REVERT TO THE RETRO WORLD

Being a 90’s kid, I am fortunate enough to have spent those incredible times in the past. Now as I walk down the memory lane, I wish I could encounter a time machine to travel to those memorable days over and above. The topic “Nostalgia” has taken hold of back to that era.

There are lots of points to talk over on this particular matter. The most salient points which trigger my mind are:

  1. Telephone – Yes you heard it right, it’s telephone. Back in that decade we used to have a telephone of various colors which used to consist  of number keys and contained a spiral cord connecting with the receiver. We used to sit or maybe stand at a certain place and then speak with the person calling from the other side.
  2. Black and White Television – Yes, the black and white television used to add color to our life. Watching songs, movies, and other stuff in ‘Doordarshan’ with family was the best source of entertainment of our times. Staying away from my parents in a distant land made my heart full of nostalgia.
  3. Greeting cards – Yes, greeting cards. Do you remember creating hand-crafted greeting cards for birthdays, Christmas, new year, and so on used to feel so special? Nowadays, delivering a short message cannot be as special as it used to be. We felt joy in collecting and counting the number of cards each and every year.
  4. Playing Ludo : Don’t you find it boring to play Ludo on a smartphone? If you ask me then, oh definitely. I would love to play ludo manually instead. It’s so much fun looking at the expressions of everyone while playing. 

What to count and what not to. There are several points that are approaching my mind. Going to schools and tuition to study used to be far more fascinating than studying online. Going outdoors and playing any kind of sports was much more fascinating than playing PUBG. Buying cassettes to listen to songs on the radio used to feel so captivating. It sounds like such an interesting time. Isn’t it? 

“It’s not about old vs new, it’s about which feels better.”

I wish I could revert back to the retro world and start living once again.

MY 90s TREASURE TROVE

As my parents were relocating, I went to my home, early this year, to help them segregate the things that would go with them and the things that needed to be disposed of. For my sons, it became an adventure trip as there were a lot of things that they were seeing or feeling for the first time. 

“In sabka kya karna hai” (What to do with these), My mom asked me, pointing towards a cassette player. When I was in Class X, my dad gifted me a BPL portable Stereo (which had radio and a recorder too), just after finishing my boards. It was now lying in a pool of audio cassettes. 

“Mumma, what’s this? And what are these?” My kids shouted in unison, as they enquired about the cassette player and the pile of cassettes.

I explained them what the cassettes were and demonstrated them how they worked. “I doubt if it still works”, I said as I took one of the cassettes and inserted into the player and pushed in the ‘play’ button. Viola! It worked. This time, it played well, without even cleaning the ‘head’. As an old song was being played, my sons were watching inside the stereo. “Oh! These wheels are moving”, exclaimed my elder son, pointed to the reels of the cassette. I laughed at their amazement and felt lucky too as they experienced a new gadget, which was very different from their Alexa!

My heart was filled with nostalgia as I looked at those cassettes, some belonged to my parents, who used to listen to 60s songs, rest belonged to my brother and me. Some were gifted, some were recorded, yet they were kept safely. After Grade 7 or 8, birthday gifts meant for us were audio cassettes and an Archies card. Ah! Visiting an Archies gallery was like a weekend getaway for us. We used to buy 3-4 cards in advance for the upcoming birthdays of friends and family members.

There was a packet full of cards and letters, along with a few chocolate wrappers. As I showed the inland letters and postcards to my 9-year-old, he was so excited that he wrote a letter to his friend. Though he wanted a postcard, he settled for an envelope one after knowing the fact that postcards aren’t functional anymore.

Chocolate wrappers were my collectibles, I used to keep the special editions ones and gifted ones. Remember the special Perk edition which gave free denim tattoos? I even got them on my pair of jeans! It was fun.

There was one notepad also which had quotes like- “Maggi clubbers are hooked on adventure”, “Maggi clubbers are hooked for fun”. Yes, I was a privileged Maggi clubber. It was easy to get a free membership and free gifts as it required only 5 wrappers of Maggi noodles each. I got various board games, a jumping time-table, a snapping wrist band and a lot more. This notepad is still with me.

Every time I open my treasure trove, I cherish these mementos and recall those golden wonderful years. I am happy that I have a lot to show my kids, rather than just to tell.

Preeta’s Collection

SPARE ME THE DRAMA!!!

