About a week ago, while surfing through the TV channels and exasperated by the trash they show in there, my fingers suddenly skipped over a channel to which my mind responded in sudden secretion of Adrenaline. With a reflex and to my greatest amusement my finger switched back to that particular channel and a feel of high degree nostalgia ran down my spine. “CHANDRAKANTA KI KAHANI, YE MANA HAI PURANI ... NAUGARH VIJAYGARH ME THI TAKARAR, NAUGARH KA THA JO RAJKUMAR, CHANDRAKANTA SE KARTA THA PYAAR.........” Lords above! I cannot explain how deep it struck me. I flew back to the times when I was 6 or 7, when I not just watched these shows but also stretched my wings of imagination through them.
People may have varied views and visions about the best decade of Indian Television but for me, 90’s have given me some of the unforgettable moments and the memories of my lifetime.
If you too, like me, are a late 80’s born person, you must have started your life’s first playlist with the songs like “I AM A DISCO DANCER” and “TAMMA TAMMA LOGE TAMMA” by default. My first ever song on this planet was “KABOOTAR JA JA” and my folks amusingly say that I sang it with a pleasure divine (don’t take a kid of 10-11 months too lightly!!!!).
Talking about the songs of movies from 90s, for some of the best composition ever film industry salutes this decade. But apart from these melodies, 90s have given us a whole lot of different genre of songs too that have a massive fan following of Tempo and Auto drivers. If you are born and brought up in any small northern city like me, you must have been attacked upon by a whole range of broken heart songs while travelling in the autos (though Bhojpuri numbers of Manoj tiwari and others now being there priorities).
80s was winding up its tail and welcoming 90s wholeheartedly with an era of Mahabharata (though I don’t remember a tint and tinge of it). I have heard from people of that generation that they used to watch that show bare footed and actually joined their hands with devotion in front of the television (sounds interesting, isn’t it?)
I have my distinct memories of 90s from the era of “JUNGLE BOOK”, “CHANDRAKANTA”, “RANGOLI” and “SHREE KRISHNA”. I had a Sunday time-table which I still remember quite clearly. My Funday started with Hema Aunty in Rangoli at 7.30 followed by Jungle Book at 9.00, Shree Krishna at 9.30 and Chandrakanta at 10.30.
The wisdom of Bagheera and stunts of Moghli and Bhalu amazed me and, I actually used to pray to Lord Krishna (while watching that show) for the victory of Moghli over Sher khan.
I would go impatient waiting for “Chandrakanta”, not just because I loved that show too much but I had this huge crush on the Prince of Naugarh, Virendra Pratap. That crush grew even stronger later on with the onset of my new all time favourite “YUG”, in which the same actor played Veeru, a dynamic and brave freedom fighter. I once dreamt myself being assassinated by the British Police with all the characters of YUG by my side. That is one of my favourite dreams everJ.
Getting back to my funday routine, dreaming whole day, how would it feel to be with Moghli and Bagheera in Jungle and portraying myself as Shree Krishna, I anxiously waited for the 4’o clock movie which was then called “Hindi Feature Film”. Truly, 4’o clock was my Hero time as I pictured myself as Amitabh bachhan, Shatrughan Sinha, Anil Kapoor,Govinda and later on Shahrukh Khan. Aping Amit Ji’s dialogues and Govinda’s dance steps, I used to be an integral part of the movie and right then, on TV it would emerge “RUKAVAT KE LIYE KHED HAI”.
A few years later when I started identifying myself as a girl, I emulated almost all the actresses of that time from Madhuri, Juhi, Raveena, Karishma to Neelam, Sonam, Nagma and everyone. Here comes a little secret from my treasures box, I used to get astonished at their blissfully busty bosoms and wondered when would I have my own pair of theseJ.
Nights on funday brought some countdown shows like “Ek se badh kar ek” and others and then would arrive another lot of my fantasyland time, the 9’o clock blockbuster constantly interrupted by some landmark add films like “MAAN GAYE AAPKI PARKHI NAZAR AUR NIRMA SUPER DONO KO”.
It was a time when we had these cable connections at our homes only during our summer vacations. The Black and White TV with manual channel selection filled my life with glitzy and gaudy colours of imagination. The burning and scorching noons of April, May and June brought soothing delights with the shows I still cherish the most, “TARANG” and “CHHUTTI CHHUTTI”. Dr NARLIKAR with his shuttle in ANTARIKSH KI SAIR , LAL BUJJHAKAD CHACHA with his RAHASYA KI POTALI and PREMA DIDI with her SUNO KAHANI GUNO KAHANI were the greatest people for me at that time and even today I owe a lot to them because they taught me to widen my horizon and deepen my thoughts.
With the initial phase of Star Plus, Zee TV and Sony TV, I met some of my favourite characters on TV till date. Uncle Scroodje with his three nephews along with Mrs. Beckley, Launchpad and Gulliver formed the plate of my favourite cuisine and Ballu and Chotu with their ever Spinning Tales added delicious flavours to it.
I fluttered on the magic carpet with Aladdin and dove down under the oceans with Arial. I wandered in wonderland with Alice and enchanted those magical words with Jennie of the lamp while bewitching with Samantha.
Down this memory lane how can I forget to mention one of my favourite shows “Alif Laila”, particularly the series on Sindabad, the sailor. Being a very loyal fan, I disguised as Sindabad in a fancy dress competition in 2nd std and brought the winning shield for my hero.
My social knowledge broadened with my mom’s favourite shows like Shanti and Swabhiman. Important to state, Shanti was the soap that made me perceive “Rape is some sort of a crime that somehow generates kids and when they grow up they ask for their rights”. Swabhiman on the other hand taught me “you can never stay happy if you snatch someone else’s husband and your family finally collapses” (more than enough for a kid of 8 or 9 to know. isn’t it?).
Oh Heavens Above! Slay me if I forget to mention our best friend on TV, who not just devastated the evil and entertained us but also taught us some “CHHOTI CHHOTI MAGAR MOTI BATI BATEIN”. Yes you got it, our very own “Shaktiman”. With utmost nostalgia I still remember that dumb yet cute cameraman “PANDIT GANGADHAR VIDYADHAR MAYADHAR OMKARNATH SHASTRI”, his ever exasperated head Geeta Vishwas, and my favourite villain ever on TV “andhera qayam rahe” fame KILWISH. Shaktiman was not a mere character, nor just a TV series but an era, that touched our souls and changed our perceptions towards Indian SuperHeroes and if possible I should be awarded with a special Grateful award as I hold a very significant share in the topping TRPs of that show. There were times when I used to skip my school by making thousands of excuses to mother, just to watch my favourite Super hero kill JJ or Cat woman and destroy the reign of Dr Jackal.
Think of Renuka Shahne with that shoulder length hairdo, sitting in front of a huge pile of letters and you too would reach the same show, Surabhi. I don’t remember much of its who’s or how’s but I just remember its opening song with all those visual graphics in it. I loved it.
And now,busy at studies and work today, long ahead that time I had forgotten it all but when you hear or watch or intuit (as in my case) something of that sort, there is no way out except, to recollect your memory, reunite your thoughts, reconstruct a state of mind and just pen it down.