Many times on social media, I have seen posts about how the generation in their 40’s and 50’s are the luckiest since they saw the best of both worlds, the old world and the new. That set me thinking, what are the things of the old world which are now, but memories. So lets go down the memory lane.
The very first thing which comes to mind is, both my parents were working and both of them came home on time in the evening. Mother was home from her teacher job by 5.30 and father was home by 6.30. Very rarely were they late. This facet of family life is now totally lost and a part of history. Now if you leave office at 6.30-7.00 the colleagues look at you with surprise and jealousy. Someone will even ask, “are you going half day today”.
Radio – I remember, there was no TV in our house and the only entertainment was the radio. And mind you, it was the big radio set , an antique piece, which had 2 big knobs, one for volume and another was for tuning, the tuner being so bad that the Radio Cylone channel was very hard to get. Other Bollywood music programs were the Binaca geet mala and Aap Ki farmaish, that’s all. Otherwise it was all about classical music or some Marathi programs, which my mother enjoyed. I remember my mother listening to one such program with such dedication, it can only compare with today’s obsession with daily soaps on TV. To catch all these programs on the radio, there was a long wire which went into the balcony, where it was attached to a wooden strip on which the antenna was attached.
The antenna reminds me of the TV antenna. The TV itself came to our house in 1975, the period before that, we used to watch the Sunday movies and Thursday Chitrahaar, at our neighbours place. The first TV was a nice one, black and white, by CROWN. Any bad reception and we used to rush to the terrace along with our father, to adjust the antenna angle. And there was a lot of shouting between the terrace and our balcony to reconfirm that the reception is fine. These frequent visits to the terrace and the shouting was like a picnic to us children and we enjoyed these interludes. One more interesting contraption on the old TV’s was the wooden sliding shutter, which used to be closed in the night. This was to protect the screen.
There used to be a flour mill in almost every house hold. The ladies of the house used to sit around the mill, taking turns to rotate it and gossip away to glory.
Tops and marbles – Remember playing with the tops? A thick cloth strip was wound round and round on the top and then with a fast action, it was unwound to make the top spin. Top championships were held within the building and outside to decide who wielded the tops best. I don’t exactly remember, but I think the championship was known as ‘kopcha’. The tops have now been replaced by Bayblades. And then there were marbles – glass marbles of rainbow colours and the bigger ones known as ‘daff’. Sitting on the haunches, playing a particular game, again don’t remember the name, which started inside the building compound and could go out of the compound, on the road, we children engrossed in it…
Lagori – it was played on the road or in the building compound and involved piling up of one flat stone over another, 7 such stones in the pile. One was supposed to break that pile with a ball and once broken, the team breaking the pile had to repile the stones before the opposing team hits you with the ball. It was one exciting game.
Cricket on the road and underarm cricket – played in the quiet lanes, this game is no longer seen, since there are no quiet lanes anymore. Whole tournaments were played on the road.
And ‘viti-dandu’? Who remembers it now. But in those days, the one who was an expert at it, was looked at with the same admiration, which is now reserved for Tendulkar and Kohli.
God bless the visionary who thought about making Kabaddi a viewer friendly game on TV. Otherwise it was headed for the same fate.
Weekends visiting uncles and aunts’ place – come weekend, and we would be packing a small bag for a quick visit to, sometimes Mama and sometimes Kaka. And same was the case when their families visited your house. Nowadays this time is reserved for visit to malls and restaurants.
New clothes purchases were done only on the occasion of a birthday or during Diwali. Especially during Diwali, the anticipation of new clothes excited us. Nowadays shopping doesn’t require an occasion and mostly depends upon any Sale announced in the neighbourhood Mall.
Visits to other family members were mostly by public transports like BEST buses and trains. Nowadays people prefer service providers like MERU, OLA, TABCAB, if they visit their relatives, that is. I remember, in those days, if father or mother decided to catch a taxi, it used to be the happiest day.
Many other things are now a part of history, no longer seen, maybe I am not able to remember now.
So guys, the feeling of anticipation and excitement has gone out of our lives and replaced by anxiety and stress.