Days of our Lives!

September 12, 2007

Tag – 10 things I miss about the 90’s

Filed under: My Cup of Socie-Tea,Tagged,Top Draws — Santhosh @ 5:22 AM

When you’re asked to compare any two entities and to come up with the nice things of only one of them, the other always comes out looking bad. My guess is this post is going to be no different since the tag is about what I ‘miss’ about the nineties and so the current decade may start looking like you’d rather be in a 11 hour bus journey with the air conditioning down and forced to watch 3 Simbu movies on the trot (happened to me yesterday).
Also, all that I’m listing in this post are more toward the latter part of the nineties, unless you want to hear about my black slate, red crayons and my 1st standard English Miss. And inspite of your rather kind responses to this previous tag, which was purportedly entertaining and so masked the fact that I’d scooted around the tricky questions, I’m afraid this one’s also gonna be devoid of any ‘Up Close and Personal’ stuff, which means I’m not going to be talking about my 4th std best friend or the rasam rice that my benchmate used to bring in my 6th. So, here goes, in no particular order ….

~~ School projects in the pre-internet, pre-MSOffice era used to be done on these brown-paper scrapbooks, with carefully pasted pictures and handwritten notes. For most people the only source of pictures used to be the black and white ones in The Hindu and the Re.1 picture charts (locations of special stores that stocked special or limited editions were more highly guarded than, say, Ganguly’s personal memoirs on Greg Chappel).

~~ Where have all those wonderful Pannaiyaars and the Zamindaars of our films gone? Nobody seems to want to rape the hero’s sister these days.

~~ I’m not sure if it’s just me, but there seem to be increasingly fewer cycles on the roads. Parents and chauffeurs drop their kids in swanky cars till they’re 12-13 yrs and then it’s a quantum jump to Scootys and Kinetics. Nobody seems to want to cycle, not even to school, and peer pressure is fast making sure cycles will no longer be a part of growing up. The sheer joy of racing to school across familiar landmarks and past classmates with the wind behind you and the bonding that comes with cycling triples with armloads of bats and stumps will sadly be but distant memories.

~~ 1 rupee pepsi. This has gone out of vogue in just about every town now but back then they were the lifeblood of treats, cricket matches and warm afternoons for any boy in the then starved Indian economy. There were also variations with smaller and longer ones for 50ps and Rs.2 respectively and I particularly remember that the black and the white coloured ones were most sought after just because they were rare – like everything else in life.

~~ The aura that WWF exuded back then would put to shame the feeble attempts of today’s WWE and TNA. Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart Hit Man, Lex Luger, Yokozuna and the like were all bigger than life and were good enough to sustain a whole new industry with ‘trump cards’ and collectors’ post cards.

~~ There were very few good programmes in the very few channels available and so were anticipated and appreciated much better. The idiot box wasn’t the be-all and end-all that it is now and mothers-in-law had better reasons than fighting over the remote to murder their daughters-in-law. I’m not trying to say nobody wanted to watch TV back then, but the general idea was that you were a sissy if you didn’t come out to play.

~~ Every year you got promoted into a new class, the new teachers would come around asking for self-intros which would include your hobbies and people would go like, reading, playing, numismatics, philately, carrom, gardening, embroidery, cooking…. I’m not sure how favourably these compare with the current, “Oh, you know, I watch a bit of TV, gun down a few thousand in Counter Strike, pub a bit, jump up and down in dimly lit taverns, drink a bit more and on average run over someone once a week”.

~~ Women used to think Karthik (of Agni Natchathiram fame) and Govinda made good dream-boys. Which I think was a tiny bit easier for us men to scale up to.

~~ Sachin. Against better bowlers and on more sporting pitches, he was King. Even if I was too young to remember his centuries at Old Trafford or Sydney, even as I feared for him as the big bad fast bowlers ran up to bowl to him only to see the ball disappear, I grew along with him as he slowly transformed from boy to Emperor.

~~ Cricket, Tennis, and the Olympics were all much better to watch because the teams and the players were more evenly matched. Australia weren’t dominant in cricket and swimming, there were more than a few players around capable of beating Sampras, the Soviet Union were proud outright winners of all individual sports. And then there was this glorious year when Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi smashed across everything in sight and made our pulses race everytime they chest-butted each other to victory.

~~ I miss the innocence that used to come with school life relationships. You could call a girl (or a boy, if you’re a girl) your friend without any prefixes and suffixes added to the word. You could talk for hours on end with her, share things, watch cricket and visit her home at 11 for class notes, and yet remain just friends. And what’s more, everyone else understood that too, even with the teasing.

~~ The silent smiles, the cute winks, the frequent eyeing, the understanding glances, the doe-eyed blushes. These were the things that made up crushes – unlike the current trend that comes with the brand labels and pubbing era.

~~ Oh, the things you had to plan to carry out a phone conversation with a girl (able to talk to a girl on the phone used to make you the Chosen One in class and closed the deal that the two of you were close) – a single-ring missed call, sometimes followed by a 2-rings missed call, the blank calls when someone else attended the phone, the veritable aliases for wrong numbers, the pre-set timings for different girls, the secret midnight birthday wishes, the regular public booth numbers, the awaited days when you were alone at home, the decoys …. Sadly, all this went out the day I got a mobile.

