Friday, December 09, 2005

No Frills TV

Have been catching a lot of TV these days (thanks to staying at home and at my aunt's place in Hyd) and it makes me wonder if the TV people are putting themselves out a bit too much to win the channel wars. If I had the time and money and lots more inclination, I would create a no frills television channel.

Take these emcees for instance. They go and on and on before playing a song or a clip. And the best part is what they speak has nothing to do with the song to be played. So I plan to get a bunch of those guys and gals, ask them to speak impromptu for a few hours and tape it all on the same day. Then I can play permutations and combinations of these before songs and not pay for regular comperes.

And no channel worth its salt can desist from playing movies. Apna channel cannot afford to screen "India tholakatchigalil mudal muraiyaga, thiraiku vandu sila vaarangale aana"(For the first time on Indian screens, just released a few weeks ago) movies. A better ploy is to screen age old hits when the rival channel is screening a 3 week old flop. C'mon what would you rather watch Michael Madana Kama Rajan(one of the best movies ever made) or Bambara kanaaley(a recent flop)?

The USP of my channel would however be the commercials. You know how a half an hour programme is usually only 22 mins long? I am going to make it 26 instead. When I am shooting for a 22 minute sitcom episode, I am sure that adding 4 extra minutes won't increase the expenditure much. And no in-house ads i.e you won't see ads for Will and Grace between the FRIENDS episode. There will textual ads (like Google ads) that run while programmes are on, to inform viewers about other shows. And ad time is considerably cut down, one ad minute in my channel will sell more and so I can make a profit too.

And there will be none of those contests which give expensive prizes for answering questions like "Who is the hero of Salaam Namaste?". And there will absolutely be no special programmes during Diwali and other festivals. To the contrary, even regular progamming won't happen on those days since we can't compete with other channels. We will just play movie songs all day or simply just echo some FM station.

Any other ideas?

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Yellow Rubber Band

"Pooja, get those yellow rubber bands, the ones that Maya Aunty got from US." Six year old Pooja looked askance at her mom. The band in question was bright yellow and shaped like a big sun flower. "But amma...” she hesitated. “That band is perfectly good and will go with your frock" Pooja looked at her dress, it was white with the tiniest of yellow dots on it. "But amma ..." she wheedled again. "Oh kids these days! You can dress the way you want to and throw your tantrums when you are older, listen to me now. Maya will feel so bad if she knows you hardly use the band. And what's wrong with it? It nice, bright and colorful", her mom started her tirade. She looked at her father for support, but he gave her a you-know-i-like-to-help-you-but-in-such-matters-your-mom-rules shrug and hid behind the paper. She considered crying, but there was the question of the empty cookie jar and missing pieces in the new Lego set which were yet to be discovered and she figured she would need the tears then.

Pooja got ready for school with a thoughtful attitude. “Pooja wear your raincoat, it is drizzling outside.” She smiled, the rain coat’s hood would save her from trouble at least in the school bus. But there was still the question of a full day at school to be endured and Sanjay too. Sanjay was the class bully and he gave everyone a hard time for no reason at all. And here she was, wearing a yellow rubber band – it was like waving a red flag at an angry bull.

“Hey Pooja wanna play Color Color?” Pooja froze at Sanjay’s sneer. Her hand instinctively went to her hair. “Hey Pooja has two different colored socks on.” Pooja looked down; she was wearing blue with green stripes on leg and green with blue stripes on the other. With one hand on her hair, she tried to roll down her socks so that legs were an uneven mass of green and blue.

“Class, please submit your leaves assignment”. Pooja remembered collecting the leaves, categorizing them, pasting them in the scrap book, showing them off to Amma and Appa, putting it on the table for the glue to dry and then her memory came to a halt. “I must be growing old”, she told herself while walking to her teacher to explain her predicament.

The rest of day dragged on, especially since she sat alone in the last bench to avoid eyes and unnecessary talk. There weren't any incidents, except when her dance teacher pulled her up for talking in between and her math teacher called her to the board to work out 9+7.

“So sweetie how was school today?”, Amma met her at the door. She burst into instant tears and amidst sobs piteously said “I told you I wouldn’t wear the yellow rubber band to school.”
So people, this time will you please believe that Pooja isn't me? Thank you! :-)