty to watch anything agriculture related.

    aandthirtyeights: But all our plans would go right out the window if someone really important died and DD would declare a day or two of mourning, interrupting our plans with a day-long absurd arrangement of classical music. To this day, very slow classical numbers can sometimes annoy me!

    Neha: πŸ™‚

    Anil: EC TV. Given the abundance of K serials and reality TV, I’d love to have Byomkesh Bakshi and Malgudi Days beaming on the telly. πŸ™‚


  13. fighter jet says:


    Those were golden days….
    the picture brings a lot of nostalgia….”Doordarshan” days πŸ™‚


  14. Ishmael says:

    Now, isn’t this a lovely post.


  15. thanu says:

    Our sunday afternoons were similar too..

    Its Gone, poye poochu…..amruthajan ad…


  16. dipti says:

    Does anyone remember Phool Khilein Hain Gulshan, Gulshan from that era? Can’t remember the name of the anchor – she was this over the top bubbly woman who spoke chaste urdu. Haan, yaad aaya – tabassum!!


  17. -ns says:

    what a priceless picture. brings back memories of childhood doordarshan days when life was simple..


  18. Devaki says:

    Loved this post! Especially the words – the afternoon, with the promise of drowsiness and half-empty streets. Brings back memories of weekday afternoons – returning home from school, mom waiting for me at the bus-stop, walking home telling her all about my day at school, then a quick lunch followed by a short nap with my arms wrapped around her tummy… The streets were truly quiet and empty then, the silence interrupted only by the raddiwala’s shout or a radio playing in the nighbor’s home. (Sorry for the long comment, but you truly took me back to nostalgia land.)


  19. Sidhusaaheb says:

    Ah…the ‘Abhimanu’ effect? Ok…Not exactly, but close, I’d say… πŸ˜€


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