Reliving the Days of BTV

By Mehrin Mubdi Chowdhury

Bohubrihi, Kothao Keu Nei, Shongshoptok, Aaj Robibar – if these words ring a bell, then you are probably swept off by the nostalgic BTV days.
There was a time when BTV brought the whole family and sometimes neighbours together under one roof. In more ways than one, the scarcity of television sets was a blessing in disguise-bringing families together; to enjoy a show after a week’s worth of wait.
With Netflix and Torrents reigning the internet today, we no longer have to anticipate for a show; it’s easily available for streaming and downloading. In other words, we no longer enjoy the feeling of waiting for a show; nor can be feel the disappointment of missing a show.

In more ways than one, the scarcity of television sets was a blessing in disguise-bringing families together to enjoy a show after a week’s worth of wait

Back in the day, there were only a limited amount of shows; picking a favourite wasn’t an option. In contrast, today if Game of Thrones was off for the season, the next season of ‘Stranger Things’ or ‘Orange is the New Black’ would be out already. There is always another show to look forward to gone are the days when watching television was a family affair, with your close cousins and neighbours huddled together, in front of a small screen, in the centre of a drawing room.
Also, it was hard to miss the neighbours as they brought in sweets and cookies to share while we had our eyes glued to a show. Fast forward to now; we rarely watch TV with others let alone by ourselves for recreation. Now we can swipe a song left with a motion of our hand, watch YouTube videos and even connect our work laptop to the big screen. The television audience have grown up, from being an innocent toddler to a professional adult. Even children now watch their favourite shows all by themselves.
Back in the 80s and early 90s, this was almost unthinkable. There was only one channel – BTV, with a specific set of shows and everyone enjoyed this in unison; a special association existed among everyone. Conversations were easy as everyone knew the stories, the characters and enjoyed dissecting the episodes together.
People were watching the same shows, listening to the same music and viewing the same news broadcasts.
Today, with satellite services and additional set top boxes, there are over 100 TV channels. We are stuck switching channels as there is so much to see, with so little time.
The very moment a show becomes tardy; we surf the channels, switching to one that is more gripping.
Few might argue that the constant flipping of channels is actually advantageous to the viewers because they have more options to choose from.
On the contrary, for Generation X the director- script writer would spend all their creative juices to create one show every week, building something worthwhile for their audience.
Today, with zillions of viewing requirements and limited capacity of ‘A’ class directors and story writers, most shows have lost authenticity and the gripping factor.
Back in the day, they actually gave everything a second chance. Today, even a ten year old confesses to boredom if they don’t get to watch something of their choice. BTV’s programs bring back a bittersweet nostalgia of days long gone, a memory to cherish. Where else would you find shows like Mati-o-Manush by Shykh Siraj and larger-than-life comic relief spectacle like Ittyadi by Hanif Shanket? Despite all the debates and criticisms attached to it, BTV as a channel held a charm that has moulded the childhood and adulthood of many; and that’s what makes it revolutionary on its own.