Skip to main content

The Inquisitiveness of a Three-Year-Old in the Late '70s

I discovered my passion for writing after I quit my day job. So I began to write fiction stories, self-help books, and articles, blogs, etc.


We were a small family with parents and two little girls including me. Dad would do various things that felt like magic to me. I was full of awe about how something happened or how it was possible. I cite three little things below that brought curious questions to my mind as a three-year-old.

Listening to Recorded Voices

Dad bought a tape recorder in the late '70s. He saw his friends recording the voices and songs of their little children so that it would be a good memory when the children grew up. Along with the tape recorder, he bought several song cassettes and empty cassettes as well.

One afternoon, as Dad was done fiddling with the tape recorder, he asked us to sit down on the carpet while he sat on the sofa, placing the tape recorder on the low table ahead. I saw him place a cassette inside the recorder and press play and record buttons together. Next, he started asking me questions:

"Rosina, what is your Dad's name?"

I promptly said, ”Dr. M. S. Khan”.

"What does he do?"

"He goes to a beautiful college."

“Which places did you visit recently?”

"Karbala, Najaf, Kufa."

‘What did you like to have at the restaurant recently?”

"Trovi (equivalent to a cold drink)"

Mom from a distance said, “Why don’t you bring your toy piano and play it?”

Dad agreed and asked me to sing along with it. So I played the piano off-key and sang a song casually along with it until the end.

And what happened next seemed like absolute wizardry. Dad pressed a button and next, the play button, and my voice started to play- the whole conversation with Dad, the piano music and my song altogether. I was so spellbound that I found it hard to believe that I heard my voice. “Dad, please play it again”, I implored after the recording stopped. He played it again and again until weariness overcame me. Yes, it was mind-blowing, and I loved it.

Pic1: Our First Captivating Tape Recorder in the Late '70s

Pic1: Our First Captivating Tape Recorder in the Late '70s


Dad, about this time, bought a Canon camera as well along with a black and white film for the camera. The colored one was too expensive. One afternoon he told Mom to dress up my sister and me so that he could take our pictures with his brand new camera in the sunny balcony.

We posed in different positions with different toys in different outfits, and Dad snapped tirelessly. As much as he enjoyed taking our photographs, we enjoyed being snapped.

The photo session was done, and the next day, Dad went to a nearby photo printing shop and ordered his camera film to be transformed into a series of photographs. After two days, when he brought those home and showed us all, I was especially intrigued and enthralled. "Is it possible that living children like us can be converted to static photos, capturing the moments? I wondered in awe. This was another charm that deeply had me thinking.

My Flying Toy Airplane

In the evenings, when I was still a three-year-old, our family would go out for a stroll and look through the windows of shops. Once my sister and I spotted a toy airplane. We told our parents we loved it, but we were good, obedient kids and didn’t demand it right away.

The next evening, as a surprise, Dad got us the airplane, and my sister and I were full of joy. After having home evening snacks, Mom looked at the toy airplane and its manual and put the battery inside and switched it on. To our surprise, its front end shone with a golden blinking light, and it started moving. My sister and I jumped up, getting a little scared. To our further amazement, it even flew in the air for a few seconds, gliding down again, moving ahead and coming to a halt. I had never seen any other toy fly before. That this toy airplane flew was a case of sheer astonishment for me.

Pic2: Myself With My Spellbound Toy Airplane, Snapped by Dad

Pic2: Myself With My Spellbound Toy Airplane, Snapped by Dad


In conclusion, those three little things – the record player playing our recorded voices, our poses in still photographs and the flying toy airplane took my breath away when I first experienced watching them as a little girl. They all seemed glamorous, in fact, too good to be true- yet, they were man-made inventions and discoveries, which were jaw-dropping for a three-year-old like me in the late '70s.

© 2019 Rosina S Khan

Related Articles