Television & I

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
– Groucho Marx

I might not be a Groucho Marx, but my thoughts on Television match his.

No wonder TV is also known as an idiot box. Now, I am looking for the idiot who gave TV that name. Couldn`t he have waited for me to come and name it? What was the hurry?

Anyways, I was watching Television last evening and suddenly realized how much we all owe Thomas Alva Edison. Had it not been for him, we would perhaps be watching TV by candlelight. And what if there were strong winds, and the candle got blown off? End of TV till somebody found a box of matches or the wind subsidized?

My wife Rekha likes Television.

“Don`t talk of Television like this. It is God`s gift to mankind,” she says.

“And I thought I gifted this TV to you on this New Year`s Eve.” I shoot back.

“That is all fine…I am saying TV is popular, and I don`t want to be the odd woman out…so, I also like it. It is a medium,” she says with a triumphant smile on the face that I fell for.

“Yeah, medium alright. If it were a fully thought out and well worked out consumer durable, why would they call it a medium? Does anybody call a Fridge or a washing machine a medium?” I stretch my intelligence.

As always Rekha gives me the stare and walks away into the drawing room, switches on the TV and starts staring at Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee engaged in a duel…oops duet.

We bought our Samsung TV this New Year`s Eve. When, I started watching TV on January 1, 2005…I was renewing a habit I left behind in Madurai (in Tamil Nadu) in 1998.

Leave alone watching TV, I hadn`t seen one in these eight years of my existence. BTW, this is an exaggeration…

So, while checking out the features available…I noticed one option for ‘Brightness.` I had a choice to ‘increase` or ‘decrease` the brightness. Having found the ongoing program below my level of intelligence…I decided to increase the brightness. The program did not change…the screen became bright white.
Later, Rekha would tell me that this feature was to increase/decrease the luminance of the TV screen.

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But frankly, I think TVs do have certain magnetism. It is not possible that all those millions who spend time in front of the Television are fools and I am not. It is definitely more interesting than people – at least more interesting than our family members. No offence, mommy!

Even if we agree that TV is a good influence….what is it that keeps you glued to the idiot box for the whole day? Coz you have nothing to do? Then why watch people who know nothing?

By Jamshed V Rajan

Jammy, as Jamshed V Rajan is affectionately called, is a wannabe stand up comedian. He has a funny take on most things but documents only some of them. If you are interested in chatting up with him, do drop him an email at or message him at +919650080255.

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