It doesn't take a Houdini act to escape that suffocating tangle of cables any more.
The other day, I was driving back and decided to tune into 92.5 FM, which used to be my default channel till the folks behind the studio realised that there are only 14 people in Mumbai interested in international music.
So they fired most of their jockeys, changed the channel's name from Go to Radio One, turned Hindi, and started playing Kajra Re every 10 minutes. And then they had a hip-hop number sung by Abhishek Bachchan which would make 50 Cent leap from an airplane. Without a parachute.
Accepted, FM is not for me anymore, and so I have an MP3 player in my car that plays 200 songs on a loop. I went back to radio only because there's only so much Freddie Mercury one can listen to in a fortnight.
Alright, so I was listening to FM for a change, and heard an advertisement by, I think, Hathway Cable, for a cable television network. You can get 166 channels, sports, music, movies and news, and pregnant whales, the ad said. I couldn't help but chuckle.
Hello Hathway, Incablenet and the rest, do you really want us to subscribe to you now?
At a time when the same grainy television feed that you send us is showing ads for Tata Sky? At a time when every other big fish, including Reliance, wants to beam pregnant whales direct to home? If you insist, read on.
You got a full decade to get your act together. And you ruined your opportunity. You send goons to connect cables to buildings, you install poor quality cables in the most haphazard manner possible, you never had adequate boosters, and then you send more goons to collect money for the service you never provided.
I could never get across to your local office, and when I did, I could never get the chap who answered the phone to beam Star Sports on a Sunday afternoon to watch Formula One live. And when I did, some of you had fun swapping channels, so that I never caught the end of the races.
And then you took great pride in preventing Mumbai from seeing the Sydney Olympic games because of some issue you had with Doordarshan.
Followed by a blackout of World Cup soccer in Japan and Korea -- oh yes, don't even mention the Chinese channel you beamed towards the final because some sports channels didn't pay you enough money. Ditto cricket matches.
You turned the sports buff in me into a complete wreck, and reaffirmed my faith in other sources of news (like print and the Internet). As I write, the first 21 channels from your feed to my home are worse than the prehistoric terrestrial transmission from DD. And
then last week you went on strike, leaving me with a brand new 29 inch flat monitor in blue.
I am waiting to buy my very own DTH service. There was a period when I was worried about the proposed conditional access system more goon visits?
But I'm finally past caring.
Now, when can I get a WorldSpace receiver for my car?
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