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Tag: Nostalgia (page 1 of 1)

So I recently watched TVF’s ‘Yeh Meri Family’ and I regret it immensely

Because it is so good that I shouldn’t have watched it alone away from my family.

Sigh.

TVF has already created multiple shows which have made a huge impact in the Indian Web Series Scene, I don’t need to mention that anyway.

“Yeh Meri Family’s” trailer appeared nice but it also was aiming to the touch the familiar overused and now a slacking string of nostalgia. We have already discussed how easy it is to trap people by feeding them fake bits of nostalgia by rehashing the then popular stuff, adding some spice to it and then presenting it in a new remix packet of today’s times. But, this show was not rehashing anything. Rather, it was based in the 90s and genuinely they didn’t attempt any remixing. So, I gave it a go.

And I immensely regret it.

Sigh, this show feels like they took a chapter out of my life or the life of people like me or like you or like everyone who was truly a 90s child. Based in the year 1998, the main protagonist/narrator of the show ‘Harshu’ is the same age as I was then. But I am also an elder brother so I could see this as both a story of my own life and my younger brother’s life. Each and every episode felt so genuine and honest that nothing felt contrived. There was no attempt to unnecessary use the 90s to make the ends meet. Rather, the innocence of the time when families talked to each other face to face and not on Whatsapp was rather very refreshing and felt real. There is a charm in the shows or movies about kids of 12-13 that they always make you want to see them again and again. Movies like Stand by me, shows like Stranger Things are examples of that. For sure, they have to be good. And ‘Yeh Meri Family’ is surely a good one.

I regret watching it because of so many moments sprinkled throughout the show, it had me traveling back in the time and reliving them again and feeling a shower of sweet and sour punches in the guts. Each and every episode had humor in the right quantity, nostalgia in the right proportion and heartfelt writing in every scene. I am mostly a very solid individual when it comes to emotions (coughs). But maybe the timing of this series is peculiar that I couldn’t hold back myself from being watery in the eyes multiple times. Sigh. Getting older is turning out very weird in fact, weirder than turning a teenager, probably. I have been living alone for 2-3 months and this family or lack of it feeling has shown me a new side of myself. THANK YOU to the idiot geniuses of TVF.

Moreover, I was hit a bit more by the fact that the show was based in Jaipur, had black number plates with White letters, had plenty of glimpses of Saint Xavier’s School (which was not my school but right next to my school so I had seen those corridors) and of course the attention to detail treatment of all the things of the 90s.

Each and every cast member does top notch work. I could see myself in both Harshu (the younger brother) and Dabbu (the elder brother). I could relate to the parents. I could understand the innocence of Chitthi. And I was totally bowled over by one of the best child characters of all time, Shanky. Shanky to me does equally brilliant role in this series as Dustin does in Stranger Things.

Highly recommended to those who feel that there is no honesty and naivety left in today’s TV/Web shows. If you search for it, you will definitely find it.

I am sure many of the folks who have seen this would be recommending this to their family. And probably missing them a lot too. Bloody Kota and JEE nonsense ruined us all.

Featured Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

2018, the year Hindi Music Industry died or how selling nostalgia is easy

Since I travel to and fro from work to home on a 2-wheeler, I don’t often listen to music while driving. (Those who do put earphones while riding a 2-wheeler deserve a small-non-fatal pat on their back by a more-wheeler). So, nowadays I mostly listen to music on weekends (or while doing dishes). I am not the only one but it has been observed since last 1 to 2 years that top 10 Hindi music hits comprise of at least 5-6 songs which are a rehashed version of some 80s or 90s songs. And this trend has been on a rise more so in 2018.

If you notice top songs on this list https://www.saavn.com/s/featured/hindi/Weekly_Top_Songs/8MT-LQlP35c_ or even the 2017’s top numbers on this list https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/photo-features/best-hindi-songs-top-10-hindi-songs-of-2017/5-baarish/photostory/59470017.cms you will find the same stat.

Have we finished our quota of original music and lyrics in Hindi music industry? Or this fashion of remixing 90s hits as official songs of the movie has become such a thing that if some movie presents original songs, they are looked down upon?

Remixing has been there since forever. But when I was growing up, most of the remixes came out only as private pop albums. They had a very limited audience of monkey-wash-jeans-wearing teens and this genre deservedly died down in a couple of years. However, movie music is the very crux of Indian Cinema. More and more of old is being served to us and I feel our appetite is now being crushed. I don’t really remember listening to any song in last 2 years which has had a really long-lasting impact on me. Rarely any song from past couple of years has hit the right note and only a handful of songs have deserved repeated listening.

I would be wrong to say that only Hindi music industry has died, of course, it has stooped to a very low level. But Hollywood has been doing the same lately. The number of franchises which should have gone done and dusted is still continuing by putting out same content in a different wrapper year after year.

