Something about the' 90s!
For most of my twenty-something years I have never romanticised the past. You see, in my head I was too young, too inexperienced and too eager to live in the present and anticipate the future to spare a precious moment's thought to the past.
Life passed by in a constant state of rush; there was always an element of haste attached to every activity that would leave me behind mercilessly unless I matched its pace. And then, after blowing out the lone candle (the single status of it a cheeky nod to my growing years!) on my recent birthday cake, a shard of memory presented itself. I had a sense of déjà vu; there was a cake, an ecstatic little girl surrounded by cheering friends and family blowing a lungful of air on a dozen candles dotted around the cake.
I had to take all of them out in one go or my wish, that I had waited a whole year to make in this very moment, would not turn true! And take them out I did, thank you very much, with much pomp and enthusiasm! My sudden time-travelling was not the usual sense of desolation one experiences upon turning a year older, I swear.
A different kind of longing overtook me. I wished for that marzipan-rose covered vanilla layer cake I cut all those years ago as a little girl to replace my fancy rippled strawberry cheesecake; I wanted to indulge in a silly game that involved grabbing as many of those roses I could with other kids! A few people with their Yashicas and Nikons would take pictures, I wished, instead of the selfie-obsessed ones with their fancy smartphones I was surrounded with! And just like that I found myself reminiscing over the wonderfully simple decade of my formative years, for the first time in a really long time.
It was truly a magical time. Compared to children these days, there was not much, but it was more than enough. Those few channels on TV that aired amazing shows such as The Crystal Maze and Small Wonder would have children wake up in the early hours of the morning. Cartoons such as Captain Planet and Ninja Turtles were not just for viewing pleasure but also contained social messages. There was a sense of anticipation and excitement among all of us, waiting throughout the week to watch the next episode.
The 90s was a glorious time for us bookworms. Nancy Drew, The Famous Five, Sweet Valley High and Mills & Boon were all the rage among many others. Comics such as Archie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Goosebumps had our noses buried in them for hours! The world of music was truly at its best during that time. Legendary bands such as Aerosmith, Metallica and Bon Jovi were insanely popular, and so were out homegrown ones such as Miles, Souls, Renaissance and many more. Movies such as Home Alone, Jurassic Park and Toy Story were incredible among many others, and who can forget the charm of renting VHS cassettes from the local video store!
More than anything else, it's the simple way of life that makes us all nostalgic. The roads free of traffic and pollution made taking walks a pleasure. The ice-creams carts that'd come around every afternoon would be the highlight of the day, as would a mere glass of fountain Coke or orange lolly! It was an era when cellphones were not all-pervading. The charm of a land phone was undeniable; the anticipation of a phone call from a special one, the missing of that call, going next door to make a call when one's own connection was down is all but history now. Above everything else, there was a sense of community; we all knew our neighbours and it was like one big, extended family.
All these things are a part of our past now; a time so simple and yet so profoundly meaningful. It has been long since the 90s have been gone but those days are so much a part of who we are, of the fabric of our being that it's nearly impossible to leave those behind. Our lives are very different, much more convenient that it was back then but the charm of those days keeps us reminiscing about them at every chance we get. What can I say, one can take a '90s kid out of that era but cannot take the '90s out of that kid!
By Sabrina N Bhuiyan