Fewer options of programs meant for kids these days?

Growing up in the 1990’s or in the early 2000’s was blissful for us Indian-kids because of an array of Indian TV-shows meant for the younger demographic. Some popular ones were ‘Shaka Laka Boom Boom (2000 – 2004)’, Hatim (2003 – 2004), ‘Shararat (2004 – 2005)’ and our very own superhero ‘Shaktimaan (1998 – )’; if we look at the TV shows these days, it seems that there are fewer options for the younger demographic in this decade but is that the reality?

Back when mainstream media channels were introduced in India such as ‘Sony Entertainment Television or SET (Oct’ 1995)’, ‘Zee TV (Oct’ 1992)’,  ‘Star Plus (Feb’ 1992)’ & ‘Sahara One (Mar’ 2000), they changed the way we looked at Television. Our experience with TV was not only limited to News but also got extended as an entertainment-box. ‘Sahara One’ was one of the pioneer channels which started streaming Hindi-dubbed version of various animated cartoon shows in India such as ‘Bhallu Sahab Ki Kahani’, ‘Denver, the Last Dinosaur’, ‘The Jungle Book (Mowgli), ‘The Legend of Zorro’, ‘The New Adventures of Kimba The White Lion’, ‘Pocahontas’, ‘Sandokan’ & ‘The Story of Cinderella’; these were parts of one major TV-show for kids called ‘Just Kids’ which was hosted by child-actor Yash Pathak where two of these shows were shown everyday and Bhalu Sahab Ki Kahani (The Great book of Nature) was shown at the end. ‘Just Kids’ was one of the most watched Kids’-show of that time (Source – Wikipedia) in India.

If we take a look at Cartoon-shows that are aired nowadays we’ll see that they are not only limited being mere shows but have influenced the merchandise-market with all its might. According to TOI (Jun’ 2015) the most popular TV show was ‘Chhota Bheem’ which seems to be doing pretty well even now (Link to the survey – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tv/news/hindi/Most-popular-kids-shows-on-TV/photostory/47705362.cms ) followed by ‘Tom and Jerry’, ‘Motu Patlu’, ‘Shinchan’ and the list ends on ‘Doraemon’ making it the 10th favorite TV-show for Kids.

I’d like to point out that it’s not that we have fewer options for the younger generation but we have less of quality-content these days. Previously we had only a few TV channels which provided us with kids’-shows but now we have many sister-channels which have emerged from the previous mainstream channels which show only kids’ programs. With the rise of technology and online-based subscription sites, mainstream media channels face difficulty to attain its viewers.

We still have many TV channels which are meant for kids running on air such as ‘Hungama’, ‘Pogo’, ‘Cartoon Network’, ‘Animax’, ‘Disney Channel’, ‘Disney XD’, ‘Nick’ etc.  Another major reason of not seeing shows like ‘Shatimaan’ or ‘Hatim’ these days is because of the lack of interest amongst the younger generation. When we were growing up, the television was somewhat fascinating to us and we never tried to question what we saw before our eyes but kids who are being brought up in this decade (2010-2020) are surrounded by technology from a very tender age so television doesn’t fascinate them the way it affected us.

Here’s a list of Programs (Source Wikipedia) meant for Kids which were aired in 1990’s and early 2000’s in India –

Betaal Pachisi (1997 – 1998) DD National

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Indian_children%27s_television_series

 

From this list we can get a clear view that not a huge number of options were available back in the day whereas now we have a bunch of kids’ TV channels showing content 24×7.

 

The mainstream media has stopped producing kids’ shows because A) They are targeting a different demographic altogether due to the rise of many Kids’ channels later in the industry. B) Kids being more prone towards online content rather than being glued in front of the TV.

 

We have to agree that the way we look at Television has changed dramatically over the years and the same has happened with kids as well; new generation is being brought up way differently than we ever were. I got a chance to Interview Yash Pathak (Host of ‘Just Kids’) and here’s what he had to say:

 

Q1. As someone who used to host one of the most watched TV-shows in India for kids back in the day; do you think that now we have fewer options for the younger demographic on television?

 

Ans.  First of all I’m very humbled by your comment and to secondly answer your question I believe that the material or the definition of the material for the younger demographic has drastically changed over the years. If you see what we were watching back then say ‘TinyTV’, toddlers used to watch ‘Teletubbies’ there was ‘Bob the Builder’, ‘Noddy’ and all that content, it had a lesson to teach, it had a tale to tell and it used to teach you something. So that content I believe has diminished a lot, now the centre of entertainment just like adults has changed to Internet. Kids have ‘YouTube Kids’ which has parental-control and everything but if you see that content and compare it to ours then it’s lost; our content is lost completely. So the answer to this question is a yes and a no. That content has been lost but there’s a whole universe of different things. Kids these days watch music videos to be entertained. You know we were restricted to those three, four channels; it was ‘Cartoon Network’ and ‘Pogo’ which came in later on. I remember 9’o clock at night ‘Cartoon Network’ stopped showing cartoon. So you see now there’s a huge ocean of content that kids can access hence that’s a yes and a no.

