Sunday, December 11, 2011

The radio days

Sunday....... the day when we all love to laze around in bed, where my children ask me not to wake them up early, in other words my days are loooonger and things get done very late. That being the case, this sunday when I went to the kids room at around nine in the morning I found both the kids listening to some songs on the radio. Yes - the good old radio.The very own radio which Marconi patented. The radio which was a much prized purchase for all those people who went abroad those days. Who can ever forget the evergreen picture of  a person holding the radio on his shoulder and a suitcase in the other hand showing proudly to the world his most prized possession?

My father-in-law has a radio which he switches on everyday at five in the morning. He listens to devotional songs and at six one can listen to the ageless voice of M.S. Subbulakshmi singing the Venkatesha Suprabhatam. Since the radio is very old and sometimes goes off tune, my mother gifted a radio to him on his birthday. Yes it is difficult to find a radio in electronic shops these days. However call it sentimental value my father-in-law preferred his old radio. My younger son then got it to his room and now both my children listen to music on the radio.

Today when I found both of them lying on the bed and listening to music on the radio it brought back memories of my days. I remember as kids we grew up listening to the radio. It started with early morning news which my dad would be listening as he would be shaving and then as we used to get ready for school, we would be listening to stations like vividhbharathi which would play kannada film songs.  In the night again the radio was switched on at seven for the evening news followed by songs till about eight thirty in the night. So you can say it was almost a daily ritual and was a crucial part of our daily routine.

When we were in our teens we got hooked onto western music and the popular bands like Abba and Boney M were our favourites. I still remember western songs were played only on sundays at twelve. At eleven forty five the four of us would huddle together near the radio and tune into the songs. At times we  would valiantly try to copy down the wordings which were difficult to understand because of the different accent. We also used to listen to quiz programmes and used to enjoy matching our wits against those faceless participants.

During our study time also we had the habit of listening to music on radio and now I find my children also getting into this habit. My husband being a cricket freak reminisces how he would get up early in the morning at around five or so to listen to live commentary when matches were played abroad. Not only that he also used to follow the election results and very methodically would draw up spread sheets of the results. So you can say that radio was an indispensable part of our life. The link to outside world along with newspapers.

After revolution in technology radio slowly took a backseat and disappeared totally from our life. Infact there was a day when my kids were very young when we were talking about radio they asked us what a radio was? At that time it struck us as to how long we had travelled in life.

But today thanks to FM stations, radio seems to have arrived back with a bang or should I say music? So happy listening to all you guys there who grew up listening to radio.       


chitra srikrishna said...

Great post Shobana. The radio was my friend, another member of the family when I was growing up. Whether it was listening to the Binaca Geet Mala, Bournvita Quiz (much later) etc I identified these as the sounds of my childhood. The cricket commentaries were the best - esp when we visualized the bowler in action or the batsman hitting a six and the rush of excitement that invariably followed - an indescribable feeling.Being a radio artiste myself I cherish the association. While at first glance other forms of media today appear to have dimmed the charm of the radio an occasional night of listening to FM 100.1 (classical music) or bonding with the kids over AT40 on Sundays brings back the magic.

shobhana shenoy said...

Thanks Chitra.Yes now that you say I remember the Binaca Geetmala. I also remember Amin Sayani talking in his inimitable style. As the saying goes - those were the days (sigh).

Deven said...

Nice post Shobhana vanni....though my association to radio has not been as much as you all had, i still remember my parents switching on, radio Ceylon in the morning to hear hindi movie songs and evenings binaca geetmala...this was in early 80's...however after the arrival of TV those things changed...but now, thanxs to FM radio started listening to radio from my cellphone, while driving and its a welcome thing to listen to ads and talks on the radio..i specially tune to 104 fever FM as they mainly play hindi songs..and have got some nice RJ's on them...

shobhana shenoy said...

Hi Deven,
The long traffic snarls are bearable - thanks to FM. English station when kids are with us and hindi when it is just the two of us..)