“Harjas, get working on your homework.” “Okay, as soon as this story of Chota Bheem finishes.”
“Harjas, have your lunch.” “Just bring it in, I am watching Chota Bheem.”
“Harjas, why have you spread your toys all over.” “This is Bheem’s Petra town.”
Harjas and Harjas’s Chota Bheem. He eats, sleeps, dreams about him. He loves “Ladoos” because Bheem likes them. He uses old dupattas of my sister and my mother to make dhotis for himself. And the only toys he likes are swords and bows and arrows. Hundreds of time we have tried to wean him off his addiction. Hundreds of time we have failed. My sister and my mother often try ways to keep his mind off his Chota Bheem. While I wander off to my childhood.
Ours was a simple life. No cable connections in that tender age. The only addiction being the “Chitrahaar” every Wednesday 8:00 P.M. and a cartoon section every Sunday that had stories from “Potli Baba Ki”. And they were a must watch. Nothing withstanding.
Then we were introduced to the cable connections. And we were introduced to the Disney Hour, Duck Tales, Tom and Jerry, Alladin, Small Wonder, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, Different Strokes, and The Little Mermaid ….. I don’t think I can ever finish this list. Was I addicted? I definitely was.
I remember working by the clock for the sake of these addictions of mine. The second the clock struck 6:30P.M. (and I meant it too … I would not let the seconds hand on the clock to move on to the next calibration), my pencil would be down. I would not care if I was in the middle of sentence or even if a test was due. Off I would go to the drawing room to watch my serials. I also remember having made great efforts for not missing them. I switched my milk-time to match with the serials and would be sipping my cup for full hour.
Come winters, and we face voltage drops. And watching television was not advisable. We used to connect the tube-lights of our rooms through voltage stabilizers to be able to finish off the daily home assignments. But would I let that come in my way. Definitely not! The stabilizer from our old refrigerator, in fully working condition had been stacked away in the storeroom. I took that out, dusted it and took it to the drawing room. Connected the television through it and soon was lost in that charming world of Jeannie. I would brave an hour of dim bulb light and inclement weather since tube-lights and heaters won’t work. No wonder I now have a high power spectacles to remind me of my adventures.
Today, while the sensible self has learnt many a lessons (which I dutifully share with my nephew), the crazy me is still the same. When, after a lot of prodding and pleading, Harjas agrees to go home and finish off his homework, I dutifully take his seat and get engrossed in the very “Chota Bheem”. And other days I simply tell him that since the channel of Chota Bheem is experiencing technical issues, we will have to watch Tom and Jerry. After all, we all are kids at heart. Are we not??? And I do get him off his Chota Bheem. Purpose solved. J