 

Q2. Do you think there’s not much of quality-content available nowadays for kids?

 

Ans. Quality is a very subjective concept don’t you think? I think the quality of content for kids is deteriorating day by day. If you’re trying to keep up with the surroundings you know how kids behave in schools nowadays, the way parents are more open to their children and kids from a very young age are more aware of things and more opinionated. I think today’s society and that content is somewhere matching with each other.

 

Q3. Which TV program do you think should make a comeback which will be popular amongst this generation?

 

Ans. As a comeback I think ‘The Jungle Book’ and Oswald as well; Oswald is a gentleman, I think he should come back with these cool smartphones and all, I mean I can totally see Daisy as a YouTuber with a hoverboard and Henry would make tech-videos. I think they’d make a really good comeback.

 

Q4. ‘Just Kids’ changed the way we kids looked at Television; we not only got entertained but also learnt many things while watching it. Which was your favorite cartoon show that taught you the most?

 

Ans. ‘Just Kids’ had a very simple concept; you learn something and you get entertained at the same time. My favorite show while growing up was Pokémon and it taught you a lot of things like friendship, love and caring for each other and the most important thing was no matter how badly you’re hit, you’re going have to show up the next day being the invincible kind that you are; as Meowth would say to this –  “That’s right”.

 

Q5. Are you a fan of any new generation cartoon-show? If yes, then what do you like the most about the show?

 

Ans. I’m not a fan of new generation cartoon shows because I hardly get time to watch any but still I prefer Pokémon over anything even though they have new Pokémon coming in and all but I still watch it on YouTube. I think it’s legendary.

 

Q6. The last question: What’s your opinion on ‘Chhota Bheem’ being the most popular show for kids?

 

Ans.’ Chhota Bheem’ is like the ‘Patanjali’ of the cartoon-world. It’s homemade, desi and it has values and culture around it. It has a simple concept to entertain kids but also to teach them. I’m glad that it’s at number one spot. I’m quite happy about it.

 

[Disclaimer: This was a telephonic Interview. He currently resides in Abu Dhabi]

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India TV interviews Dhinchak Pooja

Click the link down below to watch the full interview!

Dhinchak Pooja Interview 

About two months ago the internet was broken by an Indian self-proclaimed singer-songwriter called ‘Dhinchak Pooja’ who became a sensation overnight due to her song ‘Selfie Maine Le Li Aaj’ published on YouTube.

India TV reporter Ms. Priyanka decided to interview her in order to get to discover more about Dhinchak Pooja.

The interview starts with Dhinchak Pooja singing one of her old songs called ‘Swag Wali Topi’; after which the reporter rightly mentions “you can love her, you can hate her but you just can’t ignore her” – We couldn’t even if we wanted to. Eversince the release of her song ‘Selfie Maine Le Li Aaj’, it has been difficult to ignore her on social media as they’re flooded either with the clips of her videos or memes made upon her. The reporter asks some basic questions, where we get to know that Pooja AKA Dhinchak Pooja is doing her master’s degree in English Literature and she loves hanging out with her friends as well as her passport (yes, as random as it sounds). Although, one question pops in my head while watching this which I’d have loved the interviewer to ask her is – How can a literature student write something that are only repetitive lines in the name of lyrics? She continues with her set of questions where we find out Pooja liked singing and writing songs since her childhood and the decision of publishing her works on YouTube wasn’t a random idea but a well thought process. Through the interview we find out that the title of ‘Dhinchak’ before her name represents her personality which basically means ‘being carefree and herself’; she also mentions that she has never learned Music from any professional but after releasing her first song she wants to make her career in this platform itself and she’s ready to work hard for it. After all the good things said the interviewer smartly pitches in the question of how she deals with her haters? Pooja gives a prompt reply that haters only speak up when they a see a new star arising amongst them just like they had done to many other superstars when they were starting out and they are the ones lifting her up and it’s working in her favour. What we fail to understand here is that in order to hate Dhinchak Pooja, we have made her a YouTube sensation where her video ‘Selfie Maine Le Li Aaj’ now has over 23 million views and her channel has been verified by YouTube as well. I’d have also liked to know why her videos haven’t been given the right to like or dislike them or even comment on them if she looks at haters as her spirit-uplifters?

Whether we want to accept it or not but the ones who dislike Dhinchak Pooja are the ones to share her videos the most causing them to go viral. Well, her trick worked; there’re two ways to get famous – Either be great or be a disgrace; the latter one worked just fine for Pooja but at the end of the day, every publicity is good-publicity and in this case it worked like a charm. I have seen people sharing her videos tagging them to be terrible rather than people praising her talent of writing repetitive lines; is this where social media has come to? Why are we so prone to useless materials rather than something that cultivates our minds? Yes Dhinchak Pooja is terrible and in this case it works in her favour and she darn well knows it. Smart gal!

