Thursday, August 02, 2007

From the 90s and still there.

I am a retro.
I grew up in the 90s.
A good part of me still lives in those times. No matter how much I try to keep pace with the times, I am stuck!

Wanna know why? Here's 50 reasons, in no particular order...

1. The never ending mythical cultural dose of Mahabhaaaarat, Ramayana, Shri Krishna, well maybe even Alif Laila on DD1

2. Oh yes and talking about DD1 ... Surabhi, Tehkikaat, Byomkesh Bakhshi, Nukkad, Circus, Hum Log, Chanakya, Shanti, Swabhimaan and the Saturday waali fillum and the Sunday shaam waali fillum.

3. Do I hear more? Yeah, DD2, the Superhit Muqabla, the Rangoli, the Chitrahaar, the video "albums", the non-stop 24 hour channel, the Govinda and Rajnikant movies, the Regional language films, the late night English flicks from the 70s, the NFDC art films! Heck even the "Munna zara paas ki dukaan se namak toh le aa" (IODISED NAMAK campaign), "ORS ka ghol", "Mile sur Mera Tumhaara", "Ek Titli, Anek Titiliyaan"

4. The Kiddie specials - Talespin, Duck Tales, Tom and Jerry at 7:00 a.m., Guchha, Daanu Danasur, Alladin, Disney Hour, Alice in Wonderland (Tap tap topi topi topi jo duube), Potli baba ki, Mulla Nasruddeen :)

5. Taking "money" to school to buy Crax from the DPS-EOK canteen, making a very long face in case you lost the money, and trying to explain how you would make up for it.

6. Watching jingles like : Washing Powder Nirma ... , Lifebuoy hai jahan ... , Bol Sakhi Bol tera raaz kya hai ;) ... , Humaara Bajaj ... , Vicco Turmeric nahin Cosmetic ... , Babool babool paise wasool ... , Dhoondte reh jaaoge ... , Joote mein hai light ... , Hum do humaare do ... , Melody khaao khud jaan jaao ... , Coffee or toffee ... , Maggi hot and sweet tomato "chilli" sauce, its different ... , Jab main chhota bachcha tha ... , Asli masaale sach sach ... , Liril girls ... , Lux adverts ... , Haan bhai haan, Coldarin li? ... , Saatth saal ke boodhe ya saatth saal ke jawaan? ... , Raju tumhaare daant toh motiyon jaise chamak rahe hain ... , Bhala usski saaree meree saree se safed kaise? ... ,

7. The aampapad/chooran waala who used to sit in front of the school gate. Or the Kwality icecream waala, hey even the Kwarly or Quality icecream waala. And how can one forget the 2 rupees ki kulfi.

8. When V.P (Singh) caused a nationwide bandh (Mandal Riots) and then P.V. (Narasimha Rao) took over and got us a stable government. What the heck, did we even care? ... Economic Liberalisation by the sardar uncle in the Blue pagdi (Manmohan Singh) whom Papa and Joshi uncle would ardently listen to every March for some strange discussions on "budget"

9. Speaking of budget, Ma and Papa writing their daily hisaab at night and doing the books to see how to plan for our bright future.

10. The Cricket World cup of 1996, the Eden Gardens burning, Kambli crying ... Azhar, Kapil, Sachin ... Match fixing, Cronje getting killed, oh man!

11. Nasnal eleksons, all the time, post PVNR ... I.K. Gujral, Hardhanhalli Dodde Deve Gowda (I memorised this one for my GK exam) ... Pa and Ma proudly showing off the black tickmarks on their fingernails everytime they voted (and probably it was all the time) ... Photo Voter I Cards.

12. A time when a telephone in your house was a luxury. Oh and wait, there was these long queues at the local STD-PCO after 9:00 to talk to my Nanaji in Kanpur or Tauji in Muzaffarnagar.

13. Knowing the mohalla waalaas as "16 wali aunty" and "17 waali aunty" ... "Roorkee waale tauji", "Modinagar waali buaji" ... "Pinky didi" ... "Bittoo bhaiyya"

14. School "picnic" to Lodi Garden or Humayun's tomb. Planning in advance and ending up just rolling down the slopes. Or Maybe Appu Ghar, Delhi Zoo, Or the National Science Center, Rail Museum, Bal Bhavan, Shankar's Library, Doll's Museum.

