Growing Up With Radio to Smartphone-Rudra Pd Adhikari


It was the radio hanged on the wall near the door outside at my maternal uncle’s house, was the first radio I had ever seen. Being a kid at that time I was surprised to hear the radio.
“How the people are able to speak from inside this small device,?” I had enquired my grandfather.
“Grandson, it’s technical, you cannot understand and you don’t need the details, just let me listen the news,” he ignored my question.

Two decades ago, radio was the most popular means of communication. Not only at homes, people used to carry the radio that run with battery, at their workplace. They even carried them to their field, and worked by listening to the radio. It was not only the means to know the news and notices but also it was an important means of entertainment with musical programs, radio drama, informative and comedy programs.
Later on the craze of radio with cassette player grew. Those who play the cassette were considered as the people with high status in the society. Hymns, folk songs, speeches, lectures etc could be heard with such cassettes where in the audio materials recorded in the magnetic tape. We had to wait for rewind of the cassette to listen different songs of the same cassette. Through the cassette which can be played on left side and right side turn wise we could hear the audio materials having length of half an hour to nearly a couple of hour. Meanwhile the walkman entered the market. People used to carry it in their pocket and walked listening to it.

As the popularity of cassette player was reaching the height, television (TV) entered into the village that was merely a black and white one. Now, people having TV at home were considered as the prestigious. There used to be a crowd of people in the house having TV to watch TV programs. Though there was electricity in the village there were no cable and dish TVs, so people had to watch only government channel at that time.
The trend of keeping TV set at home increased day by day. Then, the telephone set was available in the VDC office. People used to reach VDC office walking many hours so as to talk with their relatives and friends in the foreign countries. At that time not only the caller but also the receiver had to pay the telephone charge. As it was expensive to talk in telephone, people used to talk faster and in brief.
Later on the color TV evolved. Now, it’s the turn of families owning color TV to be the prestigious one. Those who had been to Malayasia, gulf countries like Qatar, Dubai etc for employment used to bring color TVs. Along with color TV, the trend of bringing electrical appliances and accessories like CD, DVD player, woofer etc increased in a competitive manner.

The telephone set which was limited to VDC office now extended throughout the village in the form of codeless phone and available in most of the shops. Initially hand held mobile was too expensive and common people could not afford. Since the receiver also had to pay, in mobile also, people used to talk faster and in brief. Gradually relatives and friends from abroad used to send mobiles which were simple, just to call & receive, and have no advanced features.

In the early days computers were limited in few schools and training institutes. At that time Disk Operating System (DOS) was popular. Later with the development and use of e-mail internet increased. Internet facility could be enjoyed in every nook and crany of the cities. People used to go to cyber café for web surfing, chating, playing game and entertainment. Hi5 and Yahoo messenger were popular at that time like facebook and twitter as of today.
Those who were able to use simple mobiles in the early days, are using i-phones nowadays. Due to the changes made in appearance, quality and features the mobile is dominating all other electronic communication means. It is hard now to find people not carrying the mobile. Each and every person are carrying at least one mobile according to their economic capacity and needfulness.

Initially black and white Nokia set were popular. Gradually mobile of numerous brands and features took over the market. The features like camera, FM radio, memory card, audio-video recording added. Then the smart phones developed and took market. Android, iOS, blackberry etc. are becoming popular. Smart phones including i-phones with advanced features are being developed even today also.
Qualitative improvement in radio and TV can be observed today. Revamping with digital technology they are broadcasting online. The CRT displays are being replaced by flat LCD and LED displays. Similarly, the storage devices with limited capacity such as magnetic tape, floppy disk, CD, DVD etc. are replaced with small memory chip and drive.
In the later days users of smart phones increased tremendously. Along with the use of smart phone numerous mobile apps are being used. Now, radio, TV and newspapers are available in the form of mobile app. Likewise, most of the works done in computer now can be done in mobile. Not only this, we can also make banking transactions, fill up online forms and prepare official documents using our smart phone.
The generation which has become the witness of the evolution of smart phone from radio, should feel fortunate being able to inveterate with the changing technology. This generation is still waiting eagerly for the upcoming technology and be updated so as to make upcoming daily life comfortable.
(Writer Adhikari is an IT professional currently working in Rastriya Banijya Bank)