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A Nostalgic Symphony Called "Chithrageetham"

The most famous symbol  on TV screens in India

The most famous symbol on TV screens in India

Viewers watch the popular program called "Chitrageetham"

Viewers watch the popular program called "Chitrageetham"

This write-up is about the once a famous TV Program titled "Chithrageetham" being broadcast from Kerala in South India. The program was based on Malayalam film songs and it had millions of viewers that time. As time and technology progressed, the program lost its charm and viewers. I invite you to take a nostalgic trip to that golden period of the late 80s and 90s.

Priya is so happy. Her excitement can well be read on her oily face. The "Vazhot House" in Beypore village is converting into a camp tonight. Neighbors are marching onto Priya's house with stocks of snacks and weeklies since evening. Eve teasers, gossip mongers, innocent kids....all are there in the group. As this is the only home in the village having the luxury of a Color TV, they had no other option. Every Thursdays they register their attendance strictly, for they can't miss a program!

It is past 7.30 in the evening. The village folks are anxiously awaiting their most loved program "Chithrageetham" to appear on the TV screen. Though the men enjoy their time well, it is not so about the women. They are cursing Rajeshwari Mohan, the newsreader, for making them bored with all these unwanted news stuff!

The "Chithrageetham", a program showing film songs (medley) was the most watched and enjoyed one during those time. In the '80s and '90s, Doordarshan (also known as DD) was the only medium for entertainment. No Cable channels or Internet were available then. TVs too were not popular and only a few like Priya had this luxury in their living room. At any cost, people found time to watch it. For them, missing the program was so unbearable. Some even felt it painful too. They regretted so much if somehow they skipped "Chithrageetham" for reasons beyond their control. The program just lasted for 30 to 45 minutes only. But the ambiance, the mood, the enthusiasm it created were so different on those Thursday nights. You felt it on double dose if you had some romance in you. Those having a lover watched it romantically!

When it started with a good melody (like the one on this screen's right end) our happiness took us to the summit. Before one song ends, we would think of what is next. If we were lucky, the next number would be even better. We feel relaxed. Oh! it was a good evening with such beautiful melodies. Romantic scenes, emotional acting of our favorite actors, beautiful heroines- everything touched us deeply. Just three or four songs passed, we then feel anxious and think it is going to end. We prayed this to not happen. We wished if the program continued more time! We expect more touching songs. And feel luckier if find another good number on the screen. And felt sad if the songs were bad. It literally took us to a world of fantasy!

Our minds were wandering elsewhere then. We at the moment may not be there at the watching spot! We then imagined the company of our most loved ones with us. We may be there on the green field in the village, or at the seashore or walking through the lawns of a beautiful park. You may even imagine that you are praying at that small temple in the village. The imagination may be different if you love an urban life. Then you fantasize yourself sitting on the cozy chairs of an Ice cream parlor or eating a Berger. You also sip your favorite soft drinks-Thums Up or Limca. Your curious eyes may be observing the minute moods reflecting on the lovely eyes of your lover.

Pavizhampol Pavizhaadharam pol.....

You forget the surroundings and remained exclusively there in your own world. With excitement in your eyes, ecstasy on your heart, you watch another best number on the screen. Your joy goes to its extreme level. Now you surely calculate that this will be the last one. You slowly get upset. But no...there comes another, which was the ever best so far seen in the program. Excitement pumps your energy. You are jumping with thrill. A kind of extreme satisfaction fills in your already romance-packed mind.

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Your eyes sparkle, heartbeats. You are in a world of your own fantasies. Full of enthusiasm and ecstasy. All these times your eyes were fixed on two things only: the TV screen and on the wall clock. You kept on looking at the clock during every commercial break because you were so tensed and wished to know how much "happy hours" you have in your credit! All of a sudden it appears on the screen - the names of those who worked behind the program. It moves scrolled from bottom to top. Oh! unbearable....unthinkable. But it has to end there. It is time to start telecasting from Delhi. Now Hindi programs are going to steal your time and that killed the very energy you had till then!

You slowly return to the reality with a bit of pain. But remain satisfied for having witnessed a colorful medley called "Chithrageetham". It even gifted you a virtual fantasy though for a few minutes!

Think of the present days. Now, we have a bouquet of entertainment channels. All air musical programs and everyday. But of what use? Who cares? Who watches it with that old enthusiasm.........? Now we realise the relevance of the sayings of old people. We understand why they said: Too much of anything is good for nothing! Music too has no exemption!

It is 8.30 in the evening. The "Vazhot House" returns to its normalcy, its usual calmness. The villagers are marching back. Papers used for wrapping the snacks are scattered around. Skins of oranges and bananas are lying in a decomposed fashion. So do the left-overs of other food items. Priya has to clean it all. A boring and strenuous task. Yet she has no complaint or worry. Her only worry is the wait for one week! For the arrival of the next Thursday!!

© 2012 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth


Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on January 06, 2013:

Hello nazeer

I am unable to read your comments due to some technical reasons, may be with the font or something else. Please do it again, preferably in English so that I won't face this problem again. Anyhow please email me too what you have written in Malayalam.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on October 31, 2012:

Yes Sujithbeta, It was really our most cherished and nostalgic number at that time. Thanks for your comments.

Sreejith k from Kerala, India on October 30, 2012:

Chithrageetham was one of my family's best program.

aah good memories........

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