How many of you remember the very famous Bournvita Quiz Contest? I mean if you are presently in your late twenties or beyond then there is an absolute hundred percent chance you have not only heard of it but you must have also been a fan.
Well I was no exception. And to add to this my mother was an even bigger fan of the show and of course Derek O’Brien.
So you can well imagine her tyranny over me about this. And as luck would have it I always missed the regional rounds by half or one mark.
But one day Derek O’ Brien came over to my school to hold a live interactive session with students. No quiz but only general gup-shup on life and things.
It was during this interaction that me who obviously never missed a chance back in those days to show how intelligent I was (not that this has changed now) raised my hand up high and asked a question.
Do you believe television is harmful for children?
He is a staggering over six feet tall guy and one that looked even more big when compared to us minions.
He smiled, asked me my name. Nodded his head and said, “good question. In fact very good question.”
Looked up again and said, “Excess of anything is bad. Television in moderation helps us grow. And when I say television I am not saying only Discovery channel I mean all forms of entertainment. Growth of kids need every bit. I have had questions on Bollywood in my shows. So no television is not harmful for children, excess of anything is.”
Later in the session he said he would like to give out a Cadbury to the best question of the day. No points for guessing who it went to 😀
But why this tonight?
Every once in a while follow someone else’s advice, but your own always
Watching television was a taboo when I was growing up. My parents had set curfews which relaxed for an hour after school and another half an hour over dinner time. I found this rather annoying, one may say it was my way of being tempted by the forbidden.
But I believe it was more deep rooted than that.
Bans. Forbidden. Institutions. These things they stifle me. I am my happiest when not between any kind of four walls barring of course home where I can spend a lifetime and still be at peace.
But rules, laws and order they make me run. Because in a world full of choices and random events how can we have rules? How can we tell people what to do what not to do? We can only educate them and leave our education to do its work.
My parents heard what transpired at school, they smiled. They somewhere felt my question represented a deeper psyche and consequently television was taken off the taboo list.
Do you know what was the result of all this?
I hate television. Even today the sound of it makes me restless. It is like I always say, an idiot box.
If my parents had continued to put embargoes on me it would have been a different case I believe. But it took me barely a week to say out loud at dinner table, ” I don’t think I want to watch television any more.“
No body said a word but only smiled.
Trivia. My first published poem in TOI was… ‘Television’ 😀
Like every week, connecting this with Write Tribe’s #MondayMusings
Until next time ciao!