15. Chacha Chaudhary, Billoo, Pinky, Saboo, Raman, Channi Chachi.

16. Manorama, Sarita (with Shrimatiji) and Grihashobha (Bunai special) and then Ma became "mod" so Women's Era. Heh heh heh ... and then "we" grew up a bit so, adieu to Champak, Nandan, Nahe Samrat, Balhans and hello to Cine Blitz and Filmfare. Super Commando Dhruv and Nagaraj stayed, though.

17. Endless games of scrabble with Ma, Pa, me and Joshi uncle. Loads of board games with KJ, I DO mean LOADSSSSS! Still have more than 20 games saved.

18. Garmiyon ki holidays!!! Chhutti chhutti and Tarramtoo on DD, Nani ke ghar ki trip (Sleeper class mein half ticket, hahaha!), last week mein holiday homework!

19. Cricket with the muhalla. Fighting for batting, and then howling when getting out ... and then when all else failed ... threatening to go away 'coz the bat was mine :)

20. Making charts for the class board, giving the thought for the day or the news in the morning assembly, then later on debates, declamations, quizzing, clay modelling, "spring house" prefect, bombs going away in school toilets, class monitors, forgetting the tie in the assembly, nail size checks and duster waali punishment, "go stand at the back of the class", and oh yes ... moral science classes!

21. And yes ... Vinod reminds me ... sex education ... reading the agony aunt, vyaktigat samasyaaein, "sharmaayein nahi humse poochhein" (Thanks to Vivek for this!) etc. columns of newspaper to expand our sexual knowledge, chhup chhup ke :)

22. On the same note ... a short skirt was a treat to the eyes, a mini skirt on TV and ma would cover your eyes, and a bikini was blasphemy! Beyond that, we couldn't even imagine!!! Our share of titillation? Karishma Kapoor singing "sexy sexy sexy mujhe log bolein" in skimpy nothings ... Govinda crooning "meri pant bhi sexy" with his gyrations, et cetera. ... oh and how can I forget ... Madhuri (the queen of seething hearts) and her "choli ke peechhe" uproar! For the real perverted guys, there was the morning show listing on the Hindi newspaper, while the classy ones like me preferred "watching" Delhi Times (oh once an NIE volunteer told us ... everyone "watches" DT, no one "reads" it ... that is the way it is to be used). By the way, just for the ones who are interested, DT started out as a Tuesday supplement, then gradually from a 2-day to 4-day it became a regular, remember? :)

23. Stapoo, Pitthoo, Chhupan Chhupaai, Pakdam Pakdaai, Vish-amrit, Four corners, beech ka bichhoo, Chain-chain, Tennis ball se football khelna, "Jab miss mary chhoti thi toh unki aadat aaise thi...", "Das patte tode ek patta kachcha...", "Posham pa bhai posham pa, lal quile mein kya hua?...", "I sent a letter to my father, on the way i dropped it ...",

24. Saanp seeddhi, Ludo, 3-2-5, Rummy, Laad, Patte-pe-patta, Rang-mila-le-rang, Business, The Game of Life

25. Maggi, Thums up, Citra, Gold Spot, 7UP, Canada Dry, Tawa pizza, Brown Bread, Mother Dairy ke doodh ke sikke, Wimpys, Nirulas, Nice Biscuits, Monaco,

26. Aishwarya, Sushmita, Aamir, Shahrukh. On another level there was Sunny, Sanjay and Salman, Akshay. Babes? Karishma, Raveena, Rambha, Ramya, Divya Bharati (and her sudden death) ... Goddess? Madhuri.

27. Paras, Odeon, Priya, Amba, Regal.

28. Alaknanda, Kalkaji, Tara Apartments, Lajpat Nagar, Palika Bazaar, South Ex.

29. Maruti 800, Maruti Gypsy, Maruti 1000, Maruti Zen, Maruti Esteem. All Maruti. Or maybe the FIAT Padmini and the 118NE, Ambassador and Nova.

