I don’t normally rave about TV programmes; in fact I rarely (if ever) watch any TV other than with my family and even then only very select programmes.
I try not to be judgemental about this. I have to remember that everyone is different and everyone’s lifestyle choices are their own. But I can’t help but wonder why anyone would want to sit around watching TV! I simply don’t have the time and on the very, very few occasions I do decide to turn the telly on and see what’s on the box I am disappointed every single time! There’s never anything on worth watching!
I didn’t want to get TV at all when we returned to the country but Wifey insisted that we needed to have satellite TV for the kids if nothing else. Now, our kids don’t watch much TV either. They’ve grown up with it pretty much not being part of their lives. Between school ending late (5pm most days) and rigorous homework schedules and music practice I insist on and us eating together as a family for every meal bar weekday lunches when we’re all in different places – there really isn’t time for TV for Thing I & II either.
We got it nevertheless so we could access the Bangla and Hindi channels (my daughter loves bollywood and I try to keep up-to-date with latest events in Bangladesh) and so we could follow the occasional TV series we watch as a family together. We watch Downton Abbey and X-Factor (don’t judge me – I have teenage children and I do really get into the people they have on the show; I’m a people person, what can I say?) but precious little else.
However, when we first began to live in Bangladesh – back in 2008 – there was little hope of getting any TV at all but you can buy DVDs at outrageously cheap prices (largely because every single one is pirated – it’s impossible to buy original DVDs in the country). So we used to buy box-sets of DVDs to watch as a family. We did The Simpsons, of course, and were delighted to watch most of Dr Who too. We watched the movie greats – from Hitchcock to Kubrick to Spielberg’s best.
Some things though Wifey and I reserved for watching on the laptop in bed once the kids were asleep. We watched Lie to Me, Criminal Minds, Fringe and Supernatural, amongst others, pretty much right up to the present/their season finales. Trashy though some of these are/were they will always be special to me because of their link to Bangladesh in my mind.
But there was one TV series which we began in Bangladesh, watching the whole first season but had to give up part-way through season two because the copies were so bad that half the episodes barely played or wouldn’t play at all. The number of times we’ve watched a movie only to find the last five minutes is missing – but that’s what you get with pirated DVDs: Soooo annoying! So we gave up with this series until we returned to the UK. There, a very good friend of ours just happened to have the complete six season box set and lent it to us to begin again.
The series in question was Lost.
Yesterday, after six years of viewing and way behind almost everyone else in the entire world (who wants to watch Lost anyway) we finally watched the very last episode. In keeping with everyone we know who has seen it all the way through, I won’t reveal what happens but will say I understand why people debated endlessly whether or not they thought it was a good ending. There were certainly lots of things I felt weren’t answered (though the bonus material on the last disk had a clever little extra Lost-minis which wrapped a few things up!) but I have to say I was very pleased with the final season and how the writers kept me going right to the very end (even if I do feel it was all a bit rushed in that final episode).
But that’s not my reason for writing about Lost. My reason for writing is that the end of this series was like a sudden flashback (appropriate for Lost) to our life in Bangladesh when the four of us (or two of us) would cuddle up on the bed and watch something together. The stunning jungle scenery from the TV series also made me think of the lush greenery of Bangladesh’s sonar land – though the two settings are very different. Ultimately the message of the series was one of appreciating that the most important times in your life are spent with people who mattered to you and to whom you mattered too.
I miss the people who mattered to me in Bangladesh. I miss the children I taught, the people I worked with, the friends I hung out with and the folk who we were neighbours with. I miss the friends I made in Dhaka, in Sylhet, in Chittagong, in Rangamati and numerous other places. I miss LAMB which was its own little island on which my family were lost – joyfully and peacefully lost.
But I have my family here with me now, in England. I have the friends who are here who I missed terribly while living in Bangladesh. Moreover, I have access to the internet world which makes contact with all those who were, and are, important to us available every day. So this isn’t a post about how I wish I was back in Bangladesh (I do, you know that if you’re a regular reader. but that’s not the point); it is a post about how much people matter and a reflection on how I’m grateful that I have people in my life who share my journey, by my side or from the other side of the world, and remain important to me because they are there with me. In some cases, I’ve never even met these people in the physical world yet they are still precious and missed – such is the joy of the modern global village.
And whether I’m here in my ‘real world’ or there in Bangladesh on that ‘lost island’ I’m grateful to be reminded that I’m not alone, even when I feel, at times, that I am. I hope none of us are really.
I’m going to miss the friends I followed on Lost and I’m saddened there will be no new episodes, no new questions to be answered and, in answering, spawn new questions. While I can watch the episodes again (and indeed I might watch a few before having to return the box set to my good friend) I won’t experience them with ‘virgin eyes’ as it were. I’ll know what’s coming and (most of) what it all means. I’m going to miss watching the tale and thinking back to watching it in Bangladesh with the people who meant most to me and still mean the most to me now.
But there will be other ‘TV series’ to follow, to get lost in, to love and, ultimately, to miss when they finish and that’s as it should be. Even for this sentimental old fool who watches very little TV, it’s good to be reminded that the world is made up of very different characters and this is a good thing because that makes being lost all the more wonderful even when, sometimes, it’s not.