BY SHITAL PRADHAN
I feel very strange; way the world is rolling on and on each step surprises are following up. In my three decades....well, well, well when I write on historic perspective it does not mean that I am sort of an old man with spectacles and being with books and materials of the past. I am asked how old am I, well I am much younger than I look I just reached 30 this July and I enjoy life as any other normal youth does...it is just that passion on Sikkim, I am more involved over it...Nevertheless I enjoy what I do and that is the secret of my living.
Person without a goal is much like a snake without its venom. I do not know whether my saying fits here. Ya coming to what I am writing this time. Internet today is something like we cannot imagine life without it. Much like some decades back it was mobile than television and similarly it was radio and so on. When I look back my old photo albums I have few or say around 7-8 photographs in black and white which makes me part of that transformation that took the world by storm. It gives me a feel that I was that part of moment when science and technology was making way for better days.
I still remember I first heard or saw television at Singtam was the funeral of Mrs. Indira Gandhi in 1984 at Captain's house (a well-known name at Singtam). I was then 6 years old. I have that hazy imagination of people in white dress collecting woods and burning it. Those days not everyone had a television like today. I never knew who Indira Gandhi was but one person I was able to recognize was Amitabh Bachchan. Well prior to television entering at Singtam there used to be few video parlour out here. I do recall watching films like Sholay, Betab and others. I am sure I saw Sholay at the video parlour of Kundanlal Sharda. In later years there was Bhatt Uncle's video parlour where we used to see most of the Hindi films till early 90s. We were at Singtam and hardly go for Gangtok just to watch movies at Hall; there were very little moments where I remember I went with my parents to Gangtok just to watch a movie. Few movies I watched in cinema hall were Saino, Akhir Kyun, Samjhana, and Basuri to name few. Those were the old days as if it was yesterday.
My father bought a small 15 inch black and white television when I was in class seven because I was visiting my friend's house regularly to watch TV. Those times we even used to watch Krishi Darshan, a 7 pm show on agriculture, when we never knew what they were talking on. But it was fun to be in front of that TV screen. Few years later telephone was brought to our house, I was very shy to hold it on my hand. The first time I uttered "Hello", I had laughed for more than a minute. It was really funny scene.
By the time I reached class ten, my father brought a radio cum audio transistor from Kolkata where he had gone for training. I remember the first audio cassette I bought was of Mani Ratnam's Anjali. Most of my teenage and till today I preferred Mukesh's song the best, his song was something that caught my fantasy the moment I first heard him for the first time. Also the reason could be that when I was young my father often used to sing two songs for me one was "Jena yaha marna yaha" and the other “mutu mathi dhunga rakhi". Since I had these two songs in my memory since my childhood the voice of the singer too might had strucked within my imagination. Today I have around 1000 songs of Mukesh but it is strange I do not remember any of his song completely. Sayad...I have low memory power!!!
I first saw computer at Chujachen SSS when I was in class xii but all the time we used to play the ping pong game and the computer teacher then was more interested in teaching to girls and I never cared for it. Few years later after my second year at Sikkim Government College I went to take a computer lesson in one of my friends Computer Institute. I had only completed my basic courses on computer, and it’s working well and better. At the same time I got an opportunity to work in Weekend Review, the reputed weekly newspaper at Gangtok. I used to send reports and articles from Singtam through Internet. It was this time Internet connection was being introduced in Sikkim. There was time I used to visit Gangtok twice-thrice a week just to surf at internet. I liked the new technology and it was helping me collect information of old Sikkim. The year than was 2001.
As a newspaper reporter, I was a need of another communicating device which has swept the entire globe these days. I was the only one in the Weekend Review team not to have a mobile and my small wage of Rs 1500 which was later increased to Rs 3000 did not allowed me to but one for me. Around 2003 my father brought a Samsung Wireless like mobile handset which I used to carry till last year. He bought it for himself but it was me carrying it all the time and he had no option then to leave it for me. It was after I started my own small newspaper “Weekend Review" I had my own personal computer at my home which I am still using even right now. It was around those days CD and DVD player made debut in Sikkim.
We never expect what is store in future but I am sure there are lots more to make us surprise and we too need to be prepared off.