Every day is a “No TV” day

So yeah, there are no-TV days that get a lot of fanfare, but here’s the thing: most people just cannot imagine that there are real people out there, people they know, who don’t even have a cable TV connection.

I’m one, and I always get totally incredulous reactions when someone says, “Watch this program,” and proceeds to give me a channel name and time and all that, and I say, I don’t have a TV connection, so sorry, I won’t be able to watch the program.

They don’t believe me, of course. I’m not dressed in rags, and even the maidservants watch TV, so how can I not have a TV connection? The conversation goes something like this:

“I don’t watch TV,” I say.

“But you must be watching it!” (says the neighbor/ relative/ friend/ acquaintance) “Otherwise what do you do!”

“There are other ways of spending time,” I point out, but before I can elaborate, they cut in–

“What about cricket matches?”

“I’m not a cricket fan,” I confess, which is a heresy if there were one. An Indian and not a cricket fan? Cancel her citizenship.

“You must watch cricket! I watch it all day long when there’s a match.”

“That’s exactly why I don’t watch matches,” I say. “They take all day.”

“And what about the news?”

“I read the newspapers,” I say. “If there’s something really big, anyway someone or the other sends an SMS or email and I check it online at a newspaper site, but that is rare.”

“But how can you not watch the news! Papa has it on all evening.”

“That’s why,” I say.

“And serials, what about serials?” (flabbergasted look)

“I don’t have a cable connection,” I say. “I am not interested.”

“You must get a cable connection! It is not expensive. It is really worth it.”

“Not for me,” I say.

“But then what do you do all day! How do you spend the evening! What can you do without TV! Don’t you watch any movies? What about relaxing?”

I explain that I have a TV and a DVD player, and once a week or so, in a scheduled slot, I watch a movie of my choice, and that’s it. Some weeks, it goes up to two movies. That’s, like between 2 to 4.5 hours of watching time a week.

“But I mean,” the neighbor continues, “Why? How do you spend the evening!”

Fact is, I have seen what a TV does, at least to me. You put it on, determined you will watch only one program, but that is not so nice, so there is channel surfing, and then another program, and then some news looping, and the TV remains on. And sure enough, that is how one ends up spending the evening.

As for how I spend the time when I don’t watch TV, here’s how: there are lots of things one can do at home instead, and my favorite are books and jigsaws. If I can manage to go out, then I enjoy the deliciously deserted Cubbon park when there’s a one-day match, and in place of evening serials, I get myself some evening life at Sankhey tank…

I read books insteadI solve jigsaws instead(Above: indicative pictures of some activities on which I waste the time I should have spent watching TV).

So no, I don’t need a no-TV day. Every day is a no-TV day for me. And I’m not living in an isolated jungle. It is possible to live without a TV connection and not be an absolute savage, really(or at least I assume I am not a savage).

Yet funnily, after all that long conversation, next time I meet that same person, we go through that same conversation. Apparently most people think I should have used the interim time to become a normal human being, but alas!

It’s not that I’m a masochist and indulging in self-torture by not watching TV. To confess, I have now become addicted to No-TV🙂

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About Swapna Kishore
I'm a writer, blogger, and resource person for dementia/ caregiving in India. I have also been a dementia caregiver for well over a decade, and am deeply concerned about dementia care in India; on this blog I share my personal caregiving journey, my experiences as a resource person for dementia care, and musings on life, aging, dementia in India, and such sundries. More about me and the work I do for dementia care. For structured information on dementia, for discussions, tools and tips on caregiving issues, for resources in India, and for caregiver interviews, please check my website http://dementiacarenotes.in (or its Hindi version, http://dementiahindi.com). For videos on dementia caregiving (English and Hindi), check the youtube channel here.

3 Responses to Every day is a “No TV” day

  1. Suneetha Balakrishnan says:

    My applause! I do have a cable TV connection and watch it very rarely, in spite of the fact that the main pay packet in the house is from a TV channel :)…I can’t get enough time to read those books in queue too.

    • swapnawrites says:

      I’ve been seeing your “books in queue” list, too, and I’d have envied you your recent purchases except that my table’s overloaded and creaking and my timetable does not include even time for a deep breath🙂 Here’s to reading….

  2. austere says:

    I have Tatasky, the bells-and-whistles package.
    Maybe 2-3 hours in a month.

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