#TBT the '90s

Updated: Aug 28, 2019, 09:37 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi | Mumbai

A trending hashtag online has become fodder for a nostalgic outpour on social media. We got folks of the '90s to reminisce about the little joys of a wonderful era

Tara Deshpande
Tara Deshpande

Do you remember inserting a pencil into the holes of a cassette to adjust the tape reel? Or, pretending to be grown-ups with a Charlie cigarette hinged on the parting of your lips; and filling slam books with intense concentration? These are souvenirs of a simpler time aka the 1990s, one of the most vibrant — culturally and otherwise —eras of our lives.

A new hashtag that has caught the fancy of netizens has set in motion a major blast from the past, with millions of people using #YouAreOfficiallyOldIf on social media platforms to share their vivid memories from the decade, be it click pens with refills of three different colours, geometry boxes, iconic movies, indie music or food. Popular Mumbaikars who were kids/young adults at the time tells The Guide about favourite, #YouAreOfficiallyOldIf moments.

Fast food comes to Mumbai

#YouAreOfficiallyOldIf: "You watched the IFB Star Sunday Lunch cooking show. It was one of the first ones, and I actually appeared on it. I remember Ally Khan was the host and it was one of earliest cooking shows to invite celebrities. This was also the time Smokin' Joe's came to Mumbai. I think their first outlet was on Carmichael Road... at that time, everything would open in SoBo first, though now it's reverse, with Bandra being the first choice. Soon after, Dominoes came, too. Oh, and yes, the '90s were also when softies were a huge thing. Paradise started selling them and Bachelorr's opened around then as well, if I remember correctly," recalls Tara Deshpande, who was an actor during the time, though now she has found her calling in the food industry.


Pizzas and softies became popular in the '90s in India 

The era of sitcoms

Shruti Seth

#YouAreOfficiallyOldIf: "You remember watching Dekh Bhai Dekh, which was one of the early sitcoms and had a fantastic starcast, with actors like Shekhar Suman and Farida Jalal. The slapstick family drama was very relatable, especially for a joint family. Though I wasn't living in one per say, my uncle has always lived with us. I think the whole concept of showing day-to-day issues that people face made it so familiar. And they had such a humorous take on it. It was perhaps one of the biggest shows of the '90s, at least for me," shares television actor and host Shruti Seth, who incidentally later worked with both Suman in Comedy Circus, and Jalal in a popular TV show in the 2000s called Shararat.

Dekh Bhai Dekh

Ad this to the mix

Parzaan Dastur

#YouAreOfficiallyOldIf: "You know what I am talking about when I say I loved the Pepsi advertisement that came out around the same time as the release of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. It had Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee and a very young Shahid Kapoor. It was so iconic, and if I am not wrong, KK [Krishnakumar Kunnath] sang the jingle," says Parzaan Dastur, who you perhaps remember as the sweet little child from a touching advert of an oil brand, and who also featured in the famous film. "Apart from that, I remember watching Titanic, which was perhaps the first English language film most of us kids watched at the theatre during the time."

Still from Titanic

Pepsi ad
Still from cola advert

The comic-al 1990s

Abhijeet Kini

#YouAreOfficiallyOldIf: "You read or collected Indrajal and Mandarake comics because they were defining for the industry in that era. At that time, superheroes were unheard of, other than Superman and Batman. So, for Indian readers it was largely these two. But more than that, I feel, the '90s was the time for single issues. After college days, I have hardly seen stores selling single issues of DC or Marvel comics, like, you know, Superman No 63 or 75. I recall collecting gems from the raddiwallahs. I used to keep an eye out for them. Book shops are also fewer now, so the entire maths of collecting comics has changed. I recall picking them up from the street stalls in Fort, and there's also a guy outside National College. He used to have a great collection, though now he's known more for academic books," illustrator Abhijeet Kini, who has worked on several comics, shares.

D C XComics

Indrajal Comics

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