Times have changed and we have come a long way as a society here in Bangladesh. Whilst some have managed to survive the transition and remain relevant, others have faded with time. Here are some that may not be as prevalent in availability, but remain memorable till date.
Good TV shows: Let’s face it, the TV shows that we have today may be good but are nothing compared to the ones that we had back in the ’90s. In those days, the only TV channel we really had was BTV with its reality shows, talk shows, soap-operas, etc. The legend goes that everyone would be home early on evenings TV shows were scheduled to air and the roads would be almost deserted. Shows like Kothao Keu Nei, Bohubrihi, and Nokkhotrer Raat were very much enjoyed by people of all ages. Again, BTV broadcasted a pretty good collection of international shows. The Sword of Tipu Sultan and Alif Laila were Indian shows dubbed in Bangla that were of immense entertainment to the children alongside the many foreign animated television series.
Good relationships with neighbours: Given that televisions were not as prevalent back then and people really only wanted to watch BTV, it was not uncommon for neighbours to watch TV together. Neighbours and relatives all around would gathered to watch Notun Kuri. This practice went on well into the mid-2000s, when people would gather to watch the finales of singing and dancing reality shows of home and abroad. Nowadays, we barely know who lives next door, let alone the heartwarming practice. Neighbourhoods before were one of the most treasured relations in society. However, with time, the essentiality and dynamic of it is becoming obsolete.
Baby taxis and more rickshaws: Baby taxis may be available in other cities of Bangladesh, but you barely see one these days in Dhaka. Not only baby taxis, but there were also more rickshaws, too. There was not much traffic in those days like today, nor was the weather so unbearably humid. Thus, it was not unusual for people to take rickshaw rides in evenings simply for pleasure. Even without cars, people would reach certain destinations faster than we do now. Basically, roads were more peaceful and less-infected with harmful, black fumes. There was also this rustic charm that is now missing in most areas given the rampant urbanisation and deforestation.
Cassette players and VCRs: Back then there weren’t many computers and laptops. There were no tablets or smartphones either. Music, however, has always been in fashion. Back then, cassette shops would teem with youngsters and adults alike. Almost every family owned an average-sized cassette player and many had portable cassette players. VCRs and VCPs were also very popular then. VCRs were useful for both watching cassette-videos and recordings. Since there was barely any access to internet, VCRs and VCPs were really important and access to them was pertinent.
In search of better, convenient alternatives, we let go of things that end up holding some sort of cultural significance. Whilst it is all for the best, it is still necessary to recall the things that shaped the era many reminisce about so vividly. Not only is it amusing, it also gives us a vision of how everything has evolved over time.
Aysha overthinks her palms sweaty. Placate her at firstname.lastname@example.org.