For the love of the idiot box

I have always complained about the poor programming that is Indian television – soppy soaps, visibly pre-determined reality shows and the desi-fication of MTV (Remember the times when MTV was actually music television?) hence never really took much interest in the existence of the idiot box. In the past one and a half years the only time I really missed it was during the FIFA World Cup 2010 where I watched most matches at office and lost out on watching the finals due to the lack of the television.

It all began with the shift into the apartment last October and the television becoming the accompaniment with daily dinner and the sole source of entertainment. Soon, I began to decipher trends such as – Bhool Bhulaiyya would definitely be playing on some channel over the weekend, Zee Cinema has just not got over Anil Kapoor’s Nayak, Star Gold has an innate love for Nagarjuna and the number ‘1’ – always playing Don Number 1, King Number 1 and the likes, MTV India has the most ridiculous of reality shows – don’t even want to get started on those. The only respites are the channels playing movies; which is why I have bookmarked the shortcut on the BlackBerry which gives me the low-down on movies on TV at one click.

Among a new personal development, I found myself racing to get home before 9 pm on all work days – the highlight of the day being on television! I am now an official MasterChef Australia addict, and Criminal Minds (Suspect Behaviour) has become the newest addition to the watch-list. The love for Star World began with the late night Simpsons show then trailed off to my most favourite soap yet – Lie To Me, a definite hit with anyone who loved Sherlock Holmes and Feluda. The protagonist’s distinctive English accent and the entire concept of micro expressions made this the perfect de-stresser after work.

Then began MCA (MasterChef Australia), which I latched on a little late into the season but have been a devoted fan ever since! Food has always been a passion, and although I cannot credit myself to be a cook, this is an interest I know I would like to take forward. Ma’s a brilliant cook and whenever in Muscat, I find myself perched on the worktop – helping and learning in any manner I could. Although most of the ingredients used in the international kitchens seem foreign to me (I’m mostly buried into the phone, trying to look up what dill, guinea fowl or crackling is or what a crème brule means) but I enjoy it nevertheless. It is such excitement to know what challenge the contestants are being put up again (In stark comparison to MasterChef India, each episode is fresh and brings actual learning with it!). At 10 pm, nerve-racking criminal stories are brought to the forefront in the Forrest Whittaker starred Criminal Minds – also immensely entertaining!

Reminiscing about the days in Muscat where I had no interest in the television – an attribute that my parents strongly advocated and supported. The only programme I watched as a child was Disney Hour (in Hindi) on Zee TV and on weekends Baba and I were lost in the savannahs with cheetahs or at the depth of the oceans with great whites with NatGeo, Discovery or Animal Planet.

I probably understand my love for the media and entertainment space, it seems to be most dynamic and exciting field to be working in and I honestly hope that my stint with CNN International and more recently, Al Jazeera will help me ensure I find myself a place in the space.

Fingers crossed.