Monday, October 31, 2005

New Car

A neighbour near my house has recently bought a new car. A black Alto. And it is a treat to watch him handle it!

He is very careful with the car. Everytime he parks it he has to make sure that the distance between the front bumper of his car and the rear bumber of the car in front is the identical to the nearest millimeter to the distance between the rear bumper of his car and the front bumper of the car that is behind his car. The car is parked satisfactorily after many twists and turns and careful scrutiny of the distances!

He is a fair novice so when he parallal parks, or is reversing, his daughter is there to help him park it. His mother stands in the balcony to supervise the whole spectacle. His father gives instructions from the balcony, and makes sure the mother is supervising properly. His wife is somewhere hovering in the background trying to make sure that the daughter is not getting mowed down by his maniac-of-a-husband.

He has got the loudest "backing up" notification. When he reverses, the whole street comes to know that something is happening to the car.

After every drive (lasting 300 meters and 3 minutes) the car is inspected from all angles, the oil level, battery water level, water level, coolant level are checked to make sure that things are all right and no one has tampered with the settings of the various solids and liquids that make up the car.

The car is carefully washed twice a day, once early morning and once early evening. It shines more than a solitaire diamond! Every speck of dust is carefully shooed away, lest it disturb "Her Royal and Serene Highness"!

The manual is read everytime the owner wants to start the car to understand and memorise the sequence properly. Gear-Clutch-Key-Steering - no! no! - Key-Steering-Clutch-Gear - that is right!

Ah! The joys of a new car - may you be blessed with one too!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Joys of reading Dan Brown

Just reading Digital Fortress and came across this line: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" It is a Latin phrase, which means "Who will guard the guards?" - A common problem in Indian society, where the police seems to be committing more crimes than preventing.
Anyhow, the point is one can count on Dan Brown to bring in something like this, insightful, incisive and poignant!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Medical researchers have discovered a new disease that has no symptoms. It is impossible to detect, and there is no known cure. Fortunately, no cases have been reported thus far.
- George Carlin

A knight and his men return to their castle after a long hard day of fighting. "How are we faring?" asks the king.
"Sire," replies the knight, "I have been robbing and pillaging on your behalf all day, burning the towns of your enemies in the west."
"What?!" shrieks the king. "I don't have any enemies to the west!"
"Oh," says the knight. "Well, you do now."
I think, this sums up what I said earlier about TV shows that never seem to end!

The whole reason you watch a TV show is because it ends. If I wanted a long, boring story with no point to it, I've got my life.
- Jerry Seinfeld

Random Quotes

Some random quotes I recently picked up:

Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
- Samuel Butler

Happiness does not ignore problems and handicaps, but enjoys provocative points of view about them. A problem is a goal that has manifested in your life, except you don't remember asking for it. A handicap is simply an asset you haven't figured out how to use yet.
- Roberta Jean Bryant

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
- Alexander Graham Bell

Any new venture goes through the following stages: enthusiasm, complication, disillusionment, search for the guilty, punishment of the innocent, and decoration of those who did nothing.
- Anonymous

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
- Theodore Roosevelt

While goals are chosen, a purpose is discovered. Our purpose is something we have been doing all along, and will continue to do, regardless of circumstances, until the day we die.
- Peter McWilliams

When a panel of doctors was asked to vote on adding a new wing to their hospital,
the Allergists voted to scratch it;
the Dermatologists advised no rash moves;
the Gastroenterologists had a gut feeling about it;
the Neurologists thought the administration had a lot of nerve;
the Obstetricians stated they were all laboring under a misconception.
the Ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted;
the Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!";
the Pediatricians said, "Grow up!;
the Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness.
the Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing;
the Radiologists could see right through it!;
the Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow;
the Plastic Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter".
the Podiatrists thought it was a step forward;
the Urologists felt the scheme wouldn't hold water;
the Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas;
and the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.

In the end, however, it was the Proctologists who were chosen to decide. And wouldn't you know it? They left the decision up to some a**!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Congressman was once asked about his attitude toward whiskey. "If you mean the demon drink that poisons the mind, pollutes the body, desecrates family life, and inflames sinners, then I'm against it."
"But if you mean the elixir of Christmas cheer, the shield against winter chill, the taxable potion that puts needed funds into public coffers to comfort little crippled children, then I'm for it."
"This is my position, and I will not compromise!"

