Whenever we have guests at home, hardly do they leave without asking why we don’t have a television set at home. Not able to afford one will not be taken for an answer with two decently earning software engineers at home. I tell them, instead, that the best way to get a husband help his wife in the kitchen is to not have a TV. Some laugh it away, assuming I don’t want to give the real answer. Some stressed-out wives (or husbands) then contemplate whether they should put their own TV sets on sale. Being newly married, my husband and I sat down one evening (read late at night – that’s when both return from office) discussing what we need to buy for our still- almost-empty house, and how much we could spend on each item. My husband animatedly announced he wanted a big TV, a home theatre and bean bags. He was ready to spend at least one lakh rupees for this extravaganza. I was aghast. Convincing case He noticed that I was looking at him like a lost kid. I told him: “After waking up as early as 6 a.m., working for nine to ten hours in office, commuting for another couple of hours, not to mention the daily chores, we return home close to 10 p.m. completely exhausted. With a TV, we would simply collapse in front of it, procrastinate dinner, sleep late and mess up our daily routine. To put it otherwise, we do not have the leisure for it at all. In fact, with all the running around on the weekdays, we are short on time even to talk to each other. At weekends, we can do plenty of other things to relax. So shall we put off buying it for a couple of months? We can get it if we have the need and time for one.” Seeing my aversion to having a TV filling the “living” room and being the amenable person he is, he agreed. Even as a kid, I was not very keen on watching television. Of course, one of the reasons was that my brother would be watching cartoon shows, which were not to my taste, or my father would be watching the news, which was not to my level of understanding. I detested the loud volume my grandmother used. As a teenager, I remember fighting to minimise the volume so I could concentrate on my lessons. My mother would struggle to bring all of us to dine at the same time, which she considered a healthy daily routine. Most of the family would simply be glued to some daily serial and eat in an absent-minded state whatever was served to us. None of us even bothered to compliment her for the tasty food. And it would be impossible for her to get us off TV as we were habituated. Hence, I always thought it would be easy to not have one than try to regulate it later.

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