P.S. This post is inspired by a chat between Baba, Shetty Bhai, Sputnik, Ali Bhai, Arise_Awake and me on FB. Thanks guys!!
Just yesterday Shetty Bhai and I were remembering Campa Cola, a brand that single-handedly dominated twenty years in India before Coca Cola and Pepsi re-affirmed their position and showed Campa Cola the door. And this served as an avalanche that stormed my nostalgia. I merrily remembered my childhood, the then ambiance and then analysed the radical contrasts that I can set up vis-a-vis with the present!
Let us revisit the most nostalgic moments from past.Today you may have a PlayStation, I spent hours making a “gulel” using the torn rubber tubes of a bicycle!! I still remember,they used to say that guava wood was the best for the Y of the gulel. And then making those “golis” from mud,drying them and then shooting at objects, glasses, birds…they always missed the targets but the heart always burnt with an unmatched satisfaction.
The evenings in summers used to be dedicated to the “zing thing” like Gold Spot and Campa Cola. You used to go to the nearest shop and order 8 bottles,rent the opener and take the bottles home. The shop-wallah would charge some 10 rs extra till you didn’t return the bottles or in case you broke them. Then you would run to home and then the family would drink together,quenching their thirst. You had cricket matches with bets–The losing party will make the opposite team drink Campa Cola. That was the motivation that drove an intent back then. Money was not even heard of at such an age,it was a distant non-interesting entity. Presently children carry pocket money at an age of 8,we used to carry “kanche” and “WWF cards” in our pocket.
Sitting on a cemented wall 6 friends would test their cards against each other based on “biceps” “triceps” “height” and “weight”. Hulk Hogan,Undertaker,Yokuzuna were the creme-de-la-creme back then. Evenings back then were so fun. There was no hurry, there was no IPL to catch on TV, there was socialization, the child was allowed to develop a very strong outlook towards the social aspects as he literally grew feeding on them. Today “noodles” have replaced “chapatis” but that is not all. The replacement in itself of anything is not bad but the implications it had must be reflected upon. Agreed our prior generations thought same about us but then even they would agree that the present one is drastically ahead and different than they expected the subsequent generations to be! I do not lament the fact that we did not have such facilities, I am rather happy we never had. Else how could I go out and bicycle with my friends, I would have been becoming a fatso by playing some silly Dragon Warrior on a PC or X-box. How could I go out and steal some guavas and lichis from the neighbour’s garden..rather i would have been way too reserved eyeing everyone with suspicion. The fact is tolerance has drastically reduced in society. Way back then if a child used to steal a bunch of lichis, the maximum one would do is to shout and just run symbolically. If someone does the same now, its highly possible a FIR report may be lodged or a big fight ensues between the parents themselves. Presently we are less tolerant, we appreciate less, we are more concerned with the “I” rather than the “Us”. Not that I was not prevalent way back then but the quanta was barely visible, atleast on the surface.
Can you forget this signature DD stuff. No matter how much the “Soch Nayi,Rishta Wahi” theme song of Star Plus may blast our ears,this tune by DD is as immortal as Nehru’s midnight freedom speech. It is the signature of an Independent India that was on its way to self-dependency and technological advancement. It embodies the spirit of a whole India coming together when the circles[see the add] coalesce. Each Sunday used to be a treat. It used to be a pleasant season that never ceased to exist. The 4pm slot was a prime slot back then. No cricket matches,however high you may want to place the bet,would take that day in evening just because you might have a “Toofan” or ” Ram aur Shyam” playing. Yes Bachchan used to be the superstar and Dilip used to be the thespian. I have faint memories of how my uncle would just go on praising Amitabh and Dilip. I remember watching “Mera Saaya” vividly. Saadhna was my first love. :blush:
Have forgotten the exact timing of this show but as far as I can remember it was 9pm on Sundays. Renuka and Kak were fabulous. The show was an easy going one,mostly without any tantrums, still it pleased and entertained. Presently you need 5 nude cheerleaders to dance on an Extra Innings show or else the TRP’s may go further down. Surbhi ranked as an absolute favourite amongst households and after Renuka did that Bhabhi act in HAHK, the show saw unseen popularity. Vividly I remember watching Alif Laila and the “Tilism” and the adventures. Tilism made me remember my favourite ever show with the best ever opening song[unfortunately the original video of that song is not available on internet]– Chandrakaanta. I will write a few lines of the song here:
” Chandrakaanta ki Kahaani,Maana hai Puraani
Ye Puraani hokar bhi lagti hai Suhaani
Naugarh Vijaygarh me thik takraar
Naugaarh ka tha jo raajkumar
Chandrakaanta se karta tha pyaar”
These lines and the music was aboslutely mesmerising. Here is the recorded version of the same song by a guy called Akshay:
Shikha Swaroop and Shahbaaz Khaan were infact the most loved pair back then. Kroor Singh was an admired villain. He had the transient popularity of Mogambo once upon a time!! Such was the impact of this serial by Nirja Guleri that I remember stopped telecasting in late 1996. Durga Jasraaj and Pankaj Dheer were also popular in their roles.
Then came Shaanti. Mandira Bedi blew away anything that ever had been on Indian Television,except Mahabharata and Ramayana. This serial paved the way for its derivatives like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. This serial is what made the 2PM time slot,the afternoon one a prime one. The lunch was served half an hour earlier,kitchen cleaned and then the ladies at home would savour the plight of Shaanti. Then there was Swabhimaan. Kittu Gidwaani, Ashutosh Raana, Rohit Roy..the show was also a very popular one. Television had finally started realising its worth in a Post-Liberated India. One may despise Manmohan Singh today for being pawns in hands of the Italian Leader but back then as a finance minister, his strong decisions made India the way as we see it today. He single-handedly defeated socialistic over assertions and struck a precise balance with the capitalist sentiments! Ending this piece with an apt song from Swabhimaan.
Devour these clips and the nostalgia. I have loads to write but an admission day at hospital beckons. I have divided the write up thus into two. Thanks again Shetty Bhai,Sputnik, Ali Bhai,Baba and Arise_ Awake for igniting my neurons.
Much remains on the sands of time that waves of time itself cannot erase. Life will lead me to yonder, my heart shall wish to be buried in the sands of time when I was born!! Alif Laila,Mogli and Shaktimaan, Duck Tales too. But more than that my critical reflection on the past with eyes of present also remains!!
Do catch an old DD series– Mitti Ke Rang if you get a chance.