Home > Uncategorized > Jingle Bells all the way! :)

Jingle Bells all the way! :)

Above you have the Hindi Title track of The Jungle Book. The Jungle Book, as you must be knowing, is a much-loved work for children by Rudyard Kipling. This is by far, the most easily remembered jingle from the heydays of Doordarshan. Back then, Japanese ‘hairy’ cartoon creatures had not bumped down the Idiot Box Street and a few of us, spending cozy childhoods in the early 90’s enjoyed something more substantial. Maybe because of the gender issue, or ‘coz am plain crazy, I do not subscribe to the mobbish fan following of Ben Ten, Pokemon or other such stuff that blast off the kid’s space like visual land mines. Anyway, So this came on Sundays followed by this

and this

and this

You can well imagine how I used to gobble up my maths tables (very unsuccesfully), rip geography apart (literally), skip the prepositions and sneak up to my sister’s study to gain additional support. My sis, equally excited, pitter pattered with the pens and balanced chemistry equations and her eyes on the watch, ticked off the time with a nervous giggle, and scampered casually into the living room of our exceptionally small apartment. And then, our black and white television crackled to life unwillingly, like an old man on gin, woken up at the wrong hour. And then. Well, then, heaven was ours. Since then, I’ve been an involutary collector of jingles. Old, obscure ones. Popular ones, forgotten ones, everything.

Take R.K. Narayan’s Malgudi Days for instance. I still haven’t seen anything like it. This had Carnatic Classical jingle, which was dripping with nostalgia of the old fictitious town called Malgudi, tucked away somewhere in southern India. The serial began with the music accompanied masterful handrawn illustrations by veteran cartoonist Chandi Lahiri.

Then there was the legendary Mahabharat and Ramayan. I was in Chinsura, Hooghly district at the time. On the days Mahabharata was due, the whole city changed from a lazy-go-lucky one to a perky-go-hurry one. Everyone, from the little lad at the tea stall to the bald middle aged intellectual in the dhoti,had a spring in the step, a twinkle in the eye. As if they had suddenly found something to live for. Everyone was in a hurry to finish off all the errands. Bazaars opened early. Haggling and bargaining on the fish was cut down to a bare minimum. The entire population was building up an apetite for the showdown. Today, Bheeshma was going to make the choice. Today, Krishna wasgoing to convince Arjuna to pick up the arms against his own people. Today, everything would be drowned for one hour. The maid that hasn’t been coming for a week was forgiven. The mother-in-law and the bride forgot their infamous brick-brat. The mother forgot about her son’s maths exam the next day. One hour. And eternity settled down.

I remember this incredible anecdote which just goes on to say just what this show meant. My brother and I are just 9 months apart. He should be around fourish then. He developed a jealousy towards Mahabharata. He saw the entire household go berserk, turn all their precious attention from him to the show! So what did he do? He was too young to figure out how the television set operated and therefore couldn’t switch it off.He simply parked himself right in front of the screen so that we couldn’t see the programme. The elders coaxed and cajled. He was always pacified only when somone pulled out an oldtin of white puffed rice (bengali: muri), from under the bed. He gave up, came back, and munched on the muri, while all of us gaped at the screen.  

And there are lots more I remeber. Little peppy numbers smelling of happy times.

Like bells jingling. Like carols rising over the babe in the manger. Like an ill timed cake just popping out of my oven. Merry Christmas guys. Let the Santas Live. Amen.

Yours, Joblessly      Te Jobless Ideator

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