19 June 2014

Things you rarely see in India anymore


The last telegram in India was sent out on July 14 2013.
With it, the government ended the 163-year-long postal service.
In the face of SMSes, WhatsApp and email, it was only a matter of time before the telegraph service shut down.

Large cable TV antennas

There was a time when large dish antennas atop buildings signalled a certain affluence. It meant you had access to f-i-f-t-e-e-n channels while the rest of us had to make do with one or, if we were lucky, two!
As Direct-to-Home services invaded our lives, the large antenna has made way for a multitude of smaller ones jutting out of all possible corners.
The only reason you'd have one of those satellite dish antennaes on your building today is if you were broadcasting live news or were running a telephone company.

Maruti 800

Back in the eighties and nineties, Maruti used to be synonymous with the Maruti 800.
The car took the country by storm and became the nation's most preferred vehicle, despite stiff competition from the venerable Ambassador and the ubiquitous Premier Padmini.
Launched in 1984, the 800 was seen as the car of the young and the restless, while the Ambassador was preferred by politicians and bureaucrats.
Beginning April 2010, Maruti Suzuki has begun phasing out of the 800 with no plans to upgrade it to Euro IV or BS IV emission norms.

Horse cart

Another iconic image from Bollywood -- the tonga or the two wheeler horse cart -- is slowly but surely fading away into oblivion.
Its filmi connections range from the exciting race sequence in Naya Daur (for those of you who are old enough to remember) to Basanti and her famous tonga in Sholay.
The slightly more elaborate cousin of the humble tonga even has a film named after it, Victoria No 203. Interestingly, in all its Bollywood representations, the horse-driven cart is seen as symbolic of everything that is old and noble. In the race to beat time however, there seems no place for either.

Gold Spot

After Coca Cola and Pepsico left the Indian market in the late seventies, the Parle troika -- Gold Spot, Thums Up and Limca -- became the leading carbonated soft drinks.
After the markets opened up and the two companies returned to India, Parle sold the three brands -- and Citra and Maaza -- to Coca-Cola in 1993.
While Coca Cola realised the potential of Thums Up after years of owning the brand -- it has about 13 per cent market share -- Gold Spot was slaughtered in the interest of Fanta.

The Walkman

Once a must-have gadget for the young and restless, the Walkman is all but dead now.


In many ways, pagers were a blip on the radar of India's telecom history.
Like most other things, pagers were killed by the sudden growth in mobile phone sales and before anyone knew it, pagers disappeared from the radar in the mid-2000s, almost as quickly as they had appeared about a decade earlier.


You may argue that they've disappeared altogether, but no. From households and offices, maybe, but the typewriter is yet to take its final curtain call. You can still see professional typists use the good old typewriter in crammed stalls outside Indian post offices and courtrooms. The day that all of them switch to computers, however, doesn't seem too far away.

The television antenna

Up until a two decades ago, all Indian households had a tall antenna balacing on the rooftop or over the television set. That was the only way you could get reception on your television -- all two channels of Doordarshan! While these have almost disappeared from the urban landscape, you'll still see them in small towns and villages. But they're on their way out.

Video cassettes and players

Up until the '80s, practically every Indian household that could afford it had a video cassette player -- remember, this was before cable. Of course, once cassettes were out, the players were out. But you'll still find a few old ones around, most likely in homes where there's a major collection of cassettes. If you're smart, though, get your home videos and other one-of-a-kind recordings transferred to DVDs!

[Source   Rediff  ]


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