Sunday, August 21, 2005

a stereotype question....where do u fit?

i just dunno ppl...its become a question that has started to grow in leaps and bounds and i JUST DONT have an answer.....( this probably an oft-repeated question, so read it only if u wish to)

Where do you fit in?


It has been over 3 yrs since I moved out of India, the usual path of finding yourself and trying to establish a truth, of what makes u and what doesnt. Why is it that now, I feel that although the experience hasnt been trivial, I have moved far away from things anywhere, that I just fit in smaller and smaller circles, leaving that huge set of things and ppl seem as PURE noise.

Probably I have lost the purpose of the journey.

(CTRL-ALT-DEL) the journey.


I never watched Indian shows when I was in India, the Kyonki Saas , the Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki and the Chitti s . I remember times when everyone was glued to the sets and I probably went to my smaller TV and switched on the Practice or the West Wing. I did have a brief stint of watching soaps like Santa Barbara when i was like 13 but soon figured out that the plots were so lame that i could decipher it at least 3 episodes before it happened and i left it. It seemed like a total waste of my time. ( and anyones time for that matter)

To me having a purpose in a show was more important than tips on how to deal with relationships and NO indian show had anything close. But there was one thing I liked about these shows. The fact that I could read a novel close by, and feel at home listening to the sounds of these serials. The sound did it to me, of someone speaking in Hindi or Tamil, I didnt even know who was saying these things or y. I guess thats what you call a sub-conscious acceptance of life.

Fast forward to today. I came to the US thinking there would be more of these purposeful shows. Something that you did not think of, something that you could learn. And boy was I disappointed.

Day time TV in the US is for senile ppl. The ones who just cannot think even if someone else thought for them. The Judge Judy's, the Gameshows, the soaps. These were like trash, in fact they were trash. So trashy that you cant even spit in them.

Primetime TV was selectively good, where I caught a glimpse of a decent show, but found out that the real ones appear only once a week, and the reruns of Seinfeld and Friends made you completely in control of the screenplay that you can actually say what is going to happen before it happened. In fact many of us actually started figuring out flaws with the screenplay and delivered on the instead.

Then came the assault of reality TV. That i think was the stupidest thing anyone could watch, almost like watching a home video over and over again. There was a statistic floating around that said by 2007 everyone in the US will know someone who has been in one of these shows.

Where were the creative strengths of ppl goin? Dont tell me India cos i know it aint goin there.
News was a joke in itself. I would bet you 100 bucks that you couldnt tell me what was goin on anywhere else in the world if you watched WB39 news at nine. Heck you wouldnt be able to tell me what was goin on in the rest of the country. Thank God i came here after the IT revolution. Thank God for the internet. Now i understand why ppl here were so disconnected and why Jhumpa Lahiri wrote the Namesake. It all comes to me now.

So I swam thru this insanity planning on what I would wanna watch when I got the chance of choosing cable. I got this chance now and chose to pick up the South Asian package offered by DirecTV. ( This was because I hated Zee, Sony and Sun which Dishnet offered and the fact that DirecTV had MTV Desi, yup that was what I missed more than anything else, My Music)

And was I in for a surprise.

Star Plus: Star Plus was still crappy as it could be 3 yrs ago, with all the family dramas and so called love ishtories. High on hype, low on substance. Everyone seems to wear suits, every lady seems to be dressed in their best silk saris to cook, and everyone is just screaming! Why??
I dont know. I guess im not going to watch any show. Probably just use the Hindi to feel at home, like a lullaby when I cannot sleep.

Star One: Now I dont know which genius thought of this channel which just seems repetitive because it is another channel with Hindi serials. Now what can I say about this channel. It just cracks me up to see a Homicide crack squad all dressed in their best suits, armed with their latest laptops and solving a mystery case with the Desi Police. Hmm...since when did we have these teams working cases in India?? someone brilliant chap must have seen CSI and copy pasted the script to fit Indian standards. Whatever. and yes everyone again is screaming, everyone is playing basketball, everyone is dressed in their levis and nikes and going somewhere important. Guess im the only loser who has nowhere to go...:(

( A minutes silence for some of the greatest shows of its era : Byomkesh Bakshi, now that was a mystery series that fitted Indian standards, or even Tehkikat. Sad that Gen today cannot get a dose of that)

Star News: reports the news in the most matter of fact way, like , uh...ya it what?
NDTV is miles ahead.

Star Vijay: Now the Tam guys seem to be more in control of their outfits compared to the Hindi bros, but still when will someone grow up and make serials that are relevant? Some solace in the shows that pick up from the movies. I totally dont get it, Movies want to be so Indian, TV shows want to be so ( God knows what, i wouldnt call them Western, cos they r not).

