New Delhi, India: At the “Practical Solutions to Everyday Hindu Problems” conference held yesterday at the Taj Hotel in India‘s capital, leaders in the Hindu ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), met to discuss how TiVo, a revolutionary television recording technology, has impacted their religion.
Introduced early last year, TiVo is a service that operates a digital video recorder. For a small monthly service charge, TiVo will automatically find and record all of your favorite television shows. Also, TiVo does not require additional tapes to record programming but rather the shows are digitally saved right in the memory of the device, providing a more accommodating and less cumbersome alternative to the VCR.
Jai Jay, founder of Hindus for Integration, a group which encourages Hindus to find creative ways to co-exist in an increasingly non-Hindu world, spoke about how TiVo has transformed the lives of Hindus worldwide. “You see, in the Hindu philosophy,” explained Jay, “time is not seen as being linear, as in the traditional Western sense, but as cyclic. In every moment, one is experiencing the past, present, and future- every second contains an infinity.”
While refreshing, this cyclic notion of time also seems cause problems for its followers, especially when it comes to entertainment. “Of course, my biggest conflict with this non-linear concept of time, as shared by many of my fellow Hindus,” claims Jay, “is that we consistently miss our favorite television shows, which are scheduled in a linear fashion throughout the day.”
Jay experimented with many different techniques to try and catch his linear television shows within his cyclic lifestyle. “Often times I would try and look for divine signs that would indicate when my favorite television programs would be on. One time I witnessed a cow giving birth to a baby elephant and I thought surely Lord Ganesh was giving me a signal. And so I ran to the television and turned it on, hoping to find Clarissa Explains it All reruns but alas, that quirky clever young girl was nowhere in sight, and I was forced to watch old cricket matches.”
After struggling with this problem for years, Jay soon discovered new TiVo technology and was immediately liberated. “Now harmony has once again been restored to my existence. I can record my favorite TV shows and watch them whenever I please for as many times in a row as I desire. Just yesterday I watched the evening news before I watched the morning news! Incredible! I am no longer handicapped by my challenging concept of time.”
The subcontinent’s positive response to the product has more than delighted its creators. “I mean, we honestly did not anticipate Hindus being one of our biggest buyers,” laughs TiVo co-creator Scott Peter, “Frankly, we had the impression that Hindus wouldn’t buy it because, well, we thought Hindus were pretty stingy.”
Jai Jay was not at all too stingy to purchase the $150 TiVo. In fact, he bought three, one for each TV in his home. “One can never be too non-linear,” joked Jay, “Especially when one has satellite TV with 450 channels!”