Review of Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

Review by Anamika Dutta

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is the first novel written by British author EL James who is a former TV-executive, wife and mother of two; she followed it up with two more novels called ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ and ‘Fifty Shades Freed’, making it a trilogy of its own kind.

Although it has been put to discussion that ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is only a different version of ‘The Twilight Saga’ by Stephenie Meyer written for an older set of readers but this book deals with a much serious topic. Whereas ‘The Twilight Saga’ is a fan-fiction meant mostly for teenage girls around the world, Fifty Shades of Grey is all about stepping forward into the world of BDSM (B/D – Bondage and Discipline, D/S – Dominance and Submission, S/M – Sadism and Masochism. So this book excludes all the younger audiences from the picture by introducing us to a subject that’s much of a taboo.

EL James dedicated this book to her husband Niall who she considers as the master of her universe.

The two main characters in the novel are Anastasia Steele who is a college graduate and Chirstian Grey who is a business mogul. The story revolves around the love-story, typically the sex-life in between these two characters. Their first meeting with each other; Anastasia goes to Christian’s office for an interview: Christian shows keen interest in knowing Anastasia better whereas Anastasia finds Christian to be an intimidating gentleman.

The novel itself is an easy-read. It doesn’t require much of intellect to be able to go through it but it does require a lot of patience for those who are not used to reading low-grade almost vulgar erotica.

The building up of characters is quite flat; there really isn’t much of development. The story follows one simple pattern which tries to provide some sort of pleasure for those who lack imagination. The dialogues are simple, in some places even hideous. Anastasia plays the character of a simple, innocent girl who is introduced to the world of BDSM by Christian Grey in a fascinating manner which ultimately changes her perspective towards sex. Although the author tries to make the character of Christian Grey look as mysterious as possible but the story leads to a point where he comes out as merely a creepy stalker who is troubled by his obsession with the unusual need for sex. Anastasia being the innocent girl she is, seems to be drawn to the charismatic personality that Grey is.

The biggest question rises: Why and how something written so poorly is now considered as one of the best-selling novels of all time? The author admits that she wrote most of the novel on her Blackberry while being in the metro to her way to the office. The novel seems to be typically targeted towards people with mid-life crisis. It seems to be a tool to spice things up in a marriage that has lasted too long. It did work like a charm. Somehow Christian Grey being this mysterious billionaire businessman obsessed with an innocent girl like Anastasia whom he cannot give up on, fascinates the readers. The novel has also claimed to add something new to the monotonous domestic lives of housewives around the world.

As I mentioned before ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is one of its own kind. The biggest reason for its success is perhaps it being brutally vulgar and the quality of writing being so rustic, it is a simple-read even for people who are not much of readers.

Call it a fantasy, call it a fascination ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has shown us the shades within ourselves that we were not quite aware of.

Girl on Girl

‘Feminism’ has become such a misunderstood word that I’m not even going to get into all that; what I want to discuss here today is why there’s so much hate on the internet for women? In many instances we see if a woman keeps her point of view, she’s called a ‘slut’, ‘whore’, people even go on their physical attributions calling them ‘fat’, ‘ugly’; now ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ but some turn out to be blind in hatred. Why?

So here’s a post on Twitter that I came across where, a woman shared a video of another woman trying to imitate some dance moves and not only, she shared that video but also made fun of it only because the woman in the video is fat. I guess being fat is funny?

I don’t really see the fun part in it but what astonishes me is how a woman can make fun of another woman for being of a bigger size? To gain what out of it? Here’s my reply to that tweet.

I tried to put my point across but it turned into an argumentative approach from both sides so I stopped. Why can we not stand together and empower each other? We’re definitely not going to gain anything from striking our own dominoes down.

More and more instances are available online and here’s why: I’ll start with a small incident that happened to me earlier this month. I was in an Ola-share cab sitting in the back-seat; two Bengali guys got in and of course they didn’t have a clue that I’m a Bengali too so they started discussing pornography in Bengali. I must say it was one (If not the most) of the most uncomfortable and cringe-worthy situations of my life. They were discussing about some Dubai belly-dancing club and hookers of course. I felt like shouting once to tell them that I could understand every word that they were saying but I didn’t because, in a way I didn’t want them to go back home and talk about me. You know if I had protested then I’d have become one of their stories to discuss with their friends later on (Like how we were discussing Porn in an Ola-share cab and a Bengali girl sitting beside us understood everything). I just didn’t want to be associated with them. So the point I’m trying to make here is when people think that they can be anonymous, that’s when their true faces come out so what’s the best platform for that? Online of course. Online, nobody knows who you are so you can say the filthiest things that come in your mind and shockingly 99% of them are related to Women and Violence.

In a world where we’re already dealing with so many issues why can we not omit each-other being one of the issues? Why do we criticize ourselves to make us look weaker in front of the other gender? Where’s the #GirlPower?