Those were the most exciting of days, those were the most boring of days.
Doordarshan was synonymous with television as was Akashwani with Radio.Remote control was still a luxury and multiple channels were unheard of except from those who knew and spoke about the amazing technological advancements that happened in of U S of A.
Those were the days when news readers enjoyed celebrity status and every girl or boy blessed with a good diction, prepared and read out the abridged version of newspaper headlines in the school assembly and secretly aspired to be a Rini Simon, Neethi Ravindran or Tejinder Singh.
Never mind if Doordarshan’s news telecast was meant for the propoganda of the then ruling party, a mouthpiece for talking about government schemes that never yielded results. Most of the inconsequential and stale news that made it to the television was primarily controlled by the state. Things have not changed much 20-25 years hence. Except that news is more sensational today and is controlled by other vested interests. The power of the government has replaced the power of capitalists controlled media houses, read politicians with enough money to run television channels of their own.
In the Nineties, News time was sacred time. Every young boy or girl who aspired for a decent job and needed to crack tough interviews was prescribed to watch Doordarshan English news and read the newspaper, particularly 'The Hindu’ if you were from the south and ‘The Telegraph’ if you were from the western part of India. Reading the editorial column and listening to the news was essential inorder to increase General Knowledge and improve the mastery over English vocabulary.
It was in those pressing and demanding times that TWTW arrived.
The World this Week.
It was anchored by the fully bearded and intellectual looking Prannoy Roy.
Forgive him for having unleashed upon the world of journalism a certain Ms. Dutt in his later years. He honestly did not know what he was doing. Ah... here I digress.
TWTW : The world this week was the only window for the information starved Indian to know about the happenings outside of the country. A neatly packaged 30 minute capsule of carefully collated news peppered with interviews, video images and visuals and a section called Newsmakers was the most awaited incident for an entire generation every Friday night.
Prannoy Roy brought a fresh breath of air and changed the face of news anchoring in India. If you have grown up in the Doordarshan era, you will know what I am talking about.
There was a proliferation of video news magazines after that, which attempted to unleash every controversy, every contra point of view and everything that the state controlled Doordarshan would refuse to take heed of. But none could match up the breadth and the brevity of TWTW.
NDTV classics airs old episodes of TWTW as NDTV classics at 9pm everyday. If you are one of those who need to stage a hunger strike inorder to take control of the television's remote control from the demanding primetime soap viewers or if you are one of those who cannot figure out how to operate multiple remote controls and surf mindless TV channels before you hit the right one, don't sweat it out.
For most problems in the world there is a solution available.
Mostly in the form of Google.
This one is available on Youtube.
Logon to Youtube or click on these links below and discover the Nostalgic nineties.
It is a pleasure to watch a young and stunning looking Shabana Azmi boldly defending herself after the controversy and fatwa issued by the fundamentalists over her 'peek in the cheek' ( not kissing … you conservative, narrow minded, old fashioned, culturally unexposed fools of the nineties) from Nelson Mandela.
In 1993, a news item on TWTW talks about this new technology called Electronic mail ( email) that was going to change the way we communicate over the years. ( October 1993)
And finally for the cherry on the topping from August 1990. This one is a must watch.
Fast forward to the 14th minute if you do not want to navigate through the rest.
This one is about a 17 year old boy struggling with an impromptu interview …
'Studies is very important. Atleast I want to complete my graduation. Then i will think of something else. I study in 12th standard … arts.' , he stutters with a voice and makes you wonder if this Teenager’s voice is yet to break.
'So you do not have any coach ?'... interrupts the interviewer
'My coach name is Mr.Ramakant Achrekar' ; says the boy... 'he is still my coach' ... he hastens to add....
Nostalgic indeed ... Click here to watch the boy...
The 'boy' has moved on since the nineties and how ?