People Types You are Likely to Run in at a Party

Went to a party recently, a muhurat, a religious ceremony for a new house plus a house warming party. Once the religious ceremonies were over, the party mood took over. I saw a few people at the party, the types you are likely to run into at an Indian party. I will attempt to describe some of the common species of party animals.

The Middle Aged Uncleji - Around 40-50 years of age and fails to recognise that life has caught up with him. Knows everyone at the party, and if he doesn't, shows that he knows by talking in a boisterous manner to the person in question, trying to show off all his contacts and trying to find some common link, so that everyone around is impressed by his range of contacts and the deep relationships he has with everyone he names. Of course, fails to impress anyone. Has a fresh stain of sauce on his shirt, but fails to see it, as he is too busy impressing others. Hails all waiters that are passing by with the refreshments and snacks, and makes sure that he enjoys more than the value of the gift he has given, with the snacks alone; let alone the food. As a result, has the largest pot-belly around. Thus, occupies more than 66.66% of the dance floor, and is least bothered that other people's bodies are getting crushed. Dances with bad steps and a sort of epileptic fit combined with mosquito-swatting action. Requests all the bad numbers to be played again and again. When his favorite song is stopped suddenly, is the largest to groan with an abuse or two thrown in towards the DJ for good measure. Favorite dance numbers include Nagin dance, with a handkerchief as the been, and any gyrations on any Punjabi song, especially those sung by by Gurdas Mann or Hansraj Hans. Thinks he is Amitabh Bacchan and loves to dance with a borrowed dupatta.

The Middle Aged Auntieji - Typically is the wife of the Uncleji mentioned above. Garish makeup and equally garish jewellery makes sure that she along with her massive frame, is the star attraction of the party; the centerpiece of the party, so to speak. Loves to gossip (who doesn't) but her speciality is gossip of the moment, e.g. which woman is eating the most snacks and who had a tiff with the hostess, just now. Keeps sitting on a large chair near the DJ floor, and has a large group of boys, men, girls and women coming to her and "Pairi Pauna" her at regular intervals, before they go up to dance on the floor. Seems like she is the Guru Hanuman and they are the Shishyas and Shishyaas who are about to enter the Akhara. Is the fastest match-maker in the room, with a world-record time of 4 minutes and 39 seconds. It is another matter that the matches she makes last even lesser! Typically frowns at her husband, the aforementioned species, for dancing badly, borrowing dupattas and generally making an ass of himself in front of everyone.

The Prodigal Son a.k.a. Puttarji - Progeny of Uncleji and Auntieji. Belongs to 15-25 age group (of course) and his life is a mess. He knows it, his parents know it, trouble is they are unwilling to admit it. Of course, they want to improve it, but as I said, they are unwilling to openly admit it. So, when uncleji and auntieji find time from their busy schedule, they will discuss the problems of their son loudly with anyone and everyone within earshot. Depending on the age of the son, the problems change and so does the conversation.

a. 16-17 - Admission in some good college - "Hum to foreign bhejne ki soch rahe hain, yahan to padhai bilkul bekar hai" - Ends up in some seedy college in Guatemala (political science), Checheya (medicine), Guangzhong (medicine again), Nigeria (economics and business management) or best of all Siberia (human rights).

b. 20-22 - Job - "Main to kal hee minister sahab se baat kar ke lagwaa doon, par favour nahin lena chahta. Phir election ke time yehi log bahut dukhi karte hain." "Aap ke bade bhaisahab ka toh apna kaam hai, dekh lein jara, waise mere ladke ko koi kami nahin hai. Aaj business shuru karwa doon import-export ka, lekin soch raha tha thoda experience gain kar le pehle!" Import-export! The guy doesn't know Pakistan from Bangladesh!

c. 23-24 - Job Change - "Waise to teen managers isse report kar rahein hain, lekin yeh chaah raha tha ki office thoda ghar ke paas ho, travelling mein bahut time waste hota hai". It is of course another matter that the boy doesn't know the difference between a quotation and price list!

c. 25 - Marriage - "Aajkal achhi ladkiyan milti kahan hain. Shaadi se pehle 5 boyfriend aur shaadi ke baad 10. Na baba!" "Aap ke pados main to koi ho to mujhe jaroor batana." "Mera ladka laakhon mein ek hai!" Yes, absolutely right, it is difficult to find a more stupid guy in at least one million (dus lakh).

