The Darshana song by the makers of Hridayam has won hearts on the internet. The song features Pranav Mohanlal and Darshana Rajendran in a romantic fervour. Vineeth Sreenivasan has sent the mastered audio tracks of Hridayam to a manufacturing firm in Japan to create audio cassettes. This is happening in India almost after a decade. The comeback tale of cassettes in Kerala will make every ‘80s and ‘90s kid go bonkers. After all, who doesn’t like an OG return?
Vineeth Sreenivasan shared, “The people who prefer to listen to music through physical copies, maintaining the tape recorders/Walkman in great condition and preserving a huge collection of audiotapes from the past are still around… This is not just about nostalgia… During a time when anything and everything is turning digital, these are the souls who feel that analogue has the quality to touch our hearts. And I have always felt they are right. This is our gift for them (sic).”
The resurgence of cassettes is more emotional and culturally rooted than the latest fad. Back in the day, mixed tapes and cassettes with a music album was our Spotify. Walking around with a yellow walkman tucked inside the pocket of our bell-bottomed jeans and earphones plugged in was cool. Even cooler than the Nokia snake game. Spotify, Youtube, or any streaming platform cannot replicate the experience of slipping a cassette into a player. So when Vineeth Sreenivasan took to Instagram to share a cassette tape dedicated to Hridayam, the thrill of experiencing the ’90s escapade fired up people.
In reality, though, cassettes are the worst form of audio format. In addition to the environmental impact it has, it requires an external output for it to work. Finding a cassette player in today’s time would be a Herculean task unless your parents were genius enough to store the old ones. Sound-quality wise, also, it’s hellish compared to the audio formats we have today. But, hey, all these problems are unwanted peanuts in our life because nostalgia surpasses them all. It’s a fact.
We’re all feeling the brunt of the digital revolution. Sure, it’s the best thing that’s happened in the world. It’s also the worst because we’re more online than we’re offline. Things of the past like the cassette reminds us of the tangible, offline presence of things that used to run our life. It sure was slow. But it made us grounded to reality.
The cassette trend might not last long in this century. It’s a fleeting desire to relive the past where music used to be a physical thing. Back then, the good times lied in the simplest of things. Or, at least, that’s what we thought was simple. The emotional value of living through that experience is priceless. So, the next time you see someone carrying a cassette player or a walkman, you know why they’re doing so.
Appo, let’s rewind, shall we?