TV Has Taken A Backseat While The Internet Takes On The Wheel

Twice every week I go to learn the Tabla, with kids that are so young that they make me feel ancient. These kids are between 6 to 13 years of age and heavily into online games and YouTube videos. The striking difference between their childhood and mine is always quite evident.

Last week I was amazed by a 9-year-olds’ reaction to the fact that 25 years ago there were no cell phones. He refused to believe that my generation did not grow up playing games online or indulged in interactive videos on YouTube.

This got me thinking what my childhood was like, where did we find our entertainment? My immediate thought was TV and outdoor games. Lack of space in urban cities and popularity of the internet has almost put an end to outdoor games like hide and seek, and hopscotch. But what went wrong with the TV? TV still exists and is widely used. So, what happened to all the kid centric channels and shows? I wondered why these kids aren’t watching the television as much my generation did.

That’s when I researched on this topic (online) and figured kids between 7-16 years of age spend 3 hours every day online and 15-16-year-old teenagers spend 4.8 hours online. These children barely spend 2.1 hours on Television that has gone down from 3 hours in the year 2000.

Availability of on demand shows wide range of videos in all categories and freedom of choosing the time and place of entertainment has put Television on the backseat. The emergence of tablets and easy availability of internet in every corner of the house led kids to opt the internet over television. Approx 67% of the youngsters own Tablets and prefer watching their favourite shows online way before they’re released on Television.

According to this year’s survey conducted by Simon Leggett, Childwise research director – “TV viewing has been redefined. Growing access to the internet at any time and in any place and a blurring of television content across channels and devices brings a landmark change in behaviour this year. Children are now seeking out the content of their choice. They still find traditional TV programmes engaging but are increasingly watching them online and on-demand or binge watching box sets.

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Berries In My Pie

“To have a bakery is not an easy task”, said my father. I always wondered why and what made him say that? I saw him wake up early in the morning every day and wear his colorful zentai suit. He ate fruit tart or berry pie for breakfast, just the regular leftovers of previous night. Then he went to the bakery to bake lovely cakes, delicious muffins, lip smacking tarts, and pies that had sweet fragrance of vanilla essence, and freshness of real fruits. These cakes, muffins, and tarts were sometimes coated with caster sugar and other times with roasted almonds or nougat. Dad worked till 1 in the afternoon then took a lunch break and relished the regular meat pie and a chocolate chip muffin for dessert. It was his tradition to have an 8.7 min power nap daily before getting back to baking with his assistant Mrs. Berry tart.

At 4 p.m. daily they took their high tea break and relished on some hot tea with freshly baked cupcakes that were baked in rainbow colors. My personal favorite is the red velvet cupcake with double layers of cheese crème. Their rainbow colors are fixed for each day of the week and so I loved Fridays, because that’s when they baked my favorite cup cake.

At 8 p.m. daily their last baked cake made a grand entry out of the oven and filled the bakery with its sweet fragrance that had the power to make anyone drool for hours. This last cake of the day was famously known as the ‘Berry’s special’. My dad and his assistant had a pact of coming up with a new recipe daily and trying it out instantly. This cake as you must have guessed was the Berry’s special. It had the most random and creative combinations one could ever think of. These combinations and flavors worked wonders almost every time. Some of the famous cakes were Nutella cheese cake, gooey double chocolate, nougat and crème cheese, caramelized bacon, rosemary banana macaroons special cake, blue berry and raspberry mint cake.

They had another interesting tradition that they followed ritually. My dad and Mrs. Berry Tart celebrated birthdays of less fortunate kids on their way home with of course a delicious birthday cake that said, ‘With love, Tarts’. By 9:00 p.m. my dad returns home. That’s his usual time to arrive and for me to watch my favorite sitcom – How I met your mother. This reminds me…

…Mrs. Berry tart is also my father’s wife, my mother, and the co-owner of the bakery – With love, Tarts. She wakes up little later than my father does and sleeps little early than my father. How do I know that? Well, that’s a secret.  She also wears colorful zentai suits every day, wakes me up for breakfast, dresses me up in my zentai suit and drops me to the school. She reaches the bakery half an hour later than my dad and spends an identical day like him at the bakery.

This made me wonder what was so difficult in managing a bakery and spending a regular day like that. Then it struck me maybe my parents are busy acknowledging aliens every day. Apparently they come daily to the bakery to take all the freshly baked alienai-crème cake back to their planet and accuse my mother of stealing their secret recipe. This one is our specialty and earns us a heavy income. It is my mother’s invention; although she claims that an actual alien friend told her the recipe. My dad says it was just a dream but I like to believe it was her creativity.

There is another reason that could make the managing of that bakery difficult. I remember long time ago when I was three, my father told me that he met a fairy on his way to the bakery one day and she was crying her wand and wings out. The sugar fairy was upset because she could not celebrate her 168th birthday, as she had to pay heavy government taxes. So maybe this could be it. Maybe it is difficult to manage the bakery because my parents are always busy attending her fairy friends and serving them their special order of 168 rainbow colored cheese cream cupcakes daily. Probably that is their way of cheering up sugar fairy and helping her get over her depression and bankruptcy.

Suddenly a piece of white chalk lands on my head shaking me out of my day dream and I see my class teacher shouting at the top of her voice. When I adjust my hearing capacity from under the zentai suite, I hear her yelling, “Wake up you dreamer! It’s not easy to manage a class of 50.” And I get my answer.

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