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  • Writer's pictureSouvik Ghosh

Growing up in the 90’s – Our Wonder Years!!!

Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you're in diapers; the next day you're gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. As you can already see from the first few lines of this post, this post is going to be a nostalgic one. As a kid growing up in the ’90s and early 2000’s India in a typical Indian Middle-class household, growing up was both a struggle and joy and sometimes both together at the same time.

But when I see today’s 12-16-year olds, glued to their screens, sharing selfies, playing PUBG, cramming through online classes and inundated with unlimited information and consequently unlimited competition, I really feel glad that I was born early. My mess was and certainly still is better than their mess.

So just to explicitly state, this post will mostly be relatable to my readers who fall in the age bracket of say 25 to 40-year olds, or the so-called “Millenials”. Now without further ado, let's jog through some of our collective and shared memories.

· Sporting Heroes:

The older you get the more memories you gather, but the things which you have grown up with, hold a very special place in your heart. Recall Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement speech, Saurav Ganguly’s last Test Match or his Lord’s Balcony Shirt waving. They left cricket lovers of my generation teary-eyed in a way no other player of the game ever will.

For us, Sachin-Saurav-Dravid defined cricket, even though we are sure there will be players building upon their legacy. That is the power of nostalgia.

· Entertainment:

We grew up with DD1 and DD2 or DD Metro, whatever you may call it, cable TV made its presence felt either in early or late adolescence, depending on how strict your parents were.

But still, the quality of content which we were exposed to was far better compared to the garbage that is shown on TV nowadays. We grew up on quality rich content like “Dekh Bhai Dekh”, “Hum Paanch”, “Shriman-Shrimati”, “Superhit Muqabla”, “Jungle Book”, “Shaktimaan” etc. And when it came to English language content, we had “Small Wonder”, “Wonder Years”, animated series’ like “The Original Batman Series”, “He-Man”, “Swat-Cats”, just to name a few. Although, we didn’t have Netflix or Prime but the originality and richness of these shows made our childhood fun.

· Technological Evolution:

We are a generation who had to remove our shoes while entering the school’s computer lab and shared personal computers and now our handheld devices are an extension of our selves. We started with collecting Music Cassettes, found our status symbol with a Sony Walkman, then moved to Music CDs and through MP3 players and Ipods we now have Spotify, its been quite a journey.

I guess no generation has seen technology change at such a rapid pace and we have not only been witness to, but also active participants in it.

We had our first taste of social media with Orkut, but even though social media has become all-encompassing, that thrill of 256 kbps internet connection making that “ding” was something else altogether.

· Our shared vices:

Although the 90s is portrayed to be quite a time of innocence, but it did give its fair share of options when it came to exploring our mischievous sides. Who can forget getting enamoured with our screen icons smoking on screen and consequently trying their first smoke on a filter-less “Charminar”.

Similarly, Bollywood and Hollywood actresses were transforming adolescent boys into semi-adult men. Two of the most distinctive images of this era which comes to mind are-(i) A soaking wet Raveena Tandon gyrating to “Tip Tip Barsa Paani” in “Mohra” and

(ii) A similarly risqué Sharon Stone setting the screens on fire in “Basic Instinct”.

It's very hard to stop when it comes to reminiscing about the ’90s, be it the iconic movies and music, or the WWE cards and the silly games we used to play and the restrictions around everything. But I guess because of those boundaries, the moments of freedom which a 90’s kid got, made it so much more enjoyable.

In conclusion, I would like to say overall, the 1990s packed action, fear and excitement. It was like being in a theme park.

Do let me know through the comments if my ramblings were relatable and also feel free to add if you feel I missed out on any other unique '90s experience. And lastly, I would request you all to please like, share and subscribe to my blog, so that you get notified whenever I publish something new, it would definitely mean a lot to me.

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