For the past so many days Hindustan Times has been telling us that January 29 is a No TV day. And they have, praise them, chalked out an entire slew of things one can do with one’s family on said No TV day to keep one occupied. Interesting stuff. Going for nature walks, and visiting museums, and going on heritage walks, and music concerts and such like. It intrigued me. I live in a house that swears by its televisions. Three of them. When the brother in law lived with us, we had four.
If you enter the home in the evening you will find all three television sets on, or two at least mandatorily on. This time lasts for perhaps an hour or two. It keeps the peace before dinner time, if we are all compelled to make conversation, it might cause trauma. Seriously. We find it is better for world peace if each member of the household is deeply engrossed in their zoned out little world located in the flickering idiot box. The spouse will be glued to CNBC until 9pm, after which he will flick around for a random movie to watch. If he finds nothing worth his eyeball time, he will read through a book, or get onto his laptop.
The grandmother will lie down on the sofa and watch a couple of serials back to back until she drifts off into the welcoming arms of sleep. The child will scuttle between rooms for the little while the televisions are on when he returns from playing down in the park, find something that interests him, and settle down to watch it for a bit before it is his designated bedtime. He watches roughly an hour of television everyday. I watch approximately the same, with interest, discounting the time I sit with the grandmother and converse about the incidents of the day, and rip apart some folks who need serious ripping apart the way only two women can do.I am often seated in front of a television which is on because the grandmother is watching something and with my nose in a book. The brat will be playing with his action figures in one corner of the room.
On most evenings though, you will find me taking a walk in the park chatting with my friends, the brat down playing with his and causing minor world wars with shifting allegiances to various groups within the band of tykes who run through the compound like hunting dog packs, the spouse will be with his nose in a book for a major part of the evening, the elderly relative will be out with her group of friends, returning home at the comfortable hour of eightish just in time for dinner and sleep. I will be with my nose in my book du jour or my thumb moving furiously over the keypad of the phone. The child will be marking my spotless tiles with infernal whirring creations of the devil called Beyblades. Television. We don’t live our lives in it.We have other addictions.
Which is why I wonder whether it is worth having a NO TV day in our household. Maybe a no books and a no Beyblade day would work much better. And the scariest for me? A no internet day.