Check out this video by NerdWriter about Intertextuality in Hollywood:

I understand that it is easy to sell Nostalgia. All 90s kids will remember this and that. It is pretty easy to dole out stuff repeatedly to keep generations after generations harping on the same stuff. Star Wars released in the 1970s. Star Wars is still releasing in 2018s. The core audience is still the same. Also, our innate desire to tell our friends or spouses or offsprings about the life we live or lived or the pop culture we followed will keep fueling the fire.

I will cease to watch more Jurassic Park movies after this summer when I am done with next sequel. 🙂

Let’s talk about Postcards

Recently, I heard a beautiful little speech from a fellow Toastmaster Sivaranjani about Postcards and Pen Pals. She talked about how, as a kid, she used to send out postcards from her family to the relatives. She went on to tell about her meeting with one of the pen friends she had made during the time when it was cool to have pen friends. The speech was reminiscent of the time without Internet which now seems like ages ago. She ended her speech with a beautiful gesture of handing out actual postcards to the members of the audience.

One of the important points she raised about Postcards was the analogy with the social media of today’s time. She said that Postcards are like Tweets: One has to deliver the message on a limited space for writing. Also, Postcards are also like the infamous Open Letters which you intend that the original recipient would read. Although, except that person, everyone else reads that.

In a rather personal plus fictional story combination book by a friend titled ‘And we remained’, a major chunk of the story is told via the email-exchanges between 4 friends. One could read this book if you want to go back to your nostalgic college days, first crush feelings and the time when sending emails to and fro used to exist. Anyways, point being, communication recently has taken a weird turn.

I have not sent or received postcards or even a letter since last 15 years or so minimum. I did use to make greeting cards during school time which I used to give away to friends and teachers before summer vacation or winter holiday breaks. But that practice diminished as I grew up. I also haven’t received/sent a proper email from/to anyone in at least last 3 years in which we could have just shared information about each other’s well being. The only letters I receive are actually cardboard containers from Amazon. I did receive few physical Greeting Cards from my wife when she was away. (I felt pretty awkward initially as I didn’t expect that people would still be dealing with Greeting Cards. But that was a wonderful gesture, so thank you R if you are reading this. Sorry that I didn’t reply back with another greeting card of my own. I am a bit tech-savvy that way.). Obviously, ego gets in the way of communication nowadays. Despite being so closely connected, we hardly talk to people. I had even written a satire piece a few days ago about replying to Whatsapp/Email has become optional. You may read that here.

Whining about this isn’t the solution. The solution would be to reopen the communication channel with old friends in some way. One can still send out postcards. One can write emails. Even a Poke on Facebook might help in rekindling the friendship, who knows! Wish someone new year in an original manner and not HNY! Of course, I am not suggesting to you that pick up the phone and call that person. Who would do that!

I got this postcard by the way after that speech:

Recommended Sites, in case you are interested:

  • People who used to use blogpost.com would remember about lettersofnote.com. If not, you can still go ahead and check this site. They publish postcards, letters, telegrams from the past. Soon, they should also start posting emails from the early days of the Internet. That would be fascinating to read.
  • I found this website which does this amazing thing even today: postcrossing.com. I am copy pasting their stats from the site below:

P.S. A picture of Postbox with address if you want to send someone a postcard from Bengaluru

View this post on Instagram

#LetterBox #indianPost #red

A post shared by Abhinav Bhatt (@abhinavbhatt) on

This, I saw at MG Road Boulevard, Bengaluru. It is a bit sad that the caption I put in the second comment on the picture there was ‘#historical’.

The Stinking Attack of Nostalgia

It was Saturday morning. I was in a Cab traveling to a distant part of the city. The Driver had put the radio On and it was playing songs in Kannada in very low volume. By now, I have developed a mental system of phasing out sounds on the road which I cannot easily comprehend out of my mind. Then the advertisements started, which are sometimes in English which I understand, sometimes in Kannada which I try to understand and sometimes in Hindi which is my mother tongue. And sometimes they’re in a combination of all the 3 languages, which nobody understands.

Then came a public service announcement commercial about Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (Cleanliness Mission by Government of India) which was as ignored as we ignore the heaps of garbage on the road. But the advertisement ended with a small jingle in Hindi. I will put the link to the song at the end of this post.

