They say there is a silver lining in all clouds of gloom. The lockdown and Corona, it seems, have also, at least, one. It has surely activated “intelligence cells” of some people and liberated them from the clutches of the unreal saga of saas-bahu stuff, which was being dished out by virtually every most-watched TV channel.

The absence of new episodes due to the government imposed lockdown and social distancing measures led people, addicted to these shows, to surf for entertainment beyond these shows. Interestingly, the saviour for many turned out to be our own age-old, old fashioned Doordarshan.

Though some sections saw a “conspiracy” to impose Hinduism when old episodes of “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata” were telecast onDoordarshan to keep people at home, the change was refreshing for many who got hooked on to these serials some out of their love for God and others for simple entertainment.

The addiction was so high that many felt sad when these came to an end. Gradually, they found more on Doordarshan, more of interestingly churned out fiction shows. To the respite of the entertainment industry, now the shooting has begun and new episodes of popular TV serials are being telecast. But, many of the viewers are not ready to go back to the world of “evil or angel” overdressed women.

Neeta Sharma, a government employee, says, “I tried to see a new episode of Barrister Babu, but just could not. It was testing my intelligence. The same old plot of a woman conspiring against another woman was going on. So, I switched to a Doordarshan show. At least, these portray a real world, usual women, usual dresses, usual men, and innocent comedy from real life situations.” For many, such an “awakening” had come much earlier with availability of foreign entertainment channels and streaming services.

Sunita Sinha, a housewife, who stopped watching popular TV shows much earlier, says, “The saas-bahu serials portray negative stories, and negative women, as if one needs to fight their own family members to survive in the world. Either women are conspirators or victims, but not real. When I watch foreign-made shows, I feel some intellectual enrichment, but these shows (popular ones), drain my energy and positivity!” Amid this channel surfing, it will be interesting to carry out a survey to find out whether there has been a real shift in people’s TV watching habits due to Corona. For, at least that will make producers to stop under-estimating people’s intelligence and make something interesting.