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.
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.”