Back to 80s

For someone who was born in 1960s or 1970s they would have cherished their life the most in 1980s and am no exception to it. Am going to go back to my school days and remember the things that I have liked the most in 80s that I miss today. Hopefully, I will also take you back to 80s.

Television – Most of us had Black and White Television at home and it was during the 1982 Asian Games we started watching color television in India. My father bought a Color Television around this time, we were the few ones in our community to have a Color Television at home. These were the days when there was no Cable or Dish. There was one National Channel and some of the popular programs I remember are Around the World in 80 days, The Lucy Show, Different Strokes, Spider-Man Cartoon, Star Trek, The Goodies, Chitrahaar (Hindi Movie Songs), Oliyum Oliyum (Tamil Movie Songs). We loved watching the English News in 80s, we did not have the debates and the News Anchor read News with a smile unlike what we watch today. My favorite program was Quiz Time hosted by Siddhartha Basu even though I never answered most of his questions. Finally, going to my favorite subject Sports, we were lucky only to watch live Cricket Test matches played in India, watch only the highlights if played away from India and in Tennis it used to be only the Wimbledon Men’s and Women’s final. We were also lucky to watch the World Cup Soccer final and highlights of Olympics.

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Tape Recorder – We did not have the smart phone those days. We used to have a small Tape Recorder to listen to our favorite songs. I remember buying TDK D-90 cassettes to record my favorite numbers. I also remember using the Tape Recorder as a Radio to listen to my favorite songs and most importantly Cricket Commentary in short wave if India plays matches overseas.

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Sports – As mentioned earlier, I was following only Cricket and Tennis those days. Star Television came to India only in 90s which is when I started following my favorite Formula One and MotoGP. Apart from Cricket and Tennis, we were lucky to watch World Cup Soccer and Olympics. Some of the Athletes of 80s who are still my favorite are Diego Maradona, Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, Kapil Dev and Carl Lewis. One thing that always stays on my mind is watching the 1985 Benson and Hedges World Championship of Cricket played in Australia and India winning it.

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Internet – We did not have the internet and we didn’t have Facebook, WhatsApp, Netflix and Google. Life was much better without Internet and we were well connected with our friends and family without Internet. Friends were wished on their Birthday with Greeting Card and it was the Postcard that was used to communicate with Family and Friends when we travel.

Subscriber Trunk Dialing (STD Booths) and Telegram – Communication cost was so high those days and there was no mobile phone. We used to have Landline Phone at home and most of us did not have STD or ISD connection to make calls to other cities in India or Overseas. There will be shops with Landline phones to make STD or ISD calls. Also, if there is an emergency or an urgent message that needs to be sent we were relying on Telegram from Post Office. In those days if there was a Telegram delivered at home, people will start worrying before they read, most of the times it will be a message about one of our relatives passing away.

Walkman – We did not have the smart phone and it is impossible to carry the Tape Recorders when we travel to listen to our favorite songs. It used to be the Walkman that will travel with us for songs. These Walkman consume lot of battery and it will be the Reynolds Ball Pen that we used to rewind or forward the cassette.

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Pepsi Cola and Big Fun – We did not have either Pepsi or Coke those days. We used to have Pepsi Cola Ice which is nothing but Ice on a pouch. This used to be very popular those days. Finally, it was the NP Chewing Gum and Big Fun Bubble Gum. NP Chewing Gum was so popular and I don’t remember sitting in the classes without chewing this. Cost of Pepsi Cola Ice was 50 paise, NP Chewing gum 15 Paise and Big Fun 30 paise.

Games – After we return from school or if it is a holiday we will be in our community ground playing cricket, seven stones, Kings etc.., If it is the summer vacation we used to play matches with other community and we will be at our home only to eat and sleep. Thankfully we did not have the Mobile Phone and Video Games. It used to be so much fun playing Cricket with our friends, fighting after the match and next day playing few more matches and fighting. These are the fighting out of the interest we had on the game with our friends after the match and not remembering anything the next day.

I wish we go back to 80s, life was much better without Internet, we were better connected with our friends and family without WhatsApp, as kids we were playing on the Ground and not inside our home and finally Television was much better without Cable or Dish.

Hope you enjoyed going back to 80s. It will be nice if you could use the comments section to share what you liked in 80s. Take Care and Be Safe.

WhatsApp and Forward

I was never on social media until ten years back. I completed school more than three decades back, around fifteen of us were always in touch very closely, meeting and spending time with our family and participating in any of the family function and knowing what happens in our life every day. Around sixteen years back this fifteen started increasing and we started getting connected with more of our school classmates. This is what brought me to Facebook, to be connected with school friends. I was very active on Facebook during those days primarily to stay connected with my school classmates. I also started a Facebook group of our batch-mates and it was like we are back in our school. We used to have some great times going back to school days pulling each other. After we were connected with most of our classmates, someone suggested me to start a WhatsApp group around six years back. It took sometime for me first say yes to myself to start a WhatsApp account. I finally decided to start one and it used to be fun connecting with my friends when I landed on WhatsApp. I slowly started getting out of other popular Apps like Viber and Skype. WhatsApp became the medium of communication with my friends. Facebook helped me to connect with old friends and WhatsApp helps me to stay in touch with my family and friends. I also started a WhatsApp group and added my school batch-mates, this was the first WhatsApp group I was part of. Now, am also part of few other important groups. I already left groups which I found to be adding no value or where there were no conversation, these were groups where the day starts and ends with a bunch of people forwarding content. After I connected with most of my friends and family on WhatsApp I left Facebook.