The "Sophisticated" - Generally a group of women, somewhat younger than the Auntieji mentioned above. Typical numbers range from 2-5. You will never find one alone, they always manage to make a group. Love to criticise; the ambience - "such middle class arrangements!"; the host/hostess - "when i give a party, lunch is never late!"; the snacks - "pakore garam nahin hain!", "sauce teekhi nahin hai!"; music - "yeh DJ bilkul bekar hai!"; uncleji - "he is such a boor!"; auntieji - "she is such a showoff!"; other not-so-sophisticated types - "did you see her saree? did u see her purse? how boring!" "behenjee lagti hai, nahin?" etc. Their only saving grace are their perfumes, but most turn this into a negative by bathing in them and managing to leave a stink. Secretly discuss low-fat recipies, latest TV soaps and bargain hunting in Karol Bagh and Lajpat Nagar.

The Downtrodden - The anti-thesis to "The Sophisticated Group". Not well-to-do and therefore feels out of place in the party. Tries to hide behind other people. Looks with wonder at the small joys of like like Air-Conditioning. Hopes no one opens the Shagun envelope in their presence.

The TV/Movie Lover - Can be a man or a woman, depending on your luck, but the widest geographical distribution is of the former. Will corner anyone and discuss all that he has seen, not seen, planning to see, planning not to see, what to avoid, what not to avoid etc. Is least bothered whether the other person is listening or not, has a TV or not, has money to watch movies or not, or is alive or has dropped dead. Provides critical comments and detailed comparison and contrasts between SRK and AB. Rarely do they not add, "I can do it better than them." Trouble erupts when his favourite movie star is not from your mother tounge, like discussing Rajnikanth movies in North Indian parties, since he insists on mouthing all the dialogues from his latest hit, e.g. Baba.

Cricket Lover - Close cousin of the "The TV/Movie Lover". Shares all characteristics with him, but this one is generally equally distributed between boys and men. If he is a boy then you can easily shake him off by sending him on an errand and then vanishing from the scene. If he is a man, then it is difficult to shake him off. You can try your luck by asking him to show the runup of Akram, McGrath, Pathan or any other fast bowler. That ensures that he goes away a considerable distance. You SHOULD seize this opportunity to leave the scene immediately.
Trouble has increased on this front recently. With Sourav's ouster as the captain, he is likely to either vehemently oppose or support the decision. Neutrality is passé and you are in trouble. If you oppose Sourav's ouster you will be immediately branded as a disloyal Indian who doesn't want to win the world cup 2007; and if you perchance support his ouster then you are a disloyal Indian who stabs an old-hand in the back. As someone said "Damned if you do and damned if you don't." Or as we might say in Hindi "Chit main jeeta pat tu haara, aur sikka to hai hee mere baap ka" (Heads I win, tails you lose and in any case the coin belongs to my father.)

Silent and Brooding - Definitely male. Stands in a corner, with a drink in hand. Watches with uninterest everything around. Used to dress in grey, black or other dark colours. Now can be found in these and earthen colors like olive green, mustard etc. Has tried to committ suicide at least once or has definite plans for the same in the next 24 hours. Shakes his head at least once every five minutes and with a disgusted look on his face mutters to himself something like "these people". BĂȘte noires include children, happy people, couples, anyone indulging in any conversation and chirpy girls. Hates parties, but hangs around for the free booze.

Dipsomaniac a.k.a. Bewdaa - The name speaks for itself. Stands really close to the bar. Mostly gets a chair and places it there to remove the hassle of getting up and getting a refill. Knows the barman from previous parties (same or other places) and gets special treatment since he remembers the barman's name. Does not favour any soda or water with his favourite poison; only on the rocks. That way alcohol consumption per minute is higher. Generally an ex-"silent and brooding", but then discovered the joys of drinking. Favours old tastes like VAT69 Rum and Whisky. Does not go for fancy stuff like beer. Occasionally seen to drink Tequilla and Vodka, especially when trying to impress anyone from "The "Sophisticated" Group".