This week’s topic – Nostalgia and here I go – “Humaare Zamaane Mein” (in our times). Raising my daughter in a foreign land, in an environment completely alien to me, handling her tantrums over the type of shoes, clothes, accessories, parties, and a whole range of girly, kids stuff is quite an exercise. And I have unintentionally started quoting lines like “in our childhood”, “had it been my mother”, “we never threw such tantrums”, “we never had so many choices” and my daughter be like “stop it, Mom, blah blah blah”. I believe she has heard this “in our times” rant quite more often these days. But can’t help it, falling to the human tendency of comparing what’s in hand with what has elapsed.

Stepping out of my parenting shoes, as a person I really get nostalgic about the 90s TV shows. Surfing on YouTube, coming across various roast channels roasting TV serials, including reality shows it evokes a sense of nostalgia. We witnessed epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana that used to bring households under one roof and glue to the Television screens; women-centric and progressive programs like Shanti, Aarohan; informative gems like Surabhi; half-an-hour window of movie songs featured every Wednesday & Friday; Sundays were meant to be blocked for kids to be entertained by Disney characters; meaningful cinema that included regional movies as well. In short, we were served a complete package of entertainment, information, and knowledge by the two state-owned television channels. From there we have come a long way to something gross like”Rasode mein kaun tha” (who was in the kitchen). With a plethora of channels as compared to the famous (rather favorite) 90s, quantity has overridden the quality. No matter whatever channel we choose to switch, change is limited to the titles of the soaps aired but the format of everyone scheming against everyone, excessively regressive content, one central character whose role is to endure, endure and endure even more pain and the jarring background music coupled with every reaction frame is on default mode. And the less I speak about the dump of reality shows the better off I would be. To be precise we moved ahead in our calendar but marched back in times as far as our television content is concerned.

Nostalgia really stings me even when I view news channels especially portals and mediums concerning the Indian context. DD era which I would like to refer to as the 90s was the time when news had a particular time slot and what mattered was to highlight the important issues rather than sensationalism like what we have now. The type of journalism that is happening today is giving an impression to the rest of the world that India is all about communal tensions. Omission of facts from past, repeated recital of few selected unfortunate incidents connecting them to every incident, irrelevant illogical high pitched debates with more participants than the viewers themselves, branding of victims and culprits as per convenience or complete silence on matters that don’t fetch business is particularly what the media is into.  Here only the numbers and competition matters.  To cut it short – Media today is biased and here I refer to both the poles of polarisation. The 24×7 nature of news channels is only doing harm by prompting to generate news instead of reporting the same. The need to churn news anyhow is the reason why we see everything categorized as news – from the case of lost pet of a celebrity to how a minister prefers his/ her food, and not to forget the brigade of advertisements shouting at us – BUY, BUY, BUY. Objectivity is subjected to agendas and personal/ political objectives. Excuse me for ranting again but DD Era was the peaceful one.

What went wrong? The amount of junk we have been fed over the years has actually reversed our intellectual evolution, or say for the majority. When introduced it attracted masses that was viewed for relaxation. But just as any addiction grows on a person, time and again interface with the same content over different channels registered itself in the mind as a guilty pleasure – we watch, we bash and we watch to bash but watch it. And this has tapped the market for the makers, and when numbers pour in, it’s enough motivation for the production of more such content. And for more Nostalgia rant!!!

Crazy Indian family, lost watching their daily TV soap even when their house is flooded with water.

I AM NOSTALGIC ABOUT THOSE BOXES

I was born in the ’70s and a decade before the nostalgic ’80s and ‘s90 that we are discussing this week. So I had a fair bit of memory and knowledge of how the time of the ’80s and ’90s were, a little better than most of my co-writers.

Being a music lover, my ears usually get stretched towards it whenever I hear it even faintly. And in connection with music two or three such things that I really miss as I recall them today.

We had a big black box in my maternal grandparent’s house where I spent most of my childhood days. I have seen the elder brother of my maternal grandfather tuning or rotating a big knob of that black box to let it produce loud music or songs or news for our exciting and eager ears. Let me tell you, he was the tech guy of that time who was an expert in operating that machine.

You guessed it right. I am talking about a Radio. I truly miss that one gadget, today though I rarely had the opportunity to handle it on my own. Because when I had the capacity of owning one, the era of Radio moved back or I moved ahead of it, leaving it behind me as a memory. That black Radio was even bigger than my 14 inches laptop screen and thicker than two toasters. It was heavy and we kids were not allowed to touch it. We were screamed at whenever we were found in the vicinity of that machine, the same way we scream at the kids today when they approach our office laptops. Oh, I am sure they were possessive, I mean, my grandfather and co were so very possessive about that machine of theirs.

