The silenced voice

The silenced voice

Representative image. (Photo/Pixabay)

Excluding me, who is the only living being in the house now, there are three antique articles in the house which predate me. These antiques were purchased even before my birth (I am 65 now). The first is the three-piece sofa set which has seen hundreds of friends and relatives over a period of seven decades.

The second antique is the steel almirah which was also purchased by my father about seven decades ago. The product was manufactured by a reputed company and looks as now as it was when it was purchased. The paint of the almirah has not faded, and the key made of stainless steel is still the same. There is absolutely no problem in operating the door.

The third antique is the one closest to me, the Murphy radio. My father had bought it after the WWII. The massive eight-band radio was manufactured only for a year and had all important radio stations of the world could be accessed through it. I had spent my time listening to almost all of them— the Voice of America, the BBC, Radio Moscow, Radio Ceylon, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and almost all the ones in India. Among the important events I could recall are our war with China, the Cuban crisis, the assassination of John F Kennedy, death of Nehru, Indo-Pak war of 1965, the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, the split in Congress in 1969, Arab-Israel conflicts of 1967 and 73 and the Bangla liberation war of 1971. I also had the misfortune of listening to the declaration of Emergency in 1975 as well as the victory of the newly formed Janata Party in 1977. 

I have listened to all the Hindi hits of the 50s, 60s and 70s as well as the lilting music of other languages. The songs emanating from all the great music composers, lyricists and singers of Kannada film industry of yesteryears still ring in my ears. One programme that I can never forget is the Binaca Geetmala, which was being broadcast from Radio Ceylon on Wednesdays at 8pm. Even after the TV made its presence the radio’s importance did not diminish as Doordarshan channel had limited hours of relay, when it was the only channel on TV. The old faithful radio unfortunately went out of order permanently in the late 1980s, much to our dismay. As the importance of the TV increased, perhaps, the radio felt that it had become persona non grata.

The radio after its demise was ensconced in one of the rooms on a table. Many acquaintances have expressed interest to have it as an antique but I have flatly refused the requests because of the sentimental value. Every day, I stand in front of it with the hope that a voice that I had heard earlier would emanate from it. But alas! All those voices have become silent. 

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