No one had a television set in their homes (those days we said television, not TV). Actually, that is not true. The Chinese towkay (boss) who had a provision shop about a hundred yards away, did own a console set.

(Ghost writer: How come everything is a hundred yards away? Leigh: Hey, this is my story).

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*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2011 ***


  1. We got our first television in 1957, I think. All I remember are those same cartoons you mentioned. Later came Star Trek and the Avengers (British) and the Man from UNCLE. I actually did not watch TV much, and not at all when I went to college. But that is not to under-estimate how very addicting it is. We do not pay for the cable or satellite service today (all TV is either through cable or satellite dish now) because I am not sure we would have the strength of will to keep it under control. Back in those days it just seemed fun and harmless.

    1. Yes, I used to be a fan of Avengers (bowler hat and all) and UNCLE > United Nations Command for Law Enforcement – weird how we remember these things…

      I don’t watch much TV now – most offerings are violence filled crap.

      I used to be a great fan of Nat Geo and similar documentaries – still am, though there are few good episodes now. Most of the wildlife ‘documentaries’ now are nothing more than macho-bullshit guys showing off their bravery (stupidity)…

      1. There is a great nature series called Planet Earth that is available on dvd. I have never seen anything like it. Amazing.
        As to TV now, I have grown to like a series called White Collar, set in New York City. I find that what makes or breaks a series is whether or not I can get personally interested in the characters and their stories. Many series just are badly written. I did like West Wing very very much, but that might be too specifically American to appeal outside the US. I don’t know. TV is like books: the story and the characters and the quality of the writing are key.
        Ooops gotta go.

  2. The good old television. Programming was available for about two to three hours a day. All state managed and boring. A few interesting bits based on Indian movies. Our (us kids to our grandparents) schedules were carefully woven around the timing of the interesting programmes. Our kids perhaps may not know the pleasure of scarcity of this kind.

    1. Hello again Ankur – thank you for your comment. Yes, what we considered a treat is a given now. We had little but made the most of it…

  3. Oh yes, this good old television. The one thing I remember so well and also hated it so much at that time was the breakdown message : vertical lines will appear on the screen with a message “sorry for the breakdown”. Sometimes it’s a few minutes and sometimes half an hour or more and you never know when it will resume.

  4. The first village black & white television set was at our community centre. We will finished all chores super fast – rush to the tiny snack stall, buy peanuts, kway chi (sunflower seeds), preserved papayas, etc. All ready for favourite cartoons – pink panther, road runner, yibedy yipedy porky pig, speedy gonzales, deputy dawg and many more. We’ll know what’s on which day. Certain days we lose out to the adults who wants to watch wrestling, yuck. This is another fun memory, same as Leigh.

    1. Wow – yes, I recall all those cartoon series you mention. Wrestling’s stars I recall – Galligher Brothers (tag team); Fritz von Erick (bag guy), Miller Brothers (tag team) and others. Remember also High Chaparal, Lone Ranger, Star Trek, Big Valley…

  5. Old Television console occupied space but made to last. The present day TV is both slim and sleek but does not make to last. Literary means throwing away $$$ and using up unnecessary natural resources.

  6. When my eldest brother bought a new TV set, I was not even allowed to touch the on/off button. When he was not around, I pressed the button, on then off. The TV still worked when he came home to watch his favourite program.

    1. Lucky you that it worked. The old sets were notorious for packing up, especially when we were all anxious for our favourite program to come on.

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