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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Radio Ga Ga

The language was Bangla, but the accent and the stories, distinguishably Chinese. An avid radio listener, my father tried to inculcate this dying habit into his sons. FM is not real radio. Short wave is.

Radio Beijing with its waves traversing the Himalayas captivated me. Stories from China, read out in textbook Bangla with a Chinese accent that sounded so sweet. I didn't know of the concepts of propaganda and censorship and I enjoyed every bit of it. Radio Moscow (now Voice of Russia), Voice of America and the good ol' Beeb. Later as I learnt to read, comic books took over followed by Doordarshan, then cable TV and now the internet. I no longer hear the crackle of shortwave. It's only the choked nostrils singer who seems to be blowing throughout the frequency modulation spectrum that my neighbours irritate me with.

Philips RL241 Digital Clock RadioA few weeks ago a telecaller from WorldSpace called up, I wasn't interested even at Rs 1999. I hardly listen to music these days. But when I eyed the new Philips RL241 Digital Clock Radio on a showroom display, I couldn't resist the temptation. Primarily because it had an alarm that would play me a station of my choice at the designated hour. I always wanted to own an alarm radio. Smaller and slimmer than a standard audio cassette case, it costs Rs. 440.

Other features:
FM (87-108 MHz) and MW (520-1610 KHz)
LCD display (for time and the frequency tuned to)
9-button control panel
Scrolling frequency and volume controls
1 foot long aerial
Wrist strap with detachable rear stand

2 X 1.5V AAA Batteries
DC 4.5V adapter socket

The radio is a wonderful companion, even in places where there is no electricity, there's radio. In an era when mobile phones have inbuilt radios, why did I feel the need for a separate piece of electronics (the mobile's got an alarm too)? I can watch TV on the PC with a TV tuner card but we like to watch TV on TV, don't we?


dwaipayan said...

me too want this piece of gadget!!!!when r u gifting me this?????my birthday is in may!!!!but of course u can send the gift in advance

aquamarine said...
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aquamarine said...

Hey Sowmyadip:)

Kemonacho? I know uts bin ages since i visited your blog.
Hope you are doing well and enjoying your new job.

The radio is a wonderful piece of invention. I recollect those days when I used to visit my father's hometown, a tiny hamlet, which perhaps does not exist anymore. You could hear the radio blaring from everyone's verandah, while the folks went about their daily work. The radio wwas the only gadget that kept them conencted to the outside world, the rest of it was left to your imagination. Those were the days!!

Shivangi said...

What can I say? I have been lusting after Worldspace for the past 4 years... Had pretty much taken it but then broadband happened. 24 hr high speed net means I can download any song anytime. My friends dont understand why I still dream of Worldspace... Sooner or later I will have it. I know I will... :)

Anonymous said...

i own one of those world receivers with lots of sw bands but hardly get the time to listen. i used to listen to bbc and christian science monitor in the days before tv. it felt real nice to find that u love radio too.

Anonymous said...

and me just got world space for 1500 bucks and boy, it rocks!

shivam said...

the last comment was by me, your "other" box was not opening and me don't have a blogger account anymore

Venkat Ramanan said...

Hey Soumya dude!
yes, Radio could be the best product made on Earth, for it is affordable and unites many a people here on Earth. Approximately 30 - 40 crores Indians listen to Radio everyday which is a very hugeeeee number!!! Only if it were properly also for educational and knowledge dissemination purposes inspite of the present "I want to dedicate this song to " kind of uses!!!

tony said...

I have never owned a radio clock!!! But Yeah I rememebr when I used to listen to all the manipuri dramas on AIR and of course the new 7:30 news..

Abaniko said...

I haven't listened to a radio for like ages now. I always prefer my cd player for music or the internet/TV for news. With the radio, you can't select the list of songs you like, there are no pics/video for news and I hate the commercial breaks.

Anonymous said...

You said it! A radio is a radio is a radio is a radio. There can be nothing to replace radio. It's not a listening device. It's a separate culture.

Accidental Fame Junkie said...

Oops... that was me AFJ! Sorry for the split comment!

Anonymous said...

you say shortwave is radio and fm is not radio, and then go on to buy a radio with no shortwave receiver. funny?

Anonymous said...

Hi Soumyadip,

I see despite u being a li'l irregular with ur posts these days, the popularity of ur blog hasn't died down.

That u ve started promoting products on ur blog is testimony to the fact that even corporate world is sitting up taking notice of the 'Mindless musings..' and making (or tryin to make) some sense out of it.

Lest u forget to thank us readers who religiously look for new posts despite there not being any more often these days.


Soumyadip said...

After very long a time, a post of mine has invited 10+ comments (that’s an achievement considering the limited readership of this blog).

Dwaipayan Don’t you get tired of asking for gifts being well aware that your miserly cousin isn’t sending any.

Aqua Bhalo achi. Was wondering where you had disappeared. Yes, slowly getting into the new groove and also enjoying it. I plan to write a comprehensive radio post later, this one was in celebration of my newly acquired gadget.

Shivangi The best things in life are incomprehensible.

Anonymous1 The world receivers were real fun but unfortunately never could lay my hands on a decent one.

Anonymous2/Shivam Broadband internet killed my WorldSpace dreams

Venkat Jahan na pahuche paani, wahan pahuche Aakashvani (where even water doesn't reach, there reaches All India Radio). The FMisation of the radio medium has shifted the focus from information to entertainment. Slowly we are deviating towards an era where we all will be entertained but remain ignorant.

Anthony Dramas have always been a big favourite amongst radio listeners. Speaking of drama, Manipur has a rich legacy of the theatrical arts epitomised by Ratan Thiyam, not many outside the theatrical circles know about him. Why not initiate a Wikipedia article on him.

Abaniko The radio has its drawbacks but its advantages are also many. Television, internet and print demand undivided attention, but we can always do aother chores without missing a thing on the radio playing in the background. The radio is very portable, it consumes very less energy, radio programmes are accessible from almost anywhere on planet earth, its reach is immense, it is very cost effective at both the consumer and the producer ends, literacy is not a handicap ... But then individual preferences vary. I log on to the internet to listen to radio.

Anonymous3/AFJ Radio is a separate culture and a very well cultivated one at that.

Anonymous4 Yes, I'm funny. Atleast I like to believe so. Decent compact SW receivers are hard to come by, all that was available for so long was exclusively FM, when I got one with MW, I jumped for it (and it also had the alarm that I always yearned for).

Anonymous5/Daksh It's a little difficult to keep up with the initial pace of posting. Even Sachin's facing a slump and I'm only an ordinary mortal.

06 award much music video said...
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