“Ting tong.Ting tong. Ting tong…..” In fifth grade I used to look with rapt attention at my dial-up modem as I tried to connect with the magic known as internet. “Sorry,you have failed to connect. Please retry”, a robotic voice grated more often than not on my already raw-from-waiting nerves. I would rush to check my telephone wires, looking for a cut that might be hampering my internet connection. When finding no fault with the wiring, I would take a screw driver in my hand and try to fix my CPU. Shake shake shake. I would take my CPU on a hip hop dance. Now when I think of it, it’s a wonder that I didn’t make whipping cream out of it. Or maybe I did, but never bothered watching the inside of it. I even remember getting internet scratch cards, hating it when a two hour card ended before time because I’d downloaded a video. Now I’d laughingly call it kismet connection ( luck connection). If I was lucky, my dial-up modem would work like a whiz for eons and when it was a bad-net day, it would simply ‘fail to connect’. Back then, I remember sweating profusely and wanting to bang my head on the wall, as I stared at tons of geography research homework and a persistent red cross cross over the little computer icon on my toolbar. Dial-up modem…. well, there are things you simply can’t miss having. I’d rather give an arm than trade my WiFi device for that baggage or exchange my sleek laptop for the huge thing that was my computer.
I had a love-hate relationship with my trusty old tape recorder. Fond of dancing, I’d close my room door and moved my body in all sorts of weird directions( which I back then considered dancing) on the beat of music. Sometimes I’d simply sit down beside it and cry into my handkerchief as a particularly sad song played. Often imagination took me on a ride where I’d be the heroine and a particularly masculine warlord kind of hero who’d loved me,cried for me after I’d died. Suddenly the thread of drama would break down as my tape recorder cried out like a banshee. With a ‘thishooooon shioooon shiooon shioooon’ it would go silent only after I’d hit the stop button. The blockbuster romance movie in my head would go up in flames when I’d see the reel stuck in the plastic cartridge. That usually marked the end of a good cassette. There isn’t really any good debate as to why I should miss tape recorders. But I do, for purely nostalgic reasons. Reason’s that that have something to do with my grandma sitting beside me and listening to the music fondly as I played one of her favorite songs on the tape.
Technology is something I love. I’d be a fool if I said that I didn’t need Google maps and could do with a printed paper map. I don’t mind having an email account and internet. I don’t mind not going to the post office to post a letter. I don’t want to sit on horses and camels to make my journeys. And I certainly would hate living in a cave with a lamp like Aladdin’s. But somethings just kept you rooted back in the good old days and made your relationships solid. I miss those things. A little bit.