In the 60s,the 70s and the 80s non resident Indians coming from Gulf countries used to bring portable transistor radios, radio cum cassette recorders popularly known as two-in-ones, pocket radios and so on to the envy of the local residents for whom such gadgets were a luxury owing to their short supply in the regular shops and high price. It was a common sight, at airports, railway stations and bus stands in this part of the country, to see the ‘Gulfees’ carrying these sets ‘naked’ by their handles with their cartons/covers removed to display their proud possessions in front of the onlookers covetously eyeing them. A variety of such sets in different colours, sizes and shapes, with and without leather covers, stereos and monos, with double, single, and more than double speakers were common. Many of these sets used to be available for sale within a couple of months of their arrival as many NRIs sold them off at the time of their departure to make a quick buck. The grey market also used to be very active dealing in electronics, watches, pens, perfumes, suitcases and so on. Displaying a formidable looking foreign ‘Two-in One’ in the drawing room was considered by many as a status symbol!
The most popular brand of music players was NATIONAL,(Pronounced by a section as Nasenal) made and marketed by Mitsushita Electric Industrial Co., Japan, which later became Panasonic Corporation and their products appeared as National, National Panasonic , Panasonic and Technics. Other brands were Soni, Hitachi, Sharp, Toshiba, Akai, Philips and so on. Originally all these brands were ‘Made in Japan’only; but later they were made in other countries also including India and China. I had a Sharp compact recorder purchased in Bangalore in 1971 but I don’t know where it is now. A similar looking National Panasonic cassette recorder(made in Japan)purchased around the same period is still with me in good working condition. Both cost around Rs.800/-each those days. In early 1970s BUSH introduced a similar compact cassette recorder in India costing around Rs.900/- along with the famous and popular transistor radio Bush Baron. But the Bush model of cassette recorder was no match for the National cassette recorders in quality and price. My efforts to get the very popular Bush Baron radio set of the late 60s repaired were in vain. But the Philips Victor radio of 1970 which used to be kept on throughout the day during cricket matches is still working! The small Philips pocket radio used for hearing cricket commentary is still used during power cuts as well as while sitting in one corner of the terrace to be away from the T.V. and to be in the company of oneself! Yes, the tiny BPL Stereo Walkman cassette player and another similar one of the 90s are still there evoking nostalgia.
|National Rx 5235|
Tail piece:- What is an useful method of maintaining old equipments? Well, use them as often as possible.