Sunday, February 15, 2009

Those top 10 nostalgic moments

In this fast-paced world, I am sure every one of us, at various instances in our lives, would want to go back to our good old days, to relive those great moments of a care-free life! Though studying in a CBSE school meant you had to be on top of your books, there still was a lot of time for the joys of TV in the form of DD1 and DD2, the various comic books, special once-in-a-blue-moon restaurant visits, and the two and half months of summer vacation for planning out immense amount of activities and games! The following ten items stand out for me in terms of their experience...
  1. DD1 & DD2 along with Mile Sur Mera, Ek Chidiya, 'Sorry for the interruption' and 'Over to Delhi' - The World this week by Prannoy Roy and SportsMag by Harsha Bhogle were much sought after on DD1: the former captured everyone's hearts in his calm and crystal-clear way of giving a snapshot of the world events for the past week while the latter had a superfast way of speaking English which made everyone sit up and get puzzled on who this newbie was! On DD2, Superhit Muqabla was fun to watch even if the top 10 song list never changed week after week. Of course, Mile Sur Mera starting with Bhimsen Joshi and the animated Ek Chidiya were ever popular. On the other extreme were the painful view of "Sorry for the interruption" or "Over to Delhi" just when you didn't want them!
  2. 5 digit telephone numbers - 77438 was our house phone number. And I still remember all of my friends' numbers - since it was so easy remembering a 5 digit number! Nowadays, with the 10 digit cell phone numbers, I don't even remember my own number from a couple of years back! Even though those telephone instruments used to hurt the finger, specially if most of the numbers required a 270 degree motion of the dial, it gave you the satisfaction of talking to people instead of sending them SMS and scraps!
  3. Home-made 'bakshanam' (sweets / savories) - That basically stands for uppu / vella seedai, murukku, thengozhal, ribbon, pakoda, thattai which were regularly done for many of the special occasions by my grandmas. No Grand Sweets, no Surya sweets then, to get packaged items. They were all done at home and could be consumed hot off the stove! Just the process of seeing them make it told us that there was a big occasion at home. And the festive spirit was invoked and enjoyed.
  4. 'Big Fun' Bubblegum - This was a very guy thingie but collection of runs and wickets that came along with the bubblegum was such a big activity then. Exchange of those player profiles and getting those rare ones from the older guys was worth more than anything else in life! The more soiled the chits were, the greater their value! This was over and above the competition on the size of the bubble that one could blow using the bubblegum.
  5. Hiring a cycle - At Re.1 per hour, it was a big deal then. Still, the joyous feeling going through the same roads over and over again along with friends despite the hot burning sun was sublime! Sometimes races turned ugly when one of the lot would fall down and hurt themselves. That would never deter us though from regrouping and utilizing the full value of the Re.1 spent!
  6. Heman toys / Trade Games / Crazy Ball / Glow worm - Collection of Heman toys and stickers was a much sought after activity. G I Joe was another character that was popular! Long-winding trade games that went on for hours during summer holidays were widely anticipated events. To ensure we continued over multiple days, we even wrote down the exact status in our notebooks! The crazy ball that bounces in various angles and a glow worm that used to shine in the night were popular too, the latter specially amongst girls. Last but not the least, 3 - 5 hours of cricket (underarm / overarm / bowling etc.) were a standard feature every day, be it holidays or otherwise!
  7. Tinkle / Tintin Comics - Those were the days of no internet and no Cartoon Network. So, Tinkle comics and Amar Chitra Katha ruled the roost. Phantom and Mandrake were also extremely popular amongst the boys. The good / bad ring and the charm of Xanadu are still not lost on me! Tintin and Asterix, borrowed for Rs. 2 from the lending library were even greater fun on account of their highly engaging stories. To this date, it is pretty expensive to own a Tintin or an Asterix comic book! The "Famous Five" and "Secret 7" were reserved for the only-English speaking dudes!
  8. Writing with an 'ink' pen - Class 5 exposed us to an ink pen. Initially, stained fingers and shirts were painful to look at. But these signified the coming of age of us as students. We would look down on Class 4 students as if they were very junior compared to us. Ball-point pens were typically frowned upon by teachers. In this current computer age, it is sad that even writing with anything has become a such a rarity!
  9. Camlin or Natraj Geometry box - Owning a Camlin or a Natraj geometry box, that too a fully-loaded one with Steadler pencils, a white eraser, a sharpener and all the geometry instruments shining without any rust, was a moment of pride. No one ever knew when a divider would ever be used but the compass and protracter were absolute necessities. It is another thing that Camlin was Aishwarya Rai's first ad shoot when she was in school!
  10. Distributing chocolates on birthdays - This is probably an activity that continues to this day in schools, but dressing up in something outside of uniforms and distributing chocolates was a much anticipated activity, not just for the one whose birthday it was, but for the other children in school as well. The type of chocolate - whether it was an Eclairs, or a 'Try Me', or a 'Melody' typically signified social standing and willingness to incur expenditure on birthdays. Cadbury's 5 Rs. 'Dairy Milk' chocolates were reserved for the rich kids.
Well, writing about these does make me feel a lot younger when I visualize m. But it also makes me think I have grown so much older now since it looks like ages back when I was in school! It still is any day worth it just to think of these! We, or even our next generation, may never get to experience the same, but if only we could have a way to revisit the past, it would be fun!

Any more such moments, do add them in the comments...

29 comments:

shark_surfs said...

Nice one

Anonymous said...

Also Metro Priya (the first time the word "jollu" was used on TV to my recollection).

The amazingly dull tuesday evening tamil dramas on DD (remember the oft told joke about a prisoner choosing a long prison sentence to watching the tuesday evening dramas).

