Little things

Thieving the TV

Did you use to watch those late night movies that ITV or EBS showed back in the days? They always had subtitles – that was the best part for me. I had grown up watching many Chinese and indian films. So much so that having fun with motion pictures translated to reading and listening simultaneously.

The best was when my parents were already in bed. Somehow because of our fallen nature, especially when we haven’t learnt to master it, we get some feeling of achievement defying ‘orders’. I was … 14, perhaps. Very well into teenage hood. Once, I was there in the sitting room, eyes glued to the TV. Waiting for all the calls of viewers like me. One girl called to say that she had locked her parents in. She was about 10 years old and wasn’t taking any chances. Her giggles cackled over the line mingling with that of the presenter. I found her too daring and not in any way funny. Perhaps, I was too busy waiting for the viewers’ final choice which ended at 12 midnight. Or worrying about waking up my mum with the noise. My parents’ room was only some yards away.


On some days, I was what I considered lucky. I would watch till the end at 2am. Then the usual ‘We are going to take a break before continuing our morning transmission’ would flash on the screen for some seconds before it finally went blank. And I with it. A few years after, the flash disappeared. Trying to keep up with new competing stations – Silverbird and AIT – ITV rolled in programs after programs. And so ended my sleep time.

The years pass. Life became even richer. Including the breakdown of our street’s transformer. That one happened more often than desired. What if NEPA [our very own PHCN] doesn’t fix the blown transformer for the next six months? The TV is left to rest for electrical or occupational reasons. And it’s not missed; at least not after the first month.

Jokes apart, time has indeed passed. I’m older though still very young. I am discovering that the members of my family have more content than the TV. With friends, I can see more than a 1001 movies every day – the drama never ends. Of course I still watch fiction from time to time. There’s nothing like being there with only the big screen for light and munching on pop-corn {if you decide to buy some} and laughing or crying between scenes. And discussing the movie for the next few hours, days sometimes, with friends who weren’t there. Guess it’s more like recounting the tales or just finding a valid excuse to spend more time together.

What was it like for you?


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