Who knew that mindless things that we once did while growing up would turn out to be memories that we cherish for life. Childhood, considered by many as the golden period of one’s life, is free from an average adult’s work tensions, stress, frustration and the daily dose of Indian drama. The internet is full of articles as to how people brought up in the 90s are the luckiest. But, I guess every generation has its own unique way of defining events which can’t be compared to any other.
No matter which generation, we Indians love food. Maggi wasn’t all that famous back then. We enjoyed homemade Jalebi and Samosa with Rasna. Who could forget the line “I love you Rasna”? Goldspot was a popular cold drink which was later killed for making space for drinks like Fanta. We could afford Pepsi at Rs.1 and Rs.2. Don’t mistake it with today’s cold beverage Pepsi. It was ice, coated with different flavors, packed in a pipe shaped plastic cover. Chocolates like Persi goli, Poppins, Chiklets, Hajmola, Amul chocolates and Phantom sweet-cigarettes (Chocolates) were favorites.
Doordarshan was the only channel we used to get at home. Trying to place an antenna in the right angle to get better video output on TV was an art only some could master. The Doordarshan signature tune still gives me Goosebumps when I watch it on YouTube. Some of them could afford dish connections and believe me dishes on roof tops back then looked like the ones at Radar stations. Rangoli, Chitrahaar, Chandrakantha, Alif laila, Swabhiman, Duck Tales, Jungle Book (I even had a T-shirt) were programs that dominated Television.
We spent more time playing outdoors because we didn’t have to attend tuitions and coaching classes. Collecting hot-wheels car models and gi-joe action figures was a popular hobby. Boy were we obsessed with pencil boxes! Then geometry boxes took over in the later part of schooling. Every kid would flaunt his/her pencils, pen pencils, erasers. Rich kids had huge Comic collections like Chacha chaudary and Panchatantra. Getting Action shoes with disco lights as a birthday present was an average kids dream. Thanks to my parents, mine came true.
Technology came into our life only in the late 90s. Hand held video game where you had to arrange bricks was a favorite pastime. People who could afford a TV plug and play type video game were crazy about owning cassettes (each video-game cassette had a set of games in it). Duck hunt was my favorite. Some other famous games were Mario, Contra and Tanks. After Computers came into the Indian market, owning a PC with 64 MB of RAM and 10GB HDD was something to brag about. PC games like Dave and Prince of Persia were available on 1.44 MB capacity floppy drives. For capturing memories, every household had a photo album of the best family pictures.
Bollywood music was way better back then with lyrics that actually had very good meaning. Do you remember how audio cassettes could be repaired with just a pencil? Lyrics for all Bollywood songs were readily available in multicolored printed books. The Video Cassette Player (VCP) allowed us to watch our favorite movies at home by renting a video cassette for Rs. 10.
Apart from all this, grandparents played a major role in the upbringing of a child. Even making a telephone call was fun with the “dial the wheel” type telephone. Getting beaten up as punishment was common in every household. This question would put a smile on the face of many. How many of you got beaten up for not saying Namaste to your neighborhood uncle?
I am sure many of you have childhood memories that you’d love to share. So why keep them locked with you? Let your thoughts fly and tell us your experiences.