Time certainly flies. Several decades back, one had to plan real hard to possess luxury items. Refrigerators, television and washing machines fell in the category of luxury items in those times. If one had a landline telephone connection, he was considered to be lucky. One had to apply and wait for ages to become the proud owner of one of those black cumbersome instruments. And, once the linesman came to your house to set up the facility, you would become a celebrity, the envy of the neighbourhood. People would become pally and get your telephone number and – you would suddenly receive phone calls at irregular hours with requests like, “please call so-and-so from the next house – this is his brother calling…..”
Does anyone recall the radio? Long before the TV usurped our leisure time, and became an indispensable piece of furniture in the drawing room, it was the faithful radio that held the centre stage. Annual licence fees had to be paid for the models that operated on electrical valves. However, if one had a transistor radio, the licence fee was waived off, provided the set was priced below Rs 125.00. The intention was to make it within the purchasing power of the common villager. People could be seen carrying the radio sets while travelling. Vividh Bharati was the hottest favourite station after Radio Ceylon. Today’s radio means FM radio – the fares it dishes out might be ok for the young generation but at times the meaningless jabbering proves to be real bouncers for the elders.