Using the computer only to play Space Pinball? Only 90s kids will understand. Optimizing space on a floppy disk? Only 90s kids will understand. Changing cassettes to change the mood? Only 90s kids will understand. Using an STD booth? Only 90s kids will understand.
The reason why we tend to add the line '90s kids will understand' after every nostalgically awesome thing these days is because that one phrase perfectly encapsulates a strong sense of attachment that is so universal amongst all the 90s kids.
Nostalgia for an era, where everything around us was so new, and yet so awesome.
There are times, when I genuinely feel bad for kids these days. They don't deserve this unwanted comparison between their era and ours. But I feel worse every time I see a 10-year-old flaunting his latest iPhone, or a 9-year-old posing for a selfie.
I feel bad for that premature privilege that has been bestowed upon them; a privilege that's taking them away from the very realities that had shaped us in the 90s.
Now I'm all for changing with the times. I fully understand that you cannot give a cassette to a kid and then expect them to share your enthusiasm for the same.
I just lament the fact that they'll never know what a REAL childhood is all about.
We 90s kids had a fulfilling childhood because life was simple back then. Standing on the threshold of globalisation, India was opening up to the world. Everything was new. It didn't matter whether you were 8 or 80-years-old; everybody was getting accustomed to the new things around them. We were all a curious bunch of people. Everything from the 80s, had suddenly become redundant.
It won't be wrong to say that the 90s came with no baggage from the past. It created its identity from scratch. Everything, right from the TV shows to the electrical appliances, belonged to the 90s.
Thus, happiness was finding 2 tazos in a bag of chips, watching Shaktimaan on Sundays ,'smoking' Phantom sweet cigarettes, getting free cricket cards and tattoos with chewing gums, getting those awesome freebies with Milo and GI-Joe action figures.
Happiness was getting 'love' with the name of your crush while playing FLAMES.
We didn't make WhatsApp groups to meet our friends. 'Aunty 4:00 baj gaye, Sonu ko khelne bhej do' used to suffice. We used to stay in touch even though none of us had cell phones. The only time we used to feel adult back then was when our parents used to say 'arrey tumhare liye phone aaya hai' and then used to add '15 minutes se zyaada baat mat karna' under the breath.
Back then, we found our parents restricting. Today, we realize that they knew something we didn't. They knew that getting the latest piece of technology isn't a privilege. Living your childhood is.
Look around you. There's an excess of everything. There are way too many YouTube channels, there are way too many websites to surf, there are way too many WhatsApp groups, there are way too many Instagram pictures and there are way too many Facebook profile pics to like.
Kids today will never understand the joy of singing oonch-neech ka papda, they'll never understand the anxiety of getting 'den' during a game of pakdam-pakdai, and they'll never feel the excitement of watching Sachin Tendulkar bash Shoaib Akhtar at Sharjah (although granted, that's through no fault of their own).
Kids today never asked to be showered with all the privileges they enjoy. They were born into it. The only privilege they don't enjoy today are the simple joys of life. They don't enjoy a sense of camaraderie that only comes when you go cycling with someone, they don't enjoy that adrenaline rush that comes when the teacher makes you and your best friend stand outside the classroom, they don't form a friendship that was formed when you let someone play with your fancy geometry box.
Kids today might have Pokemon Go, but they'll never experience the excitement of getting rank 1 while playing WWE trump cards.
Every generation feels that their decade was the best. But we 90s kids know for a fact, that we had a blast growing up. Atleast CN was Cartoon Network back then. But then again, only 90s kids will understand.
PS: Here's a really cool way to carry your favourite decade with you, wherever you go. This Phantom Cigarettes notebook is everything that's amazing about the glorious 90s!
Buy it here.
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