Radio and Human Touch 

Chaitanyamoi Chetia

© Copyright 2021 by 
Chaitanyamoi Chetia

Image by Miran Lesnik from Pixabay
Image by Miran Lesnik from Pixabay

Sanju was cleaning the table, dusting the chair, and listening to the radio news; after sometime, he stood on the top of a cupboard and scrubbed the ceiling and the blades of the ceiling fan. He amplified the volume of the radio when he heard that a massive blowout occurred from an oil well in his home state. The blowout was so massive that it burnt 100 houses of the villages in the adjoining areas, and more than 9000 people were shifted to the relief camps. The uncontrollable inferno caused extensive damage to the surrounding ecosystem burning sugarcane crops, tea garden bushes and livestock. While scrubbing the ceiling, Sanju was unconcerned that he was standing at the corner edge of the cupboard and listening to the news. From the edge of the cupboard he suddenly slipped down to the floor, and the radio also fell down at the same time and the radio immediately became mute. Though he did not feel pain in the ankles of his feet, one of his feet fell on the body of the radio. He stood up from the floor and held the radio and switched on and off the volume, but no sound came from the radio.

An uncertainty came in his mind, and his joy in his face was lost. He again switched on the radio, but no voice came from it. When he went to the market to purchase gel pens and white papers and shoe polish, he also purchased radio batteries and returned home; for he knew that the radio batteries might be necessary at any time while listening to the radio as the batteries got exhausted quickly. As the radio became silent after falling down from the cupboard to the floor, he hurriedly replaced the batteries, but the radio did not function, he sat down on the chair, his rapture in his face was lost.

Radio was very dear to him; in the morning he would open the window panes and switched on the radio and listened to the morning news as well as the morning radio programme. He would unroll the roller blinds of the windows and let the sun’s rays get inside the room and taking fresh air he would listen to the radio.

He felt thirsty, but the silence of the radio made him forget to drink a glass of water. It was a remorseful moment for him that the radio and he slipped down to the floor from the corner edge of the cupboard. He became morose that his heavy foot fell down on the body of the radio and the radio that had been giving news immediately stopped.

His curiosity for taking his breakfast of bread and milk deteriorated for the non function of the radio. He was feeling hungry but he did not take anything in his mouth for the incident of the radio. He took the radio in his hand and went directly to the market to find a radio mechanic.

All the people in the market were discussing about the blowout of the oil well and the colossal damage of the surrounding ecosystem, and also about the 100 houses that had been burnt to ashes near the oil well. A middle aged man with white beards was chatting at that time with someone in his smartphone about the unfortunate blowout of the oil well. While chatting, the middle aged man had been observing for the last few minutes that Sanju had been strolling on the footpath with the radio in his hand.

“Why this boy is roaming in the footpath with the radio in his hand,” the middle aged man thought while conversing with someone in his mobile phone.

Sanju looked at the sign boards of all the shops to know whether there were any radio repairing center there. He saw the middle aged man staring at him and conversing with someone in his smartphone.

“What will happen to my radio if I do not get a mechanic here,” Sanju thought, and his mind was shattered in agony.

He stood in the busy footpath for a moment and thought that he should ask the middle aged man chatting in his smartphone about any radio repairing center there.

“At least, I should ask him about a repairing center here!” he thought.

After a few moment, he came towards the middle aged man; the middle aged man gave a curious look at Sanju.

“Uncle, can you help me!” he said holding the radio in his hand.

“Tell me again,” the middle aged man said, switching off the mobile phone and inserting it in his pocket, “no one can listen clearly in this busy street.”

“Can you help me?”

“What help?”

“I have been searching for a radio mechanic for the last few minutes, but I have not found any. Can you please help me by telling the name of a radio repairing center?”

“I have not listened to the radio for many years though it gives reliable information to the public. These days I have been listening to the breaking news in smartphone itself.”

The middle aged man’s reply made Sanju confused. “What will I do now!” he wondered in grief.

The middle aged man again gave a look at Sanju and at the radio. “Go to the Melody Radio Center which is 60 yards from here, and you will get a radio mechanic there,” the middle aged man said after a little thinking.

“Thank you, I shall speedily move to that place,” he said and left the place with a little twinkle in his eyes, and with a little smile in his face.

After a few minutes walk in the busy footpath, he reached the Melody Radio Center and took a deep relief in his soul. A few radios were on display in the repairing center. The mechanic was listening to the radio news at that time. “Two fire fighters died at the oil well blowout site, and one young electrical engineer was electrocuted there,” the announcer of the radio said. Sanju went inside the radio centre and stood near the mechanic.

“You will have to correct the dead radio,” he said.

“What happened to it?” the mechanic said, giving a look at the radio.

“I fell down from the top of a cupboard with the radio to the floor and the radio became mute.”

“The body of the radio is broken!”

“Yes, the weight of my foot fell on the body of the radio.”

“Keep it on the table.”

Sanju kept the radio on the table, and the mechanic immediately unscrewed it. He confined himself to correcting the radio for many minutes with all the equipments; he used power meters and other tools to test the currents and other broken components, and at last, he was successful in correcting it. He re-screwed it and kept it on the table.

“Your problem is solved. Take it,” the mechanic said.

Sanju came home with the radio and kept it at the same place in the cupboard carefully. He switched on the radio and again his room became lively; and radio news was heard as before. “A snubbing unit of Calgary, Canada have been flown in to the oil well blazing site to douse the fire, and they became successful to bring an end to the fire tragedy,” the news reporter in the radio said. Sanju heard the news completely that the oil well blowout was, at last, successfully extinguished.

People got joyful news as well as emotional news on the radio; sometimes people were inspired listening to some wonderful commentaries on sports and general knowledge on the radio. Radio has a human touch, it makes men feel connected during the native festivals of the region; children can learn how the elder people celebrated the native festivals when they had been small children then. A radio gives a melodious sound to the listeners, and it has still a firm hold in the digital age.

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