The article on the radio (Open Page, Aug. 7) evoked sweet memories of my association with it. We had a Murphy radio set. The popular brand had the photo of a baby in its calendar. Many chubby children were called Murphy babies those days. The signature tune of AIR still resounds in my ears. The radio did not eat into our precious time as we could attend to our work uninterruptedly while listening to it.
The portable transistor was my constant childhood companion. The Tirunelveli Vanoli Nilayam which played melodious Tamil film songs, the Ceylon radio station, and the one and only Vividh Bharati were my favourites. I loved the 15-minute Carnatic music programme which was broadcast every day between 8.45 and 9 p.m. in Vividh Bharati. I used to keep the transistor beside me all the time, sometimes even in the bathroom, because I did not want to miss any popular programme.
Radio Ceylon was the favourite of students. Listening to cricket commentary on the radio, standing in front of a hotel or club, was the order of the day. While giving a running commentary of a hockey match, the commentator also had to dribble his words to keep pace with the player on the field. This was a tough task indeed.
K.N. Subba Rao,
The article reminded me of three things — the radio, the dining table and my father. After a hectic day, we used to get together for dinner. My father would switch on the radio, and the songs, particularly from Vividh Bharati, served as a background to our conversation. At times, when we didn't have much to say or were too tired, the songs would help us relax.
We did not own a radio set in the early 1960s and used to stick our ears close to the neighbour's wall every Wednesday to listen to Binaca Geet Mala. A few years later, I became so adept at tuning the radio that I could do it by just putting my hand out of my blanket in the morning — an art that was the envy of my brothers who could not tune it even with their eyes wide open.
My father bought a GEC set made in England in the 1940s, which served us faithfully for over 30 years till a valve failed and could not be replaced. As ours was the only radio set in the neighbourhood, people used to throng our house to listen to the 7.45-9.00 p.m. “live” Carnatic music concerts of stalwarts of those days, and film music. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer once observed that people had gained knowledge of ragas, talams and names of composers from radio announcements.