I have over the past couple of years reduced my television consumption significantly with just a few minutes of sports or a random movie.The soaps, the reality shows, the breaking news, etc don’t really engage me anymore. It’s just a pain on the brain.

But I do see sports. And as I see DD Sports relay first the CWG and now Asian Games, there is a sense of deja vu. Not about the sports per se or the quality of the production. But about DD’s own masala that they add around it.

For example, yesterday, this kid presenter Kanthi gushes with joy, “India have won the bronze medal, they just lost to Malaysia in the squash team event“. And then she, like a very good tourist guide, says “let’s go and catch some exciting volleyball action, Tajikistan versus Maldives in the women’s event for the 9th and 10th places“. I was hoping to catch some highlights of the Indian boxers but sadly all I got was two teams of girls, one of them fully covered head to toe in Islamic fashion, playing less than college level volleyball. (They did finally show some highlights but at 2 am at night I think. Too late for me)

For those of us who belong to a generation (These were the days before crass commercialisation became so crass that entire generations were branded by television channels) which grew up on Doordarshan and there are idiosyncrasies that all of us identify with. So such kind of presentation made with child like innocence and enthusiasm is quite well known.

I shall always be grateful for DD which through that brilliant program called “The World of Sport” every Sunday afternoon anchored by the legends like Anupam Gulati, Dr Narottam Puri, Avtar Singh Sethi and Arijit Sen introduced me to so many different sports. And this tradition continues when I was watching Wushu with a Hindi commentator giving me helpful insights about the different aspects of Wushu like how points are scored (1 point for a punch in the head / face and 2 points for kick in the head / face), different strategies, who are the world champions (includes an Iranian girl), etc. The best bit I liked was when the co-commentator asked what kind of injuries do Wushu combatants suffer (or are likely to suffer). He said, just like boxing, fighters can get hit on the head (or have their ears bitten off – depends on who they are fighting of course).

There is almost a raw innocence about the way they muddle up their stuff on DD which makes ESPN, Star Sports, etc look so loud, garish and artificial.

And I think DD News is probably the only news channel which does not have the red “Breaking News” caption on it. And the volume levels are almost like a quiet exclusive bar serving single malt and cigars.

Back to DD please.


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