Desi MTV: I missed this a lot in my 3 yr hiatus, and am glad that I can finally get to hear my mujhik , and if u ignore the soft-porn remixes that keep popping up every now and then, they do have some real good songs here.


Now I would wanna choose only Star Vijay and Desi MTV, but cannot. Bcos Rupert Murdoch apparently feels that Tamilians cannot watch MTV unless they watched Star Plus or People who watch Hindi serials must not watch Tamil movies.

An attempt to split the nation??...Where is Mangal Pandey when we need him??

Which is where my question pops up....

why the attempt to stereotype u into a category, why not let you be.

I know ppl who say this is a market force game, but to me its just an attempt to frame u.

What do you think?


Blogger Balaji said...

I think you have waaaaaay too much time on your hands... don't they have you digging deep down in a data mine yet?!

:p j/k...

About Murdoch... I don't think he has some conspiracy to stereotype/frame you... but just to suck your wallet dry while making you believe that you are in control by allowing you to "choose" what you get in your idiot box.

And seems to me that you have a case of "the grass is greener on the other side" syndrome... or is that too simplistic a diagnosis?

(Caution: prime example of "shameless attempt to draw traffic to one's own blog" ahead)
Ah... reality TV... a subject close to my heart... here is how I feel about it...

11:07 AM  
Blogger Kartik said...

shiva, as we discussed over the phone, there is no end to it. India is grooming into a culture which is neither traditional nor western. she seems to be in the phase where she is learning. We are caught in the middle here. We can no longer accept the change(as it is too drastic) but we do want a change. The CHANGE is what our minds perceive.

Film actors and actresses are hoisting the Indian Flag. Nothing wrong in that. But the pomp and show built around it is not acceptable by me. i was seeing the other day on TV where MAhima choudhary hoisted the indian flag in LA and people were busy eating Pani Puri and trying to get on TV.

People have to realize this and decide what they want. Only then can we see India as we saw it 3 yrs ago and maybe in the future.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Sujata said...

Shiva..the question of the sometimes best answered if left to unreveal itself. Ofc, we made the choice for the change to occur and created atleast a purpose for it. :)

Btw..the Star TV was still better than the pakau Zee and Sony. Back in India...Star world and HBO were my only saviors. lolz..

TV is US is total Crap...We have the Friends DVDs with again that rules out watching them on the Television..:D. What kinda Ads do these ppl make. In India..atleast I loved the advertisements..they lefta mark in our memories..Cadburys ad..or be it PSPO nahi jaanta and so on. Its really a Mad Ad world here..ppl just donno what they are upto. Crap.

n e u doing?
Me leaving Houston on the 30th.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Kartik said...

well said Sujata, AD's are in no comparison to those in India.

9:50 AM  
Blogger C'est Moi said...

I think TV in India was much better b4 Z, Sony, Star n others... the DD era was the golden era. Remember the Jungle Book, Sigma, HeMan, Nukkad, Circus, Chhaayageet, Chitrahar and as u mentioned Byomkesh Da & Tahkikaat... and then the 'Ek Gilhari.. Anek Gilhariyaan', 'Des Raag', 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhara' and those things... all those things are lost in the crowd of numerous TV channels. I never felt attached to ne of these young breed of channels like I felt for DD. May b its just the 1st crush thingie...

@ the Ads... u just cant move ahead without mentioning 'Fevicol' and 'Maa ne aaj Jalebi Banayee hai' (Dhaara oil).

10:05 AM  
Blogger Hemal Modi said...

Have been away for a long time, trying to figure out how I got stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Feel like I should catch the next flight back home... but anyways, I guess this is all a part of the journey (or should I say 'Kahani ghar ghar ki')

Now that you have mentioned Indian TV scene, let me reiterate that we have some exceptionally refreshing advertisements. I should also mention that the ads for 'New York Life Insurance Company' are impressive.

As others have mentioned that DD era, I really miss that time and the only respite is hindi songs from timeless classics on 'Abhi to main jawan hoon' on TV Asia.

A caveat like Balaji - (Caution: prime example of "shameless attempt to draw traffic to one's own blog" ahead)

To recall a few advertisements from the golden era, visit my abandoned blog

1:18 PM  
Blogger the shiva said...

balaji...nopes not in the mine yet....the reality blog...well written man!!


sujata....yup ads in india have more sense than cars, junk food, medicines with side effects and clothes...

ND...uve named all of 'em...!

Hemal...y did u abandon ure blog?

7:47 PM  
Blogger Pal said...

i agree with most part of ur comments about the programs in the mentioned channels.

but watch out for "The Great Indian Laughter Challenge" in Star One, In India it comes around 10.00 PM every friday. That is one very good show I have seen in recent years.

6:05 AM  

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