My last post was quite a few months back, which as only become the norm now :-) Well, will pick up from where I left last time - arrival of TV in our house. The earliest memories associated with TV are watching Spiderman on Saturday evenings after school. Cartoons were a rare treat those days and the wait for a whole week to catch a new episode made it all the more worthwhile. Then there was the Chitrahar - bouquet of hindi film music over a 30 minute window - which also was eagerly awaited by all families. In these days and times of multiplicity in every conceivable type of TV channels - the charm of waiting and the eagerness seems to have been lost for ever :-(
The earliest soap operas on India Television initiated in those days of 80s...The first was was Humlog which seemed to go on for ever....3 years? 4 years? Can't remember so well any more. But many of the characters are still etched in my memory....Ashok kumar in his role as the "sutradhar"....his comments after every episode. Hum log was followed by Buniyaad, Khaandaan and then many many more. We had some exceptional comedy series like Idhar Udhar & Yeh Jo hai Zindagi....The characters still seem mint fresh in my mind and there is nothing on television these days which even compare to these.
Watching movie on Saturday & Sunday evenings on TV was also something that we used to look forward to eagerly.
Apart from TV, other means of entertainment included visiting relatives. We were staying in Barrackpore, which is in Bengal which is my home state and hence had many relatives staying around. My grandparents from Father's side (Dadu - Thamma) stayed nearby in Khardah. It is the same place we stayed for a few months before moving to Barrackpore, which I wrote about in some of my earlier posts. Then there were my jethus & kakus (father's brothers) and pishis (father's sisters)and also father's cousins and their families. On my mother's side, there were her uncles and aunts, her cousins and their families. We used to pay visit to one of or the other place pretty often - at least once in 2 weeks. Those days studies were never so demanding or tough as they are today....and it was always possible to finish off the homework and dash off to some relative's place or other !!!
It is not that I enjoyed going to all these places...there were some those were my favourites and at other places I had no choice but to tag along :-) Well I was not so much of a social person and mostly an introvert who would rather sit in a corner with a book than strike up some conversation. One of the reasons for this behaviour is definitely my basic nature, which remains unchanged to this day. Only change I have succeeded is change the way I come across & interact in professional setup. On a personal level, I am still the same - the way I was as a 8 year old.
But there was another reason for my not being able to open up to the world. I was obese as a child from the time I was around 7 years to 12 years old and subject to taunts and comments from relatives & strangers alike. There were always unsolicited advice from everyone on what all I need to do to be like all other "normal" kids. The solutions ranging from eating less to jogging, yoga, running, skipping & what not. Though they might not have spoken out of any negative intention, but infringing on privacy is something that we Indians are known to do routinely without realising the effect it might have on the recipient. All of us have our weak points....things about which we ourselves are not too happy about, which we are trying to work on. Very rarely people are sensitive enough to realise this...
That was my first understanding of what it feels to be part of a "minority" community...people who can be identified among a crowd of "normal" people...Subsequently, as I grew up, though I lost most of the baby weight by the time I was 12 or 13, there were other reasons for me to part of this "not normal" community....the fact that I was not beautiful, or fair, or did not have long hair and then now being single in mid-thirties....