Those were the days my friend

We’ve all gone through it : My Dad was a village boy and he used to tell us tales of how they had to help out with the cows and buffaloes (he used the word MAJH) and I never inquired if it was cow or buffalo and then went to the village school on foot. There they had Takht which they had to prepare using gachni mitti (it was something that they had to apply to get a writing surface) and then write on it. We had to be totally accurate, he would say proudly – there was no room for errors.

My grandmother used to get miffed with my Mom’s generation because they had the pressure cooker. “These days the young have it so easy” she said when cooking gas appeared. Unable to handle the green eyed monster, she retreated into religion – humanity’s greatest escape. Of course ladies of her generation resorted to sulking or stating that they thought things cooked on gas or in pressure cookers were not nutritious. 😉 Women I tell you …..

Well all that bored the shit out of me. I would tell myself that I would never say such crappy things to my kids. Times will change and all that. That was then ….

But dammit kids these days really do have it easy!!!

Consider this : We had one phone, not cell phones with inbuilt memories and the ability to go online. We had to memorize telephone numbers. The phone was in the living area and if your crush called you, the entire family eavesdropped your conversation. Love life was not very happening. No caller ids, so you never knew who was on the other side. Could have been risky – but on the other hand, if your mother got boy-friend’s call, he could hang up and flee. She would never know who it was!

We pretty much had to write everything painstakingly with pen on paper. No fancy keyboards for us. And yes, no email. No SMS either, but the joke factory still thrived – without forwards …. hmmm bet kids this generation wonder how 😀

If we went out of home, we were pretty much on our own … no way to get in touch until we got home. It may sound dangerous to kids – but it was sheer bliss. Who wanted to be in touch 24/7? Ewww. Out of parental earshot and view range is sheer bliss.


Hence one could not keep in touch with relatives and friends if we did not have their phone numbers. It wasnt like now – just log into the person’s Facebook page and write “Wassup??! Long time????” or update oneself by reading the person’s page. No twitter. One had to “shudder” write letters. If one had aspirations towards being a writer, one kept a diary – in longhand …. and kept changing its hiding place so that lesser beings like savage pesky younger brothers did not get their filthy hands on them! No blogs for us.

Like I said earlier NO INTERNET.

Internet is a luxury – we (in my days) did not have TV either …. and the wars my sibling and I fought over the radio were legendary. We were kids that grew up in playgrounds, none of the mealy mouth shoves and smacks for us. Wars were fought with total energy, commitment and we wounded each other in our quest for supremacy. Nails, teeth, punches in the stomach were all allowed. Bleeding gums, broken noses, cuts and bruises were expected to occur, and were not the reason to call a truce. Victory was all!!!! The winner got to listen to the radio station he/she wanted …. for the entire day! We did not have Ipods with earphones. Heck we did not have MP3s, and could not download music or porn … no napster or torrent either. If we wanted to steal the damn stuff, we had to go to the store and try our luck. As luck would have it, we lived in easier slow times and chances were that the Store owner knew our parents, so did the dratted Principal of the school. Us being ratted on was a common phenomenon.

No PSPs, Facebook and MySpace games. If we had to beat up or get beat up by friends, it happened in play grounds, not on LCD screens.

I really dont think kids of this generation could survive our generation. We rolled on real grass, rode bikes without knee cap protectors, climbed up trees and even drain pipes, jumped from our roof to the neighbor’s roof. We got hurt, got up, wiped our tears, put on tincture iodine (by ourself even though it burnt) and got back to living life.

Yeah those were the days


53 thoughts on “Those were the days my friend

  1. Oh Ritu, so much has changed since I was a kid. We used to play board games. I don’t think kids these days even know what those are.

    Kids don’t have it easy. They have it different 🙂

  2. OOH! The Takhti and the Gachni Mitti brought back memories of the summer vacations at Grandmom’s place. Everyday, I used to apply that Gachni for my cousin’s takhti! 😀
    There is a sea change in everything… 🙂

  3. Just yesterday on Tarrak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma. a TV show on Sab TV they had an episode where the parents complained that their kids never played “real” games but were glued to Internet or video games. So the parents organized a meet where the parents played eye spy, pithoo and other games of our gen and the kids joined in later. Maybe we parents too should try to at least tell our kids about poshampa bhai poshampa….. i wonder what our kid’s kids will be like !!!

      • Poshampa bhai poshampa, lal qile mein kya hua?

        sau rupaye ki ghadi churayi
        ab toh jail mein jaana padega , jail ki roti khani padegi… 😀

        goes on like this

        such silly and cute ones we had 😀

  4. Even though I am ‘this generation’ I remember days with no cell phones, no internet, only a landline. So yes, kids these days do have it easy! On the other hand, we did not have the pressure to be a certain way, like kids these days do. I love my childhood. We had one computer which had a few games that we hated to play. Those were only for our dad because he liked it….we preferred going out and jumping from trees and walls and getting our knees scraped.

  5. You know, I’ve heard all this so often from my mom. But you know what? Even though we have it real easy, by the time the next generation lands, we’d already be dinosaurs too, with all our piddly dial-up connections and facebooking! For example, I cannot even understand what the big deal about Second Life is!

  6. Not just our children, now even we have got used to the internet (and everything else) – parents of yesteryears couldn’t leave comments on their kids’ Facebook profiles 🙂

    What I love the best is the cellphone. I love the way we can stay connected with everybody – including the kids.

