Trends currently out of sight, and mind

Wafiur Rahman
Thursday, January 28th, 2016


8 popular trends that probably never will come back again


“What’s a discman?” asked a 7 year old. He gasped in horror when he was informed him that it was a small portable CD player with headphones attached to it.


He said he thought everyone had iPods when they were of his age.


Ever thought about how trends are very popular, yet so momentary? Trending virally during their initial period, they seem to lose steam and get lost in oblivion whenever something new comes out to replace them.


Here is a list of popular items that were trendy for a substantial period of time, but lost their “fizz” and are out of the public consciousness for now.


  • Pool/Billiards – Once an über-popular past times for adolescents and the young demographic alike, this was also a profitable investors for entrepreneurs. Buying a pair of professional pool tables and a set of balls and house cues was only a matter of Tk. 5 lakh’s investment. With cheap labour and minimal maintenance costs, this was easy for a quick break even and transition to profits. Billiard clubs opened rapidly in most of the areas in Dhaka and Chittagong.


Sadly, shady environment for smoking, tendency to induce gambling into the game and easy excuse for school-going students to play truant never really got over the general public. Popularity and revenue for the clubs began to diminish, resulting in closure of many of the clubs. Now only the faithful and budding enthusiasts visit the remaining handful of pool halls.


  • Pokemon cards – Depending on your age, Pokémania means one of two things. Firstly, lifelong friendships were made over trading at the local game shop or at break time in school. Secondly, it put a dent in the wallet of almost every parent during those days.


Now, it is a thing of the past.  Different brands such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and others have entered the market, cutting the share of popularity that Pokemon once shared. Being expensive was also another one of the reasons parents did not want to buy their kids those cards anymore.


  • Fashion accessories for men – Ever see boys wearing bead necklaces or metal bracelets these days? If you went inside New Market in the early 2000s, you would have been shocked to see grown men and students buying metal chains, bracelets, bead ornaments – not for their loved ones but for themselves. More and more hawkers started stocking up on these goods, all while confirming good sales.


But slowly these elements started becoming social outcasts, and started going out of fashion after a few years. You can probably find boys still buying these accessories in the multi-storied building inside New Market, but not with the same zeal as before.


  • Chat rooms – Gone are the days when BD Chat and Bangla Café were the hippest place to be, digitally. This was when Bangladeshis were first introduced to the idea of having a virtual identity, devoid of reality – with incredulous nicknames such as “Desi-Machiavellian” or “Dhakai_Tiger.” Popular global chatting software such as MSN and Yahoo Messenger were also immensely popular and simple to use – who can forget the ever-nagging “nudge” feature?


But due to a section of virtual-testosterone-injected men with zero social values, women could never feel at ease, due to constant harassments and scornful comments from their male counterparts. This was a possible prelude to the digital transition of gender harassment, well before social media came into the foray.


  • Handheld gaming devices – If someone owned a Nintendo Game Boy, it was easily deduced that they had a relative who lived abroad. Not initially available in Bangladesh, devices such as Game Boy/Game Boy Advance/Sony PSP were the rage, but the games (their cartridges) were always expensive purchases.


This has also been phased out due to the advent of smart phones. This made handheld gaming devices near-obsolete. Who would want to carry more and more devices in their pockets anyway?


  • Friday Morning Cartoons – Back when we were kids, BTV ruled the day, but we also witnessed the advent of satellite television. The likes of Scooby Doo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, GI Joe and many others ruled the minds of children during those days.


Now all children get are a handful of Disney’s creations and a few animated successes like the Minions, but nothing else that can symbolize today’s pop culture.


  • Compact Discs (CDs) – They were the digital age’s answer to cassettes, and a safer bet as well (as the name suggests.) Everyone loved to buy audio/video CDs of their choices. Children had their share of gaming CDs. Even the music industry was happy with record sales figures.


But with the advent of flash drives and portable hard disk drives – everyone opted for soft copies of their entertainment materials. CD shops exist in Dhaka, but not many buyers these days. The golden glaze of the CDs appeals to only a select few these days.


  • Novels – Every book lover will yell at the top of their lungs that reading a hard copy of their favourite book is one of the best emotions they can have. Fast forward after the introduction of the Kindle, many have backtracked on their words. True, Nilkhet does make a decent share selling bootlegged copies of “The Godfather” or “The Twilight Saga.” But the tech-conscious reader of today has no time to go through the traffic and buy hard covers anymore. Kindle and smart phones have taken precedence and are the new source of excuse for eye sores.


Recollecting memories of the aforementioned elements do bring back nostalgic memories for some, but for the rest, it would be an ideal journey into the list of items that were once trendy, but are lost from the public sight over time.

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