Monday, 10 August, 2009

Bring back the birds and the bees

dedicated to All of us who were brought up on a strict diet of Doordarshan , Black and White Tv´s and antenna´s that were used to measure height rather than change channels. please read on... How we enjoyed kanmani poonga with its cheap cut trees with children in bright ribbons holding on to it while the DD camera caught one teacher amma giving instructions ... and by the way on that subject we all remember this science program where the master would write on a blackboard which made the screeching sound and then took a tv antenna and then a cauliflower from his mrs´shopping bag and explained to us what the brain looked like. for many years i thought cauliflower was seriously brain food the highlight of one´s life was oliyum oliyum. It meant the end of more week of going to school, oiling your hair , putting your hair in double plaits , feigning stomach ache . I remember when we moved on from sridevi´s thunder thighs to amla´s leotard act in agni nakshatram. how many of us wanted to be courted by Karthik while he danced in egmore station. how we thought we were hep when we crooned something something or mottai madi... mottai madi ... oru love jodi . for many of us that was when we heard of the bird and bee concept lip locking... adrenaline rising etc...
But who can forget the sunday tamil movie. it was the moment when i would have an emotional turmoil. the first half of the movie you always enjoyed . after a nice sunday lunch when amma would bring out tarla dalal´s delights of vegetarian cooking and try to surprise us one more time from the dog eared pages that were our only windows to gourmet cuisines. then chennaiites didnt have kefi´s and azulaias and we didnt know gazpacho was a cold soup.... we liked continental food ... that meant anything with white sauce that contained garam masala and amul cheese.
ok back to the movie...
i used to enjoy nibbling on sunday´s left over lunch, some ice cream and entertain my family. see i used to speak so much that i sometimes had the feeling my mom used to send me to school so that her ears could get some rest. in those days tv didnt have so many ads also . you had the government ads. We two ours two. use mala D ,
tips on fertilizers ... would fill the ad space. until liril came along and showed us that women can imagine bathing in biknis under a waterfall while the whole family stood outside to use the loo.
while the ads ran always my mom would ask me have you done your home work .... my first response was always immediate... yes ma all done. packed school bag also. as the movie was reaching its climax amma would start putting the dinner .... and then appa would ask chellam paavum school tommorow. see appa was easy to handle , a few crocodile tears , appa i am your chellam no... and that was enough. amma was tough and still is . then comes anna he was the toughest nut to crack .
he would come down just as the hero and heroine would be in the swiss alps and rollicking about. hero in tight jeans and leather coat and heroine in naidu hall bustier that would make the jungfrau fail in front of these two peaks ....
then illayaraja´s tunes would fill the screen .... her pallu will caress his face ... his lips would get wet ... then as a thirteen year old you are contemplating whether you should continue seeing and appa and amma are nervously shuffling feet and talking about rising price of tomatoes ... a huge flower comes into the screen. since those days we never had the fear of the someone changing channels you knew you were still watching. big flower is still swaying , big bee comes into screen . it jumps on flower and sucks on all parts of the flower... see since in biology we learnt parts of the flower... i thought hey this was education after bee sucks ,it feels tired and flowers closes ... heroine is back now crumpled clothes and disheveled hair.. hero looks triumphant they hold hands and run into alps... two love birds come on screen and twitter away ( not twat or twitted just bird la la)
by the time this flora and fauna chapter finishes i suddenly remember biology home work not done hindi not even close ... maths oh god anna should not come to know ... english that i can fib... while villain is chasing hero and police is getting their bellies into an old van to chase this super villain in an aircraft and hero has only one horse ... i decide to go upstairs and face monday morning. one week of brid and bee education... have to wait for next week unless it is ramzan week or christmas or goklastami or navratri where sivaji ganesan every year without fail would come in 9 roles .doordarshan had a movie for every festival and never failed us
that was one helluva education. not like the bipasha basu telling us sex is good and priyanka chopra showing her cellulite free legs or kareena kapoor showing us size zero. give me my techni colour tamil movies with bouffant hair and harem pants and yes the birds and the bees ...they are so much better than discussing did they do it or didnt they....


  1. what about ninan teaching tamil? you remember that? and chitrahar on wednesdays, humlog on mondays. foreign fare during the days of tamil only tv.
    so still talking a lot? :)

  2. it was fun reading ur blog and how well written. Hilarious. I am Umadevi, your amma's friend from Amchi Mumbai.

  3. @ummon- and do you remember we would wait the whole year to watch the grammys... and DD would delink for regional broadcast....
    @umadevi- Oh thanks for stopping by . amma did mention that she has been able to meet a lot of her mumbai friends on FB.

  4. And how can you forget the songs of Jesus christ being crucified shown during Good Friday every year in Oliyum Oliyum...or that unwritten rule that when a song of Kamal Hassan is played it should be followed by a Rajinikant's song or vice-versa.

  5. @srividhya- totally ... and every year the print would get scratchier and scratchier... my fave is when DD would delink for reginal broadcast when wimbledon final .. last game tie break is going on
    i also loved vazhalum vazhvum farmer´s program and during election we would be treated to apolitical entertainment . actually Tv for 3 hours a day was fun none of this channel surfing in fighting problem...

  6. Oh my God, this struck such a cord! I have been reading your posts all day, sneakily at work :) but I just had to comment on this. My mom was a slightly hep mami, she had a 'bob cut' then and used to take me to english movies on friday afternoons in a thethre in Anna nagar ( where we lived ) but used to make me close my eyes or cover my face with my hands if a romance scene came up on screen. worse where times when she used to cover my eyes and even force me to bend down. But I very very sneakily watched the nude back of slyvester stallone in some movie and I was secretly thrilled for weeks! LOL