What an Idiot Box taught me?

“A pathetic attempt of justifying my addiction to entertainment.”

“Long time ago, not so far away land from where I am writing this blog, lived a little girl. She hadn’t even started school yet. She didn’t know how to read books. She used to play in backyard with her friends and dolls. One day she suddenly found herself in front of a black box. But that black box was a magic box. It was shooting out beautiful colors and was telling funny stories about a blue cat and a cute little brown mouse. She had never laughed so hard with all her family enjoying the same experience.” I literally remember this event as I was trying to remember what first tv program I watched. . I keep forgetting to make grocery list but I remember my childhood memories as if it was yesterday. . .

I blame Tom and Jerry to make me watch tv with an open mouth, frozen in one pose without blinking.

Gradually I started watching many beautiful contents on tv. Thankfully my Mom was naturally a very good parent so I never spent too much time in front of Tv and mostly watched age appropriate and good content. . Mom used to take us to watch beautiful dramas and movies. I watched Drama about Helen Keller with my Mom and that memory still gives me goosebumps. Our Mom enriched our childhood with these kinds of quality entertainment along with sending us to camps and playgrounds etc . If a really rare and once in a lifetime live program comes around in city and our exams are nearing, my Mom would choose taking us to program than pushing us to achieve first-class. Partly credit goes to our national television channel Door Darshan too. One and only channel at that time who telecast mostly good content.

As a kid who didn’t like schools and found it hard to pay attention to teachers reding from textbooks, failing to teach and expecting to just copy notes from blackboard, Tv and reading comics or novels actually provided me wisdom. I like history because of comic books. I like Sanskrit because I watches Chanakya and listened to that title song based on Sanskrit shlokas. Even though I never succeeded in Math beyond passing exam I really learned that Math can be very cool from educational programs on DD channel. I actually stopped hating Math and people who were good at it. I also learned a great deal of Agriculture form DD agriculture programs. I have tremendous compassion for hardworking farmers and respect for food. I would have never picked a book about agriculture from library in my life. Even now with Discovery channel and Ted talks I keep learning so much and about so many things I would have never cross path with.

I remember me and my brother used to watch morning programs of Bal Bharati on DD, an educational program for kids. They used to show interesting science facts and little experiments that schools at that time would never conduct. Me and my Brother once made two spoons of tea, in a very small paper bowl on a tiny toy kitchen burner. Seeing paper not catching fire while boiling tea on a little candle flame, we put in toy burner was such an outstanding sight. It was thrilling and tea never tested so good before. Sharing a spoonful of special tea with my brother was special bonding moment. Plus, it was our secret for years, since we usually did these kinds of things only when Mom wasn’t around. So, it might have been “secret” part of it which was more strengthening element of our bonding . . .

Anyways, moving on to our knowledge about our culture and mythology. I don’t think without Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana and Mahabharat our generation would have this through knowledge of Mythology. Ram, Krushna, Arjuna, Karna were my Superheroes. Bheem was my Hulk! Ok Well, I can go on and on how Tv educated while entertaining me when I was in school. But let’s move on to College life. .

When you pass out from a Marathi school and start going to art college it doesn’t hit you hard what was missing until you become friends with peers from semi English school or convent school or simply who paid more attention in English class than you. I actually own my English to International channels like HBO, Discovery, Cartoon network, MTV, VTV etc. Especially Reading all Harry Potter books and watching the most loved tv series in the world called “Friends”! Thanks to entertainment industry I can think in English and thanks to spell check I am able to write in English!! And you know once you learn English then sky is the limit. Whether its entertainment or education, or communicating with your clients with different nationality. One like it or not English is a Universal language and brings world closer.

Also, tv and media made me aware about ways of world rather than spoiling my brain. I mean, who would have explained me difference between just friends, a crush, love and stoker better than movies?  I heard somewhere that; Successful people choose Education over Entertainment! But I firmly believe that if you choose entertainment carefully it can be as enriching as any educational platforms. Educational books and courses will give you knowledge, enhance your IQ and might help you be successful. But quality entertainment will heighten your Emotional Quotient and help you be happy and establish great relationships with people you love.

Word of caution though, you should restrict the time limit just like you do for your kid’s screen time! (this is literally a note to myself as an entertainment junky) Nowadays with platforms like Netflix, Amazon prime etc. we can really have options and not forced to watch same thing other people are watching at home. We can choose our own time, place, device and programs. This actually is golden age of quality entertainment!

So, I would just like to say, start choosing wisely and turn that Idiot box into the magic box!! But don’t forget to return to real life and create your own magic, because even in a fairy tale Cinderella can’t party after midnight!

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