Skip to main content


Our generation barely experienced the television revolution. Lucky ones, like moi, had cable TV since class 6th. (don't squirm please - no smugness intended).But most of us only briefly soaked the beauty of Friends and Philips Top 10 before we were whisked away for our graduation. School stuff didn't have anything to do with cable television. We were the captive audience for the broadcasters of Doordarshan - Chandrakanta, Alif - Laila, Mahabharat and similar shows had its fan base in the 80's kids. In retrospect, these seem like terrible productions, with archaic quality and sluggish storylines. But we loved them. I remember my friend dressing up as Kroor Singh for some function (I of course, being the non-DD-kid, found it to be quite uncool).

Email, internet, mobiles and the whole networking phenomenon completely missed us. Life had school friends. Life had neighbourhood pals. Some were common, and I couldn't have cared less about that fact. We shared lunches, punches and cricket games. Contacting someone meant cycling/walking up to their house. I don't have a single memory of calling up friends from my place for any reason. The phone was expensive. period. When we shifted to a new place, we bid farewell. Sure, addresses were exchanged with the pretty females (where are you Anshumala, Neha Jolly, Neha Sharma, Ruchika,,,,). But letters were tedious and unmanageable for a teenager who was busy making new friends in a new school/place. So I simply started all over again. After 12 years of schooling in over half a dozen institutes, I am left with 15 odd contacts, most of them being from high school. It'll be a miracle if I find my old buddies later in life. 1985+ of course have had gmail,email and airtel at their disposal. Pretty lucky, I must say...

The transition, or the first experience of english music is always special for a hindi-bred Indian. For majority of us, this experience happened in the last few years of school life. A few popular and common numbers are :

Aqua - Barbie Girl
Backstreet Boys - Everybody
Boyzone - Words

Our generation wasn't about MP3's and illegal music. We quitely and systematically exchanged tapes to share our music. Custom made collections were revered. Buying 40/- hindi tapes was uncommon. Buying 125/- english tapes was unimaginable. It simply wasn't done. Some hep rich kid would do the good deed, and the 4 minute masala would trickle down to the have-nots - slowly but surely. The simple song structure and unusual accent seduced even the most ardent hindi song fans...Saturday Night I feel the air is getting high....It has made me swing right now. Somehow, those memories/visuals are etched deeper in my grey cells than what the last five years have offered me. There is this little neuron that perks up when one of those songs are played - Hey, I recognize this one really well. Remember Sameer's birthday party....And visuals start pouring in - clear and fuzzy ones. Thankfully, my brain remembers the fun moments quite well. And how can we NOT have fun with Macarena!

Watching the first western video was also a big deal. The auditory freshness, combined with the new oomph of western culture makes an explosive combo. The colours are different, sexual content is noticeably higher, lyrics incomprehendable and they seem to be having a lot more fun. Any newbie is left flabbergasted, immediately filled an urge to emulate. A teenager's brain captures the frames, movements and details much more efficiently (obviously - a gaping mouth and wide eyes will accept more content). I watched the video of 'Get Down' by Backstreet Boys tonight. My first reaction was goosegumps. Then I started dancing. Amazingly, I knew when exactly Nick (the blonde one) would flick his head and AJ would bawl. My third reaction was to put this all down in words....

I feel the 'music' years of one's life are not the baby years, or the pre-teens. It is wholly and only that brief decade between the age of 13 and 18 that just zips by. The tunes you listen to and appreciate in these years stay with you. After that, your taste buds tend to appreciate only those styles/genre of music. A decade later, these kids pop up, whose music pricks you - and you end up sounding like your dad - 'What crap are you listening to ? Aaj kal ke bacche bhi...'

Boy I love my generation :)


  1. Hi Arvind,
    Thanks for your comment in my blog................


  2. I agree to your views, because i don't write humor. I write serious stuff. So my posts tend to be annoying at times. If you feel that i should cut off a few things or aspects do tell me.
    Thank you

  3. Very nice. Can make anybody feel nostalgic. When we were kids, we had only Doordarshan on black and white TV, Only half hour cricket highlights and only one hindi film on sunday plus song and dance sequence chitrahaar on Thursdays. Todays kids have an embarrasment or riches. There is no novelty left. Hope they don't take it for granted.

