The article “An ode to the radio of yesteryear” (Open Page, Aug. 7) took me back to the days when Philips, Murphy and GEC ruled the radio world. Youngsters boasted of the huge radio sets they had. We needed a licence for radio sets. We had to renew it periodically at the closest post office. All small hotels had radios and played loud music. Listening to cricket commentary was an unforgettable part of those days. I still remember how, while listening to the commentary from the Corporation Stadium in Madras, we could hear railway engines whistle.
Madhu M. Rao,
There was no electricity in my house during my school days. I used to go to a friend's house on another street to hear Ungal Viruppam at 12.00 noon every Sunday. The panchayat radio was switched on only between 5.30 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. I held houses with radio sets in awe. When my brother gifted me a small Philips radio set, my joy knew no bounds. Radio is a good friend. We can read, write, even study with a radio on. It is my best companion till date.
As a child, I never failed to tune into Radio Australia when a big cricket series was on — be it the Ashes or India's tour of Australia in 1966-67. Who can forget the baritone voice of Alan Mcgilvray, the mellifluous voice of great all-rounder Alan Davidson and the incisive ball-by-ball analysis at the end of each over by the former Aussie Captain, Lindsay Hassett?
There was no electricity in my village till the 1950s. The first boxlike thing emanating sound through a battery operated system with a holy name called ‘radio' was introduced in our village panchayat office. Switching on the set was the exclusive privilege of the head peon who made all of us — who thronged the courtyard of the office to listen to the radio — sit in line in front of the speaker. We used to beg him to let us switch on the set for the thrill of it. The radio was switched off at 6 p.m. An affluent man who bought the first radio set became the next great man of our village. He allowed only a selected few into his house to listen to any special programme.
Although I don't strictly belong to the radio age, I remember the Sunday afternoons when I looked forward to abridged versions of Tamil movies to go on air. Saturdays had special programmes by school children in English. Madras ‘A', ‘B' and Vividh Bharati used to be our constant companions till the television arrived. To this day, we listen to a few programmes on Madras ‘A' and Vividh Bharati. This may sound weird to the present generation of radio listeners whose world revolves around the more peppy FM.