Keeping the room clean
If you are a guy and been asked to clean the room its like asking a girl her age. Anyway one afternoon i was told to clean my room and i had no choice but to do it. Now cleaning a room that hasn't been touched for years was a monumental task. I couldn't even figure out where to start. I opened my old dusty cupboard and empty packets of Gold Flake cigarettes fell out. The strangest thing was that my long-forgotten cupboard kept yielding one memory after another. I ran into a lot of stuff from my school that had got lost in decade gone by. I started thinking of all those wonderful days. And that is when it hit me. Down the memory lane that leads to the wonderful times of school and college.
FlashbackI still remember how Y2K was all the rage then. Only a handful of us had computers, yet everyone was worried how the virus would affect the machines. Nostradamus had apparently predicted that the world would end; but thankfully neither did Y2K cause stir nor was Nostradamus right.
We dint have Facebook then but we did have ICQ. One line none of us from that 'era' can ever forget is 'ASL (age/sex/location) please', when meeting someone new on ICQ. We had atrociously funny sounding email ids -- email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and the like and even funnier names in the 'chat rooms'. You couldn't Google but had to go to altavista.com or approach Mr Jeeves for any queries and clarifications.
You still had to call a girl on her landline and muster all the courage to askfor her. the only place you could hang out at was Wimpy's or McD and one still stayed away from the solitary Coffee Day. One had to stand in a long queue to buy tickets for Mission Impossible 2.
TV still played The Wonder Years and The Crystal Maze and the world seemed far smarter minus the Saas-bahu soaps and the stupid reality shows.
You still find the time to read book in the evenings and play cricket in your 'gully' on Sundays. 'Canada Dry' was the only source to get high and sweet, candy cigarettes were puffed at most of the times.
VSNL ensured porn still loaded one byte at a time and VCDs were all the rage. Hulk Hogan was perpetually rank one on all the 'Trump Cards' and Cameron Diaz from The Mask was in every puberty-hitting youngsters' dreams. The only operating system we knew was Windows 98.
Anyone with a printer was treated with respect and the World Book Encyclopedia was the only source of information for projects. Hero Pen with the original Chinese nib was still preferred over the brash new 'Pilot' pen.
Azharuddin was still our captain and Jadeja and Robin Singh were two pinch hitters. Venkatesh Prasad was the only one with the balls to mess with the Pakis and we still lost all the test matches. And I definitely cannot miss out wearing a 'color' dress to school on your birthday and distributing Eclairs to everyone. I could go on and on. But i guess you get the drift.
As i cleaned my room, I ran into my long forgotten collection of Diamond comics. Gosh, how i used to love those comics (nerdy i know). I distinctively remember the first time I was ever caught by the teacher in class. She caught me because I wasn't looking at the blackboard. I was looking down. This was in the 4th standard. I was caught because I was reading a Comic book.
I guess some of us might hate to admit it now but every one of us have read a comic book at some point or the other in our childhood. Even thought it would really uncool to talk about 'Chacha Chaudhury' now, he was the coolest character we knew in junior school. Before there was cartoon network, before Swat Cats took over, there was Uncle Scrooge on Doordarshan and there was Diamond Comics.
I remember how summer holidays would be the time when mum would pack us all in a train and take us to visit granny far, far away. The best part would be the train journey where one would spend hours reading comics and waiting excitedly for the next big station to buy the latest series of the Chacha Chaudhury comics. You'd be lost in the magical world of Chacha Chaudhury, Saboo, Dhamaka Singh, Chachi, Lambu Motu, Billu and Pinky.
I guess diamond comics have long been forgotten but they will always remain with us in our memories and will always remind us of times when things were simpler, when we get up at 7a.m on Sundays to catch Talespin and Junglebook later on DD. When we wouldn't worry about deadlines, meetings, Facebook and everything else that our lives have become today. We would only worry about when the next Diamond comics would be out. Thank you Cartoonist Pran the creator of Chacha Chaudhury for the loving memories. :)