  7. like Abha Midha i also catched up with the Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta chashma and remembered the golden days of my life when we used to play Pithoo, Ais-pais(a variation of hide – n – seek)… And now we have ipods, videogames, PSPs, Internet etc.. I guess people of my generation are having the fun of both worlds..

  8. You know Ritu, the minute one starts saying ‘Those were the days’ one is effectively admitting “I AM old!” 😛 😉 It is actually a sign of old age. In fact some of them start aging in their 30s/20s even because you can hear them too saying ‘those were the days’! 😉
    When you look at last year’s photo of ours, we realize how much younger we looked back then. Every successive year this happens. Same way when we look back everything looks, seems covered in a rosy haze and better than it really had been. Lol, even if we ourselves were transported to those days and had to live that life again, I bet you very few would actually love it all that much. But the topic is one most suited to literature and reminiscences. 🙂

    I don’t believe kids or have it easy, though every generation says it of the next. They just have it different like a commentator states above. In fact on a more serious note, I truly believe that every new generation has it tougher than the previous in spite of the gadgets made for them by their previous ones who are the real culprits!

    Nice post, enjoyed your inimitable style of writing as usual 🙂

    • My kids know how to use smart phones … and they laugh at my ineptitude – which triggered the post. They are so adept with gizmos. On a serious note, I would find it hard to handle the stress and the killer competition they face

  9. Indeed those were the took me on a virtual nostalgic trip. I do agree kids of today do have it easy, but a corner of my heart still wishes my 3 year old would experience what I did. Like you said rolling on grass, climbing trees, getting dirt in the mud, which unfortunately she misses out on.

    Having said that its true that internet and cellphones have become integral part of our lives. Something I’m grateful for 🙂

    • Internet, I think, is the best thing that we have got this century. It will go down in history on the same level as inventing the wheel or discovery of fire!

      Yeah kids these days dont know what it is like to be in contact with earth … you know getting dirty, scraping knees etc

  10. Ritu, those days of yore
    never a day that was a bore
    not many clothes that we wore
    but wear we did till they tore
    and holidays were never spent indoor
    playing till our feet were sore
    and sweat was pouring thru’all the pore
    boy was it filled with fun and yes also gore!
    Sigh! the good ol’days I wish I had more.

    I agree with Shail &others. We had it easy when compared to the kids today. Maybe folks like us had the better of both worlds. Thanks for taking me into a memory trip.

    • Lovely. Yes we were much more physically active. The drama kids these days create about a bit of blood surprises me! But I think I would collapse under the weight of their school bag and the stress of their exams

  11. Poshampa bhai poshampa….dakiye ne kya kiya…. sau reupaye ke ghadi churai… ab to jail main jana padega… jail ki roti khani padegi… dak dak dak…. this is a song which we used to play as kids. two girl would hold their hands across and the rest would have to bend and go through the hands…. just like in a christian wedding games…. this song is played playfully on FM too…. in a different version

  12. I remember playing with friends and falling down and scarping my knees, climbing trees, stealing amla from a neighbours tree.

    Though TV was there when I was in school it still did not hold that much interest as much as playing with friends did.

    But I am happy technology has improved and it is easier to be in touch with loved ones…when you are far away and also that you can communicate with almost anybody in any corner of the world.

  13. Ritu,
    yes. we had a tough life back then . We even had to walk up to the TV to switch it on /off. we did not even have remotes for TVs . 🙂
    But , you said it all when you mentioned “it was a bliss to be out of parent’s earshot and line of vision” .Kids thesedays have all the gizmos to make life easy but they are under constant microscopic observation of their parents and are under tremendous pressure to perform in academics and elsewhere .
    Thats really tough.

    • Nostalgia …. Vividh Bharti, Amul chocolate (Enjoy it with someone you love … I loved that jingle) Usha Uthup, Vijaya Butter jingle lol! I feel a blog post coming

  14. If we went out of home, we were pretty much on our own … no way to get in touch until we got home. It may sound dangerous to kids – but it was sheer bliss. Who wanted to be in touch 24/7? Ewww. Out of parental earshot and view range is sheer bliss.

    Oh woe Ritu! 😥 This is exactly what I tell mom 😀 that man!! here! take these cells from me anmd lemme live in peace.
    She gets worried if she doesn’t call up at least twice a day when I am coming back from work.

    I love the lines at the end. ….and got baqck to living life.

    Life sure is different now. The slow paced one of childhood is being missed like hell.


    Anyway. The story goes on from generation to generation.:)

  15. Ritu,
    Well put! I grew up in the 80s and 90s closer to what you write than the kids today! And I miss those days:-( Of all the things, I miss writing letters and handwriting competitions! What is that my nieces/nephews ask me:-(

  16. Hi,

    Your article is 100% correct.Now a days we all are living machine life our kids also start their life like this,they really dont know what is joined family? and our old games that are really good for our health and will helps to increase good relation with others.But now a days kids and parents also always in front of TV or computer so it is separating our relation in home and also we are not spending time with our will see more mothers opinion about this topic here Our olden days

  17. 🙂 this is so beautifully expressed .. main to ekdum senti ho gayi.. sob sob..
    miss those childhood days ..gitte khele hain kabhi I loved to play that and gulli danda also the poshampa thing yea that was fun
    tippy tippy tap was another game we loved
    miss the letter writing thing btwn ma and me we have so many old letters saved.
    lovely write up

  18. Of course gitte khele hain, kanche bhi. Gilli Danda, patang udana. In fact I used to love flying kites and peche ladana. Its a lost art I tell ya! My sons cant! I have fun teasing them about it hyuck hyuck

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