Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Audio Cassettes and Videotapes

I have these boxsets – Buffy The Vampire Slayer (seasons 5 & 6) and Angel (season 2). There are three James Bond movies – Goldfinger, Thunderball and From Russia, With Love. There’s Casablanca and Twelve Angry Men. The Age of Innocence. The Godfather II. Aladdin. Beauty and the Beast. There are the tapes my cousin recorded from Saudi TV – Terminator 2. Tom and Jerry cartoons. Pink Panther. Late 80s Britpop.

My videocassette shelf is dusty. Several layers of dust. The dust must have got into the cassettes. Most of them probably are unplayable now.  There are a couple of cleaning tapes. I don’t know if they ever worked. I need to throw my tapes away. I don’t want to throw them away.

Its funny. We got our VCR sometime in 1990. By 2010, they are obsolete.

I was a member in a video library well before owning a VCR. I used to borrow tapes and take them to my cousin’s place – or my friends’ places. I remember watching North by Northwest in ACN’s place. Mole, Nandu and I saw Roman Holiday twice at his place. I even watched a movie – Raiders, I think, in Gund’s cousin’s place in Alwarpet. It could be embarrassing – Both ACN’s dad and Gund’s grand uncle (?) were sternly disapproving of the movies I watched. ACN’s dad looked sternly disapproving when he saw we were watching a movie where a man and woman kissed each other. The way he looked at us, it might have been a porn film. Gund’s uncle was worse. “Enna kandravi idhu” (What is this obscene crap), he asked when he saw Marion Ravenswood kissing a battered Indiana Jones. We had to stop watching the film.

I think I compensated after getting the VCR. I remember watching Bolero and Lady Chatterley’s Lover  with a whole bunch of guys – eyes popping out at the sight the Sheikh pouring honey on Bo Derek’s body and licking it up. Or legs twisting and hands on laps when Sylvia Krystal jills off.

The tapes are still there. They haven’t been watched for near a decade now. My VCR is long dead, a useless hunk of plastic and metal, gathering dust in a forgotten  corner of an overflowing attic. I just don’t feel like putting it in a garbage bag and throw it way.

It took my grandfather’s death for us to get rid of his radio, a monstrous thing of valves and dials, the size of the complete Encyclopaedia Britannica. Twenty years after we stopped using it.