Life Without TV Taught Me Living
Nowadays on social media we see so many amusing pictures announcing, “You are 80’s/90’s kid if you have done this or that.” Some pictures are related to games, some about old time snacks but what I really smile seeing are the pictures of old television sets.
We got our first black and white television in 1979 and believe me our lives changed after that. We became better children and our parents started having their way with us. Anything our parents wanted us to do came with a rider…
“If you finish this task, then you will be allowed to watch TV in the evening.”
Yes, TV for kids was available only in the evenings, never at night. Those were the days when we could not do anything about it as along with TV entered the TV stand with shutter cover that could be locked. We could never dare to ask our parents, where they hid the key. Why! I don’t know, may be we always felt indebted to our parents for providing us the best possible they could and asking anything more was not correct.
Life without TV became unimaginable
I can’t say if we grew up with television or television grew up with us but life without TV became inconceivable over the period of time. Television came as an extraordinarily magical thing though now I feel, had it not been there I could be a better read and learned person, doing much better in life, professionally and personally. Various crafts and reading, which I was so fond of, took a backstage with the growing interest in series and movies on TV.
As a parent too, I stand guilty of teaching my kids getting things done my way through bribing though they in turn learnt the ‘art of negotiation’.😊
“Finish your homework then you get half an hour to watch TV”, I would offer.
“No, mom, that homework will take more than two hours to finish. We will do it, if you let us watch TV for one hour”.
They would try to negotiate for 50% stake and finally we would invariably end up with 60:40. Today I feel bad about it but during those days I thought it was better to negotiate than the embarrassment of pulling your kids out of neighbour’s house, watching TV during their outdoor playing time.
Kids grew up but TV …!
Once the children grew up, I felt that finally it was the perfect time to watch news and series without any tension of getting homework completed. Within a short time I realized that it was not the same TV anymore that I always craved for. The news which earlier brought the world in the living room sounded like a visit to the fish market, while music, just ugly noisy remixes of old melodies. All the funny and intelligent series were replaced by the exaggerated unending sas bahu sagas or real life crime stories.
I lost interest in TV as it gave me anxiety and panic attacks with the stories about the big bad world and the spoilt youth of today. Afterall, I too had kids growing up in the same world.
The noise during the so called news debates gave me migraine attacks. The rosy dreams of watching TV at night with a bowl of popcorn and a cup of coffee was already down the drain. Then I happened to stay with my husband in a quiet and small cantonment for a few months. I had a choice of having a TV connection but for some reason I decided against it. The only idea behind it was just a little detox from city life.
I discovered living….
I believe that this universe has different ways to make you realize your innermost hunger and thirst of leading a conscious life. It shows you the right path leading to personal development.
As a teenager I was addicted to 24/7 music. My parents used to be fed up of the noise all the time. For a family deeply rooted in Indian classical music, western music was nothing more than noise. Then came in disco music which became a cause of tussle between me and my parents.
“Why do you have to listen to this noise all the time?”
“… Because I want to shut the noise within…” (Bahar ke shor se andar ke shor ko dabane ki chahat hai) I would reply dramatically. I laugh at myself remembering the kind of drama queen I was. The fact remains that I was actually thinking on those lines.
Now in my 50s, loudness of any kind hurts my being. I love the chirping birds, parrots jumping on the keekar tree (Yes, they poop on my head at times.) The sound of woodpecker pecking on the trees and little squirrels hopping around the garden amuse me.
My Life without TV…
In the last six months, I have not watched any TV and oh! boy, did I lose on anything! Nope, I don’t think so.
Previous six months without TV have made me understand the language of silence. Since long I had been contemplating to do some meditation but TV never let me do it. Now since I sleep in time at night, I wake up early and spend some time meditating, reading and enjoying hot adrak wali chai wrapped in a shawl with my pet baby’s head on my lap. It is heaven, believe me.
This is what I do outdoors…
It is really fun to go for a walk on a winter night when it is foggy outside and look for that one perfect click.
Is it really hard to give up TV? No, because when I go back to my city home, I don’t remember to switch on the TV. Once I tried but couldn’t handle the negativity spread all over the news channels and family dramas.
Things I did In life without TV….
These are the things I achieved in life without TV.
- A quieter house with no fights about changing channels.
- I spend some quiet reading time daily.
- More time for self analysis and conscious decision making.
- I have become more patient with my partner.
- I have started writing more and better.
- I am getting better quality sleep.
- My house is better organized (with me remembering where did I keep my stuff ‘Safely’)
- I know bad things happen in this world but I have stopped being paranoid thinking that it might one day happen to my children.
- Political parties don’t matter to me anymore as I don’t get to hear and see idiotic “Pappu” and “Mitron” jokes anymore.
- I go for enjoyable walks with my dog and husband as I am never in a hurry to reach home and watch KBC or Big Boss.
- One weekly movie that I watch in the cantonment theatre is the most pleasurable experience these days, which I look forward to.
- Not having a TV is perhaps the best thing that has happened to me as life without TV made me take mindfulness seriously.
With the elimination of TV, I have eliminated negativity from my life and there is a kind of clarity of thought that has taken place of confusion. My life feels better when I spend time outdoors enjoying little things like clicking pictures of rising or setting sun, recording sounds of chirping birds or just listening to some real good audio books while walking.
Who knew that removing the innocent looking entertainment tool could make life a meaningful living experience in just six months. My life without TV really taught me living in the truest sense.