Back To the Nineties.

Nineties was the era, or suffice to say, the last era of simplicity. I don’t intend to critique the present generation in any way as that would be deviating from the main topic.

The idiot box

Television, especially in India, was trying to expand through various broadcasting networks, during the 90s. Dish antenna was unheard of, and there used to be a monthly argument with the cable operators, regarding bad reception of some channels. The most sublime moment was asking the operators to play our favorite movies on their private channel. This was a time before torrents, and I remember my excitement when I first watched SpiderMan movie on television (via this separate channel). There were quite a few great TV shows at our disposal, as well. The time slots had been divided effectively among various age-groups though. 

Mornings were for the elders and their devotional programs. 

Afternoons were for homemakers. 

Evenings were for kids and teenagers, who used to watch music programs or cartoons. 

Nights were for families, when everyone enjoyed wholesome shows.

The small soldiers

Children could be found outside in the evenings; playing, fighting, quarreling, consoling, laughing, running, falling, and getting bruises along with their friends. Applying cotton balls dabbed with dettol, on the cuts, used to be an experience which cannot be expressed in words.

The immortal ring

In all this kerfuffle, suddenly, you could hear a loud “Tring- Tring”. It was the telephone, popularly known as ‘landline’, which was a commonality for the entire family members. People used to wait for their calls…and it used to be exciting.

 “Line is dead!” is an extinct phrase which was quite common those days.

The wrap-up

There were only a few news channels, and they used to deliver reports which were not dramatized. 

Video games in the shape of Mario, Contra, and others had entered the life of kids.

Mall culture was in development, but had not been realized completely. Shouting at the top of your voices in a crowded grocery store, to make your presence felt, was a daily routine.

Internet was not a necessity. 

Organic socializing was preferred over virtual.

Smartphones were yet to invented. 

Cricket matches were not so frequent, but when it happened, it used to be a big event.

TV was entertaining and informative. Censorship was lenient. 

People with knowledge on topics used to voice their opinion on matters that they knew about.

Hatred was not so evident, and difference in opinion used to be more than welcome.

Those were the simpler times. Wish it had stayed the same.


So, how was it to grow in the 90s?

To summarize in one sentence: 

“Things were cheap, and relationships were valued.”

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TEA-DEALER

I was never pampered as a kid which I am pretty sure my 14 year old self would not take very positively. Since my father used to be mostly away for work and my sister was pursuing her education from Delhi, a major chuck of my teenage days at home was spent with only my mother. She made me do all sorts of errands like buying vegetables,milk,eggs,groceries etc. So, yeah in a way she made me a little worldly-wise. But that’s frivolous. Most of us have ended up doing these “duties” one time or the other. Its the little thing which our parents do(in this case, mother) that latches to our characteristics forever.

For me, one such trait which I acquired from my mother will be:

“An obsessive, compulsive and desperate need for tea, three times a day!”

Winding back the clock a good ten years back, there used to be a maid in our house whose name to this day I am not aware of for we used to call her “Munchan ki Ma”(Mother of Munchan). See, it is a nomenclature for addressing people used widely by people in North India especially Bihar.

My mother loves tea and she always used to prepare it while the maid was on the verge of completing her work so that she can have a company whilst enjoying the aromatic beverage. Now, my mother has a habit of preparing everything extra. So, whenever the cups couldn’t take any more of the tea, she used to pull out an extra one and give me half of it along with a bread.

Time passed and months turned into years. The half tea turned to full and biscuits substituted bread. So much so that I eventually learned to make tea. My mother stepped down from “tea department” and passed the baton to my resourceful hands. I became the official tea-maker of the family.

A day comes in everyone’s life when one has to step out of the house. Its been five years since I moved out of the house for studies and job but whenever I go home on vacations, I immediately resume the duty of a tea-maker. In a way it is also funny because when I come back from the holidays,the first thing my mother says is-“I miss your tea!”

Maybe,its the tea which is holding a mother and a son together.

I don’t fail to relate this story to anyone who starts questioning my passionate love for tea. To some people I am even a tea-addict. But I am okay with it for whenever I drink tea, I always remember the person responsible for this addiction.

To the 14 year old me, all this will be a piece of mindless crap. Well, maybe he will understand the innocence of it 10 years later…

My Tea-Dealer:

Mother

This is the my most cherished photograph with my mother. Though, I look like an idiot eating away pieces of cake!

I am pretty sure I won’t live a day after I stop having tea…so yeah my chances of forgetting her is almost zero…Love you truly, mother!