The bottom right corner of my laptop screen reads 5:11 am,I should be asleep now.But in a hostel your sleeping habits take an arrow in the knee.I’m not complaining,John Lennon and Pink Floyd give me company as my roommate snores away to glory.After about 10 minutes on Youtube,I find myself watching an episode of ‘Shaktimaan’.In my defence,I stumbled onto it and as the legend goes “Without purpose,one inevitably ends up in the weird part of youtube.”And after nostalgia grips me and takes me to the 90s and early 2000s.I sit down and document all the things I can remember from my childhood.I might end up using a lot of clichés in this blogpost,but what the hell;those were the days,those were the days.
I start off with the golden generation of television.Having a cable T.V those days was quite a big deal,a luxury at times. 1)Shaktimaan was the superhero of a generation.He was probably your downgraded version of Superman but that dude could kick ass.It was initially aired on a weekday if I’m not wrong and was later shifted to Sunday and was one of the main reasons to get up early from bed and tune into doordarshan.And the moment “Is dharaavahik ke sabhi kirdar kalpanik hai..” was recited I would have an adrenalin rush.And the feeling was one upped when the song ended with ‘kehlaiya woh shaktimaan..’ Remember Tamraj Kilvish,Dr.Jackal and Geeta Vishwas? 2)An assorted list of other shows on Doordarshan Alif-Laila,Captain Vyom(To this date Milind Soman’s finest hour),Flop Show(Jaspal Bhatti has my undying respect),Dekh Bhai Dekh.I can’t remember the rest.
3)Cartoon Network was pure gold back then,it has skirted away to garbage right now.Remember Courage the cowardly dog,Centurions,Captain Planet,Johnny Bravo(FTW!),Swat Kats(Back then my greatest ambition in life was to own one of those planes),Jhonny Quest(the original idea of Matrix,Inception and what not),Droopy,Roadrunner,Looney Tunes,Scooby-Doo(I swear to God,Shaggy and Scooby were both stoners,they were hungry all the time),Flinstones,Bob the builder,Kipper(this dog was a stoner too),Oswald,Pingu,Little lulu,X-Men,Pokemon,Transformers,Richie-Rich,Dexter? *A moment of silence to mark the demise of Cartoon Network*
4)I can’t remember on what channels these shows were on.Timon and Pumba, Tale Spin,Duck Tales,Gummi Bears,Son-Pari,Hum Paanch,Malgudi days(One word.Respect.),Aladdin,Mowgli(“Jungle Jungle Baat Chali Hai..” anthem of a generation),Little Mermaid,Legends of the hidden temple,Global Guts,Cat-Dog,He-man,ChipnDale etc etc
In retrospect,television of the 90s had a profound influence on my train of thought.At times,I question myself.What would Superman do?
I remember all those awesome games.Hide and seek,wall touch,leg touch,lock and key,7 stones and racing paper boats during monsoon.
Remember all those advertisements?
‘Buland Bharat ki buland tasveer,hamara bajaj..’
‘Jab mein chota baccha tha,badi shararat karta tha,meri chori pakdi jati jab roshni deta bajaj..’ ‘
Essel world mein rahunga mein,ghar nahin jaaunga main..’ ‘
Washing powder nirma..’
Then there was Karishma Kapoor and Sonali Bendre.There was Karan Johar and Kuch Kuch Hota hai.Before all of that there was Akshay Kumar dancing to ‘Tu cheez badi hai mast mast..’ Bappi Lahri,Akshay Kumar and Mohra captured the spirit of 90s as much as anything. Remember the food we bought? Uncle Chips,Kismi bar,Eclairs,Maha Lacto,Cadbury Crackle,there was this drink called Gold Spot and Rasna.Boom boom Boomer and big babool.
The cricket team? Vinod Kambli,Ajay Jadeja,Azharuddin,Venkatesh Prasad,Nayan Mongia.Harsha Bhogle had hair on his head.
All those random comics.Tinkle had Suppandi,Ramu and Shamu,Kalia-the crow,Tantri-the mantri,Shikari Shambu.
Those awesome toys.GI Joe,Hot Wheels(Owning one of those tracks was a matter of pride).Gambling with pokemon tazzos and jenga cards.Trading WWF cards.Back then it was WWF.Rock was ranked 1st,HHH was ranked 2nd,Kane was masked and Hulk Hogan was borderline mad.
School time was great as well,we had those fancy double-decker pencil boxes,pokemon erasers,pikachu stickers on notebooks.
Daily summer routine from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those games were invented by men putting their intellect to the best possible use. Mario(This guy was a stoner,he ate colored mushrooms for God’s sake),Mortal Kombat,Street Fight,Contra,Duck Hunt(gameplay was god-like),Excite Bike,Pocket Tanks,Dave,Duke Nukem 3D. 9999 games in 1 cassette.
Probably my generation was the buffer between absence of internet and internet slavery.Back then I was Shaktimaan,Sachin and The Undertaker.Growing up is a bitch.But I’m glad all those things happened.I have to sleep now.My first all nighter this semester.Hope you had fun reading.Good morning/night. Feel free to add your childhood experiences.