Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Looking Back...


It was way back in the 80s, when people like me who have almost fossilized on this earth were born, when life was all about Nirma Washing Powder ads, the glittering sparkle in Rajus pearly white teeth and the energy tonic—Hamdard Ka Sinkara…

Life in 80s and the beginning of 90s was untouched by the glitz and glamour of the Page 3 parties or the snazzy shopping malls…Entertainment was restricted to family picnics and occasional biye baris with a rare few Chunnu Munnus(those were the common names!) getting to celebrate their big birthdays…

Chitrahaar was the only Bollywood show we got to watch amidst much restriction ( my dad was against anything “Hindi”)… Chitrahaar was our key to Bollywood on those days…On every Wednesday we were glued to the tv set to watch the same old gyrating moves by Mithun, Jayaprada’s nagin style dance moves(with the dafli as a prop!) and Mr. Bachhan of cors …

We were never allowed to watch Hindi films when we were young… My first movie was way back in 1984 when I was a toddler…The film as I remember was Ghare Baire screened at our very own intellectual hub Nandan…Well the experience was not interesting at all… the moment I saw Miss Gilby(Jennifer Kendall) was injured I almost screamed out aloud and I just went on... As my parents were forced to leave the auditorium (thanks to me), a few self proclaimed intellectuals commented: “Boita Bojheni Bodhoy!”(my mom never took me to Nandan for the next 10-15 years)

Life in 80s was about watching television ads…The boring specs clad newscasters had already made the television unbearable (Sunit Tandon was good however!)…But I loved the ads…As the frilly frocked Nirma girl took turns on the screen even I danced to the same tune in my living room…. I still remember the catchline: Wah Raju tumhare dant to motiyo jaise chamak rahe hain….Well well you guessed it right the credit entirely goes to Dabur Lal Dant Manjan! It was during this kiddish family oriented advertisements Alyque Padamsee’s Liril ad raised much furor in the industry….Well who would really want to see a bathing Indian beauty considering our age old Talibanistic oops hypocrite Indian taboos… But Liril surely managed to capture the hearts of the Desi Girls back then…


My first Hindi film however was Maine Pyar Kiya in 1991…That was really an experience which I’ll never ever forget….When my life had turned almost black and white thanks to Ray and Hollywood classics there it was Rajashri pictures coming to my rescue with Salman Khan!!!! I was oh so used to the quintessential Bong look thanks to Soumitra and occasional Uttam Kumar stuff…this seemed to be a unique respite! For the first time I was introduced to glittery song dance and masala filled Bollywood oozing of passion, love, family values and separation and again boy meets girl story…I became an instant Salman fan ….

However 80s reminds me of something really unique and special…. The radio…The 80s radio was about the Bibidh Bharati which hosted shows like Bhule Bisre Geet and Aap ki Farmaish….Back then after our dinner as me and didi cuddled up in our beds we secretly switched on the radio…. There was a show called Aap ki Farmaish---Just like any other request show the presenter read the long list of requestors first and played their favorite song….There was a strange mystery in the names and the places where they belonged….”Subba sing from Badaun zila Rampur, Hawaldar Ram Pandey from Jammu, Suneeta, Santosh aur Tibbu from Latur”….The list seemed to be endless and we went off to sleep during that impeccable list reading session….But often looking at the night sky I thought, what is Subba Singh doing now when his favorite song “Chandan sa Badan” is being played at the dead of the night; is Hawaldar Ram Pandey from Jammu really listening to the song amidst the cold wintry Jammu night on a far away border post…Did they hear their names on the radio....As if I could visualize their lives through their names…the list went on and on….

My 80s was all about emotions, mystery, restrictions, frilly frocks, Mile Sur Mera Tumhara, Udaan, Humlog….It was about pastels, sketch pens and stone stickers…it was about my plaited hair uniformed childhood, it was about my didi and me, and about so many things which is lost in the passage of time...

As Cesare Pavese had rightly said…We do not remember days; we remember moments…These are some of the precious and cherished moments of my life!

8 comments:

Dankest Cartoon said...

i know all ur intellectual seeds started in 1984 at nandan...!
Btw u missed on the Cartoon Shows man!
I loved my simple life at 80s....
Loved it sharmi!! [:)]

Priya said...

just too well written...amazed i am..speechless....keep up the good job dudette!!!!!:D

sarmistha said...

Hey dankest... thanks for praising my intellectual seeds..hahaah...truely it started back then....

and priya.... a big muahhh thanks

Samiksha said...

The way YOU took me around the 80ties, i guess no history chapter has been able to make me understand time so well...loved it in short!! :)

Kolika C. said...

Handsome Kaku :) i'd like to "follow" your blog. so enable that option. I'll take the 90s with you than the 80s without BTW

shadows getting older said...

too good...I also remember dancing to the 'washing powder nirma' tune along with my cousin sis. and what a coincidence, my first hindi film was 'Maine Pyar Kiya' as well:D very nostalgic post

sp.ajay said...

it was good to read about the 80's and the the starting of 90's;vividh bhartis style hasn't changed much, the list still counts names as Tittu and Bittu or someone else from spiti, rampur is still a frequent listener of the various "aap ki farmaishes" that are going on.
it helped me recall the nirma girls, however raju is still beyond my grey cells...

prashslash said...

Myself being a 90s guy,,, i found this rather interesting .. fer a change how life would have been contrastingly different if i had been cast onto this earth a few years earlier..... anyways to each one his own nostalgic moments and memoirs... as evident from ur post,, some things have changed ,, some things have changed for the better and some things will never change... [:D].. now what are those things --> to each one his own... :P