One of my Dad’s most prized possessions was his transistor radio. It was grey in colour and was encased in a black, vinyl cover.
Till we were teenagers, there was no television at home, and a lot of entertainment happened only through this radio.
From 6 am in the morning, till we left for school at 8.15 am, the music and voices from the radio accompanied our morning routine. We could hear a lot of static sometimes.
As my mom braided my sisters’ and my hair, we sang along with the advertising jingles – some that I hum to this very day. Certain announcements served as cues for us to get ready. If we heard certain announcements, it sometimes meant that we were running late (these were the ones we only heard on the weekend).
At night, after homework and dinner, as we wound down, we would listen to some lovely songs on the radio.
The radio was also our greatest companion during Indian cricket matches, where all of us listened to ball by ball updates of the match.
The radio stimulated our visualization skills, as we were free to picture what we wanted.
There were even more exciting moments with the radio, when the famous Halley’s Comet could be seen from Earth (somewhere in the eighties if I am not wrong). My Dad woke all of us up in the wee hours of the morning. It was quite cold. And with the radio commentary for company, we walked in our garden, looking up at a clear sky, glittering with a million stars.
We did not see the comet, but had a lot of fun trying to look for it. A wonderful early morning adventure, after which my mom treated us to hot mugs of chocolate.
My Dad was a good singer, and on most Sundays, we woke up to his deep voice humming along with the radio.
The morning and late evening news capsules were an integral part of our day. During these two capsules, we were expected to maintain silence. After the news, my Dad usually gave us an overview of key happenings.
I still have very fond memories of our good old Radio Transistor.