How do you usher in the New Year every year? Party? Friends? TV? Waiting till 12 am and then calling everyone? Cake?

Mine are so tame! I sleep through the night, get up in the New Year and send wishes to everyone I know on Whatsapp.

LOL

Ringing in the New Year in my childhood was a bit different. Before the advent of TV, there was no concept of New Year celebration in my home.

Let me tell you in detail.

TV came to Bangalore in 1982. Till then we did not do anything for New Year. There was no precedent of that. New year just meant that a new calendar would be now inaugurated.

TV meant only one channel. Doordarshan. The telecast timings too were fixed. It is not like today’s TV, which is 24 hours a day. The telecast would start at 6.30 pm (later moved to 5.30 pm) and go on up to 10.30 in the night. That’s all! The telecast used to be divided into different slots. 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm was reserved for regional telecast. Then 8.30 pm to 10.30 pm was for National broadcast.

When TV first came to Bangalore, there was no exclusive studio where local Kannada programs could be produced. Hence the regional telecast would be Tamil programs from Chennai! This lasted for almost 6 months, maybe, till Bangalore doordarshan started its own programs.

On the New Year’s eve there used to be a special live broadcast that would extend beyond 10.30 pm and go beyond midnight. That was the first time that I understood the idea of Jan 1st! The hype of wishing everyone a “Happy New Year” at midnight was taught to me by Doordarshan.

Watching the new year’s telecast was a big deal in my childhood. Staying up beyond 10 pm itself was a thrill!

On the 31st, the dinner would be done by 8 pm. Then as 10.30 would near, we would clear the drawing room of all furniture. We would push the sofa away and put in soft durries on the floor. Pillows would be propped up against the wall. And the most important thing of them all, Razais or heavy quilts would be kept ready for use. Razai is a cotton stuffed quilt/blanket that is very warm in winter. After all it is December and winter is at its peak. We need to be warm while watching!

Just like the regular days, the special New Year broadcast too would be divided into regional and national sections. The regional program would be in Kannada and only uptil 11.15 or so. Then it would switch to Hindi programs.

We would huddle under our razai and become warm as toast. Looking back, I am 100% sure the programs were extremely lame. But we enjoyed to the full mainly because we were staying up late! That was like once in a year experience!

The regional kannada stuff included some folk songs, some lame skit and a maybe a poetry reading. It would not be really interesting. But we would sit through it all. I still remember a particular folk song from that time. I can sing it too. I remember it mainly because I had laughed a lot at that song. Not because it was funny but because the singer had a bedraggled look! My father, who would never EVER comment on anyone was startled enough to say that this lady forgot to comb her hair! That set me off and I rolled on the floor! 😀

The national new year’s program used to have a classical music section, a hasya kavi sammelan (satarical poetry reading), light music, some pop songs, and small drama. As the new year came nearer, there would be a countdown to 12 am. For many years, the telecast would end with the countdown. Then later, the program was changed to include half hour more of programming to celebrate the new year till 12.30 am.

We would wait for the countdown and then wish each other a happy new year, lug our individual rajais to our beds and go to sleep.

More often than not, I used to be so sleepy by the end of the program. But I would valiantly try to keep my eyes peeled to watch the countdown.

In the beginning, these telecasts were not so much influenced by films and film songs. It used to be more organic and had a lot of local flavour. The folk songs and dances, non-film music sung be artists from around the world were really nice. The Hindi poetry sessions by eminent poets of the time used to be a hit with my mother. She would laugh out loud at some of the satire. But I mostly had no clue what was so funny! I would try to get it but it used to be hit and miss with me. I would put on a smile as if I got the joke even if I didn’t. LOL 😀

My mother would enjoy the Urdu poetry section too. She would exclaim “Wah wah” at the sections that were exceptionally good. I used to be totally clueless! But, I could not let that show! From then on, I would listen with great concentration to catch each word and its nuances to understand poetry. If I can make something of Urdu and Hindi poetry now, then the thanks is due to Doordarshan, my mother and my pride!

Comparison Corner:
Staying up late till 12 was a great thing in those times. Now sometimes we get to bed at 12. Kids stay up more these days. The sleep cycles of both adults and children are chaotic these days to say the least. Staying up till 12 was a thrill to us kids then.

Now, my new year celebrations are so much more boring. I just go to sleep and Jan 1st comes into my life in the night just like any other day!

I hope your celebrations are a hoot and a half!


This is a part of the month long blog fest A2Z Challenge. I am a part of all the other enthu cutlet bloggers at #BlogchatterA2Z. Find more A2Z at  http://www.theblogchatter.com/blogrolls

Read my previous posts here:

A: And …. we are off!

B: Big Sister

C: Colour Dress

D: Dolls’ birthday

E: Elections are here

F: Festival time

G: Garden

H: Happy hours!

I: Independence day celebration

J: Jasmine

K: KRP

L: Library!

M: Money matters