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Tag: remember

Audio Cassette

A lot of the young (or younger) people these days does not know what a cassette is. It is something like this.img_20170129_110154878

 

It has a tape with a kind of a magnetic layer on it which has music (data) encoded on it.

In an audio cassette, you have to play from the beginning, and you cannot just skip to the next song. You  fast forward the player, so that the tape reel rotates fast, and then stop the fast forward and play  it to check if  you have stopped in the correct place. Although there were some high end players which can sense the silence between the two adjacent tracks and stop it automatically, but seeking to the next song was purely a skill. Also, no random jumping, just sequential. This cassette has 11 songs by John Denver.

A magnetic reader can read the audio and play it (an audio cassette player). This is a cassette which I used to listen at home more than a decade ago, possible fifteen years ago. I got it out today and played it. Once one side has ended it felt indescribably good to take the cassette physically out and change the sides (which you have to do). This was fantastic.

I kind of like all the old stuff. I have an old Aiwa Walkman (portable audio cassette player), Intel 80486  system, and Intel Pentium MMX, an  Intel Pentium D,  an AMD Athlon X2, old iPods, 3.5 and 5.25 inch floppy disks and their drives. A few very old printers, including the old dot matrix printers, Punched cards and their reader, old physically large hard disk drives which can hold, say, a few hundred megabytes. Also, I believe we still have the old rotary phone, and also Nokia 1100, and a lot of other things, including calculators, memory units, wireless phones and etc. I love all of them and have still preserved all of them. These are fantastic pieces of hardware.

After playing the cassette, I remembered all of these things. After I compared these to the kind of phone I carry, I think still, these things have a greater value than anything. In fact, whatever I have used, and is not being used, is still kept in my home, even if they don’t work, as they record a piece of history and represents.

I am pretty sure, after a few decades, these will be gold.

 

 

The trusted (?) taxi

This happened a long time ago, more than a year ago. I reached Bengaluru airport at around 12:00 am or around such time. I wanted to immediately reach my room and try getting some sleep before the next working day starts.

Although at that time there would be no traffic, but I did not want to push through the airport bus crowd. Therefore I took a taxi. These airport taxis are very good and you pay whatever it is on the meter, along with a receipt.

I got into the taxi and told the destination. It is around 40 kilometers from the airport, therefore it is time to relax for around an hour. Nothing to do except occasionally check if we are taking the correct turns, although these guys follows google maps, and always follows the direction which was discussed before boarding the taxi, or whatever you tell.

After I got down, I gave him two 500 Rupees note. The fare is generally on the range of 800 ~ 900 Rupees. At that day too, the bill was around 800 Rupees, as far as I remember.

He told me that he does not have enough notes to give me the balance change. This kind of situation is very common to trick the passenger to not give the money back. Many people won’t spend the time and effort to make change and just let the driver keep the money. Or, it can also be the case that the driver really has no change, a pretty viable situation.

I did not have change either. I called a person in my apartment and asked him to keep some 100 Rupees note ready. Then I told the taxi person to wait here or come with me and I will give him the exact fare. He replied that he cannot leave the car as there was no parking, and he will not let me go without paying. Fair enough. Read the rest of this entry »

The “gentle” thief

This happened long ago, possibly 14 ~ 15 years ago, but I remember this very clearly, because this was a very new experience for me at that time.

I was in a toy shop with my mother one evening. The toy shop also sold a few different cosmetics in a corner where a a few women were trying out some products. This was a pretty old shop run by an old man, which we often visited.

A certain girl who seemed to be from a well to do family (as per current “society standards”), who was way older than me (as she was twice as tall), was opening nail-polish bottles and applying on her nails to test the colours and how it looks. The old man told not to break the the seals of the nail-polish bottles to test them, instead he told her to let him know so that he could get the samples out. The girl told okay, but as the sample set did not have all the colours, she anyways continued breaking the seals anyway. At a point of time all her finger nails were coloured.

The old man was very busy attending the others, and a few others were waiting to get attended along with us. The old man once again requested not to break the seal, as products with broken seal will not be sold. The girl was very rude and taunted the old man told (when translated) something like “I need to test things before I buy, isn’t it? There are shops who fool people and sell bad products”. Although this is kind of a valid statement, but the way it was told this was very indicative and disrespectful for the old man. She told it softly, but the tone and indication was otherwise. The old man happly replied that if there is any defect with the product, she may bring it to the shop and get the money back.