  4. i remeber we got cable connection on dec 26th 1996 or 95, i remeber the date coz it was just before my b'day and sort of a b'day gft for me, as was the trend those days, we got the cable disconnected for a few months during bhaiya 's 12th board and then back, fortunately during my board exams no such action was taken, i remember pretending to study in my room while all i was doing was concentrating on watever lil snd i could hear coming from the idiot box, and those long dinner breaks, when a couple of rotis could take half an hr to 45 mins to go down the throat.
    i was never a connoisseur of english music, but my brother never had nough of it, and i was forced to listen to english music all teh time, i did have a few favourites by the time he went for his studies, since then its only been pinkfloyd and the kind, u pretty well know when and why

  5. Nostalgia hit me hard as I read this post... Those days!

  6. i love my generation tooo.. and i hate this line..."aaj kaal ke bache bhi".

    I think our next generation will b different and most probably smarter than Us. Same are we. smarter than them :P

  7. well what you have written is almost correct but i am that hindi background kid and i don't feel embarrassed for beinh mahabharat fan. yeah some things like chandrakanta were really horrible but u seem to have missed good things like campus,sanjha chulha,hum log, udaan. i don't oppose all thing western but why coolness is defined only in western terms????

  8. I believe each stage of ones life brings with it in a different kind of sense of perception, and perhaps it is this phenomenon that we call maturity. Lets say a 5 yr old kid would like a song more because of its music than its lyrics. However when we get a sense of feeling, when we face emotions and become able to articulate it, we start giving a damn to lyrics as well.
    This i feel is true for any genre of art. As we mature, we become more sensitized to art, and it so happens that most of the things that tickled us in the past or left us flabbergasted seem silly. In a more pompous manner, we call it a lack of taste.
    However we still like things of our time because they still prick our neurons and we have a sense of nostalgia affixed to it.
    And when it manifests itself as a difference of taste between generation, we call it generation gap.

    And ya I too like my generation, but I also like those that preceded mine and those that'll succeed mine.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mangalyaan: A Guide to countering Mangal Dosh via Lord Hanuman

#Mangalyaan was a great success , thanks to the countless hours spent by the ISRO scientists who made this happen. Reports state that they prayed to Lord Balaji (Source). To hedge their risks some of them might have also prayed to Lord Hanuman to counter Mangal Dosh (Mars ill-effect) . This Hanuman prayer for protection from Mars may have helped the team enter the orbit of Mars; the jury is out on that one. Speaking of Hanuman, in the recent past there was a bizarre incident regarding an Aadhaar UID which captured people's interest briefly. Let’s talk about that. If you suspect that this #mangalyaan introduction was just a thinly veiled segue to my dated post, you are right…

A few weeks ago we learnt that an Aadhar Card was issued for Lord Hanuman with a legitimate 12 digit ID (news link) The police eventually figured out that this regressive action was conceived by a progressive person named Vikas. His intentions for applying for a fake God ID were not malicious – but rather ste…

A Review of Indian Election Inspired Advertising

It's election season in India for the past few months and the topic has dominated online and offline discussions. And when elections are the central activity / attention of the nation, as a marketeer for FMCG brands, it's quite tempting to plan creatives around the topic during the season. Over late 2013 and 2014, we have seen at least 11 Indian brands which have developed dedicated commercials around the election theme. The categories have been quite diverse from noodles to electrical wires, telecom to vests. Given the marketing investment backing these campaigns, let's try to answer the obvious question: When does it make sense to plan an election themed advertising for your brand?
The role of advertising is to 1) Get a brand noticed and 2) Refresh and improve brand association using distinctive cues. This grows brand mental salience for the consumer and hopefully then grows market share! (source). In addition to the usual advertising principles (where we assess the cre…

I'm sorry, What's your name?

I admit that we Indians do look alike. I have elaborated about this earlier, and it's a fact I've come to accept. Till recently I also had a strong belief, that once you got to know us Indians, viewed our facebook profiles, talked to us, understood our problems - you would begin to view us as distinct individuals.

All that changed yesterday.

I stood there at 4pm, fretting in front of Bread Talk, waiting for Varun. The poor guy was dragging his holiday suitcase all the way to Novena Bread Talk to pick up my house key. (Varun is the other guy in the picture - the one on the left. Yes we are not twins). Since I couldn't reach him by phone, we both could only rely on gross miscommunication for aligning on the venue and time.

Varun didn't show up for 5min. And I had an equally important chai break to attend. So right then it struck me that a standard movie ticket procedure could also work at Bread Talk.

So I went to the Bread Talk counter and waited. "Welcommmmme", al…