30 July, 2021

Reflections On A Box

That epic moment when we spotted ourselves on TV

Reflections On A Box

The most inspired thing about Hum Log was its name. These two words captured the essence of the show and what it meant for millions of viewers, texture intact. Hum Log was an account of both who we were and wished to be as well as of the times in which ‘we people’ lived. The year 1984 marks the eve of the birth of economic reform; it is the point of origin of a new generation as it moved decisively from one kind of world with its implicit set of assumptions to another. The serial also harnessed the power of television to provide that sense of collective intimacy that is a hallmark of the medium. By giving all of India (or at least the Hindi-speaking part) a common point of reference week after week in the confines of one’s home, it made all of us virtual neighbours eavesdropping into the lives of the cast. The sense of a shared destiny and a common set of questions united us in ways we had not experienced before. By bracketing our lives with those of the characters on screen, we created a community of shared...

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