बस इतनी सी थी ये कहानी…
That’s how Neelesh Mishra ends his story every evening. His show ‘Yaadon ka idiot box’ is the only show that I look forward to, on the radio. The regular FM channels are now just a few songs in between a lot of advertisements. And these days in Gujarat, it’s become particularly difficult to listen to radio as its predominantly mudslinging between Congress and BJP.
‘Yaadon ka idiot box’ is a radio play narrated and enacted only by Neelesh Mishra. The stories are regular, everyday stories from your or my life. The characters live in a fictitious small town called yaadshehar (यादशहर) created by Neelesh Mishra himself. A small town where all of us had once lived. Its neither too far nor too close. It’s in a time when only Sharma uncle’s house had the telephone in the whole locality and everyone would go to Sharma uncle’s home attend calls. There were black and white televisions with wooden shutter doors (Oh! How I wish I had a picture of our’s). I still remember how mummy used to clean the screen and then close the shutter . Every night after the prime time shows.
I discovered ‘Yadon ke…’ By chance and now, as much as possible, I try to be cooking during its airtime so that I can listen to it without any interruptions .
I don’t know if many would remember “hawamahal”, a radio play that used to (& still does) come on Vividh Bharati ( the DD equivalent of radio). Hawamahal is mostly comic story lines and there is a whole cast with different characters being played by different people. Unlike ‘yaadon ke …’ there is no narration.
When we were kids, we lived on the 1st floor and had a huge balcony-terrace. There was a tall eucalyptus tree, extending way beyond our terrace, on one corner. Every night after dinner, all four of us used to sit in that corner, enjoying the night breeze and listening to hawamahal on our antique radio! It was a red and silver color radio set, with three buttons, one for tuning, one volume and one power.
Those were the days of black and white TVs with wooden shutters & no remotes (there was only one channel so no issues of changing channels:)); small radio; one telephone and those were the days when we had time to sit together and enjoy a radio program and not just limit it to drive time.
I miss my childhood.