Busy - Almost always a man. Businessman or a bigshot in the corporate sector. Carries a cell-phone, a PDA, a laptop and other assorted gizmos in his various pockets. When enters a room, first looks for the nearest power source to charge his various gadgets, then searches for someone to talk to and something to eat/drink. Has something or the other beeping every nanosecond or so and manages to run his office from the party. If he talks loudly on his cellphone, then he is on his way to becoming "uncleji". If walks out of the room to talk on the phone, then there is still hope! Loves to talk about his latest car, latest girlfriend (whether he is married or not, does not matter), latest takeover, latest promotion and latest everything. Therefore, also known as a bore.

Netaji - Local politician of little or no importance. Highly self-important. Has an entourage of a driver and a hired private security guard, all of which fit in an old beat-up Ambassador/Maruti 800/Omni Van. The guard is hired since the police does not share the threat perception as understood by Netaji and therefore does not provide any police protection to him. The guard looks margilla (weakling) and does not look capable of defending himself against a strong gust of wind, let alone protect Netaji from terrorists. Netaji can be found wearing Khadi, but there is a new trend these days. Silk. In that case, Netaji is rich businessman with political ambitions, has a Honda City, Lancer Accent, or any of the SUVs and talks in the best of the mobiles. In both cases, he is a wannabe but never a guy with true potential.

Yours Truly - Has no job except type out long and purposeless lists of people who can be found at a party.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Nice ad in Hindi by Mastercard
"Natkhat Saiyan, Dusman Duniya"
really catchy music!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Have been thinking of more serials/ads etc from the DD of yore.

1. Udaan was amazing - compared to the current crop of women-career theme, Udaan was actually a career serial. These days we have "Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin" and "Yeh Meri Life Hai" which start out promisingly, but fizzle out after 3-4 months and we are left with the same old scheming mother-in-law, the machinations of evil relatives, muhawaawaa villains and a degenerate story line. How I wish there were more serials like Udaan. Kavita Singh suited the role to the hilt.

Probably the best thing about the serials of those days was the fact that they had a fixed time-span. Thus, the directors made them with a taut story line, tight direction, minimal wasted-time in elaborate religious festivals, family functions, social melodrama and rona-dhona. Todays serials have a carte blanche, make-it-as-long-as-you-can, so they end up being more as ads for the latest fashion than a real stroy line.

I think the best comparison can be with a not-so-recent Star Plus hit - "Star Bestseller". A serial with the mandate to show the story in a single hour. So, no superfluous dialogues, no long triple-shots-of-the-same scene-from-the-same-angle. Just a good story, isn't that what we want!

2. It wasn't that DD was all good only. There was a bad serial with poor characterisation and poor direction called "PC 1008" - Kanwaljit played a Police Constable with a penchant for a line "Main Har Baar Sahi Wakt Pe Sahi Jagah Pahunch Jaata Hoon". A really bad detective serial, if there was ever made one. I fail to understand what was the need to add 1008 in the end of the PC?

3. Talking about good detective serials, one of the better ones was called "Tehkikat" which had Vijay Anand (hero from the movie Kora Kaagaz) as the detective and Saurabh Shukla (Kallu Mama from Satya) as his sidekick. Very nice direction and a fairly lovable serial.

4. There was an excellent real life crime series called "Police File Se" - That had a bit of narration of the crime, a fairly subdued re-enactment of the crime and an overall aura of a serious and not-loud serial. Unlike today's crime series which are too sensationalistic for my liking, this was good. A better serial today of a similar genre is "CID" on Sony.

5. A lovable serial called "Mriganayani" with Pallavi Joshi in lead. A good opening credit songs which has a line "Mahachatur Mrignanayani". It had some nice dialogues! I still remember one "Char Din Baad, Puno Ki Raat, Panchayat Baithigi, ???? Ahir or ????? ???? Ka Faisla Hoga". The ???? represent words that I have forgotten.

6. A good serial called Maila Anchal. Based on a story by Phanishwarnath "Renu". Forgotten most of it, except that it was good! Another good one was "Raag Darbari".