30. Then ... Santro and Matiz!

31. He-man, GI Joes, Trump Cards, Barbie doll sets, Hot Wheels!

32. The weekly movie that used to play at 16-waali-aunty's "imported" VCR and the whole of the mohalla's aunties with their chunnus and munnus sitting round to watch.

33. Janmashtami ki jhaankis made by all the didis and bhaiyyas of the neighbourhood.

34. Clandestine love affairs between the same didis and bhaiyyas of the mohalla, one of them even had a marriage :)

35. Aaloo ke papad and aam ke achaar being put out to ferment in the sun.

36. Pakistani plays on Mamaji's VCP, which he had got in "dahej" when he married my beautiful Mamiji.

37. The joint family met at least once a year. Every year played witness to more than 3 marriages (of my cousins or someone!) Every marriage used to go on for weeks, and it would mean meeting up my cousins and loads of comics and chocolates! and Gende ke phool ki fights, gende ke phool ka cricket match, sleeping with cousins on terraces, Bittoo bhaiyya ki ragging ke kisse, Chunnu bhai ki kahaaniyaan, Nishu ki girlfriends, ha ha ha!!!

38. Sans shopping malls, the only places we bought our clothes were from Chunmun, Ritu wears, Snowhite or Shyam's. The only places we did go to eat was Sagar and the likes ... we had pet shops for all purchases ... and the major ration used to be bought from Khari Baoli in Old Delhi.

39. It was a time when everything was semi-automatic ... Refrigerators that required defrosting through the little red button, Washing machines that saw mom wrestling and jostling out all over the house with clothes ... In fact, even now, years later since she has gotten herself an automatic front loading version, she still plays out her old schedule everytime the clothes are laundered.

40. A microwaves oven, a personal computer, a dining table, a new bed, a fully automatic fridge, a water purifying system other than the ceramic-candle-filter, were all items that were put on the wishlist every year and then were pushed down in priority because of other pressing expenditures, like children's clothing, children's books, children's fees, children's savings. We really owe it to our folks for what we are. They missed out on the best years of their lives so that we could enjoy ours.

41. Suraj Kund ka mela!

42. Begging and crying for a T.V. Video Game on my 9th birthday. Exchanging cartridges with friends. Endless Tennis, Mario, Street fighter and Spartan bouts. Oh, and Double Dragon and Contra!

43. Back to DD. Forgot to add the ones that we never watched. The UGC programs, the Akhil Bhartiya something something which showed classical dance and music, Krishi Darshan, National News (Papa was the only one who watched it). And the ones we did ... Turning Point, Living on the Edge, The World This Week, Kya aur Kaise. Once again, the first ever TV soap for children ... Hint? "Jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai ... chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai phool khila hai!"

44. "Chandrakaanta (ting a ding)... ki kahaani (dham!) ... yeh maana (ting a ding) ... hai puraani (dham!) ... yeh puraani (ting a ding) ... hokar bhi (ting!) ... badi lagti (ting a ding) ... hai suhaani (dham!) ... sorry people this thing warranted a special place! So did Krur Singh and Shikha Swaroop (who has been immortalised in this role, coz this is the only one she ever did!!!)

45. The Pragati Maidaan fairs ... World Book Fair, World Trade Fair - toys section, books sections, food section!

46. Kumar Sanu, Anuradha Paudwaal, Udit Narayan, Mohd. Aziz, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krish.

47. That reminds me of "Yeh aakaashvaani hai, abhi studio ki ghadi mein shaam ke aath bajkar chhabbees minute ho rahe hain. Abhi abhi aapne Manju Sharma se hindi ke samachaar sune..." and "...geet gaaya hai Kumar Sanu aur Anuradha Paudwal ne, bol hain Sameer ke aur sangeet Anand Milind ka hai" and "Yeh hai VIVIDH BHARATI!" ... Speaking of which, those little Transistors which everyone used to glue to their ears, especially when a cricket match was being aired. AIR rocked!

48. Katti-Abba :)

49. Dekh Bhai Dekh and Zabaan Sambhaal Ke. Street Hawk and Knight Rider. I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched.

50. "Teri Chopsy ho gayi!" :)

I could go on and on with this one. Haven't even started out on the Zee TV programs and the Star Plus with its humble beginnings, heh.

