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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

OH, FOR THOSE ‘CASETTE DAYS’!


This generation has not ever used audio and video cassettes as they were born when CDs and DVDs had already replaced the humble cassettes. That was an entire culture that has been wiped off forever from our lives. There was a time when we could not imagine a world without audio and video cassettes. It began with audio cassettes which gripped our interest greatly while we were in school. I remember seeing the first audio cassette when I was in Class 8 or 9. It was a cassette of Ghulam Ali’s ghazals which my brother had brought from Delhi to Dehradun in the summer vacations. He studied at Delhi University while I was still in school in the Doon valley. We heard these ghazals again and again on our small cassette player, which he brought along too. I cannot express in words the happiness we got from hearing these melodies and some others when we bought a few more audio cassettes. Those days, less was more and contentment was the rule. We never hankered after more and more, as we do now — in these days of a fast changing world and material progress. If we had three audio cassettes, we were rich! Our friends began buying audio cassettes and then we would exchange them with each other to increase our enjoyment. It was a world full of innocent friendships and lilting music! Jagjit Singh’s and Chitra Singh’s “Unforgettables” was a great hit, bringing the ghazal to the masses, with simple lyrics and musical scores that still echo in our hearts today. There was not a sea of loud and forgettable music that surrounded us. We found little streams of tunes that flowed magically and became a part of our daily lives. Even now, whenever I hear ghazals like “bahut pehle se unn kadmon ki aahat jaan lete hain” , I remember my cassette of “Unforgettables” which I treasured for many a year but had to eventually part with it as it was too worn out.
When the video cassettes came in, our wonder was immense. Just imagine, not having to wait for Doordarshan to telecast a film of one’s liking! We could just go out there , to the video libraries and pick up any film we wanted and watch it at home on our TV by using a VCR or a VCP. The VCR had the recording function too while the poor VCP could only play a video cassette. We had a VCP that was very efficient (it was a Sharp product) and gave us years of happiness as we watched on it our favourite golden oldies like “Junglee”, “Janwar” , “Professor” , “ Arzoo”, “Mere Mehboob”, “Mera Saaya” , “ Sholay”, “ Parichay” and many others . It was like a dream come true! We thought that this was the end of the rainbow and we had found our pot of gold. We could not have thought at that time that there would be more sophisticated technologies coming our way in the future. What we saw after those years was beyond our imagination. The internet, the mobile phones, the CDs, DVDs, pendrives – the works! It is an entirely different world from the one of the 1980s when the VCPs and VCRs kept us awake all night and we found it difficult to get up and go to college the next day. The amazing “Drama Serials” from our neighbouring country were available on video cassettes and we were addicted to these . They opened up a world of emotions and romance that we admired greatly. The video cassette libraries were a place of social activity. One met one’ s friends, neighbours and relatives there, searching the shelves for films, new and old. One chatted with them and the shop owner participated in the conversation, giving his opinion about the films coming in every week. It was a lively time.It was simply not easy to remain alone or depressed. Social interaction was part of our routine and kept us feeling good. People would have friends over to watch a film on the VCR and then have a meal together.Life was simpler and our aspirations were few . The joy we got out of little things was immense. It is this joy that I am remembering today by recalling those days of audio and video cassettes. That joy, I am looking for. It is eluding me. 

Source and Credit :- http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/oh-for-those-casette-days.html
Forwarded by :- Shri. Jainendra Nigam PB Newsdesk & Social Media, prasarbharati.newsdesk@gmail.com

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