Entertainment Image Credit: Verve
Entertainment Image Credit: Verve

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Madhu Jain looks back to a time of simple games and pleasures and compares these to the multitude of on-demand diversions available to all, in the present day.

Madhu Jain

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

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