The voice of a dear person or a fragment of our favourite song can unlock a treasure trove of memories in us. It has the capacity to instantly take us back to a certain epic episode from our yesteryears. Even if we haven’t heard a particular sound in years, the power of our auditory learning is such that it gets us to recognise these familiar, yet long-forgotten sounds. And that’s exactly what we’re gonna do today. Let’s revisit some of the nostalgic sounds from your electronic gadgets – TV, radio and computer sets, that defined our childhood or teenhood. Those nostalgic sounds from the 90s and early 2000s that kids today will probably never hear!
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Rewinding of Cassettes
Remember the time we played a cassette, it started from midway and then we had to rewind it with unwavering anticipation to hear a song from the beginning? Damn, time was certainly tough back then…no start over buttons, no holding and dragging backwards to watch your favourite content to your heart’s content. Patience was all that was needed to put up with the whirring sound and get the job done! Just listen to it now…if this doesn’t tug your heartstrings, then we don’t know if anything ever will!
These are three words that will make you feel glad that you’re past that era. No, really! With the amount of content we consume and upload rapidly on a regular basis, can you imagine waiting for a minute to just connect to the internet? But somehow, a part of us today miss that horrible frequency tone that our 56k dial-up modem loved emanating. Only the sound, definitely not the kaathirippu.
P.S. Remember the therivilis we got from our parents when they picked up the phone, heard the dial-up noise and went partially tone deaf?
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DD Channel Theme
Ah, the joy of running towards the TV set and gathering around with the folks right on time to catch the DD Channel’s Sunday special 4 o’clock movie! Of course, the first thing you’d see before the movie commences is the DD eye popping out at you and zooming in with their signature tune in the background. If you’ve grown up in the early 90s, you’re sure to have heard this intro sound more times than you’ve heard Netlifx’s “tadum” today.
The door opening sound in Yahoo! Messenger
This door opening sound used to be the lifeline of all those premich nadanna peeps from the early millennium. Those moments when they waited with bated breath for their lovers to come online! Today we have WhatsApp, Signal and whatnot – but the charm of Yahoo! Messenger was like none other! It also had a bunch of quirky and humorous audibles (audio comments based on different moods and themes) that are equivalents to the stickers that we use in our conversations today. One of the audibles I distinctly remember is this cheeky goodbye one that said, “See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!”
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The Asianet Theme song – Shyama Sundara
This song that makes us all feel proud to be a Malayali! Been years since we’ve last heard this song, but it still has a way of gliding onto our lips occasionally and staying in our hearts always. Shyamasundara Kera Kedara Bhoomi is a soul-stirring track composed by none other than the maestro, AR Rahman for Asianet in 1994, a little after the inception of the channel.
Pinball game sounds
Growing up without easy access to the internet was nothing short of magical when there were games like Pinball. The game that we used to sneak into while being bored of entering the QBasic commands during our school computer lab sessions. Right from the launch of the pinball machine which honestly sounded like aliens communicating with each other, to the cash register initialising to other futuristic sounds it produced – each one nostalgic and is hard to forget!
All India Radio signature tune
Back in the early 90s, it was a rarity that our mornings began without our parents tuning into this radio station while going around with their daily chores. Of course, we never woke up on time to catch the Suprabhatham that played at the crack of dawn, but this signature tune is surely one that still remains etched in our memories. In ways more than one, this tune has a life of its own!
The signature Nokia ringtone
This is literally the definition of a ringtone in the early 2000s. Before smartphones conquered the world, it’s hard to imagine that there was a time when all phones had the same damn ringtone. Imagine you are travelling in a bus and everybody’s phones start ringing one after the other? What cacophony! Obviously, chances of that happening was bleak back then because not everybody had a mobile and even if they did, they weren’t entirely ready to let go of land phone conversations yet. So yes, this is the iconic Nokia tune that will send a twinge of nostalgia right down your spine today.
Windows startup sound
There was a time when our computer systems were so glad to see us that they would greet us with calm, blissful music upon switching on. Oh yeah, how can we forget those! Now that we’ve mentioned it, you have a sudden hankering to hear it again! The startup sound of Windows 95 is so inspiring and refreshing that you’d literally have a good day after listening to it.
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What other nostalgic sounds would you add to this list?