A hearful of goodies from the 90s.2 min read

There are times when your pocket is empty, but the heart is full with a child like emotion. And you scrounge for every penny to buy an audio tape to listen to your favourite artiste/band– Phil Collins, Duran Duran, Bach, L.Subramaniam etc. Most likely you started off the illegal way i.e. buying blank cassettes and copying from the original songs from a friend, and graduating to buying a copy for yourself. Your collection would grow over a period of time, but you had to tuck them deep inside your shelf and show it just to your best buddy, because your parents would know that every transaction to the local store had incurred an invisible service charge.

This was much before iTunes where you could buy tracks separately, so even if you were very careful and choosy, you would be still ‘cheated’ with unwanted tracks when you buy the tape for the track/s you liked. You wanted original tapes anyway, even though the collections you recorded made for far better listening, as it had all the tracks you loved.

‘Another day in paradise’ was one such song from Phil Collins (now available free on Youtube), was one of my first additions to the original tapes. It redefined scrounging for me, as Magnasound the company that released it, would typically price English music tapes over and above Rs.60. My mother would sense a sudden spurt in my enthusiasm for trips to the local store and notice my forgetfulness, much to my chagrin, to account for the handed over money.

Music all on digital now and there is no fool proof way to play the cassettes without getting stuck or at a higher quality than that is available now, but this boxful of goodies is a reference to the experience a true feeling. I keep reminding myself that it’s the dream in the heart that matters, and never the size of the pocket.

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