Spice of Life: Tune in to the good old radio for infotainment - Hindustan Times
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Spice of Life: Tune in to the good old radio for infotainment

BySuruchi Kalra Choudhary
Feb 12, 2024 10:59 AM IST

This World Radio Day (February 13), let’s revive a delightful pastime, which soothes our soul, calms our senses; an amalgamation of information with entertainment.

O behold the college campus! Zombies moving around, like sleepwalkers, lost in their own world, oblivious of life, enslaved by two buds thrust in their ears connected via bluetooth to their mobile. The tooth is gnawing their senses and leading them to a dark dungeon, figurative as well as metaphoric. One has to shake them rudely to draw their attention and jolt them back to the realm of reality out of their fantasy land. “Listening to songs” has been a perennial hobby, especially among youngsters.

Radio and I were inseparable during my adolescence. (HT File)
Radio and I were inseparable during my adolescence. (HT File)

Radio and I were inseparable during my adolescence. Panasonic ‘two in one’ with an electricity cable and an alternate mode of four fat battery cells: my proud possession. The news broadcast was prime itinerary. A hush would descend at home and it was mandatory to tune in the news bulletin, Hindi followed by English. Radio taught me the art of quick scribbling. For the Sanskrit news to be read in the school assembly when your house is on duty, you had to tune in at 7am and scrawl along. It was an exercise in fine tuning your senses and reflections. The ears listened intently, words resonating in the mind and the hand quickly inked them on paper.

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There came a ‘sing along’ phase also. As a song played on the radio, I ventured to croon, but the exact lyrics was a handicap. So out came my scrap book and I jotted down vigorously. I devised my own note-making tools – some abbreviations, few repetitive symbols and obvious fill in the blanks. Later I would rewrite neatly and look forward to the subsequent broadcast to warble along matching word to word, tune to tune.

I am an incumbent of a generation where the board examination included the syllabus of Classes 9 and 10. Mathematics runs in my veins, paternal as well as maternal inheritance, I recall studying with the radio beside. Sums and songs share an uncanny bond. Averse to afternoon siesta, reading a novel or pursuing a hobby like embroidery/macramé on a languid summer afternoon with the radio playing Bollywood hits was my favourite.

Even today when we travel, we tune in to the radio. As the anchor disseminates facts judiciously interspersed with thematic/ choicest songs, one is transported to utopia. At times the play list is amazing and one cannot resist the temptation to sing along. One tends to hum a lovely song heard in the morning throughout the day.

Well the contemporary generation has its own enviable playlist but the ‘willing suspension’ and the strong paralyzing effect worries me. The radio kind of accompanies you, it does not enmesh you and your senses are free. You can pursue your work, see/hear/talk, you are part of the scenario and the radio a companion.

This World Radio Day (February 13), let us pay tribute to the good old days. Let us revive a delightful pastime, which soothes our soul, calms our senses; an amalgamation of information with entertainment. kalrasuruchi@yahoo.com

The writer is an associate professor at Hindu Girls College, Jagadhri

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