Now, I use WhatsApp to call or message my friends and relatives. Am very happy communication has become so easy and cheaper. Am now part of few WhatsApp group, baring one or two most of the groups have these in common. a) There is hardly any discussion on the group, the groups are meant for forwarding any content from internet or YouTube b) Forward any News content without verifying whether its true or not c) at times forward inappropriate content without worrying about who are all part of the group d) Good Morning Messages with pictures of God – Am of the opinion what I worship and the God to whom I worship is personal and in a group there will be people from different religion, worshiping God of their choice or even people who don’t believe in God, I have not understood why people use pictures of God to say Good Morning. Am of the opinion few people are addicted to forward any content, even after the restriction of forwarding to only one person or group, I still see lot of forwards. If there is a group of 100 members it will be the four or five who will be keeping the group active by forwarding content without worrying whether the others are going through what is forwarded. I must admit even I have done this forward of content from YouTube or News, thankfully I got better sense recently and I stopped forwarding now. Nowadays, I share my Blog, good reads and knowledge sharing content with my close friends and family members.

WhatsApp is an excellent App to stay connected with our friends and family, with the option to do group video calls, it helps us to see our people and talk. WhatsApp is an excellent medium to share knowledge enhancing content. WhatsApp is also a place where we can have discussion with our friends on any topic – it could be sports, health, fitness, personal, movies, music, food recipe etc.., We can wish our friends and relatives on their birthday and anniversary. Finally, it helps us share our photos and see photos of our dear ones.

I only hope WhatsApp does some small changes so that the App is used for communicating and not for forwarding any irrelevant or inappropriate content. Here are the few things that come to my mind to make WhatsApp a better App a) WhatsApp should continue to allow users to share content, but forwarding option must be completely removed. b) sharing must be restricted to one or two groups on a day unless it is a photo clicked by them c) there must be an option to permanently archive a group d) it also makes sense to charge users for starting a WhatsApp group e) there must be tough laws for someone sharing or posting any sensitive or inappropriate content.

As mentioned earlier I have started using WhatsApp the better way. I only hope my friends will start using WhatsApp groups in a way others are not finding it uncomfortable. These are my personal views and it is not meant to offend anyone, Take Care and Be Safe.

Is there Facebook Helpdesk

I first signed up for Facebook more than a decade back. This was the time my school classmates reunion started. We thought it was easy to stay connected in Facebook rather than on emails. I was able to connect with lot of my classmates and other friends in Facebook. After a point I was connected with almost all my friends and since I didn’t find staying on Facebook useful, I left Facebook by following the process of account deletion.

I again came to Facebook a year back when I started blogging. This was primarily to share my blogs with friends. I was completely occupied with work for a while, instead of remaining inactive I erroneously closed my blog account and Facebook account.

One more time I signed up for Facebook account around 3 months back with the same email id and my account was started. When I added my profile photo and phone number I immediately got a pop up in the browser that my account is disabled and I have to submit some documents to confirm my identity. I went through the type of documents and submitted relevant documents using Facebook help center. I got a pop up that Facebook will get back to me shortly. I waited for a month and since I got no response, submitted the same documents again. I again waited for a month and submitted the same documents to confirm my identity and am yet to get any response. In this experience I have the below fundamental questions or suggestions.

SLA – I completely respect Facebook policy that they must be certain am not creating any fake id. Since, am coming back to Facebook again they must check my identity and if required can also ask some questions. What I don’t understand is even after submission of all relevant documents I haven’t heard anything from them in the last 3 months. I hope Facebook help center have a SLA to address any concern or on the issues like the one I have. They must check the documents and get back to the Customer if they have any additional question.

Facebook Helpdesk – In most of the business these days we have a helpdesk. Once I have a concern and report to Facebook or on the issue I have where I submitted the documents, I must ideally get a ticket number. I must know at any point of time why my account is disabled and what is the status of the document submitted. There must be also an escalation matrix where customers can escalate if there is a delay in addressing the concern or if the account was wrongly disabled considering their policy.

Whatsapp – Whatsapp is owned by Facebook and my Whatsapp account is very much active. Facebook can check about my usage in Whatsapp if required to ascertain about fake id and also how am using the account. I don’t use Whatsapp against their policy and I have never used Whatsapp for any inappropriate purpose.

I would have definitely sent my concerns or suggestions to Facebook if they had a helpdesk. Am writing this with the hope someone in Facebook will read and consider my suggestions. I request Facebook to have a helpdesk and also have timelines to address customer concerns. Am sure it is only going to help Facebook.