7. There was Nutan in a serial called "Mujrim Hazir" - "Kaliganj Ki Bahu" and the haunting sounds of the Kahaars "Hun Huna Re Hun Huna, Hun Huna Re Hun Huna"

8. You might enjoy this link about Mangal Dhillon. An old actor from those days, with a permanently constipated look :-D

9. A great serial was Chunauti - a favourite when we were growing up. Another great serial was Neev. Am I confusing these two with each other?

10. I really liked Tamas. Om Puri with his intense acting was great. Deepa Sahi, Bheeshm Sahni, Deena Pathak, Devkinandan Pandey were amazing. Hats off to Govind Nihlani for that amazing social docu-drama!

11. There was quiz time with Siddartha Basu. And Alpha Plus - a nice quiz plus running on a track to prove your physical worth! Then there was another Sunday morning which I never understood - Money Matters. Fairly boring.

12. There was a nice morning comedy called "Dhamaal" featuring film stars like Satish Shah, Anil Kapoor and Sudesh Bhonsle. A particular episode that I remember was about "Eeto" :) I used to go late to school so that I could catch on my Dhamaal dose!

13. Another cool one was "Mr. Mrs." with Jayant Kriplani. The plot was really nice with a couple who come to Bombay. They decide that the one who gets a job first would work and the other would take care of the home. As events turn out, it is the wife that gets the job and Jayant Kriplani has to look after the home, which leads to all sorts of interesting incidents like his attending kittie parties etc.

14. Ados-Pados was another nice serial. I particularly remember an episode where Ashok Kumar, a doctor tells some people about "Chromosomes" and the people who can't understand it, think it is some "mausam" :)
Then there was a nice episode about a family having some money and their buying a lot of the same cloth for everything, right from the children's shirts, shorts, to sofa covers, curtains, papa's clothes, mummy's clothes everything was made from the same cloth. I still remember it was a kind of floral print with straight lines!!
In that episode, the children go on a hunger-strike against this frugality policy of their parents. In the end, the children can no longer control their hunger when the mother cooks up something really good. So they break their strike and come to eat. On being quizzed by their parents as to the status of the strike, they tell them about a representative (pratinidhi), I think a newspaper, that is now on strike on their behalf. This started a trend of "pratinidhi" in our house, with my brother and I, both keeping such representatives on our prime seats in front of the TV, to save them, when we got up during the TV watching sessions ! A trend that continued for nearly 10 years before we stopped doing it. How much influence a serial can have :)

15. Wagle Ki Duniya was good. A nice serial. A better one was "Aa Bail Mujhe Maar". The title line was "Yeh Sach Hai Mere Yaar, Satrangi Sab Sansaar, Ho Samajhdar to Bach Bach Nikle, Nadan Kahe Pukaar, Aa Bail Mujhe Maar"!

16. There was a serial that was about superstitions like cat crossing your path, not strewing cut nails in the house etc. It had Bablu Mukherjee, Sulbha Deshpande and Arvind Deshpande. A fairly good one.

17. A great laugh riot was Ghar Jamai. Satish Shah and Anant Mahadevan had some great moments in that serial. It was later revived with Satish Shah and Madhav.

18. Kakkaji Kehin was amazing! Om Puri mesmerised with his great comic timing.

19. Another great with Om Puri with Yatra, where he travels in a train. A great travelouge.

20. Show Theme - Just remember the name. What it was, difficult to say!

21. Raj Se Swaraj.

22. Who can forget "Bharat Ek Khoj" with Roshan Seth as the anchor and some amazing work by all the actors. One of my all time favourites.

You can download the title song here

Here are the lyrics for the title song, and its English Version for anyone who can't read Hindi.

