Important matters of deliberation and discussion when I grew up in the 80s. What we used to call thalapora karyangal literally translated into head-breaking stuff.

50 paise pocket money everyday. 20p for the bus. What to do with the remaining 30?

Yesudas or SPB. Who was better?

Rajnikant or Kamal Haasan. My hair was pulled on this account many times by my brother and cousins.

TV comes in 1984. Watching everything from 6pm including Krishi Darshan.

Wondering how to sleep through the Philips Powerhouse bellowing Suprabhatam at 5am.

What would be the best song on Cibaca Geetmala every Wednesday?

Perfecting a bored expression whenever Appa talked of getting a bag of rice for Rs. 5 in his days…

P.G. Wodehouse or Frederick Forsyth?

Being initiated into the patriotic Lata Mangeshkar’s Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon..
And the paani did stream down the eyes…

The only serial watched during SSLC exams was Fauji. After much pleading with self.

Pattu pavadais and dawani… Or salwar kameez.

Which pandhi (to have lunch) to sit for during sasthapreethi…

How to feign a stomach-ache when there was something you disliked on the table…You were not supposed to refuse food so went hungry.

Making the vishu kaineetam (elders gave children money during the Vishu festival) last six months.

One pack of Maggi shared by two.

How to dodge the maama whose pastime was to start every conversation with, ‘In 1961 when India and China….’ and would invariably discuss The Hindu’s edit.

And the clincher? All boys were brothers 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Growing up in the 80s…

  1. For my instead of Fauji, it was Surabhi with Sidharth kak and renuka shahane..

    Watch out for an award winning malayalam movie in DD , on sunday afternoons, how much ever boring it is will sit and watch it throughout. There will be hardly any dialogue in those movies.

    I think mammotty or mohanlal fight was also there in those days.

  2. I love the sharing of maggie noodles. gosh it was the same for us. Dairy Milk chocolates would a treat… Which would be shared among siblings with so much calculation. The movie Julie was a complete ban at home even when they aired on Doordarshan. Sunday mornings Rangoli and Siddarth Basu’s quiz time. 80s saw the beginning of daily soaps too… Humlog and buniyaad. Thanks for the nostalgia

  3. You have taken me, well-and-truly, thro a nostalgic journey Rekha. Rekindling those wonderful days, where we used to go to schools in cycle-rickshaws, colleges in bicycles (even though petrol used to cost Rs. 12 per litre and filling a car fuel tank – would be a WOW at the filling station, raising several eyebrows). Forget about the TV channels, we were, for most of the time, worrying about the direction of the antenna (the aluminium elements in the form of a coat-hanger) towards Chennai, the heavy winds blowing the antenna and the physical effort in directing the antenna towards the right direction, where v used 2 get the best-possible signals on TV. Each of us used to take turns to go to the roof (to change the direction of the antenna), shout from the top [“Signal varadha illaya” and the response used to come – “illai” {Is that how the mobile phones and operators – originated?} I still remember when my dad (who was employed in Saudi during that period [80-90]) sent the TV through cargo, after the Indian government announced that the customs duties would be drastically cut due to 1982 Asiad Games being conducted in Delhi.

    All the other readers very aptly touched the programs, choices, which had also helped me recall those lovely moments we were passing through. In so far as the food is concerned, I cannot forget the “Thair-saadam” (cooked rice, which remained overnight as carry over, was submerged in water and in the morning, became very soft – when water was drained off) which was given to us by mom before leaving for school along with a pickle (either Naarthangai or Elimbichimbazham oorgai or Maavudu [popularly called as Vadu-maangaai]). With this fuel, v cud even play cricket in the school during the lunch break, where the school books’ boxes were kept as the stumps (one on the top of the other).

    By the way, I cannot forget those days when we used to wake up early in the morning to watch the 1985 Benson and Hedges World Championship of Cricket (Ravi Shastri’s Audi car) because Doordarshan, took pity on viewers, decided to telecast the matches (After India tasted victory in the 1983 Prudential World Cup against the then mighty Windies). Never wanted to lose an opportunity to watch those matches. After seeing Channel 9’s coverage of those matches, we used to make heavy fun of the Doordarshan cameramen – who were literally searching, where did the ball go, after the batsman struck the delivery?

    Lovely write Rekha. Pleasant nostalgia and those days can never ever return.

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