Growing up in the 1970s and the 1980s in India, the 90s’ seemed like a revolution. Soaps (both bathing and tv), shampoos, clothes, kitchen concepts, music, films, education and even cars suddenly had variety and options. For the overseas traveller returning home with suitable joy generating presents posed a challenge as everything was available back home. Suddenly the relative/friend visiting from overseas couldn’t generate similar joy as prior to the revolution with simple, inexpensive yet thoughtful gift of say, a bottle of shampoo like head & shoulders or a pack of soaps – camay/lux, dinky cars and soft toys.
Our generation has seen the bulky stationary phone usually black with round white dial change into a sleeker colorful version and then becoming almost ‘extinct’ replaced by smart phones, again of multiple kinds. Just like that the television and music system too became smart and now we live in smart homes with smart lights, smart security and I already see self driving cars testing the roads leading us to an era of smart cars. Surrounded by so much smartness in gadgets, the humans are in serious risk of developing an inferiority complex.
Not limited to gadgets and products, relationships and lives have evolved! We grew up with one television at home and we were not deprived. Come weekend the family sat together to watch any movie telecast by the only national tv station in the country called Door Darshan meaning Far sight, literally. We were awarded with bonus program once a week that showed random Bollywood songs for thirty minutes and you bet, we loved it but 9 pm sharp the idiot box belonged to the dad as he watched the news bulletin with the attention of a lioness guarding her new born cubs.
‘Gaan’- in the language I speak means music though when I blasted my little two-in-one with Pet Shop Boys, Abba, Boney M etc my dad would lovingly call out, is that ‘gaan’ I hear or gun. I believe the Hubby too had a childhood similar to mine albeit with much stricter parents and his one dream of listening to Pink Floyd, loud on his music system assembled lovingly over a period of time from gadgets ranging from Germany to Japan came crashing down when the kids now yell dadddyyyyy volume!! He quietly grumbles…our generation is squashed between strict loving parents and strict loving children.
With the constant changes, a scene that still warms me right down to my blue painted toes is from the time I was eighteen and walked home to see the boy friend waiting for me with the dad, sitting together enjoying rare music video of a different time-‘another brick in the wall’ and my dad turned to me with a smile- ‘and why don’t you listen to such wonderful gaan’. I am grateful to the hubby that the dad’s sensors in appreciation of music evolved and soon he could be seen nodding to Beatles, Deep Purple, Scorpions, Chicago and so on, adding them to his list of favorites with traditional classical Indian music- according to him, they all were excellent ‘gaan’. Now, until a similar evolution hits our grown kids, the hubby and I run to the basement to snatch those moments in their absence just to blast the system with golden oldies…
And go back a couple of years, how many of us would have dreamed of painting toe nails blue!!! Blue is the new pink….