*****Hindi Version**********
Srishtee se pehle sat nahin thaa, asat bhi nahin
Antariksh bhi nahin, akash bhin nahin thaa
chhipaa thaa kyaa kahaan, kisne dhakaa thaa
us pal to agam, atal jal bhi kahaan thaa

Srishtee kaa kaun hai kartaa
Kartaa hai vaa akartaa
Oonche aakash mein rahtaa
Sada adhyaksh banaa rahtaa
Wahin sachmuch mein jaantaa..Yaa nahin bhi jaanataa
Hai kisi ko nahin pataa, nahin pataa,
Nahin hai pataa, nahin hai pataa

Weh tha hiranyagarbh srishti se pehle vidyamaan
Wahi to saare bhoot jaat ka swami mahaan
jo hai astitvamaana dharti aasmaan dhaaran kar
Aise kis devta ki upasana karein hum avi dekar

Jis ke bal par tejomay hai ambar
Prithvi hari bhari sthapit sthir
Swarg aur sooraj bhi sthir
Aise kis devta ki upasana karein hum avi dekar

Garbh mein apne agni dhaaran kar paida kar
Vyapa tha jal idhar udhar neeche upar
Jagaa chuke vo ka ekameva pran bankar
Aise kis devta ki upasana karein hum avi dekar

Om ! Srishti nirmata swarg rachiyata purvaj raksha kar
Satya dharma palak atul jal niyamak raksha kar
Phaili hain dishayen bahu jaisi uski sab mein sab par
Aise hi devta ki upasana kare hum avi dekar
Aise hi devta ki upasana kare hum avi dekar
****English Version*********
In the beginning was the Divinity in his splendour,
manifested as the sole Lord of land, skies, water, space and that beneath
and he upheld the earth and the heavens.
Who is the Deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is he who bestows soul-fource and vigour, whose guidence all men invoke,
the Devas invoke whose shadow is immortal life-and death.
Who is the Deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is he who by his greatness became the one King of the breathing and the seeing,
who is the Lord of man and bird and beast.
Who is the Deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is the through whose glory the snow-clad mountains rose,
and the ocean spread with the rivery, they say.
His arms are the quarters of the sky.
Who is the Deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is he through whom the heaven is strong and the earth firm,
who has steadied the light and the sky's vault,
and measured out the sphere of clouds in the mid-region.
Who is the Deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is he to whom heaven and earth, placed in the light by his grace, look up,
radiant with the mind while over them the sum, rising, brightly shines.
Who is the Deity we shall worship our offerings?

When the mighty waters came, carrying the universal germ, producing the flame of life,
then dwelt there in harmony the One Spirit of the Devas.
Who is the Diety we shall worship with our offerings?

It is he who in his might surveyed the waters, conferring skill and creating worhip
he, the God of Gods, the One and only One.
Who is the Deity we shall worship with our offerings?

Father of the world - may he not destoy us who with Truth as his Law made the
heavens and produced waters, vast and beautiful
Who is the Diety we shall worship with our offerings?

Lord of creation ! no one other than thee pervades all these that have come into being.
May that be ours, for which our prayers rise, may we be masters of many treasures!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

My favourite programs from Doordarshan

A post after lots of rememberances and thoughts!

1. Didi's Comedy Show - "Dieter Hallervorden" was great - I wish someone were to rerun those great episodes of nonstop nonsense which were a great gift from German TV. He didn't speak any language in many parts of the the show and it was easy to see the universal language of humour. Other parts, the dubbing was so nice, that we as children could understand every part of the dialogue. My favorite ones include wallpaper episode, thievery in the next apartment, and a small skit called "Bamberga" etc :) . And to think, that it was shown on TV nearly 15-20 years ago.

2. Telematch - Another German serial that showed ludicrous costumes on ridiculous people. I loved it and would miss my studies to see it. Picked up some elementary German from it, something that sounded like "eich, diech, triech" (One, two, three). In retrospective, that was cool propoganda, showing how happy people were under communist rule. Something like the Soviet Magazines (Misha) and books (Raduga publications, Mir Publications) that made life in USSR look like heaven. From the time when I was 4-5, till about 1989, when I was 14, and the Berlin wall fell (The World This Week showed close coverage), I wanted nothing more than to goto the lovely Soviet land with dreamy-eyed visions of the great land which I saw in books.

3. I enjoyed the economics capsules that were made by Transtel (German Television). They taught me a lot about how cartoons can help me understand a topic that I had not studied in school till that time!

