You must be wondering what the title means.UCH42 is the name of a glass encased valve used in electric radio receivers about fifty years ago.Long ,long ago in the sixties my godfather and Santa Claus uncle had gifted our family with an eleven band "Pye" electric radio made in Ireland.

I was very proud and fond of the radio which was quite expensive and unaffordable by most in those days.Perhaps mine was the only family in the district town to own the gadget.Listening to it in the busy school mornings "BBC breakfast show" and the Bengali radio dramas on Friday nights was true happiness.

When the radio was switched on the tuner panel strips lit up with an attractive ,alluring yellow light and a green "Magic Eye" to indicate the sharpness of tuning.What a sight !!! However, my real addiction to the radio was a hit parade of 16 Hindi film songs sponsored by a toothpaste brand.This was on Wednesdays at eight p.m. for one full hour. I used to hurry through my school work and settle down before the radio in rapt attention.

One fine Wednesday it came to pass that while "Binaca Geetmala" was on the air,a continuous loud humming noise came from the radio's speaker.Switching the radio off and switching on several times didn't solve the problem.The noise just did not stop.When my father returned from work in the next evening we went to the local radio repairing shop. The radio being very big and heavy was carried on my lap in a cycle rickshaw.After an anxious hour the malady was finally diagnosed.The UCH42 valve had to be replaced.The valve was not available locally.

For three excruciating weeks I looked forward to my fathers return from work hoping that the UCH42 valve had been brought at the repair shop.This valve was manufactured by only three companies- Philips,Mullard and Telefunken. Gingerly I visited a neighbourhood home on Wednesday nights because Binaca Geetmala was something I just could not miss.Even in my dreams UCH42 haunted me.

One fine evening UCH42 arrived at the radio shop.I was overjoyed! The radio was lovingly carried like a baby to a doctor and the new valve was fixed.The radio was as good as new !!!! I had kept the old UCH42 for a long long time.Sometimes I wonder that if I was so passionate about that good old Pye radio why was it sent to the junkyard alongwith the new UCH42.The radio of my youth must be in some antique shop or collector  now.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I did not own a camera at that time.The pictures are from the internet.Illustration I thank my good teacher with wings and the dear wizard from Oz.I will not name them since it will be demeaning them.Some free gifts cannot be returned. 

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Morningglory's picture

Hope it made it out of the

Hope it made it out of the junk yard

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