Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tape of my Life

The Sony Walkman, 1979-2010
I think my generation is probably lucky or unlucky in the sense that we got to get hooked onto the widest variety of technological trends. Right from the VCR and Walkmans to CD’s and VCD’s to i-Pods and DVD’s, from Super Mario to Wii, we’ve been there, done it all.
The wonderful thing about audio tapes was that it made us listen to the whole tape, not just the tracks we thought we loved. I listened, I learnt, I loved, turned the tape to Side-B, Repeat. CD’s and i-Pods have that one evil. We’re tempted to shun a song before really giving it a chance. Ofcourse its convenient, and I don’t think I’d willingly turn back time but its still kind of sad.
My walkman got me through my 3am mornings and 1am nights in school, my first ever nights in hostel, and countless road trips to Kerala. It was through my Walkman that I fell in love with Green Day, with Coldplay, with James Blunt, with Five for fighting with A.R.Rahman. My Walkman acquainted me with Avril Lavigne, and Simple Plan and Eminem, all of whom frankly sound immature now.
In a twisted way, maybe even my radio passion might have rooted from the Walkman. Archana’s Modern Rock Album made me love John Ondrasik. My John Ondrasik craze made me request RJ Ganesh on FM Rainbow for the song. The acceptance of that first request resulted in a not-too-minor-obsession with radio shows.. and RJs.. That phase passed, thank god for that. But my love for radio didn’t, thank god for THAT. So in a very very roundabout way the Walkman made me what I am today :). I love to be dramatic, yes.
How elated I would be every time my dad let me buy an audio cassette! English CD’s cost Rs 150, no tiny amount even now. I’d be on a cassette high for a couple of weeks atleast, during which time I’d listen to the whole album again and again and again and again.. I’v never disliked a song in any of the tapes I’v owned.
It’s a logical step to terminate their production, but the implication and the realization is surprisingly emotional for me, and I suspect a lot of others.