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This is B.B.C Urdu Service!

Childhood memories with BBC radio services

After hearing my mother’s voice in the morning, the first sound I heard in my ears — was the BBC Urdu service. And when I opened my eyes, I saw my father, shaving his beard for the morning army parade, with the radio on the table. Radio was extremely popular at the time, and everyone had to have one. The BBC’s services were extreme, and only a small percentage of the population was unaware of or did not listen to them. They were most likely those who did not have access to a radio.

The BBC was such a compelling radio station that even old people who could barely hear, didn’t even have the strength to tune in it — listened to it regularly. It was the responsibility of a special person at home to tune the BBC services for them. When I went to school in the summer, an old man who had nothing to do with life’s activities, listened to the BBC with the radio up to his ear on the walkway near his house.

Iranian radios, which were very durable; were mostly used these days. This radio was so popular that almost everyone carried it. To go somewhere, to participate in any program, everyone had to have a radio. Some fans would decorate the whole radio with beautiful quilts and beautiful embroidering on the quilts. There were plenty of fans who adored radio with pearls. Having such a decorated video was a fashion.

After an evening that lasted until midnight, men used to sit, which was one of the most beautiful moments and memories of that time. In the midst of the gossip, there had to be silence for the BBC programme, and there was no way that someone’s voice would emerge from the crowd. A pin-drop silent for BBC news bulletin. In the winter, sitting in such a party around the fire is an experience not to be forgotten.

In terms of news, the BBC transformed the world into a global village. That global village was a different one — we have today. If two people meet today, they talk about the country’s political situation because that is what the media is showing us today. We are watching something that does not exist. However, they used to discuss international issues at those gatherings.

I still visit the BBC website several times a day, despite the fact that we are no longer in the radio age. My habit of reading and listening to the BBC has become so ingrained in my mind that I can only stop when I die. Nobody would have told me that, BBC fans prefer to read journalism, not computer science.

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Afzal Badshah, PhD

Dr Afzal Badshah focuses on academic skills, pedagogy (teaching skills) and life skills.