We have a very wonderful and quite hilarious memory of our first television set. I was born and brought up in Bongaigaon, a town in Assam. I don’t remember exactly how old I was that time, maybe I was in 3rd or 4th grade. My father decided to buy a color TV. That time 21 inch color TV was more costlier than today's price J. During those days we had only one TV in our entire locality and it was a portable Black & White television. The news spread far and wide that my father would buy a new color television and people in the neighborhood was very much excited. People started to give suggestions and one uncle suggested my father not to buy a TV with a remote control, as those were not of good quality. He said that if the remote is damaged or lost then the entire TV would be useless. That was the time when remote control color TV was launched for the first time, at least in our hometown and there were only one or two TV dealers. My father decided not to buy a remote control one, may be because it would be little over budget for him.
My father knew one of the TV dealers quite well and decided to buy from there. Coincidentally on that day one engineer from the Beltek company visited that dealer's shop. The guy somehow convinced my father to buy a “Beltek Color TV” with a remote control. We, including many of our neighbors simply waited for my father to return home. Now installing a TV was not any child’s play that time as it required to fix the big antenna's with the booster. The antenna had to be fixed in a particular direction, else it would not be able to capture the desired signal. Everyone believed that the picture quality was directly proportional to the height of the antenna. People usually used metallic pipe to fix their antenna's and to support the tall pipe it required digging up the ground and hell lot of strong wires to support it from at least 3 different directions, each 120 degree apart.
Next day my father went to the dealer and explained everything to them. One mechanic came along with my father to help us installing the TV. The guy analyzed everything and said that the position of the antenna was wrong, as just at a distance of half a KM there was a tall and big tower of the Indian Oil Corporation. He explained to us that the tower interfered with our share of the TV signal. So, people started to work again and fixed the antenna at a different position. Many people worked hard for the whole day and at the end nothing was visible on the screen. The mechanic was adamant on his point that the IOC tower interfered with the TV signal.On that evening some people came to watch Chitrahaar and they were highly disappointed to go back empty handed. Next day people took our TV to an entirely different location, to the house which already had a TV in our locality. People tried many things, from rotating the antenna to adjusting the booster, but still nothing was visible on the screen. The drama continued for almost a week and not only us but the entire locality was literally irritated as well as very much frustrated. One uncle said my father “see, I already told you not to buy a remote control TV”.
My father decided to replace the TV with a non remote control one. One evening my father and one neighbor uncle went to the dealer to replace the TV. After so much of drama somehow the excitement was gone and I already went to sleep as my father returned home very late that night. As soon as I woke up in the morning I heard some kind of sound. I saw a TV in the drawing room and cricket match between India vs New Zealand was going on. The picture was very clear and the cricket field looked so green. It was like a dream to me and I just screamed “wow, the new TV is so nice” My father smiled and said that it’s the same TV we bought few days back. My father actually went to replace the TV but fortunately the same engineer from the Beltek Company visited the dealer's shop that evening. He did some simple setting in the remote control and almost like a magic my father could see clear picture on the TV screen.
It was really a very nice TV and my father had an emotional attachment with it. It had 12 channels and initially we watched only DD1 but few years later we could also watch DD2. Later when we grew up and took cable connection, we argued a lot with our father to buy a new TV as there were lot of better option in the market but my father never exchanged it. I think more than the money part, he was quite attached with that TV. When I was in my engineering college, our TV was at a very pathetic condition and finally my father had to buy a new one.