Too high on nostalgia right now to continue rambling. If there is ANNYTHING you feel I have missed out ... continue the list on the scrapbook!



  1. I so identify with this - didnt grow up in delhi, but an awful lot of things remains the same!!! I must do a post on this hehe sometime!!!

    Contra - sigh!!! Man, that brought back some memories!!! I used to love that game - shit, I even remember the background tune of that game!!

  2. Echo and loads of echoes here... all that can be said has already been said by Supremus!

  3. hey man!! thanks for this..!! i grew up in and around delhi..and can so relate to every thing..!!!! i m gonna send this to all my friends...!!!! thanks once again!!!

    and just to about roof par jaa kar cable ka antenna hilana...and shouting down to ask if the signal got ne better!!!! lol!!!

  4. hi man! u brought some fond memories from the teenage.....i could relate to it so most of us would do!
    thanks a lot!!

  5. Ooh Crax at the DPS-EOK canteen (though it was more of a shed in my time) really takes me back... remember how we used to line them up on our fingertips and then chomp then off. What fun!

  6. Ahh ... the good ol days. On #21, you could probably add the tabloidisation of ToI, with E-times and Pameala Anderson and Baywatch! The introduction of the 'back page' of Delhi Times, which appears prudish compared to the first page of ToI now.

    I wrote a post once on the DD serials of our bachpan:

    Sure brings back good memories...

  7. I remember watching Nonie and Danny on MTV, and watching lame music videos and the bursting on the scene of Neneh Cherry's sculpted figure.

    Also the matki kyun phooti?...kyun roothi? kyun ki woh kacchi thi..?

    Being in Delhi i remember walks around Gol Dak Khaana and then the walk to when Cottage used to be a small white building behind the Janpath shops. There used to be small round shape glass shop which was a florist.

    Singing to MLTR and Bryan Adams, Aashiqui being a big hit and nearly every boy in school had a Rahul Roy haircut at some point of time.
    Fashion moved to people wearing strange square glasses al la Shahrulh Khan in darr and previously Anil Kapur in Roop Ki Rani, choron ka raja.

    Also the major queues of people outside priya to watch Basic Instinct!!

    nice entry...brought back some very dusty memories.

  8. Also remember some detective/lawyer serials Karamchand (old) and the likes..
    "Kewal aadha kilo surf ek poore kilo saste powder ke barabar hota hai"
    Mandal riots was such an amusing period, for those who lived in Delhi especially.. Remember those scores of burnt DTC buses, walking 4 km to a friends house in the afternoon scorching heat (for no particular reason),
    Apart from Appu Ghar. Lodhi Garden etc.. one of my favorit places to haunt was the Teen Murti Bhavan. Something abt that place.. very peaceful!
    Among comics you mentioned I also remember Indrajal comics.. All your Phantoms (chalta phirta pret) and Mandrakes etc.
    Priya used top be a great place to assemble, partly because of the crowd as well I guess.. To a great extent Chanakya, Satyam too..

    Sigh! Delhi is such a great place to have grown up in.. the memories never leave you.

    So much to think about but the only thing I can remember right now is Aloo chaat lol.. Says a bit about me..

  9. Hey! I'm from alaknanda too, though slightly older. But I can totally connect. Came across your post via desipundit. Good list!!

    I remember the ravans burning on dussehra. The Mandal year (when we got a two month holiday, much to the jealousy of my south Indian cousins!), the three burning effigies were those of V P Singh and his cronies.

    Couple of old serials that were addicting in their time: yeh jo hai zindagi (swaroop sampat and everyone who was anyone in hindi sitcoms then); and ek do teen chaar (when metro was still young...).

    And speaking of Karamchand, there was that Sai Paranjpe one just before - aa bael mujhe maar!

    happy happy happy...sigh :)

  10. These are a few things which you could add in the same list. I'm still searching/thinking for more points. Thanks for writing this article as I would have never typed it from the dark corner of my head.

