Nostalgic Doordarshan Memories Of 80s And 90s

Growing up in India in the 80s and 90s was great.

No cell phones, kids played in the streets all the time while parents caught up on neighbourhood gossip, exchanged recipes and stories, and updated each other on daily activities!

And Doordarshan was the only visual entertainment for the kids other than watching movies in theatres. I learned so much from watching Doordarshan.

Who can forget this iconic Doordarshan video to start the programming?

Iconic ads

Do you have a favourite Doordarshan advertisement? Hajmola Sir, Vicco turmeric, washing powder Nirma, Doodh piyo glass full doodh, Rasna, and so many more. These advertisements were so popular!

Message of unity and peace

The iconic National Integration message: Mile sur mera tumhara. Whenever this song played, I used to watch it as it showed Unity in Diversity. The catchy song, mesmerizing music, celebrities, and ordinary people representing their region.

We can see how simple yet elegant this video was made to be. This gem of a video can never be replaced. The 80s were great in so many ways.

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TV Stars

Hold that thought!

I am not talking about anchors or newsreaders screaming at the top of their lungs to prove their points. I am discussing the quality of the content and the dedication; the TV Stars had those days. Likewise, I looked up to Gitanjali Iyer, Minu (English Newsreaders), & Shobana Ravi, Varadarajan (Tamil Newsreaders). Pranoy Roy was my hero at the time. Every week I would be looking forward to World This Week!

I would be so excited to watch this show as a kid. NDTV’s first-ever production. This program taught me how to view the world and the perspectives of so many countries. I was curious about Politics, sports, education, music, etc.

Sunday TV tradition

My Sunday as a kid would start with Rangoli and Morning Ramayan/Mahabharat. After a yummy lunch, back to watching Doordarshan Regional Language Sunday Film every week. This was very important. I was exposed to various languages across India from the regional movies.

They played the movies according to the alphabetical order of the languages, and then the cycle would repeat. After that, watching Vikram aur Betaal was a big deal with tea and snacks. That title song! Then back to our regional (Tamil) film telecast on Sunday evening!

World sports

Apart from our Cricket, I always acknowledge Doordarshan as the reason I knew so much about Tennis! Steffi Graph, Pete Sampras, Martina Navratilova, and Andre Agassi were very famous among Indian audiences. Hockey, Soccer, and Olympic events were more familiar because of Doordarshan.

Conclusion

When compared to kids these days, with the age of social media in their hands with smartphones, do you think the kids are more aware of the news?

Do they know what’s going on in the outside world? Maybe or maybe not. They are less aware of General Knowledge and more interested in making reels and becoming influencers. Are we overwhelming our kids with more information and losing focus on priorities?


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