80s kids in India

Thursday, December 12, 2013 , , , 4 Comments



My facebook wall today is filled with 90s kids and the 100 memorable things they did and the post made me think, what did I do as a kid during 80s?

I am not having any particular number or order. Listing whatever comes to my mind. 


1. Doordarshan, the strange vibgyor streaked screen saver that appears most of the times and the doordarshan logo spiraling with the background music, thu dum... tu tu tu tu. The eager faces ready to watch the Malgudi days, Buniyad's Batki, Chitrahars, Nukkad, Rajini, Oliyum oliyum, Malarum ninaivugal, Tuesday dramas, Rangoli, Hum log, surabhi, S. Ve. Shekhar Vanna kolangal, Crazy Mohan's Maadhu, Cheenu, Janaki and towards the late 80s Ramayan and Mahabarath epic serials but frequently interrupted with, "rukkavadh key liye kedh hai" / "sorry for the break" / "thadangalukku varundhugirom" and the absence of remote, for that matter absence of channel themselves, left us quite frustrated and waiting for the familiar flicker of images again.

2. News in DD was a fixture in everyone's life young or old, especially when there are no choices, you are forced to see everything including vayalum vazhuvum, kanbom karpom and vaazhkai kalvi definitely News is better than other programs and was hosted by famous faces like Shobana Ravi, Sandhya Rajagopal, Varadharajan in regional news and Chandrasekhar, Komal G.B. Singh (personally great fan of her looks and jet straight hair), Minu, Neethi Ravindran (who used to look like female version of our news reader Varadharajan). Usha Albuquerque whose eyebrows drawn with pencil, thin and quite stylish and Sunit Tandon his eyes smiling and his beard trying to hide that smile.

3. Sunday national film at 1 PM, mostly those slow regional art films, where an old grandma would walk slow from the well at backyard to the front corridor and stand outside the house, holding her hand to shade her eyes and the postman cycles by and she asks "chitti?" And the post man answers "nahin daadi ma" and the woman turns back and start walking back tracing her steps... a break... time for the news for hearing impaired. Do we move away? No! we watch the middle aged woman gesturing by hands and exaggerated lipsync on the top right corner of the screen. We wait continue wait to watch the rest of the film. Patience was their in abundance in all the 80s kids.

4. A special mention for Commercials, Lalithaji and surf, Onida - neighbour's envy, owner's pride, Nutramul dada, Lifebuoy evidamo arogiyam avidamae, la lari la la Lyril bikini model, Kusbhudham antiseptic cream Boraline, Nycil prickly heat, Goldspot the zing thing, Chyavanaprash, Hamara bajaj the pride of dads and few Rajdoots and Enfield Bullets pride of young men. Dabur lal dant manjan, Washing powder Nirma, Paan paraag, Hajmola sir, Roohafza, Vicks ke goli and the list goes on...I dont remember seeing jewelery advertisements then.

5.  Star trek, Giant Robot, UFO, He man and the masters of the universe, Mandrake the magician, Phantom comics, Amarchitra kadha, Ambulimama, Gokulam used to be Kid's lean time activity, while prime time were atleast 3 to 4 cricket matches in a narrow small lanes and renting hour cycle (also fondly called our cycle) 50 paise for one hour and roaming around doubles, triples whatever. Girls meet up with friends playing indoor games, a few seen playing Badminton, throw ball, cocoa. Content and giggling always. Yeah and those sly glances at boys playing cricket and your friend's whisper "udanae paakadha, but avan unnai paathaan" and you can't help but to look at him udanae and find him immersed picking visible threads from his bat handle and look at your friend who adds hurriedly "God promise di".