Nostalgic Gadget called – Radio

Then came one more gadget, which was a bit advanced than the Radio. The tech guy tag was shifted from my grandfather’s generation to the generation of my uncles. We kids were amazed to see a tongue-like plate opens up with the press of a button and a strange bread-like thing was put inside that opening before it was pushed back to close. And when the play button is pressed music was heard.

The gadget’s name was fondly known as Two-in-one or Cassette Player along with Radio. My Aunt had one Cassette-Player only and I had the opportunity to use it. I was so delighted to play it in my lonely time those days. It was my friend in need.

National Panasonic Cassette Player with a bread-like cassette inside it which I got to use.

Sooner when we were grown up, we found something called a Walkman but were so unaffordable. How I longed to possess one and when I really had one you won’t believe how excited and delighted I was. I used to put on the headphones and listen to my songs and so many times I was scolded for using it more than a fixed time as set by my aunt.

The Walkman, which never walked.

Now, the bread-like cassettes are extincted. The big black box, the twin one, and the small box called, Walkman are all gone. They were only in my, our memory. Thanks to the Internet that we can still see by searching the previously uploaded images of them. But I truly miss them at times when I recall how beautiful friends they were during my growing-up times.

Friends! How about you? Would you mind sharing with us in the comment box?

Stay Blessed!

THE ’90S ROCKED!

If someone was to lead me to a time machine and say;

“One way trip to the 90’s”

I’d probably be the first one to hop on-oh yes! Even if it meant going back to school and studying from those thick textbooks and surfing the web/internet cost Rs.30/- hour in a cyber cafe.

Writing about the ’90s can never be contained into a post or even 1000 words, so I’ll make my post a little different today. Coz sometimes, a picture can bring back a whole lot of memories than words can ever do.

If a smile appears on your face to even 50% of going through this post, you’d probably know how much it meant to have lived in that phase of life. Children of today would never have that wonderful opportunity.

It’s weird to think that once we actually had to wait centuries for an Internet connection. Remember this gorgeous noise? That’s the sound of patience, dwindling and dying 🙂

… and connected

There was a time when computers had an A Drive (A:) and we used floppy disks 

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They came in different colors..they bring fond memories. I can’t even begin to imagine the games we used to save on them, 2 small games maximum on 1 floppy. A big game would need 4 floppies and then you’d have to merge them together. And to think a normal 3½ inch floppy disk could store only 1.44 megabytes of data

Phone Landlines where you HAD to pick up every call & not choose which call to ignore or not. If u owned a cordless phone, u were way tooooo cool. Acquiring phone no’s of your crush and miscalling them on the landline just to hear their voice – priceless!

F.L.A.M.E.S – predicting our love life. Anytime better than the FB quizzes that we do. We’ve all tried it out. What are the odds of it working out?

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We read and re-read Tinkles and Archies comics. We all loved Betty over Veronica and we all wanted to be like Archie. Suppandi’s jokes made us laugh. Shikari Shambu, Kalia the crow and Tantri the Mantri were some of Tinkle’s epic characters.

Shikari Shambhu is now an animal conservationist | ThePrint

Super Mario, Dave, Alladin, Prince of Persia, and Roadrash. They were not just games, it was pure happiness 

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dave

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One of my favorite movies of the ’90s had to be the’ Titanic’. Let me go ahead and say it, we all watched the movie for different purposes: Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, the painting, the foggy car, the sinking, etc

Jack was a professional painter and we were professional viewers.

But in the end, we can all agree that there was SO enough space on that raft, Rose. You and Jack could still be alive now.

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Some things I’d never understand

 Instead, we were left with a grief that will never fade.

Having relatives staying abroad and coming down for holidays meant foreign chocolates, and that, in turn, meant TOBLERONE

How could I end this post by not mentioning ‘pop music that made its entry in the 90’s – rap of course was a rage back then, ‘Apache Indian’ killed it!

The cake with the cherry go-top however goes to some of the most innovative Indian advertisements which aired on television, there were many favorites, but if I have to choose one, it would be:

…and while this particular advertisement has made it back on television screens in India, the emotion one felt back then was special, a time when Cricket, Chocolate, and a pretty girl’s smile were sometimes all we needed to have a good day.

27 yrs have passed in the blink of an eye. We’re still the same 90s kids at heart, pining for these simpler times.