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90's Kids Nostalgia

By Padmaja Gollapudi

Heading into our 30’s and some of us on the way to early 30’s, yet our hearts just still hover around the memories of our childhood spent during the decade 89-99. As they call us Millennials.

We are the cool kids of the 90’s. The games we played, the food we ate, songs we hummed, mischief that we did- Once upon a time a reality and now it’s nostalgia.

We are the cool kids of the 90’s, who have spent more time playing than in the classrooms. Those playgrounds now tease us and miss us more than our classrooms. From real sports like kho-kho, long jump, javelin throw, tennikoit, baseball, basketball to silly games like hide and seek, leg touch, lane cricket we played countless games. We were the students trading those trump cards of WWF in the backbenches feeling proud of ourselves when we had collected cards with more points. Those cards were secretly hidden in the back pockets of newly purchased Bata school bag. Our last pages of the rough notebook were usually filled with passionately played games like Name-Place-Animal-Thing, innumerable games of FLAMES, Tic-Tac-Toes and Bingos. Those pages were only torn, made and blown away as rockets inside the classroom. We were the kids who’d settle their arguments on who would be their bench mates by throwing chits or playing “Rock..Paper..Scissors”. One of the boys savagely sneaking an animal toy into another student’s bag- Those were the unharming silly pranks which only made the bond grow between classmates for the times immemorial.

We are the cool kids of the 90’s, who grew up munching candies, toffies and snacks which are nearly forgotten now. Birthdays were a brand-new day of celebration when extra candies were received from our best friends. Our pockets were filled with colorful jellies, Phantom cigarette toffies, Paan pasand, Pepsi/flavored ice popsicles, peppermints, lollipops, Fatafat, Poppins and whole lot of junk in exchange for a few coins. These treats were enticing, stored in plain glass jars where kids fluttered around the small shops soon after the last bell rang. A sundowner for us was something Golgappe wala bhaiyya could provide, greeting us happily and serving us at least 10 Golgappe for Rs.5 or Rs.7.

We are the cool kids of the 90’s whose only reason to go back home early soon after school is to watch- The jungle book in the evening. Some of us grew up all our childhood watching Cartoon Network and Pogo channels. Sunday mornings were filled with taking part in household chores, having favorite breakfast and watching the shows: Popoye- the Sailor man, Oswald, Music Art Dance (M.A.D) and a plethora of cartoons and playing video games.

We are the cool kids of the 90’s whose summer vacation was to eagerly wait for summer camps- learning any form of art, music or instrument. Some of us learnt swimming, while others played cricket in the scorching heat only to come back home either to drink Rasna or have a freshly cut piece of mango.

We are the cool kids of the 90’s whose life involved asking for a few bucks from parents or grandparents, collecting it, saving it in cute little money bank or Gullak. Thinking and planning about what to buy in the weeks to come and feeling proud that the entire world is in our hands. Our pockets were ever full of money, mouths full of food, hands full of clay or mud or paint and hearts full of contentment.

We were the cool kids of the 90’s though ever being called as Paapa-ki-Pari or some of us being called as Mumma-ka-laadla beta, we are in our own ways choosing, learning, unlearning and re-learning to be the present-day adults (though some of us are still in denial in turning 30) with little more money than before in our bank accounts, less time to visit a playground, less time to meet and hang out with friends, more idle time yet lesser hobbies and more variety of cuisines to enjoy yet certainly missing mother’s food. Having said and done that – we still have a lifetime of memories to treasure, because we are the coolest kids of the 90’s.

By Padmaja Gollapudi

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