Gone are the days when the entire family looked forward to a visit to a photo studio for getting that perfect family photograph clicked. Selfie is a run-of-the-mill thing today. There was a time when music was much more than downloading songs on mobile phones & listening to them on the go. The excitement of visiting a cassette shop and hunting for your favourite collection or getting the songs recorded as desired is only a memory today.
MyCityLinks decided to tread into different photo studios, book and music stores in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to find out how life has changed for them post the technology invasion.
THE DAYS OF STUDIOS AND ALBUMS
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S.N. Digital Studio, Bhubaneswar
Pranab Kishore Samal, owner of SN Digital, recalls, “There was a time we had a flood of offers for photo albums. There was always a rush in the shop and a single shot would be as cheap as 20 rupees. But those days are gone. Thankfully, the sale of passport size photos has gone up. So, basically apart from Canvera, that is our only source of income. Kodak reels that were in demand then have completely died now and are not available in the market at all.”
P.K.S. Naidu, Mani Sahu Chakk, Cuttack
Peddi Vimal Naidu, the owner of one of the oldest shops in Cuttack says, “Majority of our clients are professional photographers who come to us for printing orders. Amateur clients, who come to us for their passport or visa photo requirements or for wanting a few prints of some remarkable moments from a short trip, have reduced in number. With passport and visa offices, and RTO offices taking images in their own premises, the demand for passport photos too has declined. Despite high printing costs we are forced to keep it cheap to allure people to taking prints.”
THE MUSICAL WORLD OF CASSETTES
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Music House, Market Building, Bhubaneswar
Bikash Sahoo, one of the salespersons at the shop tells us, “It has been 17 years now since the shop has been present in the city and the sale of audio cassettes has totally stopped. Once in a year some middle-aged man walks up and asks if a certain audio cassette is available or not. People have literally stopped buying cassettes and even CDs which were once a craze. That is the reason we have modified the shop and today we sell pen drives, memory chips and hard disks because we also have to survive.”
Shehnai, Market Building, Bhubaneswar
Owner, Manoranjan Sahu says, “The stock and money I invested in cassettes have become completely obsolete and as a result I am running in a huge loss and a few CDs that I have, currently find no takers. I won’t blame people because now there are hundreds of TV channels and there is internet also, so why should they stick to tape recorders? A bunch of non-internet users sometimes come to buy specific CDs as they are unaware about how to download from Internet.”
Beats Music Centre, Buxi Bazar, Cuttack
Owner Sk. Abdul Riyaz tells us, “Thanks to internet and FM radio, people no longer approach us for that exclusive song number they want. The only few orders that we receive are from parents of kids participating in competitions where a playlist needs to be edited and compiled into a specific time frame. Apart from such trivial requirements, audio recordings have been done away with from the market. I have sold records worth thousands of rupees from my store to the kabaddiwala at a price of peanuts – Rs 7-8 for a kilo!
WHEN BOOKS WERE THE ONLY SOURCE OF INFORMATION
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Kitab Mahal, College Square, Cuttack
Owner Aniruddh Khandai feels sad to see students all across the country relying on internet rather than books. “Even for guide notes, students today prefer the internet because they are just not willing to take up a book and leaf through. People today are less interested in the accurate knowledge that comes from a book and want to live with the skimmed information that is abundant on the internet.”
Cuttack Trading Company, Balu Bazar, Cuttack
Although Sushant Kumar Mishra is trying hard to revive Odia literature, he feels disheartened about the reducing number of readers. “We are probably the first and oldest surviving book stores in Odisha. We as publishers have tried to incorporate new designs and improved quality in our books. There are many writers but not many readers. Most of the customers we have today are old timers who want mostly spiritual or religious books.”
The Modern Book Depot, Master Canteen, Bhubanewar
Owner of the oldest book shops in the capital, Om Prakash believes he has seen different phases in the demand for books in the city. “The sale of books has definitely come down today, be it story books for little kids or the dictionary, which was a must for students some years back. Today, rarely does a student opt for dictionary. A few school-goers still do that but college goers do not use it at all. The current generation wants everything on mobiles!”
These are certain things which technology has taken away from us and it only remains as something which are etched into our minds as a faint memory!
By Shreeyanka Chowdhary and Rohita Dutta volume 3 issue 9