Meandering ways: keeps on coming

Strange are the ways of Google! Here is another compilation of some of the funny referrers I got in past few months (typos are deliberate):

b a t h n i g secnes from indian cinema
aruna irani mother tongue
Singh and spam and false name
email addresses of tractors management officers in india
what kids want today in kolkata
cool hindi company names
what makes a friend dependable
aaj tak daughter of advani
kaa mwa li
how many zeros in a crore
William Shakespeare ghostwriters

TV and social obligations

Talking of Television in the Indian context there are clearly two divisions. On one side there is the state-owned Doordarshan (DD) and on the other lies the herd of satellite TV channels. The distinction off course is in the very way they function. DD has been, traditionally,  the mouth-piece of the ruling party, serving its filthy purposes. But if you could digest ignoring this motive you can clearly say that there still is a lot of programming that DD does which satellite channels cannot even think of foraying into. Can you expect, for instance, watching a programme for framers like “Krishi Darshan”, or the “National Program of Dance” or documentaries made by lesser known film-makers on Zee TV or Star-plus. I am talking about the social obligations of mass-media.

For satellite channels the compulsions are obvious. In the race for TRP and revenues you have no other option but to run-rerun saas-bahu tear jerkers and those raunchy remix videos. Doordarshan on the other hand has had the luxury of grants and subsidies and what not. Still after the advent of Prasaar Bharti even DD had to earn its bread and you can clearly see the shift in focus as your favorite vrind-gaan and teleplays bite the dust. Thank goodness though, some goodness may still be left in DD.

Awareness via EntertainmentOne of the recent programmes that I liked, and which has been immensely popular, is the award winning thriller Jasoos Vijay that is aimed at creating AIDS awareness and conectrates on issues related to gender-discrimination. Funded by the BBC and NACO, the producers have roped in Om Puri as the anchor. The format is very interactive, targeted at the rural audience and the viewers can even win pries by guessing the criminal. What I like about the serial is the right-mix of entertainment and education. In the backdrop of the adventure and masala the message is conveyed in a candid-local lingo. An interesting aspect of the serial is the central detective character, played by the pockmarked Adil Khandakar Hussain, who has been depicted as being HIV+ himself. As the story progresses with his love for Gauri the serial will deal with a touchy issue on the subject, should an HIV+ person given the right to marry. The serial has been dubbed in various regional languages and the recent buzz says that the series would now be shown in Thailand and Cambodia too.

If you like such serials there is another AIDS awareness program called Haath se haath mila, that takes young people on board two special buses that travels to cities, towns and villages. Their primary aim is to persuade people to use condoms. My Kudos to the producers!

Hindi version of this post is available here.

When DD animated our lives!

I had my childhood nourishment of entertainment from Vividh Bharati and Doordarshan so this post of Turbanhead revived old memories. The “Ek Anek” short animation film was targeted at National integration and was used as filler by DD at that time and, thanks to the fact that satellite TV wasn’t even there, was immensely popular. Many readers might not know perhaps about the persons behind this animation marvel, Vasant Desai (one of my favorite lyricists/composer) and Bhimsen, one of India’s finest animation talent. Desai has been better known for his work in the movie Utsav but Ek Anek is perhaps one of his best innocent work.

I had known about Bhimsen as a filmmaker first, from his serial against superstitions (damn, I can’t recall the name of the serial now, do you?) featuring Ashok Saraf, Sulbha and Arvind Deshpande and Dr.Maya Alagh. This was a very successful Sunday bonanza on DD. It was later that I came to know that Bhimsen was actually an accomplished animator.

Speaking of animation, we have come a long way now, but in those days of 70’s Films Division was the only harbinger for such projects. It’s good that India’s animation industry is now a sought after entity but it perhaps cannot be denied that it stands on the shoulder of stalwarts such as Bhimsen. I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice write-up on him here, so do read it if you have time.