5 Things That Disappeared in the Last Five Years

I've been a journalist for over a decade, working across newspapers and magazines. At Forbes India, I write and edit stories on varied themes. I am a sports buff — turning to the back pages of the newspaper first— and keenly follow current affairs, pop culture and new trends at the intersection of politics, business and culture. Being an inveterate foodie, I often end up writing about it.

5 Things That Disappeared in the Last Five Years

Kodak Film Rolls
As cliched as it may sound, there’s never going to be another Kodak moment as we knew it. The last of Kodachrome—it was the first commercially successful colour film—was processed in December 2010, at a family-run business in Kansas, US. This was after the company, which was set up by George Eastman in Rochester in 1888, announced the year before that it would stop making the chemicals needed for developing Kodachrome to tide over losses amounting to £84 million. The brand that defied gravity and accompanied Neil Armstrong to the moon finally fell to the onslaught of the digital revolution.

mg_75694_maruti_280x210.jpg
Maruti 800
To the world, it was india’s most iconic small car. to the many millions who owned one, a maruti 800 was family. It allowed the Indian middle class the then-unimaginable luxury: Owning a car. Ask Sachin Tendulkar. He now owns a fleet of luxury vehicles but still fondly reminisces about his brick red Maruti 800. It was perfect for Indian roads: It had the speed, pick-up and was small enough to manoeuvre through chaotic traffic. As more and more international competitors thronged the Indian market, the Maruti 800 jostled for industry share and lost. The last of the original ‘people’s car’ rolled out of its Gurgaon factory in January 2014.

mg_75696_telegram_280x210.jpg
Telegram
For the generation that has grown up with email and sms, the telegram was long dead and buried. But for the handful whose heart skipped a beat when a knock on the door signalled the arrival of a telegram, July 2013 was the end of an era. For decades, the  telegram was the only mode of an urgent communication. But as the mobile revolution came about, it was a white elephant for the Central Telegraph Office. By the time  the last telegram was sent by Ashwani Mishra to  Rahul Gandhi from Delhi’s Janpath outlet, the over-160-year-old service had run up losses of about $250 million in the last seven years.

mg_75698_polio_280x210.jpg
Polio
It’s official. india, which until 2009 accounted for half of the cases globally, is polio-free. The certification was handed over by the WHO in March this year after no endemic cases of the disease were reported from the country for three consecutive years. It took the Indian government 19 years and over 23 lakh vaccine administrators to achieve its biggest health care success story. Pakistan, Afghanistan and some African nations have yet to eradicate the virus; India, however, has joined the rest of the world in eliminating the disease.

mg_75700_worldspace_radio_280x210.jpg
WorldSpace Radio
With a profusion of radio channels streaming ad-free, pre-programmed music 24x7, you might not even notice that WorldSpace is gone. Unless, you are the proud owner of WorldSpace receiver. Truth is, it’s probably junk (or an antique, depending on your take). WorldSpace, as you knew it, shut shop in December 2010; the parent company started by Ethiopia-born lawyer Noah Samarah ran into financial troubles despite being profitable in India with a subscriber base of 4.5 lakh. But here’s the good news: Saregama, a part of the RPSG Group, tied up with Timbre Media (founded by former WorldSpace employees) to relaunch the brand and stream music through the internet, mobile phones and DTH.

(This story appears in the 30 May, 2014 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

Show More
Post Your Comment
Required
Required, will not be published
All comments are moderated
  • Simpson

    The iconic Ambassador car from HMT will be the latest addition to the list!

    on Jun 26, 2014
  • Ron Andrews

    The last roll of Kodachrome was processed at Dwaynes Photo in Parsons, Kansas in January of 2011. While the Eastman Kodak company gained that name in 1888 (when the Kodak camera was introduced), the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company started in 1880. We celebrated the centennial of the company in 1980. Kodak announced in June of 2009 that it would stop selling Kodachrome. It had stopped making the film months (perhaps years) before that date. Where did you get the information that Neil Armstrong shot Kodachrome film on the moon? I\'ve been a fan of both for years and I\'ve never read that.

    on May 28, 2014
    • Kathakali Chanda

      Thanks Sir for your feedback. The last of Kodachrome rolls was indeed processed in December 2010. Thank you for pointing it out, we've corrected our article now. Here's a link that'll give you a little more on Kodak's association with the moon mission. http://www.rochesterhomepage.net/story/kodak-armstrong-and-the-moon/d/story/8buaYJdRTkSbnIZ5jI2MQQ Thanks again for visiting our site.

      on May 30, 2014
      • Ron Andrews

        Dwaynes Photo had publicly stated the last day they would accept film for processing was December 30, 2010. They had such a large volume of film, they kept running into the third week of January to process all the film. http://photo.net/film-and-processing-forum/00Y3Mv Your link illustrates the relationship between Kodak and NASA, but does not mention Kodachrome film. I\'m sure that Neil Armstrong used Kodak film, but I seriously doubt it was Kodachrome. I knew the people at Kodak responsible for marketing Kodachrome. If it had been used on the moon, they would have used that fact for publicity.

        on May 30, 2014
The High Fives: Best of Forbes India Stories
5 Exciting New Technologies from the Last Five Years