Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I'm sure many of us have a few things in our possession which we consider as precious due to their sentimental value. These items don't necessarily have to be expensive but they can mean so much to us. This post is about a yellow Sony Sports Walkman which I owned many, many years ago. FYI, I'm referring to the portable cassette player invented by Sony which revolutionised the way we listen to music the world over. It was a WM-F35 which I bought a from a college mate who was in need of hard cash at that time. That Walkman was very chic, sporty and durable. It was also very yellow just like many other Sony Sports products at that time. It never gave me any problem although I did not treat it very well. After the Walkman exchanged hands, it became my constant and loyal companion throughout my college years. I took it almost everywhere I went to. I listened to it while I was studying (or sleeping, rather) at the library, doing my art projects in the studio, completing my term papers (usually at the last minute), walking from one end of the campus to the other (which made me sweat like a hog), waiting for the bus, eating my packed lunch (sandwich, enchilada or quesadilla most of the time) alone in the park. I even listened to it when I was in the loo. My 'love affair' with it, however, did not last. Somebody stole it from me. I was really upset then. I never bought another Walkman since I could never find the same model. More than 26 years later, fate handed me something similar to replace my old Walkman when I least expected it. Zainal and Azhar, two of my friends from out of state came to visit me two weeks ago and as usual, we would head to the Sunday flea market. I have bought a few things there in the past especially secondhand novels, storybooks, magazines and CDs. Nowadays, I go there just to watch the people and enjoy my Sunday. I no longer look for anything in particular since I'm trying hard to curb my hoarding habit (which is making a slow but steady comeback). I was wandering aimlessly in the stifling heat (my two friends were nowhere to be seen) when an old yellow Sony Sports Walkman suddenly attracted my attention. It was not the same model like the one I previously owned but it was the only yellow Walkman that I had seen in quite a long time. I slowly approached the seller since I did not want to show my growing excitement. I did not even ask whether that Walkman could still work or not. After all, its functionality was secondary to me now (FYI, it works just fine). Initially, that guy wanted to sell it for RM 8.00 but I asked him if I could have it for RM 5.00 (I don't like to pay top prices for anything from the flea market). Honestly, I would have paid that RM 8.00 he was asking for in a jiffy but to my surprise, he did not even argue with me (maybe it was my hobo-like dressing that made him feel sympathetic towards me). He simply said okay, pocketed the money that I gave him and handed me the Walkman. I could not believe what I was holding in my hands. A yellow Sony Walkman! I felt as if I was being transported to another time and place. At that time, so many memories came rushing into my head. I remember how I wanted to own a Walkman when it first came out but could not afford one (like a lot of other people, I could not afford a lot of things back then but it was okay). I remember listening to it while walking home alone a few miles from the art studio very late at night since I had missed the last bus. I remember getting mad at a friend for using up my batteries. I remember playing and rewinding Depeche Mode's Strangelove almost 20 times after I bought the cassette single. I remember my housemate, Nasir taking a picture of me holding that Walkman and sitting on the cereal station at the school cafeteria (where I worked a few evenings a week washing dishes after my classes were over). I remember many other things as well but most of all, I remember how a secondhand yellow Walkman gave me so much joy and happiness when I was alone, lonely and did not have much in this world.

p/s I know that this yellow Walkman will never replace the one I had a long, long time ago but this beauty is still able to put a smile on my face and bring back memories of good times in the past.