CHILDHOOD-The Past And Curious
by Uday Kiran
‘Kaacha’, ‘Rola Haichi’, ‘Bobbaal, ‘Penaa’ ‘Sanghatika’ etc. were the words I grew up with, so much so that I always felt that they should be included in the Oxford dictionary for the sheer frequency that they were used with…they were not mere words, they were expressions and emotions packed into words… and today they are long lost in history…thanks to the advent of words like ‘Dude’, ‘Bro’, ‘Wassup Man’, ‘Cool’, ‘Freaking Awesome’ and the most used and versatile, four lettered word… Times have changed and so has the language… No wonder, I constantly keep resonating the thoughts of the famous actor, poet & music director, Mr. Piyush Mishra “Na Jaane kab Kharchho gaye, pata hi nahi chala… Woh lamhe jo chhupa kar rakhe they jeene ke liye”
Oh, by the way I hold the record of never having filled up petrol in my scooter from the petrol pumps…I always used to buy it from the black market (from those pan shops), thanks to my slothfulness, that made me a star customer in the black market. The awesome ‘khatti’ at ‘Thela Gaadi- Budhia in Acharya Vihar’, gorging on Bara, Piyaaji, Gulgula, Singada and Guguni, the famous Lingaraj Lassi of Saheed Nagar, the chaatwalas of Madhusudhan Nagar and the crazy ‘Aakhu rasa’ from Anand Bazaar, is something that even the best of the restaurants cannot offer…well I guess some things are priceless and cannot be replicated. Those were the days when Anu Malik, Kumar Sanu and Sonu Nigam ruled the music industry. The romantic renditions from the album ‘Deewana’, ‘Imtihaan’, ‘Border’ and the foot tapping numbers from Govinda starrers like ‘Aankhen’, ‘Coolie Number 1’ etc.have left an indelible impression in the minds of the youngsters from this generation. The sense of pride associated with standing in the queues of the cinema halls for tickets (it had to be first day, first show!) for movies like ‘DDLJ’, ‘Khalnayak’, ‘Gupt’, etc. cannot be even fathomed, let alone comparing it with the banal experience that ‘Book My Show’ offers these days. The clinking sound of the cold drink bottles during the intervals of the movies (tring tring) offering ‘Lehar Pepsi’, ‘Gold Spot’, ‘Thrill’, ‘Thums Up’ and the chotta badam packets (peanuts..yeah that’s how they were referred to) and potato wafers categorized as “RAA GA” or “SADHAA ” can never be replaced with pop corns and burgers or espressos. Those were the days when summer holidays meant, booking a VCR / VCP player for 3 days and jostling with your cousins and extended cousins, for a vantage seat while watching movies (VHS) like ‘Tarzan’, ‘Bhago Bhoot Aaya’, ‘Ramsay’ movies like ‘Purana Mandir’, ‘Veerana’ etc. Playing cricket during peak afternoons, with makeshift wickets made out of bricks, those ‘hide and seek’ games during power cuts and sleeping on the terrace at night were some of the other ‘must do’ things.God, will I ever be able to relive those moments again??
Those were the days when TV was synonymous with ‘Doordarshan’ and the advent of ‘DD Metro’ and satellite channels was like the most advanced invention of mankind. ‘Malgudi Days’, ‘Mr.Yogi’, ‘Mungeri lal ke haseen sapne’, ‘Chitrahaar’, ‘rangoli’, ‘mahabharat’, ‘tehkikaat’, ‘byomkesh bakshi’…the list is endless. Those were the days when ‘bell bottom jeans’ and ‘parallel fitting cotton’ trousers and waist coats were considered chic and the only place where we could find replicas for T-shirts and shirts worn by movie stars (Sunil Shetty’s ‘Hai hukku hai hukku’ style from the movie Gopi Kishen was my personal favourite !) was at a shop called ‘Arihant’ at Budheswari Colony. Those were the days when having Rs 50 in the pocket meant you owned the world. You really didn’t know where, how and what to spend the money on! Those were days when ‘Chacha Choudhary’, ‘Tinkle’, ‘Billoo’, ‘Pinki’ and ‘Champak’ were like the holy book for all kids and at times, adolescents. Today we are caught up in a world of social media, online journals, online shopping etc… everything has become so virtual that human intervention has become obsolete…possibly the reason why I still feel lonely, inspite of boasting of over 2000 connections on ‘linkedin’ and over 1000 friends on ‘FB’!
As I reminisce in my cabin at my office in Mumbai, I have to confess that there is nothing wrong with the way things are at the moment, but as I said earlier, it lacks the innocence and the freshness I experienced while growing up in the ‘90s. To all the people who grew up in the ‘90s, let me confess that we could well be the last ones with the right set of values/ adaptability/ common sense instilled in us… I want each one of you to look at yourself in the mirror and take a bow, for you are part of a ‘limited edition series’ of mankind and I am not sure if God will ever want to recreate a masterpiece again On that note, I wish each one of you great health, peace and happiness ! “Main Tumse ab Kuchh nahi maangta Aey Khuda… Teri de kar chheen lene ki aadat mujhe manzoor nahi” – Piyush Mishra