The 2000s were not just a wonderful decade from your old calendar. It was a melting pot of music, movies, fashion, literature (and everything cool) that was deemed unruly but kickstarted a new wave of culture in Bangladesh.
At the turn of the 21st century, globalization was having a massive impact on our life in Dhaka. Yours truly, like any other 90’s kid, have been part of the following things that made us giddy and still aches our heart to go back to the 2000s.
Before piracy took over the country, the premium medium for listening to music was CD. Compact discs sold like hot cakes prior to the advent of illegal websites like Doridro or Fusionbd.
Tahsan, the famed celebrity was reminiscing about the golden days of physical music on a radio show saying, “This one morning, I got a call from my record label G-series. They congratulated me as my solo album “Krittodasher Nirban” sold out a million copies. They also wanted me to stop by their office to collect the royalty.” You see, people didn’t hesitate to buy music legally. It’s just the internet who interfered and the rest is a tragedy.
2. FM radio
It was 2006 when I was playing around with a gigantic radio. I was rotating the notch in hopes to catch the Bangladesh Betar. But to my utter surprise, I found radio Today, the first 24-hour radio station of the country. The station was running its test transmission. This was the first time I heard the word ‘Radio Jockey’, a jargon unheard of among the millennials of Dhaka. And thank God, the FM stations brought diversity in their playlist unlike Bangladesh Betar and rose to stratospheric popularity.
Soon enough, a couple of other stations joined the cohort and catered audio entertainment to a generation who barely tuned to a radio station beforehand.
Rasel bhai…or Loveguru, anyone?
If you had cable tv subscription at your home in the early 2000s, consider yourself lucky. Ekushey television was launched in 2000. The only open terrestrial channel (other than BTV) became a household name across the country.
Kids and adults who used to nag their parents for dish antenna were soon engrossed in shows produced by the channel. Every drama, telefilm, dubbed series or music videos ETV premiered turned into a cultural phenom.
Who could forget the witty Debashish Biswash hosting ‘Pather Panchali’ or the graceful Ahmed Rubel starring in the horror series ‘Pret’? I used to wait for music video reruns around 6 pm just before I dragged myself for studies. Those were the days!
4. The Underground scene
A new wave of band music was emerging from the underground scene. Limited fanbase and genres which have never been done before by local musicians were prerequisites of the UG movement. Bands like Black, Artcell, Cryptic Fate, Arbovirus and many more notable names became part of this journey and are still going strong with their stellar on stage presence.
Just imagine some kid walking into a CD store to discover the newly released record of Artcell. The fantasy gives me shivers down the spine!
5. Cyber cafe
In the 2000s, a few fortunate people had access to super slow dial-up internet. For the rest of us, we had cyber cafes. Every alley of Dhaka city swarmed with cyber cafes, and I don’t remember any of them serving caffeine drinks of any sort.
The Cybercafe was the place where cubicles were set up for your privacy so that you browse the ‘Yahoo messenger’ era internet for 30 TK/hour.
Land phones were still relevant in the 2000s. Talking to your friends or significant other was made easier by landlines. People even fell in love with strangers by calling the wrong number in hopes to meet someone of the opposite sex. To have a landline connection, one had to go through seemingly endless paperwork. Can you imagine some govt employee giving you hell because you want to have a landline at your home? Gen Z would be bewildered to hear such fairy tales.
Do you ever feel burned out over all the technological amenities that claim to make our life easier? I certainly do. The list can go on since there was no shortage of awesomeness in the 2000s. Yellow taxi, film camera and Tin Goyenda is just a few other names that still makes us nostalgic.