Childhood Memories of the '80s and '90s

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 by Swapna Rajput
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Childhood in India
This article is completely dedicated to those who has childhood memories of 80s and 90s just like me.

School and Games- School time was superb with friends, studies wasn’t the first priority at all! However, with friends we studied together and got appreciated together but punished as well if any of our friends scored higher than us! We were never forced on tons of books and studies as we hardly had 6 subjects till 6th grade. Today we have 6 subjects in kinder garden!

Studies used to emerge only one month before the exams and we had only 2 exams in a year! No unit tests or projects harmed our life! Education was at its best during that time, which allowed children to spend some dedicated time on studies and rest all the time in playing and exploring the childhood. Not as today, in which kids have no option other than to spend all the time in studies and break time with mobile and video games.
Childhood in India

We never wasted our time on video games, ipad, smart phones etc., They never existed in that epoch and frankly we do not regret that because playing street games like Kanche (Marbles), Bhawra, Langdi, Kho Kho etc., was more overwhelming than sitting in one place and staring at small piece of technology to play.


We never collected the Pokemon, Benten or other stickers or photos. We used to collect the photos of movie stars of that period and play the photo-games with friends. We collected stamps and old coins which are not existing today.

Childhood in India
Holidays were spent in granny’s place with extreme pampering by Nani (Maternal Grand ma) and strict rules of Mama’s (Maternal uncle) or any one or two members in Nani’s home. Eating mangoes and getting daily dose of scolding by elders for mischief’s was the only target in the holidays. Swimming in the wells, lakes and rivers were happiest moments than today’s club house swimming pools. Climbing the trees to steal the mangoes from somebodies garden and running before the Maali (caretaker of the garden) was biggest adventure. We never had summer classes or summer camps! Holidays were strictly meant for playing and getting burnt in the sun!!

Our parents never bought us brand new bicycles before or even after demand, we used waste tires of bicycles and ran along with it by hitting it with a stick. And if we wanted a bicycle we used rented ones for just few pennies.

We played hours in mud and ate food without washing our hands by any antibacterial soap! We never had option of bottled water! We drunk water from running tap or bore-well and wells but never fell sick. Immunity wasn’t based on any Chawanprash or health drinks or supplements!

Our doors were never closed, they used to be open till night! Today buildings are bigger but houses are smaller with closed doors! We hardly know about our neighbours. We are scared of everything ranging from germs to terrorists!


Technology - It was an era when the television and telephone were the only new technology for millions of people. If anybody had any of the above, that person was treated as VIP in the locality. The whole area had only one telephone number and one television. The phone used to ring more for the neighbors then the people present in the house.

Later materialized the refrigerator in rich homes of the locality! Those refrigerators preserved all the Childhood in Indiavarieties of food items from everyone’s house in the locality other than the owner’s house! For us fridge was best time pass to observe when the light gets off while closing it! We continuously used to open and close its door to check on light until we get scolding from elders of the house!

Tape recorder was another best thing to listen music after radio. We used to download the songs by recording cassettes! It was our task to record funny talks after listening to the songs. At times, we wasted good cassettes by recording our voices! Winding the cassette reel with pencil was an important job!

Tv Shows in India in 80s and 90s
Ramayan’ and ‘Mahabharat’ were the epic serials which created the record of highest TRP till today in all over Asia. Many people bought televisions only for these two serials. After these shows, there used to be a tornado of people coming out from the houses which had television. Every house was a mini theater during telecast of these epic serials, cricket match and Chitrahaar (music number show). Until late 90s, all we had was one channel, DD National and one more channel Metro with limited time. In the name of cartoon we had only few options, on Sundays ‘Heman’, ‘The Jungle Book’. In 90’s Disney hour daily with two shows ‘Duck tales’ and ‘Tales Spin’.

Popular detective show Karamchand played by Pankaj kapur, he solved cases by eating carrots. Byomkesh Bakshi was another well-liked detective show, later came Tehkikaat with Vijay Anand was mesmerizing!

Some shows took the heart away of every Indian like – Malgudi Days, Nukkad, Dekh bhai Dekh, Mr.Yogi, Fauji, Wagle ki Duniya, Yeh jo hai Zindagi etc., 

Television anthems were DD Nationals ‘Mile sur mera tumhara’ song and ‘Light of Freedom’ clipping. Best thing for kids was cartoon song ‘Ek chidiya’ based on unity, we loved it because we hardly had any options of cartoons those days.

There was no funda of commercial breaks, ads used to run for 10 minutes before commencing of show. The best commercials were -
‘Hum bas itna chahtein hain ki aap baratiyon ka swagat Pan parag se kijiye!’ Pan parag ad
'Nirma...Nirma...'
‘Raju tumhare daant to motiyon jaise chamak rahe hain’ Dabur lal dant manjan ad,
‘Jab main chota baccha tha…’ Bajaj lights ad,
Famous TV Ads of 80s and 90sLijjat Papad
Vicks ki goli
‘Bhai Sahaab…’ addressing by lady in the ad of Surf excel,
I am a Complan boy and girl’ (Shahid Kapur and Ayisha Takia played the Complan boy and girl that time),
Kuch khaas hai…Cadbury chocolate ad,
Humara Bajaj of Bajaj two wheelers
Jalebi ad of Dhaara
Fevicol ka jodh hai tootega nahi Fevicol ad
Onida television ad, its green monster still bear in mind

There were countless wonderful ads which not only sold the products but touched the hearts of people so that they are remembered even after 20 years. Today we hardly remember any ads or products. We even forget what we are watching in the commercial break!

In 90s cable connection introduced with Zee TV, loved the shows like Antakshari and Hum Paanch. Today we have around 300+ channels and don’t have anything to watch!

It was the age of music evolution as well! In south AR Rehman stepped his banging numbers and in North especially from Punjab the farmers stopped family tradition and created history with super hit music albums with the popular songs by Gurdas Maan, Sukhbir, Daler Mehndi etc., Pankaj Udhaas explored new way of displaying his Gazals. Apart from all men the most loved woman Alisha became popular over night with her song ‘Made in India’ and made ways for Sunita Rao’s Pari hoon main, Shweta Shetty’s Khidki pe, Ila Arun’s Ghumyo etc.,

Small Wonder TV Shows in 90sApart from all Desi shows we also had option to watch Hindi dubbed English shows- Small wonder, Bewitched, Gennie in the bottle. Music went loud when Britney Spears ‘Oh Baby’, Blue- One love , Back street boys and Ricky Martin songs made their appearance on television in late nineties.

However, after all these options our television timing was limited for just an hour or two and play time was unlimited.

I call all above true childhood happiness. Although, some part of it is still taking breath in small towns and villages but it’s completely vanished in big towns.

I proudly say that we are the last generation of spending the childhood naturally without getting affected by technology. We can operate all the new gen technology and have the memory of wonderful childhood days.

If I missed some and you have any other memories then please do share.

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2 comments

  1. Truly, What were those days? Our Kids will never know that fun. Yes ofcourse the definition of child fun has changed over the last 10 years

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