Fun-filled, traumatic, joyous, troublesome, boring, cruel, pleasing, satisfying, challenging, tempting, misleading - yes Life is full of 'em - that is why life is so very SPECIAL - and yet the thrill is in "living" life! And all the accompanying ordeals are the frills attached with the thrills.
Monday, February 19, 2007
DD News then
In the local channel, that is DD-1 then, we had the "Seidhi Surukkam" (news in brief) at 7 and then the detail news at 8.40. Infact the first versions had this typical blarring music and a hand written, no-graphics note (at home, we used to envy the lovely caligraphy and wondered who was the man behind it). Then the graphics version underwent lots of changes before finally settling on the current one (quite impressive at that).
The first time when DD-1 became colour, it was the Seidhi surukkam which got the honours. H.Ramakrishnan (who also featured in "Vaanamae Ellai" and later became News correspondent in DD) was in all smiles when he was shown in colour.
Among the news readers, Shobana Ravi was the darling of the viewers. Those days, the talk doing the rounds was that she never featured in the same saree more than once on TV. And ofcourse, our women folk wondered the number of sarees she would have amassed (a worthy doubt indeed!!). Then came Fathima (I used to read her name as "Ahh.. Fathima" - the way its written in Tamil starting with the Ayudha ezhuthu "Ahh"). She became an instant hit with her diction, style and that soft smile while reading. She was even considered a rival to Shobana Ravi. Infact she was one of the first Muslim readers (women from Muslim community still hadn't ventured so publicly). I used to feel, a pottu was all that was missing on her cheerful face and used to place a sticker pottu on the TV to see how Fathima looked with the pottu.
Sandhya Rajagopal, Koperundhevi and a few others who also donned the show. The now popular Nirmala Periyasamy (her characterisitc "Vanakkkkkam" was not known then) was a TV announcer in DD then.
Among the men it was Arasu, Tamilzhanban (more known for his pencil meesai (he also used to figure in pattimandrams, also read recently that hewas a Sahita Academy award winner) and a few others. One thing common amongst all of them was their flawless diction.
The ones at the National level (English news) were popular at "All-India" level. My personal favourite was the soft spoken Nithi Ravindran who had this stylish grey hair and simple dressing. Among the men it was Tejeshwar Singh who had this deep manly voice. I also liked Rini Khanna, Sukanya Balakrishnan, Mini, Sunit Tandon (the frail looking bearded guy), Bhaskar Bhattacharji (with his thick brush musch and military haircut), Sangita (who was one of the youngest then and very cute looking) and the manly Shivendra Kundra. The names of Geetanjali Ayyar and Sukanya Balakrishnan suggested that they were from the south but the way they pronounced the names of places in Tamilnadu... urrgh... definitely puts a Tamilian to shame. We used to wonder, initially how to pronounce the last name of Usha Albuquerque. Komal G B singh, another famous reader, who always read with a smile, went on to become an official announcer in government functions like the National Awards.
Even in those days (late 80s), the readers were paid about Rs.2500 per sitting, which even today, is quite impressive.
Without much media attention in those days, its amazing to note the kind of adolation and fans the news readers gained in those days.