And that hit me. Let me give some context first:

Back at home, in North India, and I assume it happens everywhere there, we get a garbage truck in the morning. The peculiar thing about this truck is that instead of knocking people’s door and asking them if they have any garbage to dispose of, the truck plays this song in a continuous loop. So, when you are at your home relaxing nonchalantly in the morning, first you hear a faint sound of this song. That hints us to keep relaxing but stay prepared for the truck, as it would be coming towards your house soon. Thanks to Doppler Uncle, this sound keeps increasing as it approaches nearer and nearer. Only when it is 100-200 m from your house, you actually get to hear the words of the song. And only then you need to get up, collect the bins and hand over to the municipal people your precious garbage which you held dear for the whole night. Then the truck goes over to the next street and the song becomes fainter and fainter and eventually diminishes. This has been happening since last 2-3 times of my home visit. So it had become a daily ritual of hearing that song and dumping the garbage till I was home. (At least this much I can do at home, right?)

garbage truck

After coming back down to South India, I forgot this song. Days passed. Months passed. This song went into the recycle bin of my mind. And then yesterday, I heard it again. Even though, I heard only a line. But it hit me. The stinking nostalgia of days at home hit me. Sigh. Weird, but true.

What is the most weird thing that makes you think of your home?

The human mind is an amazing thing of beauty. It creates filters to push irrelevant things out. But it leaves some holes, wide enough to bring your memories of the past back when you least expect. We all have senses which crave the sounds, smells, and colors of our home. Of course, no one wants to remember stinking garbage trucks for that. For me, it was the jingle rather.

Here’s the song by the way:

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

It was sometime in ’93 or ’94 when my uncle took me to Premprakash Cinema Hall in Jaipur. We tried to get the seats but apparently it was House Full. We had already given up but then my uncle thought of giving one more chance and tried our luck at Lower Dress Circle window. Luckily, there were 2 tickets available of the front row seats. The tickets were small chits of Pink Color, 14 Rupees each probably (and the parking chit was yellow in color, 3 Rupees), if I can guess correctly, give or take 5-10 Rupees here and there. Then I got to see, probably my first English movie (dubbed in Hindi obviously) in a cinema hall, and the movie was called Jurassic Park.

Now when you see a movie, that too an action-adventure genre, from the front row seats, everything looks real. Jurassic Park that time was watched without 3D, without IMAX and surely without Dolby Digital Surround system as well. So, what was shown on the screen was unadulterated loud and on your face fun! I was thrilled, I was frightened, I was amazed and I became its life long fan. When I was coming back from the theater, sitting on the pillion seat of the Blue colored Bajaj Chetak, we went past many camels on the way home. Those camels looked as frightening as the velociraptors. I bought dinosaurs merchandize later, along with one 10 inch tall plastic each-part-detachable skeleton of T-Rex, which was later hidden away somewhere by my mother because, unusually, it happened to be unlucky somehow. When the skeleton was sitting pretty and handsomely on the TV Trolley, my brother got his hand fractured and my father’s car got hit. So the toy went underground soon. Still, the love for Dinosaurs and JP never stopped. I went on to see The Lost World (1997) thrice in cinema hall (and it was the first movie I was allowed to watch alone in theaters with friends). Even our school took us to watch that movie. Meanwhile, whenever Jurassic Park was aired on TV, I watched it. From 1994 till 2013, if it had been shown 200 times, I would have watched 100 times at least. I stopped counting after the century.

Now on 6th April 2013, I got another chance to see the magic on big screen again. That too in IMAX 3D at Bangalore. I went to the theater and saw kids who weren’t even born in 1994 flocking in with their parents. It gave a sense of aging. Sigh. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie on the screen as much as I had done 19 years ago.

The movie had so much effect on me that I had even decided to become a paleontologist when I grew up. (Although I didn’t end up being one).

I can still remember the white shorts and jungle-scene shirt, I had worn on that day because after few days when those clothes got washed, the upper pocket of the shirt still had the crumbled pink chits.

Here’s a small tribute poster I have made for the movie:

Jurassic Park Minimal Poster

Jurassic Park Minimal Poster

Batua

जेब छोटी थी,  बटुआ बड़ा। बड़ा भाई रखता था तोह मेरी भी इच्छा होती थी। एक दिन मैं अपने दादा जी के पास गया।  बोला कि मेरे बटुए मैं पैसे नहीं हैं, भाई के तोह पास बहुत सारे हैं। उन्होंने हंस के 10 का नोट दे दिया। मैंने वोह 10 का नोट, संभाल के पर्स की सबसे अन्दर वाली जेब में रख दिया।

वक़्त बीता, मैं कमाने लग गया । बटुआ अभी भी वही था।
आज सोचा कि नया बटुआ लूं। पुराने को यहीं कहीं किसी कोने में डालने ही वाला था की ध्यान आया कि उसके अन्दर एक 10 का नोट पड़ा हुआ है। आज दादाजी नहीं हैं। नोट को देखने की हिम्मत नहीं हुई और अब बटुआ पड़ा हुआ है अलमारी की अन्दर। सुरक्षित।
P.S.: Inspired by https://twitter.com/angrykopite/status/301390756751482881