4. Kacchi Dhoop - nice serial with a beautiful storyline. I believe I was sufficiently sophisticated to appreciate good work by Amol Palekar, as far back as 1986! Of course, Bhagyashree made her debut in that serial and later on went on to star in the all-time hit "Maine Pyar Kiya"

5. Johnny Sokko and the Giant Robot - Who can forget those fingers that had missile firing systems in place of nails! Oh how I fell in love with that! Have a look at this website. If you want to download the opening song, click here

6. He-Man, Spiderman were good :) - You can download the spiderman opening song here

7. Derrick - A late favourite that I enjoyed in the early-mid nineties. Another German serial, it had an old detective and a younger assistant. Very tight direction. It was a very surprising serial, since nothing much seemed be happening at a given moment, but if one missed any consecutive 5 minutes (beginning, middle, end), then one lost all track and the story could not be understood at all. I think that is why my brother and I sat glued to the TV and watched it with our complete and undivided attention (10-11 PM daily)

8. British comedies - Yes Minister, Yes Prime Minister were great and proably the best comedies that I ever saw in my life (barring Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Golmaal and Chupke Chupke). There was another serial that was about a departmental store and some whacky comedy, which sometime went over my head. British humour was and still is, subtler than American humour, which tends to be crass and loud. The only notable exception I have seen is Seinfeld, which has become my daily fix these days.

9. I Love Lucy - My initiation with American humour at the age of 6-8 was through this lovable piece. I did not know the great history behind those episodes and still enjoyed it thoroughly. What we were shown was probably fairly old, probably from the 1950s, since I recollect Lucille Ball as quite young. The favourite of us kids was a certain character called Mr. Moony, probably Lucy's brother. We used to call him "Mr. Mooli" (Mr. Radish) in our childish humour!

10. Vikram - Betal - No questions for guessing why we loved it. I had a fair amount of fascination with the question in the end and how the king would solve it since I did not have the brain to solve those great questions of morality and right conduct. But, I think my fascination was higher with the Betal - his fairly stupid makeup that made him more a source of laughter than fear! And I loved "Singhasan Battisi".

11. Of course, we had the staple favourites of Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Hum Log, Nukkad, Buniyad.

12. Does anyone remember Phatichar, Guniram, Bhim-Bhawani (Ashok Kumar-Anoop Kumar respectively), Mamaji (played by Deven Varma. the serial had the duo of Induji-Binduji with the pet dialogue "Indu to main hoon, yeh to Bindu hai!).

13. I enjoyed Rajni ("Ladki hai ek, naam Rajni hai, Rajni, Rajni, Rajni). I enjoyed "Idhar Udhar" with Rathna Pathak and Lilliput (forgot who else was there).

14. I vaguely remember watching Khandaan (Dr. Shreeram Lagoo and Neena Gupta as Ketki). I watched, but could not understand Trishna (Remember names like Sangeeta Handa and Kittu Gidwani).

15. Who remembers Mashoor Mahal with someone called, i think, Raman? And Baaton-Baaton Main with Vipin Handa?

16. Saptahiki!! Chitrahaar - I think it still comes on Wednesday (old songs) and Friday (new songs)!

17. Aap aur Hum? Krishi Darshan with Dr. Jawahar Jain and his "Pusa 407" and "Pachheti Buayee"? Andhi Galiyan (Program about deaddition from drugs)?

18. Ek Kahani was great. So was another program that was made by Cinevista and showed short stories. I think it was called "Katha Sagar".

19. DD made great plays. I loved watching one play about an old man who loves to eat freshly-dug, small potatoes that have been roasted on a fire and lets his wife die so that he can eat those potatoes in peace. Who can forget Ghasiram Kotwal, Agra Bazaar (Habib Tanweer, the director, as the Kakri-seller).

20. There was a serial called "Phir Wohi Talaash" in the early-mid nineties about a boy (played by Dr. Ashwini Kumar, a Delhi based doctor), who comes to the city to study and falls in love with a rich and beautiful girl. The boy's father was played by the guy who plays Jassi's father in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin and my favourite scenes include one where he instructs someone to look after the shop with a stern warning "Kuch Khaiyo Mat" and the other one where he shouts at his son, who wants to study but the father wants him to sit at the shop; so he says "Ek toh Chori Chhupe Padhai Kar Lee, Aur Ab Himmat Dekho, Jaake Imtihaan Bhee De Aaya"! The girl has a friend who was played by Neelima Azeem and her romantic interest, an inspector was played by the guy who can be seen as Parvat Singh in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin. There was another scene about "Hum Yahaan Se Sab Ko Kaadh Rahe Hain" to be mistaken as "Gaad Rahen Hain" - very hilarious.
The serial was very nice.

