As memories linger, nostalgia remains

For my  generation that grew up in the 60s and 70s,   childhood was sans much of the frills and amenities of today; nevertheless,  it was joyful and fun-filled. It is another matter that fun for us had a different connotation altogether. A candy, a chocolate, an orange bar or a bottle of coke was a big indulgence. An occasional film outing was enough to send us to cloud nine. No video games, no expensive toys; we were happy playing simple games with the children in the neighbourhood. With the internet, computers and mobiles the things of the future, we had real interactions as opposed to virtual. Our one-stop destination, the only holiday resort that we knew was maternal grand parents’ house that we looked forward to visiting every summer vacation.

Growing up in middle class families with two-three siblings, in a period of scarcity; we learnt to find joy in small pleasures of life. Not only did we take pleasure in small things but also learnt to enjoy wait. No instant gratification, we had to wait for almost everything, small or big, and cherished what we got. We waited for our birthday or a special occasion to have a new dress. A wrist watch may not be on the wish list of the children today, but I was on the top of the world I get an HMT watch in eighth standard.

We did not have  a refrigerator or television in our homes, the gadgets which are absolute necessities today. There was anticipation and thrill, wait and excitement, a sort of celebration for every new appliance that came into the household. The acquisition of a thing, as small as a transistor or a record player, was a source of great joy for us. We would save money to buy LP and SP records of our favourite movies. These days everyone carries a mobile, but back then there was a long wait of years for getting a fixed-line connection. A prior booking, at times running into years, was required for buying a scooter. I can’t forget how thrilled we were when ‘Hamara Bajaj’ arrived loaded in a lorry for the reason that my father didn’t know how to drive it.

The new generation of kids is usually over pampered, most are fussy about food and their demands are met more often than not. When they don’t feel like eating home-cooked food, Zomato, Swiggy are there to deliver their choicest food at the doorstep. However; we were supposed to eat whatever was cooked, no tantrums were tolerated. For us it was a simple home cooked food most of the times. Special food was reserved for special occasions. Pizza, burger, noodles were unheard of. For us hot samosas and jalebis from a sweet shop were a big treat.  Home deliveries are a recent phenomenon, but back then there was no culture of dining out either. In fact, there was hardly any posh restaurant in my city till early 70s. I must have been in my teens when I had the first experience of eating out in a three- star hotel. I remember feeling ill-at-ease with its ambience. But one thing that I can never forget is that I was so naïve that I drank water served in the finger bowl.

These and many more sweet reminiscences of the 60s and 70s keep flashing back in black & white to create a treasure trove of memories that we cherish. As memories linger, nostalgia remains.

(Published in Hindustan Times, Sunday Read on Jan 2, 2022)

20 Replies to “As memories linger, nostalgia remains”

  1. You are absolutely right,ma’am. Lifestyle of a middle class family in 70s was very simple , confined to only necessities and not luxuries.Our childhood was very different from the life style of present time.But we enjoyed ,even though we had comparatively less resources.
    You write very well,close to a simple middle class family/ people.I always enjoy a lot.

    1. An absolute delight to read your feedback. Thank you so much Garima for not just reading but leaving your encouraging comments .Yes , I write what I feel , think and experience or went through , nothing fictional. Glad my writings resonate with you.

    2. What a beautiful article dear Rama , as I was reading the article I was also going back in that era . How true it is . Enjoyed the article thoroughly , Dear Rama you have full control on the language. I congratulate you , you give us the chance to enjoy your articles on various subjects . Keep writing.

  2. Beautifully expressed …each one of us ,even those who grew up in 50′,s lived this kind of life. Rama your articles are always a pleasure to read…God bless

    1. I can’t thank you enough for your words of encouragement .. mean a lot to me.Thank you so much Mrs Dhawn

  3. Very well written dear.You express your thoughts in a beautiful way. Thoroughly enjoyed your article. Proud of you dear.

    1. Thank you so much Renu . Feel blessed to have friends like you who are always there to support and encourage .

  4. A brilliant article once again. It’s remarkable how you always take us down the memory lane as if you are writing my story. I could relate to each and every word. Personally I feel that we enjoyed our child hood and youth much more than our children. Competition entered their lives in all spheres and simple joys were reduced.

