I spent my last holidays with my parents. My holidays lasted a full month. I did normal things people on vacation do: visiting old friends and family, sleeping resting and trying to add some weight so that individuals in the office can knock themselves over saying you enjoyed your break oh! You are fat.
I also spent my time watching Channel 166! Yes, that channel! Many of my friends would be appalled at my new-found hobby, because I know how much time and energy we have spent criticising all those series/soaps, but here I was watching it, but I can explain.
It was all my mum’s fault; she recently discovered Channel 166, and she was following the show religiously, mainly soaps and food shows. She usually woke me up around 2am to put on the generator for her to watch a series she must have missed during the day. By the time I had put on the get, sleep would have fled from my eyes and I would sit with her and watch the program so that I could criticise and predict what would happen… the same way I do when I watch Naija movies with her.
So here are the things I learned from watching Channel 166:
• It portrays the ways and life style of Indian people.
• Indians primary form of gesticulating is through head shaking; they shake their head too much that I fear it might fall off.
• Pregnancy alert is usually through fainting, unlike in Nigerian movies where it is through vomiting.
• The kids are superb at their acting. They are brilliant, and act as if they are performing their everyday activities. Acting is second nature to them.
• Tri-cycles are called tuk-tuk.
• Respect for elders is shown by touching their feet.
• They greet by pressing their palms together and saying Namaste.
• Remorse is shown by holding the ears.
• They swear by holding the throat or placing their hands on their head.
• Every celebration is referred to as a ritual.
• The plot is usually set like this: a man and a woman are meant to be married or are already married, but there is a villain usually in the form of another lady who stands in their way, they’ll go through hell and back before they finally stand together.
• The family is very extended; a man could marry and bring his wife home – to live with his parents, his brother and sister… not to mention grandma (never seen grandpa) and aunts.
• Vital information is never revealed at the right time when the revelation is about to be made. There’s always an interruption, a ringing phone, someone barging into the room or the person that is being spoken to would leave suddenly when the other person’s back is turned and miss the point.
• Two people can be searching for each other in a crowd. They’ll pass and touch each other and maybe even pick up something that the other person dropped and return it, but they’ll never see each other.
• They sleep with their jewellery on.
• They rely a lot on horoscopes.
• Doctors almost always treat them at home.
• Accident usually results in memory loss.
In the course of my watching this channel, one story particularly appealed to me “Antara”. It broke most of the rules of standard series. It treated the story of an autistic child and her struggle through life. It touched on infertility, adoption, cultures, values, and death. It was out of the ordinary.
I followed it throughout my holidays and I still called my mum for updates on it when I left.
Channel 166 is an Indian Media entertainment company that serves Indian content across India and other countries, and they feature, movies, music, series, and food shows. The most watched amongst these are the series; they are very entertaining, captivating, addictive, but could also be annoying. The series is aired three times in a day, and some are shown back to back on weekends affording viewers the opportunity of catching up on missed episodes.
A lot of people (especially women) are hooked on this station, and it has resulted in serious issues like women forgetting food on fire, forgetting their kids in school, and ignoring their family and friends whenever the show is airing.
Most men cannot comprehend what ladies find entertaining on this channel, so most times they quarrel and fight the women for watching it.
The suggestion, though, lies in being understanding: sit with your woman and watch the series, even if it is just to criticise the show. Women try going on a Channel 166 break for one week, when you return you’ll find out that you have not really missed anything much… one of the characteristics of the show is dragging unnecessarily.
In the end, everyone would be happy.
Photo Credit: Andrey Popov | Dreamstime