21. I loved Mr. Yogi and Space City Sigma along with Star Trek. We made the communicator used by Mr. Spock and his team, using a rubberband and two cardboard matchboxes. That was a cool serial :) - I saw the recent episodes of Star Trek and they do not even match up 1/10th of the original series.

22. Then there was Ek-Do-Teen-Char - amateur detectives who sang "1,2,3,4 - Charo Milkar Saath Chale Toh Kar Deh Chamatkar"

23. FAUJI !!!!! Who can forget Shahrukh Khan as Abhimanyu Rai. "Buddies" and "I say chaps" which became part of the lingo.

24. I enjoyed "Satyajit Ray Presents" with the thrilling episodes, the eerie background music, the aura of mystery around everything, the feeling that something unexpected is about to happen and the feeling that please God, don't let the electricity fail at this moment!
Vyomkesh Bakshi was good too but didn't have enough time for it when it was aired. I watched Srikant and understood it somewhat ! I just remember Farookh Sheikh was called "Tyun Tyun" by a woman and he used to hate it. I remember one of my friends was called "Tyun Tyun" by all of us, since he resembled Farookh Sheikh.

25. Ek aur Anek - Download the original here. Looking for "Swimmy" audio/video, Kanjoos Bania Ballu Malle Shah video/audio. I loved Mile Sur Mera Tumhara ( I have the original mp3 and a new video made by some MIT guys but am looking for the original video). There was "Ek Anna Ka Dana" about saving foodgrain.

26. Deepak Ka Jinn - Modern Genie who wore a suit and entered the room from the door instead of making a grand appearance from a lamp. Carried a briefcase, and whatever one wanted was obtained from opening it!

27. Mungeri Lal Ke Hasin Sapne - I could and still can do an accurate copy of his dream-beginnig sequence!

28. Another with Priya Tendulkar and Karan Razdan which was a comedy. They both were marriage counsellors, as far as I can remember and that was the source of laughter.

29. MALGUDI DAYS - Swameeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! Amazing work by Shankar Nag - I have read all the Malgudi Days Books and the serial is an amazing example of a TV/Movie Adaption that is true to the original, a rare event. Manjunath as Swami was utterly believable. I wonder what is he doing these days. Don't see him on TV/Silver Screen anywhere. Girish Karnad was amazing as the father and every character played their role to the hilt.

Malgudi days is enjoying a rerun these days on DD India - Sunday Nights 10:30 PM. I am enjoying it all over again. I wonder if Shankar Naag can be persuaded to remake Guide (as a movie or a serial) since it was clearly documented by RK Narayan himself that he hated the song-and-dance filled Guide. I tend to agree and disagree with this posture of Narayan. While he has every right to demand sticking to the original, Guide as a movie is not bad compared to the run-of-the-mill bollywood potboiler. I mean come on, the hero and heroine are not married and enjoy a long relationship openly. That in itself was revolutionary for the 1960s. I think that Guide should be preserved as a good movie inspired by the novel. But if we are looking for a true adaption, then we need not look beyond Shankar Naag.

30. Streethawk - How we wanted to ride that fast :)

31. Dekh Bhai Dekh was cool too!

32. Then there was "Aisa Bhi Hota Hai" (like Ripley's Believe it or not) with someone called Monica. She was so beautiful that it was rumoured that she got 19,000 marriage proposals every week. I particularly remember one episode where a man demonstrated boring a hole in soft metals like Alumnium coins by just staring at them with a powerful gaze!

33. Ulta Pulta and every singly episode of Flop Show - kitne yaad karoon!

34. Karam chand - kitty and gazar :)

35. Then there was this nice cartoon called Jamie and the Magic Torch. I think this is one of the earliest television that I can remember. Look at this website on the program and click here for the song. Of course you can always find more references on the net, as this was a popular serial abroad too.