The little girl, with a big pout, declared: “I am bored…what shall I do…?” My friend’s granddaughter was sitting in her playpen surrounded by a sea of toys and on the verge of a tantrum. She started throwing her playthings out. Was she seeking attention, or was she just bored? ‘Bored’ wasn’t a word that existed in our vocabulary while we were growing up. And, I don’t ever recall my children using the five letter word.
In fact, they would either be playing with their friends at home or a few houses away. Growing up on the sprawling campus of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, the children were always busy. They curated their own entertainment — long before the small screen began disgorging it into our living room 24/7. They set up makeshift cricket fields. They played hide-and-seek, charades and, of course, doctor-doctor.
As for us adults, entertainment used to be a collective activity. You went to the theatre, movies, picnics or concerts with family or friends. It was much the same with cricket and football matches, going out to eat in a dhaba or splurging in a many-starred restaurant. The whole lot went together. And smuggling parathas into movie halls required ingenuity! It was always a great deal of fun — that feeling of getting away with things.
At your fingertips
The way we consume entertainment is gradually evolving into a solitary and station