The idiot box...you either love it, or hate it. Either way, it has gone a longggg....way.
I remembered the boxy 3 ft x 3ft monster that resembled more like a stack of drawers instead of the black and white telly. Yup, the idiot box used to be humongous and was only in black and white. Fast forward like 30 years ago, we were gaping at color tv....and now - it's as slim as you can get them!
I love the idiot box. In fact, when I was growing up, my dad used to complain that I spent too much time in front of the tv! Compared to my other siblings, I believe that to be the truth!
I was so addicted to tv (back then), that I was usually restless when it was time to visit my paternal grandmother. You see, my dad was born in a small island in Kelantan. Back in the 80's there were no electricity (nor flowing tap water, for that matter!).
My grandma's house was a small all wood with bamboo flooring structure. At night we used candles and 'lampu minyak'. I remembered being scolded (numerous times) - for the incessant need to blow the light off!
The kerosene lamp
And since there is no running water, each of the houses will normally have a 'perigi/telaga'. And somehow most of these'perigi' are located in front of the houses. Most of the houses also have huge balcony - where families gather for a chit chat - so you gotta get used to bathing in front of watching eyes! Yours truly included! But then being in an island means most of the islanders will take a dip in the river, instead of using the 'perigi'. My dad told me that by age 1, most of the children there are (very good) swimmers. And us? We used to bring the faithful 'cebuk' with us for a quick bath near the river...ha..ha..ha.
I wish it was this glamorous!
Coming back to tv, since the island does not have any electricity, of course going back to Tumpat means a week of no tv for me. So imagine, during one trip, I was informed by my dad that one of the islanders had bought a tv. The joy, the smile, the eyes - all light up at once! I dragged my mum to the house with the brand new tv (it was actually a relative's house - but then, staying in the island means most of them are your relatives!).
We duly paid 'samah' (Kelantanese for 50 cents, which was quite a sum back then) and jostled to watch David Cassidy'. It was the best episodes (more like experience) ever!
Hail to the idiot box!!!!