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This article belongs to Sweet Grace column.

We are living in an era of changes and  frequent changes for that  matter !.


      You know some 20 years back, we had a great novelty called "Video Cassette recorder/player".  It was a revolutionary thing indeed and a prestige symbol at that. What happened to it?  I too have a piece lying somewhere in my attic awaiting disposal. But alas !  No one wants it.  "It's an antiquated stuff" they say sarcastically.


      The transistor radios also have met the same fate.


      Ever heard of  a 76 r.p.m. gramophone record?  And a gramophone itself?  Many youngsters don't even  know what it is. And also its successor,  33 1/3 r.p.m LP records?  Go to any shop these days and ask  for it.  The sales person would knit his forehead and say, "What's that  Sir? Never heard of it.  But do tell me in which country they would be available and we surely shall import the stuff for you.


       The 2-track and 4 track audio cassettes  and audio recorder are still around and in good in circulation too. Would they also be replaced.? Not in the immediate future, I should think


       ‘Change' seems to be the in-thing these days  in  our daily life.  But wait.  Not quite. There are a few things among us even today  that have not been abandoned for good. .In my opinion they would never become museum  pieces nor could they be dubbed as antics.


        Take for instance, the most inexpensive material you find  in the market – Safety pin.  I can't recollect when exactly the darned thing was designed. Some 80 or 90 years ago?  Well it's an item still in demand and  are used for several purposes. We can't do without safety pins. Same goes for the ‘hair pin/hair clips' used by ladies. Wonder why the modern technology hasn't found  suitable  substitutes  for them.


        Then  the gadget called, "Stethoscope."  It is a marvellous master piece of invention and  an inseparable companion to any Doctor.  It is an insignia or logo   too for any doctor.  Once, due to heavy influx of people, the General hospital gates were closed for any visitor beyond a particular time.  My friend wanted to get in somehow to see his ailing father. He simply borrowed a stethoscope from a  regular doctor and walked in wearing it like a garland.  The security guard didn't stop him.  On the contrary, he bowed to the friend and showed him in  most courteously.  See the  power of a stethoscope?


         Have we got anything in its place and as cheap?  Even the doctors wouldn't want to change over to anything new.



        Once upon a time we used press buttons to button up your shirt frontage and cuff links to keep the  shirt cuffs  together.  Plastic buttons took up their slot.  When they first appeared in the market,  it was a breakable stuff.  The washer men loved to break the little round objects as if they were at war with them  But nowadays, we find unbreakable buttons  and they have found a place in the Sun in the men's  wardrobe. This is another irreplaceable item.


        Another invention that has stuck on to us  is the "Ball point pen".        When people started communicating in written form, they used a quill and ink to write. That was some 200 years back. Then came the novelty – the fountain pen   I remember as a school boy, I possessed at least 3 pens with a bottle of ink. Ink was a vital item and went hand in hand with a fountain pen. In my Arts class, we were taught how to make ‘ink' although ink bottles were available in plenty in the stationery shops. But the ink then was a soluble material.  All you have to do was pour out  a drop of water and the  ink-based writing vanished without a trace.  What happened to the good old fountain pens?


       Ball point pens superseded them with vengeance as it were. The first ball point was seen around 1959, I think.  I fell in love with the thing and bought dozens of them.  And the ball point pen today rules our writing  world.    We may include the BPP also among the list of irreplaceable inventions.


       Could you think of anymore?   Possibly the  bathing soaps? And the microphone and receiver in a telephone – these are very vital inventions even as of now though they are nearly 175 years old.  .What about the sewing needle and the sewing machine?



      Can you think of anything else?  Share your ideas and views with other readers.  


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