Oh, and Didi's comedy show - nonstop nonsense(a google search throws up this - http://www.didipage.de/html/videos.html)

Raju

Dhananjay said...

Talking about DD, one of the best serials to air on television was "Yeh Jo Hai Jindagi"
You can get the CD's now and they are reasonably priced, 500 for a season and watching them is still so much fun.

Nikhil Narayanan said...

Rajiv,
Nice one.
Can relate to the post fully.
There was one more brand of geometry box-Omega.
Big Fun...those days...

-Nikhil

Deepak said...

nice one.
I can relate very much to DD thing (adjusting clock to news time), then rent-a-cycle, top-10.
Also, the new-year eve top-10 songs, and evening 4:45 PM movie, vikram-betal on saturday afternoon (sat being the half-day schools)

The Layman said...

nice one :)
Used to love alif laila in doordarshan..
and the childrens show in dd2 during the evenings (superman, he man, dennis the menace, super human zamurai etc)

Asheem said...

Great article. I think I've saved most of those things somewhere at home in Bombay.

What's scary is that I have a Camel geometry box here with me in San Francisco. I was saddened when, two weeks ago, I accidentally broke the compass.

For now - I'm just hoping that the last of my reynolds pens holds out until my next trip home.

asiftherock said...

Brilliant post. Can relate to almost all the things that you have mentioned. I would also add trump cards, both WWF & cricketers, to that list

Neeti said...

A really good one. I also remember going to school by School Bus and TV Series like Byomkesh Bakshi...

Paavani said...

those childhood days. and those small things that make us feel big.
Dont know, what would this generation kid remember. might be watching tele tubies to Shin shan, or shifting from video games to PS3.
www.paavani.in

Arvind Iyer said...

I think the current spelling would be JiMatreee Box!

Nice list.

Shantanu said...

Sunday Mornings with Jungle Book / Talespin (and even before that - Mahabharat with an omnipresent Nirma Ad.)

shesturningblue said...

great list

Jeeves said...

thanks shark_surfs, nikhil, arvind, shesturningblue, neeti;
raju - metro priya bang on! Didi's comedy was just so awesome!!!
dhanno - nukkad is one i saw!
deepak - yes bikram betal was certainly never to be missed!
the layman, asif - heman + WWE were certainly big, latter around 1990s with the advent of star tv;
asheem - thats great if it could stand the test of time till now!
shantanu - same nirma ad comes to this day!
paavani - i remember that catridge based 8-bit nintendo games to day!

Chimera said...

took me down nostalgia lane...I had a similar post about DD as well as Fountain pens.but do kids these days not distribute chocolates at school? I dunno any school going kids , unfortunately!

Neon said...

I so relate to the writing with the ink pen one. I still remember the 'Oliver' ink pen I proudly took to class on the first day of 5th standard.

Coconut Chutney said...

Got here from desipundit :)

I remember the glow worms, i loved them loved them loved them! And i still get tinkle :D Oh and I loved fountain pens. In PSBB, we were allowed to use them only in the fag end of the year, but we were so excited! I used to get ink on my face (dont ask how), much to my mother's chagrin :D I remember the chocolate distribution too, some kids would even give pencils n stuff, we were more excited about birthdays than the birthday boy/girl!

Damn, I'm old.

Navya said...

Very nicely written.Brought back a lot of memories for me! Moments#7,8,9,10 top my list of nostalgic moments...There was a certain thrill in going to the book store at the beginning of the year and shopping for a shiny new orange camlin geometry box!!!


Navya.

Fork Spoon Knife said...

awww!! I totally agree with 3,4, 8 and 10!! :))
btw added ur blog to my page

Akari said...

Do you remember "Daddy" chips?? I absolutely loved them. But when they stopped making them I was so sad. I still remember them fondly though..

vigneshjvn said...

Wonderful post! There was another bubblegum when I was in class five whose name I don't remember(you must've been out of school by then) - cost 2 bucks (very expensive) and would have a football player sticker with it. Four of them are still on kupuku's computer table (which was once my study table).

And owning a "hero" pen was a pride! I still remember how my handwriting shrunk thanks to its sharp tip.

Shantanu said...

@vighnesh:
Fusion Bubblegum, methinks

Anonymous said...

Again...How old are you?

Anonymous said...

Again...How old are you?

--RGC

Sriya said...

Hey Rajiv...

A really nice one...took me to the good old days.....i can never forget Spirit of Unity concert title music by ARR during those days...n not to miss "I love you Rasna".....:)

Sriya...

jagannath said...

what about collecting the Gold Spot crowns to get the Junglebook comic,
The fridays evenings "Hey Jo hai Jindagi", serials like "Indradanush", Karamchand,
Everlast"Buniyaad","Giant Robot",Spiderman, ..well I have a huge list.
Who can ever forget the "chitramaala", waiting all week for that one regional song.

Dont know what happened to "Fresh n Up"..having that to the cricket ground was a pride moment.

Ambar Naik said...

Hey Rajiv

Was browsing through the blog and then came this post. I am absolutely happy to have read it. I can completely relate to each and everything in the post. Thanks a lot for helping me remember those good old days!!!

Cheers
Ambar Naik

Sriram said...

oliyum oliyum, rangoli, sunday tamil movie..

nice post.

Jeeves said...

huh missed replying earlier somehow! @chimera - they may do in fact! @neon - very true! @coconut chutney - we all are! @navya - thanks! @fork spoon knife - thx! @akari - vaguely remember those! @vignesh - yeah the remarkable hero pen! @anonymous - all ppl are nostalgic at some stage! @sriya - the bajaj ad as well that had the unity concept strung in was too good! @jagannath - yes i do remember those too! the list is endless! @ambar - thanks! @sriram - thx!

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