Sunday, April 22, 2012

Requiem for the good ol’ television set

Requiem for the good ol’ television set  

As I turned around to go out of the shop my eyes fell on it. It was lying in a heap, amidst others of its ilk, in a corner. I suddenly felt very bad. I had come to this electronic shop to exchange my old portable TV for a new one. It had been with us for the last fourteen years – our first colour TV. It was through it we had made our acquaintance with the cable revolution. While I had my dose of news analysis, necessary for my Civil Services examinations, from the news channels, my parents had their fill of the family sagas and religious discourses from it. The number of channels then was limited and the twenty programme capacity of the TV set was sufficient. With the growth in the number of channels down the years the set’s features started seeming to be small. But the thought of a replacement was still far off as we were not very voracious TV watchers. With time however, its age began showing. It would get switched off by itself, the colours would leave the screen or the sound would get muted for small moments. The TV mechanic’s visits gained in frequency. As my infant turned into a toddler, the TV’s remote became his favorite toy, rendering it unfit for any control of the set. One had to go to the TV set to give it any command. When I heard about this exchange offer I decided to avail myself of it. And here was I getting the new big TV set packed.
   That, a lifeless common thing as an old TV set can raise the feelings of an attachment, had never crossed my mind. I felt hurt seeing the way it had been shoved in a dusty corner. “It is of no use to us Sir”, I heard the salesman telling a prospective customer who had come to exchange his electronic good. “For us it is all scrap and the offer is just to enable buyers to move to better electronic goods”. It saddened me and I felt like telling the salesman that mine was still in a working condition and that it deserved a better treatment. The thought of taking it back with me crossed my mind but, before my emotions could have the better of my decision, I immediately moved out of the shop.
   “Didn’t it feel bad the way our TV set was lying in a heap of disused TV sets?” my wife commented as we drove away from the shop. With a lump in my throat I could only nod in affirmation.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rain Rain go away
Poor farmers seem to pray
As the crop on fields lay
For the harvest as they sway. :-(

( wrote this impromptu as the rains came lashing in Allahabad on 12-4-12 and the thought of the wheat crop lying in the open in the farms came to my mind)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Soliloquy ( For the Teachers and Parents to hear)

Though about 30 years have elapsed when I was a primary level kid, I seem to remember so much of then. The names of the teachers who were specially attentive to me are engraved in the memory. Of course, I was kid and didn’t notice that they were lovingly attentive to each one of the class! I remember so well my exhilaration at the pats on the back and, a resolve to prepare the next lesson more thoroughly for more such pats. How I hated it whenever my performance was measured in terms of the achievement of others in my age group – and that too before others. These grown ups! How would they all feel if their weaknesses are discussed before their friends? They laughed at me when I said that an apple is of white colour. Come on just cut it up and won’t you find that the most of it is white? Yes, yes I wasn’t conforming to fixed standards but didn’t I have logic? They glared at me when I replied that “mangoes are found in the shop”. I was made to learn that they are found on trees; though, till then, I had seen them only in vegetable-shops to which I had accompanied at times with my father. It was only later that I found them to be correct when I saw them hanging on the trees. The reminiscences can go on and on but my only request is to please do not forget your own childhood and, love a child for what it is – a child.


Skand Shukla