16 May 2016


Our family’s most exciting purchase was a Phillips electricity operated Radio at Baripada house, during 1955-6. The specialty of that set was; it had a 13 meter band. On that particular band one can listen to radio Australia cricket news and commentary. There was a standing instruction for everyone, not to operate the radio during father’s absence and during thunder storms. There was an external aerial fixed at the top of the house with two tall bamboos, still then the voice had many breaks and cracking noise as the technology had not developed much. Fixing radio Australia was an art, which needed delicate movement of the curser and lots and lots of patience. Two other powerful stations adjacent to radio Australia, China and Moscow would change the wavelength very frequently. That was the main attraction of our house for the neighbors. Our grand father came all the way to Baghda Road residence of Baripada, from village to watch this costly purchase of his son, a miracle. Father’s radio infused interest in our family, so much so that three of his sons played cricket at the university level and two at zonal level. With a salary of 165 rupees that radio was a big purchase. It lasted for many years without any repair.
My elder brother took it to Calcutta Philips house for repair, where the mechanic told him to throw it at Hooghly River. My brother brought it back to Balasore and a small road side fellow repaired it for two rupees and that Radio was in working condition even after 25 years. Those days the present culture of use and throw had not spread amongst the old timers. The wife and even a shaving brush lasted for their life time. Today’s technology might have improved tremendously but it’s engineered in such a way that after five years one would be compelled to sell it or buy another in exchange. There is some news of wife swapping in certain segment of the society; hence time is not far-off when the exchange offer may be legalized like gay marriage, and this ‘swapping idea’ may catch up with the next generation?
Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy.

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