Stop making faces. That is how the people of my land pronounce the word.
And I am proud of it.
*background score – hey ji reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*
Ah who am I kidding? My people fuck English pronunciations worse than they fuck the business of an expensive store opening in their locality.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a Gujarati, or as the Pope calls it, “Gujju”.
I think my people tend to believe that every ‘H’ that follows an ‘S’ is silent, which is why English becomes ‘Englees’, and Shahrukh becomes ‘Saa-ruck’, and which is why the name of every person from the ‘Shah’ community ends up sounding like a Balika Vadhu character. (Rack your brain a little, you’ll get the joke).
However, this post is not about gujju pronunciations. I will write about that in the next post perhaps. (I’m sure that line just cost me 3 readers, which is like 75% of my readership) This post is about nostalgia.
Nostalgia, I believe, is highly overrated, and will continue to be so till time travel becomes as common as cell phones. I mean yeah it makes you recollect the good old days, but nostalgia is like Scarlett Johannson naked and horny for you – you can just sit and think about it, but there’s not much you can actually do.
I came across this list titled ‘You know you grew up in India in the 90s when…’ which I’m sure almost all of you would have come across by now. That list was the inspiration behind me coming up with this post.
DISCLAIMER: The list below is of the things I get nostalgic about. I have only written my experiences. You may or may not relate to it. (There goes my last reader)
1) I got my first cell phone in FYJC, which in those days was the average age for students to have a mobile. Today parents hang iPhones in the cradles of their one year olds, and those one year olds know how to e-mail their mothers about diaper change situations, with a CC to their fathers.
2) If two guys were best friends, and would always be seen together, no one would call them gay. No one knew the other meaning of ‘gay’. Male bonding was a good thing, till Kal Ho Naa Ho came and ruined everything.
3) A popular joke was going up to a someone and asking ‘Hey you know Dum mar gaya’, to which the person would say ‘Kaun Dum?’ and people would point at him and laugh their ass off, because he uttered a word that was phonetically similar to condom. Back then this was funny, but if someone does it to me today, I’m hiring an assassin.
Also, back then, uttering words like sex and condom would attract such gasps and reactions that would make you feel like you’re standing in the Gryffindor common room and you just said ‘Voldemort’. And in those days, mentioning pussy would make us think of a cat, and mentioning cock would make us go ‘cock-a-doodle-doooo!’ (Ok no, no one went ‘cock-a-doodle-dooo’. We weren’t so lame.)
4) The definition of a cool guy was one who you spot drinking Pepsi from a can.
5) One question used to constantly bother me. It still does. It’s like one of life’s greatest unanswered questions for me. ‘Why are there nipples on mannequins?’
6) Every year we had at least one teacher for whom length of answer was directly proportionate to marks. It is because of such teachers that our answers turned out like this:
Question: Why did the mutiny of 1857 take place?
Answer: The mutiny of 1857 took place because:
a) The first Indian revolt against the British took place in 1857.
b) The Uprising of 1857 took place against the East India Company.
c) The British had introduced Royal Enfield cartridges amongst the army.
d) These cartridges had to be bitten off with teeth.
e) These cartridges had grease.
f) The grease was made of cow or pig fat.
g) Cows are holy to Hindus and pigs are taboo for Muslims.
h) But the grease was made of cow or pig fat.
i) When the sepoys found out about this, they got angry.
j) Mangal Pandey, a short heighted soldier with long hair and big moustache, shot his commander in revolt.
k) This was the beginning of the 1857 revolt.
l) The revolt then spread across the nation.
m) Hence, the 1857 mutiny took place.
7) If I ever get a time machine and travel back to the early nineties I would find myself singing ‘Tu cheese badi hai mast mast’ with the attitude of Akshay Kumar in the song. At that point I would take a revolver, shoot myself, and then shoot myself.
Except for songs of the movie Aashiqui and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, all other early nineties albums were bigger national embarrassments than that Zor Ka Jhatka show of Shahrukh Khan. The second half of the nineties had Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge, which covered up for all the other bad music then.
8) Call me sissy if you will, but I really wanted that small teddy bear that would cling on to your shoulder after I saw the ‘Chui Mui Si Tum Lagti Ho’ music video. I even got one later.
9) Music videos like Chadti jawaani and Kaanta Laga were equivalent of a pornographic movie till I actually got introduced to the world of pornography, and my life was never the same again. It happened when I was in 8th standard.
10) ONLY FOR GUYS: Remember Zee MGM every Saturday night at 11 PM and Sun TV Surya at 12 AM? *wink. wink*
11) Even back then that irritating old man used to feature in the MDH Masala ads. And he has looked the same all these years. He’s perhaps just a few years younger than God.
12) My three all time favorite ad jingles: Esselworld mein rahoonga main; Kya aap close-up karte hainnnnnn; Hamara Bajaj!
13) In those days, all who had read the first three books of Potter (others weren’t released yet) and no other book ever, used to call themselves ‘Avid Readers’, much like the people today who have just read the four Chetan Bhagat novels in their lives.
14) I know this happened in the year 2000, but I surely will be telling my children about the phenomenon that Hrithik Roshan was after Kaho Na Pyaar Hai.
15) When Cartoon Network started showing in Hindi, I realized that my childhood was being snatched away from me forever. I thought that was the worst that could happen, until Pokemon happened.
16) I was a big fan of Chacha Chowdhary. Then once a cousin of mine, who was a Champak fan, and me decided that we’ll check out each other’s interests. She read a Chacha Chowdhary and I read a Champak for the first time. I never missed any Champak issue after that, and she never even looked at any Chacha Chowdhary after that.
17) When we made our first girlfriends, we had only fantasized as far as holding hands. And today…well…
18) I swear on my mother when I say this, I have not seen Titanic even once. Yup. You can bring down those eyebrows.
19) One embarrassing confession. I used to lock my room and play in my world of imagination, much like Calvin. No that’s not embarrassing; what’s embarrassing is I used to play ‘He-Man – He-Man’, and my mom’s roti ka belan was my sword. Now when Prince Adam used to convert to He-Man (nothing religious in this), he used to point his sword to the sky and yell ‘By the power of Grayskull’. I instead pointed my mom’s belan to the ceiling fan and yelled ‘By the power of race-course’, ’cos that’s what I thought he was saying. And we didn’t have Google back then to verify. And then I used to point that belan to the round shaped pillow and imagine it transforming into BattleCat.
The most embarrassing part hasn’t come yet people. The most embarrassing part is: I used to tie a thin blanket around my neck…as a cape…while I played He-Man.
I loathe myself.
20) I loved Dexter, Powerpuff Girls, The Mask, Captain Planet and Johnny Bravo. I used to find Scooby Doo too overrated, but I loved watching Scooby’s All-Star Laff-a-lympics.
I guess this post has become long and boring enough for me to end it. But my list of nostalgia isn’t over. I believe that there is a sequel to this post in the offing pretty soon.
I will end this post with one more of life’s unanswered questions: Did Johnny Quest ever get any physical activity? Think about it.