Without the idiot box
is more difficult
about writing a TV column than not having a TV set within reach.
This is precisely what happened to me over the Divali week-end.
I spent three days relaxing in the homes of friends who were
gracious and caring but with only one TV set, which they kept in
their bedroom. I would like to think that even the most
conscientious TV columnist would stop at barging into someoneís
bedroom to watch an item. Columnists, fortunately, are not as
brash as TV reporters, who would not think twice before barging
into peopleís houses, especially during a sting operation.
things more awkward was that there were no newspapers the day
after Divali. TV was the only access to news, with which
everyone likes to keep in touch during these turbulent times. So
I had to tread a wary path between not being rude and somehow
getting on with my column.
hosts had a relaxing cocktail session before lunch. So I
snatched that short interval to ask for permission to miss
cocktails and watch TV when no one was in the bedroom. I just
had enough time to watch Afridi and Yusuf getting out in the ODI,
and to know the PM was off to Moscow, and Nandigram was on fire,
as usual. I also saw Aparna Sen and Gautam Ghose leading the
protests, together with Neha Patkar, in what was an impressive
show of unity by Bengalís intellectuals, including noted
writer Maheshwata Devi, who, in case readers donít remember,
is the sister of famous film-maker, the late Ritwik Ghatak.
So, having seen
a little bit of cricket and a little bit of news, I thought it
was time to sit back and decide what I had missed not watching
I might mention at this stage
that I have long since discarded my cable operator for Tata Sky.
Since childhood most of us have believed that what Tata does, it
does well. But I am afraid Tata Sky is not up to its standards.
To register complaints one has to go from Delhi via a
long-distance call to Chandigarh. There are long alterative
numbers in Delhi but they never work. My complaints are two:
Firstly, the reception goes off when it rains. This is
incredible in this high-tech modern age. Secondly, they do not
give you Neo Sports unless you pay for it. This reduces one to
Doordarshan. Tata Sky has no business to choose channels for the
customer. The customer should have the choice after paying a
decent amount per month. Lastly, after a long rigmarole about
pressing this button or endless buttons to register a complaint,
you get a lot of suave voices being very polite, but complaints
take long to register and even longer to get redressed, if at
all, particularly when it rains. Not worthy of Tata. Come on
Ratan Tata, pull up your staff who are poor at
telecommunications although they might be famous for steel and