Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

TV Under A Tree

Something I saw the other day triggered a long lost memory from my childhood. Some of you may be aware of the public large screen televisions we have in place locally or even overseas, strategically placed usually more to display advertisements rather than disseminate television programs to the masses. Some that I remember in Kuala Lumpur are at Dataran Merdeka, Pudu Raya and near Jalan Ipoh flyover, but whether they are still there I have no idea now.

What really matters is that in my childhood, having a TV is not something every household can boast of unlike what we have in the present where it seems every bedroom may have one. And if I remember correctly there was even a Merdeka advertisement that touched on this fact when they featured a neighbourhood congregating at a neighbour’s house as sign of neighbourliness. So TV was a thing that was may be exquisite to some, even though we had only one or two channels at the time rather than being jaded with the tens of channels we have nowadays especially if you have a satellite TV subscription.

Yet the public service at the time was still top notch that in order to cater to the desires of the public to be fed news and entertainment from the idiot box. although programming at the time would not be idiotic as it may be now though quant to some, a special place was found for this outlet to be located. Thus it was then that under a large overhanging tree in a public park, you find a building with only a roof on top with thin pillars supporting it, with rows of benches looped in a half crescent around a TV inviting the public to partake their television fare there. And since at the time TV programming usually starts only in the afternoon rather than 24/7 you have nowadays, it is usually those and their families who may have had their evening exercises or other activities at the park who may be found lounging in front of the TV sets cooling down before going home to dinner. Mom saying to the family let’s watch TV then would not be a deprecating sentence as it can be nowadays in the world of couch potatoes, but actually an invite to have a wholesome family time at the public park. And that is what a triggered memory of the TV building at Taman D.R. Seenivasagam in Ipoh brought to this mind.

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