    6. "Hamdard ka tonic cinkara...", "Sardi sardard door bhagaye... Vicks Viporub"
    13. I just recently knew the name of "4 no. wali aunti". Then we all someone by the name 'Guddu, Bablu, Pintu, Deepu, Titu, Binnu, Tinku, Rinku, Pinku, Guddi/Gudiya, Mini, Nimmi, Babbi, Dolly, Sablu, Dablu.' An endless list of 2½ character names.
    23. Choti si saheli, dhoop mein baithi ro rahi...
    21. "Mausi ke gharelu nuskhe"
    22. Looking at Marylin Monroe's famous upskirt poster (which we knew years later it's from Seven Year Itch) and Madhubalas's poster ( at photographers shop.
    24. "Vyapari" for Business, Unch-Neech, "Ghorda Lagaam sai, Peeche dekho maar khai..." , "Antakshari" when we had power cuts and we ran out of songs beginning with 'na' and 'ha'.
    25. Mention Nice biscuit as "cheeni wale chocolate biscuit" same as we used to say.
    29. Premier Padmini was what was written on it's back and that's the name we, at least me, knew for it. Ocationally we saw Contessa Classic with really low ground clearance.
    37. Haldi lagai ki rasm, when all fufas and chachas, or mamas and mausa hid themselves where no body could find them. Mami/bua searching for them.

    ** The old phone with revolving dial to make a call. It made 'tring-tring' sound which was later replaced by phone that rang 'pululup-pululup'. :P

    ** Papa-Mammy ki chabhi wali HMT ki ghardiyaan. Aur chabhi wali alarm clock. Pendulum wali wall clock.

    ** Gettis (suspenders) wali half pant. Bachhpan mein red-white-black check wale canvas shoes. Meri pehli cycle 'tobu' cycle.

    ** Canvas ball se cricket khelte wakt gudiya didi ke ghar ka sheesha phodna.

    ** Ink pen se hath gande karna, ke chehre pe ink, kagaz ki naav aur aeroplane banana. Park mein patang udana, kanche khelna. Fridge pe magnet wale superman, he-man ke sticker lagana.

    Wait for more. I'll tell you in person or in comments.

  11. digging tunnels in the sand heap at the nearby construction site...

    you talk of it as an era long gone, and it is so.

    But that means we have aged!! 21,22 years old? Is that how fast an era goes away??

  12. I guess in that one post of yours, you have written the biography of about 80% of our generation!
    Great JOb Buddy!
    I just wish the list was a little longer as i didnt feel like ending this nostalgic ride at all....!!

  13. Video game likha tune to mujhe laga shayad abhi to mera naam likhega.
    Amazing post nonetheless :)

    Loved the bit about the daily hisaab!! Was always accompanied by loads of chaos at our place.

  14. really fantastic..most heart warming thing read in a long time..keep em coming!

  15. Truly Nostalgic... Very well written. :)

  16. Hi Saumya,

    I can so much relate to all you that you have mentioned. I too grew up in Delhi (in fact I still in Delhi) and it was such great fun. I am sure that ours was the last generation which got a glimpse of our older social system. Alas! things have changed dramatically now :-(

    Got some items to add:

    - Borrowing comics from Comics wale uncle - Rs 1 for comics and Rs 2 for dagest (digest). Begging mummy to spare money so that we may borrow a digest instead of a comics.
    - In the guise of selecting comics to read, would try and finish at least one comic while the uncle dealt with other customers ;-)
    - Waiting for ages at the Bus Stop for the DTC bus (used to be always a khatara bus). Watching with wonder at those office going aunties who would come and simply wave down an auto.
    - A school friend would be a neighbor if we could reach his home in half-an-hour by Walk!!... now to we don't even walk to the nearby shop.

  17. can't stop myself. Here are some more...
    - watching the Regional Language movies shown every Sunday at 1 PM and pestering mummy and papa about what is happening in the movie :-)
    - learning "Mile Sur Mera Tumhara" song's lyrics without even knowing the languages which the song covered.
    - Answering questions to the Surabhi quiz and eagerly awaiting every week hoping that our name will be announced as the prize winner.
    - Watching discussion on "Kapas ki paidavar badane ke tarike" from some Gaon Chaupal in the good old "Krishi Darshan" with the intermediate "Rukawat ke Liye khed hai" sign :-)
    - Staying awake late at night to watch the "New Year perogram" every 31st Dec and listening mummy and aunties discuss how boring this year's program was
    - The best part!! Dhoop sekhna during winter.