Just like most of my countrymen, I tried to be an engineer once.
The keyword being ‘tried’ here. I might not be an engineer now but still, whenever someone is talking about science I get a big hard on. No, not because I tried very hard and learned something but only because there were times when Cartoon Network couldn’t entertain me and for all those times, I had the Discovery Channel.
Seriously, it didn’t matter if you had Arts, Commerce or Science later in your life, we all grew up watching the same kickass channel that gave us hopes of creating crazy stuff, venturing into outer space and solving the mysteries of the universe, one crazy and amazing show at a time.
You remember how when we used to be kids every teacher would come and just for cheap thrills (I presume, can’t think of any reason why) would ask about your future plans? Well, I think Discovery Channel was the reason why most of the students said things like astronaut, paleontologist (also Ross), marine scientist and what not!
This channel made us all ambitious growing up, science was so much fun until we actually had to calculate all sorts of weird stuff like the current flow, magnetic field, age of the MDH owner, Rahul Gandhi’s IQ, the amount of airplane fuel used by Narendra Modi in a year, etc.
A lot of credit goes to Jurassic Park for making Discovery Channel all the more interesting. The movie made us curious about the extinct reptiles and then Discovery Channel had detailed documentaries about dinosaurs that made everyone feel like a dino expert back in the days.
Let’s not forget, if it weren’t for the Discovery Channel, our parents would never have let us near the TV as much we were allowed. They were pretty chill with the fact that the kids are watching ‘important science stuff’ and not wasting time while watching TV.
But, yes, till puberty hit us and all the documentaries started repeating on the channel, I think everyone genuinely enjoyed watching the cool and nerdy Discovery Channel.
I never really went to a zoo or an animal sanctuary but I knew all about animals (or I thought I knew) because of the Discovery Channel. I knew how the lions hunt in a pack (lionesses did all the work), how lazy but deadly crocodiles are and also random facts like it’s the male seahorse that gets ‘pregnant’.
The introduction of sex in our life also started with Discovery Channel as we saw wild animals being filmed by the nosey documentary makers from the channel.
We even had dinosaur porn growing up!
Discovery may have got new shows now with HD quality, but it ain’t the same anymore. You gotta give credit to Man vs Wild for getting everyone interested in a man surviving in the wilderness while giving PETA a middle finger one lunch at a time, but the Discovery Channel of the 90s was something else entirely. Or maybe we just grew up and the kids now are tripping on the current shows.
Even now when I visit home I turn to Discovery Channel, turn the language to Hindi and peacefully go to sleep just like old times. Thank you Discovery Channel for making us all scientists while it lasted.