DD: Mourning and Elections

Today it would be quite hard to imagine television with only one channel, a few select programmes and movies only on Saturday (regional) and Sunday (Hindi). But that was Doordarshan and that was our only entertainment during high-school and college days.

There were of course quite a number of interesting programmes and serials like Chhayageet / Chitrahaar, Surabhi, Hum log, Ramayan, Mahabharat etc; But apart from these, I remember some distinct features of DD.

Being a government run channel, this only mode of entertainment would come to an almost stand-still during the periods of state or national mourning. Whenever a prominent office bearer (or an ex-office bearer) left for his/her heavenly abode, a mourning ofย  1 or 3 or 5 days (depending upon the office of the deceased) would be declared. And then the entire population would sigh en-mass and drown in a profound gloom.

Reason? No telecast of entertainment programmes during that period and there would be only slow instrumental music, devotional songs or agricultural programmes. (Nowadays, with movies, songs, ads blaring from all the corners of all the channels we don’t even realise if there was any mourning)

But as a silver lining to the cloud, we got a chance to hear some really soulful devotional songs. I still remember artist like Juthika Ray singing Mira bai’s bhajans – Nainan mere tumari oar, Mane chakar rakho ji and others. Her renditions were truly beautiful and heart-touching. Cannot forget the serene lady singing the mellifluous melodies with downcast eyes. A rarity today, I have hardly heard those bhajans once the days of ‘Only DD’ were over. (yes, probably these are available on YouTube, but that cannot create the same magic).

Image result for images of Juthika ray
Image courtesy: Here

Another peculiarity that I remember is the vote-counting time after the elections. In order to announce the counting progress, DD would telecast a movie-marathon of at least 4 to 5 movies on those days. This was a real bonanza. In today’s time it may sound quite odd, but those were the days of single screen theatres, that too few and far between (no multiplexes like today).

DD was the only or major source of filmy entertainment and so everybody used to wait for those post-election days. We would wait more eagerly than the election contestants or the political parties for the vote-counting.

Hmm – those were the days!


Linking to the IndiSpire Edition: 190.ย 

Share your fond memories of Doordarshan when it was the only channel.ย #doordarshan


10 thoughts on “DD: Mourning and Elections

  1. Jitendra Mathur October 11, 2017 / 8:28 am

    I also remember those good old days when many movies used to be telecast between the announcement of the election results / vote counting. It would take the viewer several hours to completely watch a movie shown in many pieces. I had watched Kanoon (1960) during the announcement of the general election results in 1989 and for that I had to keep awake till the wee hours of the next day. Thanks for sharing refreshening those sweet memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Savita Shetty October 11, 2017 / 12:35 pm

      You’re welcome! Yes, there were many breaks or interruptions to announce latest bulletin, but then that was the main purpose so we couldn’t complain about it ๐Ÿ™‚ It is really commendable that you remember the movie and the year you watched it on DD. Thank you for reading the post and sharing your nice memories here ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shweta Suresh October 11, 2017 / 11:48 am

    This post reminded me a lot about my mother’s description of her childhood. In today’s world, it’s hard to imagine a TV with only one channel. So much has changed! Great post, Savita!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Savita Shetty October 11, 2017 / 12:45 pm

      Yes, your mother, too, must have experienced this ‘single channel TV’; that was a unique thing -unimaginable in today’s time. Many thanks for visiting and appreciating this post ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. rationalraj2000 October 11, 2017 / 1:57 pm

    As you say ” those were the days!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Savita Shetty October 11, 2017 / 3:12 pm

      True, although those days lack a few things, they also gave a lot many things. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your nice words ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Jyotirmoy Sarkar October 12, 2017 / 3:33 am

    Though i did not get much time to involve myself with DD coz lots of channels already became on air but we did not have the facility and financial condition for certain time to afford cable connection, those days spent lots of time DD.
    Short but compact write up, specially liked the mourning part…so mch true it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Savita Shetty October 12, 2017 / 5:53 pm

      It is really very nice of you to share your personal experience here. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amit Misra November 10, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    . . . to add . . . whenever any actor/actress passed away, they would show movies. Sometimes this led to confusion and rumours i.e, if by sheer coincidence they happened to show any actor’s two movies in succession, we would think . . .

    What happened to your science blog? I have been searching it for some time, and forgot the URL. It was something like fascinatingworld.wordpress.com But now it is opening some other site, not yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Savita Shetty November 10, 2017 / 5:26 pm

      Yes, I too remember those rumours when more movies of the same actor/actress were played in succession. Thank you so much for reminding and for contributing this valuable addition ๐Ÿ™‚

      Truly nice of you to remember my science blog, and even its name; thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I do update that blog from time to time and it is found at fascinatingworld2016.wordpress.com

      Liked by 1 person

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