It was a pleasant trip to my favourite mall in the city when I turned on the radio. Suddenly a new hit song was played and I couldn’t resist myself saying “what type of song is this? We used to have better songs at our time“. In a moment, I realized that I had just said a very famous sentence of my mother. She used to say this when we were listening to songs of our time. Gosh. This realization of entering the “aunty phase” of my life just ruined my shopping mood.
As soon as the idea of “my time” came into my mind, I got a flashback of songs and movies which we used to love at that time. It put a wide successful smile on my face when I realized that we did survive without YouTube and high-speed internet. When my baby will be grown up, she won’t even know about the devices like VCR (Video Cassette Recorder), Floppy disks and cassette players, which are obsolete now. I wonder if USBs will last longer or not as for now they have almost taken over the market of CDs (Compact disk).
Time is changing like a crazy camouflage. If I would compare the childhood I had, and the one my baby will have is going to be an entirely different generations and era. There was time with limited number of TV channels with everything on one channel; cartoons, TV serials, news and farming guide (Sona Urea). Oh man, how can I forget the tough job of fixing antenna on rooftop just to get clear signals? Every family used to have a dedicated person to go on top of the house and set the antenna with the help of rest of the family shouting on the top of their vocals “Ab theek araha hai channel, nahiii, ab kharab hogya” (Now signals are clear, No, it’s blur again). Unfortunately, the generation born with remote controls around could not taste the flavor of tuning channels and fixing antennas manually. I totally get amazed all the time when a few years old efficiently operates a tablet/mobile phone by smoothly sliding his tiny fingers over the screen. (Maybe its just me, but I do look at them like aliens for few minutes)
Similarly, mobile phones have evolved quite amazingly from simple wireless wide-heavy-phones to slim smart minicomputers. How many of you remember the no-mobile phone era with only landlines? It sounds so incomplete to me now but at that time almost every house used to have a landline phone and a diary with contact numbers of all relatives and acquaintances in alphabetical order. Awwiee, that was cute actually. *Nostalgia striking badly*. And yes, my favourite gigantic phone directory with yellow pages. It used to be an exciting feeling watching thousands of names and numbers printed on those yellow pages. With the arrival of mobiles, those poor directories are/were used by Tandoor walas to wrap chapatis. Poor fate of those yellow pages. *Sigh*
And yes, the change which I absolutely love is the super speed internet we have now. It was more than a torture to sit and look at the Windows 98 screen “dialing up” and when the internet was connected, it was another level of torture. Open a website and go out party, when you will be back, hopefully, that website would have open. It was a kind of mental harassment I tell you. For this, I can call my generation the most patient one.
Family get-togethers on vacations and special occasions were very different before mobile/laptop era. There were Ludo, cards, carom and other indoor games which families use to enjoy together and would spend quality time together without anyone busy in mobile phones. The children who have grown up with facilities of UPS and generator might never know that the fancy decorative lanterns were previously used at homes as a necessity. Although I used to hate those yellow light gas lanterns turning load-shedding time even more depressing.
Do you remember the era of analog cameras? O man, I remember the thrill (yes) to hold it and take photographs with such precautions to not waste a single reel. The privileged children of the time with digital cameras sadly can’t live the eager phase to wait for negatives to get printed. One wrong click and the photographer will be cursed for it instantly. Lol. Every house must have a whole cupboard section full of analog picture albums which are more like an asset for family elders. Digital era is definitely more efficient and shows the result in a snap of a finger. As an old 26-year-old aunt, I realized some things are worth wait for and develop their importance even more after being received. The DSLR captures have far better picture quality but “jo bat analog picture ki hai, wo maza dslr me kahan”.
Another childhood memory that is striking nowadays in this scorching weather is the Ramadan of winters. The childhood Ramadan memories are filled with cold breezy Suhoor. The struggle to wake up in freezing suhoor and leaving the warm blankets was so deadly which now seems a blessing as compared to the Ramadan in sweaty-no-electricity summers. I miss the unique excitement among siblings in competing to perform ablution from cold water, perform prayers, and complete more chapters of The Quran. I miss the pleasant school mornings of the holy month. After Fajr, we had to get ready for school and then would wait for the school van half sleepy in blankets. The ride to school from home used to be so refreshing when van driver used to play Naats on the route. The sight of roads used to be so lively as compared to rest of the months with fresh faces going to offices and schools. The pure energetic morning feeling used to engulf us. Since last few years, every part of the day is spent in saving oneself from the hot weather and running close to fans/ACs.
Now, I can in some way relate to my mother when things used to/still bother her and she would recall her time. Change is never bad, sometimes it is for the best. Let’s just pray whatever time it is, it’s a beautiful, trustworthy, pure and memorable time. XOXO