Sound bites from the past


Memories come in various shapes and sizes – mostly as our own mental images, as experiences, as smells, as music, as sounds, as moments of happiness, and many other emotions that help us recollect a particular incident with amazing clarity.

I spent this week clearing hundreds of old audio cassettes, which we have somehow not had the heart to throw – though most of the songs are available on the Internet these days.

As I sorted through them, so many wonderful memories came rushing back. There were cassettes containing dance tracks that I had performed in school and university. I remember my mom taking them to a recording studio to get them edited to the required length. There were cassettes of all the hits that we used to sing, of our favourite bands. The tapes must have got worn out by all the playing.

There was an audio cassette labelled ‘Family’. I played it on my small cassette player. The familiar whoosh sound started. Somebody seems to have recorded our family on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Silly jokes, some singing, some teasing…and then my Dad’s voice. I choked as I heard his voice. How much I missed those days.

There were cassettes of our music lessons..many of them arranged by date. Then, lots of movie audio tracks.

I retained only the ‘Family’ and music lessons cassettes. All the rest, I threw away. Before I threw them, I showed my children the cassettes, explained how they worked and showed them how the tape was spooled inside.

As the spools in them rotated all those years ago, our lives happened!