~~ Yamaha RXZ, greeting cards, book cricket, Gems, rental cycles, nannari sarbath, G.I.Joe, Ludo and Monopoly, Chandrakantha & Jungle Book, 25p Orange mittai, ‘Prince of Persia’ computer game, movie-theater tickets for Rs.5-Rs.30, cd’s as reflectors on cycles, Camlin geometry boxes, notebook stickers, Ind-Pak cricket rivalry, Hardy Boys and Enid Blyton, balloonwalla outside marriage halls, Sharjah cricket, 7 stones and Lock & Key, ‘Jokes’ wafers, paper boats….

And then there was fire. Tagging
nana : the American MBA who says he is yet to visit a gay bar
markiv : the Bangkok Boy, before he goes off never to return
sath : come on out of those CAT books
parash : let’s see in how many languages he wrote “Hello World” when we were on “A for Apple”
crazy bugga : this should be the Boy to Sir story
justme : who’s suddenly discovered the net in Toronto
calculus : to strong-arm him into restarting his blog
knk : just for the sake of it ๐Ÿ™‚
curious : “aadu yaaru” nu kaeta, vandhu “naanu” nu solra
Everybody who reads this post is also welcome to go back and revisit those memories. Drop your link in the comments box.



  1. “and forced to watch 3 Simbu movies on the trot”my sympathies… BTW, this guy was the judge of that jodi no.1 or somethin in vijay TV… it seems that he has better work to do than judge these stupid dancers… dont we all agree?I think of all ur posts tat i have read, this one stands out… plainly because i am able to relate to it…

    Comment by crazyBugga — September 12, 2007 @ 9:13 AM | Reply

  2. …. I miss the innocence that used to come with school life relationships. You could call a girl (or a boy, if you’re a girl) your friend without any prefixes and suffixes added to the word. You could talk for hours on end with her, share things, watch cricket and visit her home at 11 for class notes, and yet remain just friends. And what’s more, everyone else understood that too, even with the usual teasing.that’s classic man!

    Comment by kaarthik — September 12, 2007 @ 7:24 PM | Reply

  3. The triples on cycles with the stumps and bats all around, the 1 re Pepsi.. Reminds me so much of Mdu.. The medical college grounds, the race course grounds, the early morning rush to catch the best pitch around, u ve brought back Madurai memories, which I seem to have forgotten somewhere.. Good one dude!

    Comment by justme — September 12, 2007 @ 7:31 PM | Reply

  4. @crazybuggavaenam…. poidu…@kaarthikyea, i know. Class-ic ;)@justmethose were the days amigo….

    Comment by santhosh — September 12, 2007 @ 11:00 PM | Reply

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    Comment by Anonymous — September 13, 2007 @ 2:31 AM | Reply

  6. sigh! its such a surreal experience to think back to a time that held such promise and hope and joy!

    Comment by guna — September 13, 2007 @ 2:33 AM | Reply

  7. @gunatrue! very.

    Comment by santhosh — September 13, 2007 @ 5:51 PM | Reply

  8. this sits right among my top favorites of your postsgood one and thanks for thr trip down memory lane

    Comment by pras — September 14, 2007 @ 3:31 AM | Reply

  9. dude.. done.. u ve made me nostalagic when I already miss home, but it was worth the effort thinking and playing back all those things I did when I was a kid..there was lost more I could have written, but then I didnt want to kick in a session of depression in this Alien Country.. Beleive me onsite aint as simple as it looks sitting in B’lore..!

    Comment by justme — September 14, 2007 @ 6:54 AM | Reply

  10. @prasthe pleasure was entirely mine@justmehmmmm, a few more months and maybe i can comment on that

    Comment by santhosh — September 14, 2007 @ 8:21 PM | Reply

  11. really good one… was able to relate to each and every one of them.esp the missed calls one… :-p

    Comment by Himanshu — September 17, 2007 @ 1:48 PM | Reply

  12. Loved this post… Guess i might take this tag up with u tagging me!

    Comment by Curious — September 18, 2007 @ 1:41 PM | Reply

  13. @himanshulol, looks like we might just have a few things in common ;)@curiousbe my guest ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by santhosh — September 19, 2007 @ 3:55 PM | Reply

  14. ,maaamma sooper da…really touchin gr8…awesom… lex luger… i dint ve fone those days….. ๐Ÿ˜‰ … U remembered me my child hood days da…..Tht cycle race, 5 paisa mittai, innocence…..hobbies….whew simply coolllbtw one things confusin…whts thtjuz for the sake of it

    Comment by Karthik ,K.N — September 19, 2007 @ 10:31 PM | Reply

  15. Great Blog.Trip Down the memory lane.

    Comment by Narayanan — September 20, 2007 @ 9:32 AM | Reply

  16. great buddy.. great post.. got to read only after knk forwarded it to the mailing Group..Simply Loved it and a bit of envy tooo.. :))

    Comment by Sathappan — September 20, 2007 @ 4:00 PM | Reply

  17. @knksumma da, just tagged you – adhuku summa potrukkaen@nanadai MBA boy, yer also tagged@sathendha mailing grp da?

    Comment by santhosh — September 20, 2007 @ 6:00 PM | Reply

  18. Good one! ๐Ÿ™‚ I too miss most of the things you have mentioned here

    Comment by Aparna — September 28, 2007 @ 6:12 PM | Reply

  19. ur blog ws suggested by someone i dint knw…i ws asked to tke a luk at ur memoirs of the 90s to understand the indian way of life better…nice one :)tc n keep up the gud work…

    Comment by beetlejuice — October 1, 2007 @ 2:39 PM | Reply

  20. @aparna:) so do we all!@beetlejuicethanks!

    Comment by santhosh — October 1, 2007 @ 6:12 PM | Reply

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