When we bought a radio player
Our house became famous in the street.
On nights when new film songs were aired
Neighbours and strangers stopped by to listen.
Children looked at us with resentment
Pleaded with their father
To buy them one.
For the first few days
It was on round-the-clock.
"Magic!" someone said,
"A small box,
Talks, sings, counsels, gives news!"
Elderly people went away saying
How mysterious it was
Wondering what the world was coming to,
As the literates tried to explain to them
What they learnt from their physics books
Who invented it and how it worked;
Envy flashed like lightning
As someone whispered loud enough for us to hear
"He is a union leader (referring to my father)
He must have got it as a bribe!"
Only we knew how we saved money for months
To buy it and how we kept our end of the bargain
Topping in the class tests.
We ignored the remark
As mostly everyone feted us;
We were pointed at
When we went out,
The grocer attended to us first,
The milkman gave us less diluted milk,
The flower girl gave us roses free
And the servant maid was extra courteous;
We were celebrities for a while
Till our neighbour got a new, costlier set
And took the fans away.