A new beginning
Those were the days, which are still alive in my memories. Very small things can make an impact on us when we are younger. We can remember those incidents all our lives.
At that time we didn’t have gadgets to keep us busy but we had our family and friends with whom we laughed, played, and time was spent without giving it a thought. There was always something on our minds and we knew what to do next. Social interaction was much more than today’s kids have. We had real friends, and we could depend upon them for our needs.
No matter what it was but we always knew that our friends and family are always there to support us.
While my mother didn’t differentiate between me and my younger brother but still she was a product of patriarchy, which we can still see in our society. In our families, girls were always considered to be “Parai Amanat.”
This means we have to go to our own house after marriage and that home doesn’t belong to us. That home was meant to be just my brother’s home.
This didn’t bother me at that time as in our routine life my parents didn’t make us feel different. We were treated equally and scolded equally for our mistakes. My father was very strict and we didn’t dare to do anything which was considered wrong in his eyes. My life was very disciplined from a very young age and that helped me become what I am today. The credit goes to my father.
He was an open-minded man and never stopped me from wearing modern clothes like bell bottoms or sleeveless tops. I was considered to be a fashionable girl. In those years when I was growing up slacks, sharara suits, and lungi kurta, bell bottoms were in fashion and I had all those dresses, which made me look prettier and more attractive.
My father was a govt employee and worked in AIR(All India Radio). All India Radio is the largest radio network in the world and one of the largest broadcasting organizations in the world in terms of the number of languages broadcast and the spectrum of socio-economic and cultural diversity it serves.
In the 1970s TV was not common in middle-class households. We used to listen to the Radio for our entertainment. There were news, music, drama, and skits on the radio which we regularly listened to as per our interests. Radio drama, with its different voices and sounds, projecting a similar atmosphere to that of a movie, kept me focused and entertained at the same time.
While listening to radio dramas may seem like something outdated now, radio was the machine that turned oral stories – often told inside one family – into a magical form of entertainment for a whole population. Before the video, before TV, radio dramas were the place where stories, more than just being read, took form.
In the 1950s, all the way to the 1970s, radio was the major popular entertainment. It was more than just a source of news: music and novels were also a major part of people’s everyday lives. In many ways, when people lived closed inside their own community, radio must have felt like the only direct thing connecting a whole family to those who lived far apart, to the country they lived in, and to the unknown (rest of the) world.
Radio was the first to start a widespread broadcast of theatre plays, most of them adapted to radio. Eventually, because it was difficult to make this adaptation since theatre plays relied heavily on what the audience was seeing, many plays started being written specifically for radio broadcasting. This meant that with the help of sound effects – usually created with the most common objects and a lot of imagination – the listeners had the full experience of a play, made for their ears only.
My father didn’t let the opportunity go waste, and when I was thirteen years old, he arranged an audition on the radio station for participating in “skits” and “radio dramas.” At that time radio was the main source of entertainment and people listened to skits(short dramas) and dramas on radio. I passed the audition and started working in radio station by taking part in those skits and dramas.
Despite what many may have predicted when television started to take over the entertainment industry, radio drama seems to be making a steady comeback in the last decade or so, especially through the voices of independent creators.
While our parents are still mostly used to listening to the radio, younger generations are now listening to podcasts, and that brings the advantage that we can actively choose what we listen to, and which matters should be worthy of our attention. Audio isn’t just a way of entertainment anymore, but a new way to learn, keep up with the news, and, many times, to advertise and expand a business.
To Be Continued…