6. Carefree sanitary napkin ads, girls knowing smiles and boy's curious glances. When I was 10, I thought the packet contained the polka dotted salwar the model wears.  Nirodh ad, several years, I thought it was the stainless steel blade men uses to shave, but why the man and woman taking a stroll on a rainy day under a pink umbrella (now please dont ask me why pink?), holding hands and looking at each other with so much love? Questions were asked by my elder cousins, but they were either shouted up on or shooed away adding mystery to this small square pack .  And, there is this ad almost during the end of 80s, a man at a chemist keeps fumbling and trying to ask something, gesturing wildly and this handsome guy walks in with a sexy smile and even sexier voice asks for "moods please" and his smug smile towards the other poor creature. 

7. The Digjam guy with his beard and proud smile marching forward and a bunch of people following him behind.


8. Asian games an important event during 80s, the appu mascot and the VIPs running carrying torch for a freedom march. The BGM still fresh in my mind and P.T. Usha all the time sprinting somewhere, either on the track or commercials. Kapil Dev, Gavaskar, Srikanth, Lendl, Boris Becker, Martina and Steffi playing with so much vigour and style. Bupka pole vaulting. The list goes on.

9. The eternal "milae sur mera, tumara... tu sur banae hamara".

10. The TV antenna that we keep adjusting, mom watching drama driving us to the terrace to check is a Crow is sitting and turned the antenna.

11. Election times used to be blessing in disguise for all movie lovers.  On the day of counting votes, a movie marathon constantly interrupted by election status happens.

12. Some super hit songs from music albums of the time, Hawa Hawa, Made in India and ofcourse Boney M heard everywhere. Casettes recorded, re recorded several times, sometimes stuck with then famous new fevicol and till today stacked away somewhere inside a card board box residing on a dark corner of our lofts.

14. VCPs or VCRs hired on a rainy day, for a movie marathon, cousins or friends always included, hot bajjis and coffees circulated liberally. I don't remember eating popcorns while watching movies. Taking turns in playing hosts, it was much more fun. I remember watching James Bond movies and blushing and looking at the kissing scenes through half closed eyes. Rajini crooning "kadhalin deepam ondrai", Sathiyaraj's sarcasm "thagadu enganae thagadu thagadu", Kamal's sci-fi Agniputran and the strange achappadi ichapadia dance, the sexy dimple kapadia, the nerdy Prithi, the martyr ambika. Not to forget the tall arrogant rich girl Radha, Rekha and punagai mannan's kiss, Revathy, prabhu, nambi annae, Mr. Chandramouli fame Karthik, the man with a microphone, Mohan. Ever College going Charlie, chini jayanth, Murali.  Whoa! it's really to tough to stop.

So much to tell and I know it rushed out in a hurry, the excitement reliving those times and typed out hurriedly through an app that has limited options and my laptop screen broken, I don't want to wait and this post will go live in few minutes with typos, lack of proper punctuations, may not be coherent for readers who are not familiar with this period but am sure 80s kids will definitely relate to.

viji suresh

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard. Google

4 Candles:

Manoj Prasad said...

The overall post is awesome but just one koscheen...i thought i was a 90s kid but now i realize i am a 80s kid...we are indeed so old...

viji suresh said...

80s and early 90s are almost like. Since u were a kid in mid 80s and 90s, you can call urself 90s kids too and you are middle aged if that helps :P

kaviths said...

Super, Viji. You brought back nice memories of the past. Since we had one television channel (and I would say the quality in general was good), we are still able to remember all programs, personalities, advertisements etc. so well. But present generation programs hardly stay in our memory for even a short time (it may be because of so many channels and program choices).

I think you should write one post about 60's kids (we can interview some older people) I am sure they would have had the best childhood, no distractions in terms of TV, no chaotic traffic, playing cricket on the roads, climbing trees etc., no pressure to learn extra-curricular activities etc..(just guessing).

Good one, Viji. Waiting for more.

viji suresh said...

Thanks for the read, Kavitha. Happy that you enjoyed the post. Good idea about interviewing 60s people or even our parent's childhood days. And I truly wish i lived those times, serene and quite peaceful life.

wisdom comes with experience

At one, I learnt crawling was fun. At forty one, I still feel crawling is fun #blamemykneesnotme