The girl had two more girls accompanying her. I was observing what they were doing. They were talking within themselves and now her friends were trying out the nail-polishes. The old man was getting very upset as almost all of the nail-polish bottle seals were broken. So he requested yet again politely and re-stated the cause why he is telling not to break the seal and tried to take the box down. Now the girl told very loudly so that everyone can hear, and it was something like, “Oh, you will not even see the products we buy?”. Till this point the people who were not following this, would have thought that the old man was the one who was creating the trouble. Then the girl told a few other stuffs which embarrassed the old man. Most interestingly, she actually has not “misbehaved” superficially.

Next the old man went to the other corner of the counter. Now what I saw was important, and at that time I was absolutely stunned to experience.

Read the rest of this entry »

Queue

There are some things which we need to do but keep on delaying because either they are nasty or hard to do. We will keep on lying to ourselves and push it away and they keeps on being pushed away, until a critical time comes when it absolutely has to be done. Or, later we would tell “Oh! I could have done that if I tried”, but we did not try.

Three years ago, I needed to submit a form in my last university, and the deadline was in three days. There were only two counters open, and the queue was massive. The sun was shining over the head and it was terribly hot,above 30 deg C. It was a misery to stand on the packed queue, with people pushing each other. There was me and a friend of mine, who went to submit the form “early” before the deadline arrives. The initial and obvious reaction was to go back immediately to our rooms and avoid this queue. Read the rest of this entry »

The Beef is Pork confusion

We were in the legendary Tundey Kebabi in Lucknow, Uttarpradesh. We were around 10 people for a one day outing from Banaras Hindu University to Lucknow. We ordered mutton biriyani, mutton chap, chapli kebabs, parathas. None of us eats beef except me and another two friends in the group, one of whom was a friend of us from Herat,Afghanistan, studying with us.

It was a tiring day, as we started at night from Banaras and travelled overnight in train and reached Lucknow. Then we directly went for hot samosa and jalebi, and roamed around under the sun, had some kulcha chola. Visited a few places (not discussing about them here).

After the meal was served, people started eating immediately. The food starting vanishing quickly. Everyone was eating, except our friend from Afghanistan avoided the beef chapli kebabs. I kept his share on the plate. He just continued eating the other kebabs and biriyani. When I told him to eat them before I finish them off, he told that he was okay and asked me to eat them. I thought it was a tiring day, another friend felt very sick and could not eat at all, therefore he might be feeling a bit sick as well. I started to eat his share of the beef chapli kebabs.

Now the interesting thing happened. Read the rest of this entry »

Christmas, for me

I have some memories when I was a child,  my brother decorated the Christmas tree and I helped him decorating the tree, walls and the room. My brother’s friends came and had a very good time, with music, cakes, food, and the most thrilling Christmas crackers. No photo (may be some are there) or video record remains but some nice clips are embedded inside my mind. After that when they grew up, this celebration started to fade as he and his friends became busy in their work. The tradition was taken up by me. The most thrilling part was to buy the decorations. I went to the shops with my mother, and sometimes my grandmother and bought different kinds of decorations, cut paper and make different kinds of design and worked really hard on the Christmas day. I never wanted to buy a new Christmas tree, although it was old faded and didn’t looked that good. That old Christmas tree was like an old friend, I liked to decorate it. I don’t remember who, but some one bought a new smaller Christmas tree. It didn’t replace the old one, instead it sat beside it. Read the rest of this entry »

Forgetting Names

I am very bad remembering names and relating them with faces. I had a book  from Reader’s Digest with different kinds of mind puzzles along with their descriptions. I used to read it, and  liked to tryout different puzzles and check how I was doing.. There was a puzzle which required to remember names and faces of people. In one page, faces of about 10 to 12 persons and their names are given. As per the book, one should inspect it for 30 seconds and then turn over to the next page, where the same faces are arranged in a different order, but their name fields are blank, and which has to be filled. I always failed to identify the faces. I managed to get a few correct matches. Although I am good at relating an entire sentence with a small scribbling like image and some other kinds of stuffs, but the face and name relation proves to be very difficult for me. Read the rest of this entry »