Friday, November 03, 2006

Domo arigato, mr.Roboto

conversations that begin with the question "what is name of the chief villain in giant robot" often end up increasing the ranks of sites containing words like jhonny sokko, giant robot and giant robot+monsters. they also often end up hitting the rewind button in the brain with the effectiveness of a two ton hammer.

i belong to the age when the number of channels on tv could be counted using the binary system. we had on and then off. the on state followed a rather strict schedule. monday - vayalum vazhvum, tuesday-some sad stage drama usually featuring a crying anandhi (thats her on the left) , wednesdays - chitrahaar, thursdays - i dont remember, it used to be honi anhoni or some such strange thing and fridays - olium ozhium. it was also the time when a sheet with some weird lines would be shown to indicate that there was nothing being transmitted. yup there were long stretches of time when there was nothing on tv (yikes!!). the national pastime was to wait till the swirling galaxy-like twin swooshes of dd arrived to some ominous (tabla?) music announcing that it was showtime. it was rare to see anything in a language that was not tamil, hindi or one of the million regional languages that usually got the 1.30pm sunday movie slot - the one that'd get turned on if u ever wanted to sleep after a nice sunday meal.

in between this cornucopia of high quality tv entertainment, we were also treated now and then to what can only be described as the best sci-fi series evvvver. we knew it as giant robot while the west knows it as jhonny sokko and the flying robot. it probably made several kids want to be a japanese kid with a flip watch on the wrist to control a giant robot. i was one of them. i could recognize the sounds that the robot made (as it went through some elegant calisthenics before its flight) from the playground and would be in front of a tv in moments. the villainous monsters were equally good (or bad). i dont remember the complete series but i do remember dracolon, the gargoyle gang and - as my friend pointed out the answer to the question - emperor guillotine. the search of course led us straight to you tube and so i have a video to show. i dedicate this one minute video ( though it is not mine) to our old black and white dyanora with its glorious 2 channel twisty knob.


Anonymous said...

dont remember anything about giant robot.. but, the images of Doordarshan and the regional movies on sunday brought back some amazing memories..

thursday was wonder balloon/ kanmani poonga? or manai matchi?

catcharun said...

ahh.. how could i forget wonder balloon...thanks,anon
of course there was also that session where a female would patiently read inland letters and postcards while an oldish gentleman would equally politely turn criticisms into something euphemistic

dont remember what it was called though..

Anonymous said...

i guess that was called edhiroli...echo!

few this week...and loads of hindi serials at 9:00 pm daily. this included fauji, circus, manzil, gul gulshan gulfam....

catcharun said...

edhiroli..of course