When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon TodaySunday newspaper on 12 Feb 2012

Question: What was gifted to Sri Lanka’s Children of ’77 in 1979, was properly unpacked three years later, and over the next three decades became an integral part of the island nation’s modern lives?

Answer: Broadcast television.

Given my close association with the medium, overseas friends find it surprising that I grew up in a household, and a neighbourhood and whole country without TV.

Well, at least until I was 13. That was when Greater Colombo started experiencing re-runs of Sesame Street, Electric Company and other imported programmes from the US and Europe. Big Bird, Ernie, Bert and friends heralded a new word for us kids – and our elders – hitherto raised on a diet of newspapers and radio. Life would never be the same again.

It was when the…

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