Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ode to the Cassette Kahani.

I remember those hours, when the grown-ups took their afternoon naps before the shaam ki chai, when all the kids would congregate near the small silver cassette player (a much coveted item in those days of 1985) and listen to the stories. Of magic dragons and shehzadas galore. Of the land far far away and the baadshah who ruled supreme. I can still hear the witch cackling away or the jinn granting wishes. The sound of the flying carpet. And then rushing to the kitchen to get a snack when the song played in the middle of the story (pausing was not allowed).

It was our special afternoon thing to do, crouching on the floor with our faces propped up in our hands, keeping the volume low, waiting in anticipation for the swell of music which meant something exciting was about to happen and then finally, the good-will-prevail-end of the story. Then of course, the reenactments would start. Roles woud be allotted. Who was the prince? Who would be the witch? Plots would get resolved and voices would start emerging.

Needless to say, I was always the witch. And I can still do that voice damn well.


At 6:12 PM, Blogger farhaN Nocturnal said...

Oh! good old days.

One of my favourite cassette khanies was Jack and the bean stalk.

I still remember how I used to mimic voices of some of the characters, especially those which were played by Qazi wajid, ridiculously funny.

And there was a lady who played fox in one of the stories, I loved the pitch of her voice.

Ahhh, those days were awesome.

Like to share Don Henley's song here,

Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didnt have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by
When happily ever after fails
And we've been poisoned by these fairy tales.

At 7:57 PM, Blogger Cocaine said...

totaly put me in the mood for listening to those gems from our wonder years. So I decided to Google Casette Kahani

The entire collection - WICKED AINT IT! :D Its going on my must have list.

And the next time we meet, I would love to hear you do the witch.

At 10:08 PM, Blogger mahnoor said...

hahaha you just brought back one of my oldest happy memories... thank you! =)

At 10:16 PM, Blogger jammie said...

farhan- did the fairy tales spoil us? haan maybe you are right. i expect nothing but a happily ever after sometimes :)

cocaine youre on! ill do the witch voice for you- you know m k and i used to record our own version also complete with songs hehe.

At 6:26 AM, Blogger pandora said...

just the other day, a friend and i were reminiscing about the Cassatte Kahani series!
cociane - I think I'll buy the collection too.

good times :)

At 10:00 PM, Blogger sadaf said...

I can relate to the Cassette Kahani days , I used to love listening to them during Ramdan when my mom banished all the cartoons and movies for a month. There is this sindbad the sailor one, I loved that one because of the way they described the exotic island where sindbad landed you know all the jewels and fruits with the sweet sound of gushing water - my cousin and I would try to act that out in our garden just before Iftar time. Those were the fun days :)

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Jaded said...

you so caught the mood and the memories that go with listening to the tape on repeat... great post!

btw, the preview thing is courtesy wordpress... me couldn't be a techie to save my ass :)

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Zag said...

ahhh yes those were the days.... until they ran out of imagination and started doing cassette kahanis based on knight rider series :(

At 11:14 PM, Blogger kAy said...

you know arjumand rahim was one of the child voices in cassette kahani-
i never heard it ( i think i was toooo young) but heard so much about it.
and even when i was interviewing her for my book she would just love talking about that.

At 5:58 AM, Blogger falsa queen said...

Those were fun days:P
I remember shaehzada gulfaam and Qazi Wajid's voice.It was a ritual, after you'd pass a class , an assorted selection of cassettes would be presented to you, giftwrapped in flowered paper. Really bad kind. But great stories.

At 6:59 AM, Blogger ahsan said...

such a lovely trip down memory lane during a much hectic and stressful day.

As soon as i read your blog i remembered the voice " Ghus! Ghus! mairay kaan main ghus" a line from Podna Podni....ahh! those were the days.

Thank you

At 2:35 AM, Blogger Rizwan said...

For those who remember the Cassette Kahani series.The background music used mostly on the Arabian Nights Tales is taken from the 1959 album Music for an Arabian Night by Ron Goodwin.
Noticeable Tracks that were used are:

01 - windows of the east
02 - bazaar
07 - dancing eyes (My Very Favourite Track)
08 - come back to me
09 - barefoot girl
11 - desert hero

You can get the album from


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