    1. Thanks Alka for your kind words. I am glad it resonated with you.We belong to the same generation, had similar experience …
      I feel every generation recalls its childhood with nostalgia for there is something magical about the period of innocence.


  5. Rama as usual a treat to read your article, It is so well written that I got carried into my childhood immediately and brought back memories of those wonderful days. It’s exactly we all can relate to.

    1. How sweet of you Shubha to read the piece and leave your feedback !Thank you so much. I am happy that my friends are enjoying reading the piece as much as I enjoyed wring it. Nostalgic is the ride down memory lane…

  6. Rama our childhood memories were awesome. I got my HMT watch in my Tenth standard. This year I gave watch to my grandson on his Tenth birthday. You have related the joys and pleasures so well. No words………. Even your write-up about Bidai was very amazing. I was there at Jalandhar at the time of your marriage, another great and sweet memories.

    1. Thank you so much .Why are you denying me the pleasure of knowing whom I am responding to? But my sixth sense tells me you are Neelam Dhand .

      Neelam , I remember you attended my wedding. Oh! you are talking about the post that I had written for Momspresso under the ‘prompt ‘Bidaai’ narrating my own personal experience how emotions bypassed me leaving me ‘tear-less’ on my bidaai.

  7. Remind me our old days life full of contentment
    Sitting in kitchen on floor and eating food and waiting for one’s turn
    So much meaningful sharing
    Thanks for sharing wonderful memories
    Still our strength

    1. Thanks Simran for reviving old memories of having food in the kitchen . We would wait for our turn to have hot chapatis and paranthas straight from the tava . And the amount of work our mothers did, toiled from morning to late night to take care o all our needs …
      And of course , we were so contented …

  8. ‘Memories linger nostalgia remains ‘
    How relatable these lines are with our childhood I still remember my father used to buy for-us jalebis on Basakhi Mela only . I got my HMT watch in BA from HMT factory Rama you always open up our memory lane of sweet reminisces of yore years So creditable

    1. Thank you so much Mrs Chopra. Loved reading your reminiscence, expressed beautifully. You got a watch in BA but mine came a little early in school by default . MY mamaji gifted one to my mother who passed it on to me.

  9. Often I ponder over why do v write n than read..?
    Getting words to express truly what heart had felt is a delight…!!
    I was curious to read ur memories n i am so much contented.. For d reality fabricated jn btw..
    U remind me of reating loon ajwain ki paronthi continuously n non stop… Made by Nani.. Mami.. N Ma.. Vid white butter on d top.. 😊

    Mom remove d plates after finishing food.. My younger son said… We were having dinner outside.. 😌

    Starting from Faridabad by train to reach Ludhiana.. Lil pastry at Rajpura was a long awaited feast. 🥺

    Watching all posters at theatre of d film. N noticing it’s length used to be very occupying.. 😈

    We watched Pakeeja in first row at Neelam in 17 sector.. Scences were hitting us on head.. 🥵

    Padhminis photo in coffee house near by was my strong bond of 50 yrs. 😋

    Do u remember tons of bread rolls getting fried in d canteen of HMV.. Mouth watering fragrance… But to save money v declared as an Ass. Head Girl.. I take oath never to eat from there n keptmy promise. 🥳

    At 68..v do not go to movies.. So so much gratitude to God n bow to Ann Purna… For ample n delicious provision of food in life..
    Thanks to be myself in my lil home n kitchen.. Wandering from imli ki chatni.. Barf ka gola.. Khatte chole.. Boiled corn wrapped in red chillies… Gol gappas.. 🙏🙏
    Thanks for giving so delicious schooldays… 🔥🔥

    1. Anjana di, hats off to your vivid memories of the days bygone…
      I still savour the namak – ajwain parantha with white butter, though avoid.
      And yes ,film posters , huge hoardings of film posters taken around the city on tongas were a huge attraction for us .
      Also , I remember how I craved for bread rolls in the college canteen but seldom carried pocket money to indulge.
      Thanks Anjana di for reviving my memories.

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