New Year’s Day is kind of like the world’s birthday, right? And while birthdays are generally festive times, one key, unavoidable characteristic of the occasion – be it your own or the damn world’s – is that it makes you feel old AF.

Well, the world’s birthday is here yet again. And along with all the celebrations, it brings the reminder that no matter who you are, you’re discernibly older than your mind has had the time to process. As you bring 2017 in, here’s a little list of things that came into our lives 20 years ago… to give you a tiny refresher on just how old that makes you.

1. Dil Toh Pagal Hai

Or DTPH, as we commonly knew it. Ajay, Pooja and Nisha’s larger-than-life romance rattled all our hearts 20 years ago. Yep, it’s been quite long since Karishma brought the house down in Le Gayi Le Gayi.

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2. Border

The epic saga of the 1971 Indo-Pak war told by J.P. Dutta is easily one of the most memorable movies not just of 1997, but of the following few decades. It bathed us in raw emotion, spectacular action and sheer national pride – 20 years ago for the first time.

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3. Chachi 420

The Indian Mrs. Doubtfire featuring Kamal Haasan as our chikni-chupdi chaaaachi, the adorably quirky tale of a loving father made us crack the eff up, cry like babies and have an all-in-all delightful time. And yes, that delightful time began a long long time ago.

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4. Gupt: The Hidden Truth

One of the coolest murder mysteries that 90s Bollywood churned out, Gupt was a cinematic ride like many of us has never known before. Plus, Bobby groovin’ to Duniya Haseenon Ka Mela unavoidably got us bobbin’!


5. Pardes

The glorious desi saga that took NRI-guilt and sanskriti-love to new heights after DDLJ. We all swooned to Do Dil Mil Rahe Hain head-banged to Yeh Dil Deewana and pridefully sang along with Ye Mera India. And all that was 2 decades ago.


6. Judwaa

The formula had been used many times before, but never before with Bhai. Salman Khan playing twins, one seedha one mawaali, was a comic adventure we still pretty happily revisit from time to time. And from Tan Tanatan Tan Tan Tara to Oonchi Hai Building it was the film that brought us what I’d say was easily some of the most dhinchak music of the time.

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7. Ishq

Ishq was the film that had it all – it went from rom-com to family drama to action-packed adventure all one after the other. And it had pretty much the coolest cast one could’ve picked at the time! *sigh* Remember how we adored multi-starrers!


8. Yes Boss!

The SRK, Juhi Chawla and Aditya Pancholi film won hearts everywhere. And more importantly, it gave us some of the dreamiest of the time’s soundtracks. Shah Rukh singing Chand Taare Tod Laun and Agar Tum Kaho made fans across the country swoon… 20 years back.

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9. Rani Mukherjee’s Bollywood Debut

The woman came into our lives in Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat and she came for good. Mukerji made Bollywood her home to gave us some truly thrilling cinema to grown up on. From Ghulam to Mardaani, she has come a long way since her debut in 1997.


10. Aishwarya Rai’s Acting Debut

Aur Pyar Ho Gaya didn’t just bring the world Meri Saanson Mein Basa Hai but also the stunning former Miss World as Hindi cinema’s newest beauty. 1997 was the year, and what a journey it’s been!

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11. Nanpatekar saying, “Ek machchar saala aadmi ko…”

Anil Mattoo’s film Yeshwant is remembered for one classic Nana Patekar line. One that made waves for how its deep and profound philosophical value coincided with pithy humour. You guessed it, “Ek machchar saala aadmi ko hijda bana deta hai.”


12. Shaktimaan

20 years ago was when the first Indian superhero on television made our lives infinitely more awesome. We watched Gangadhar aka Shaktimaan saving the world week after week and we watched it with the same enthusiasm.

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13. The End Of Zee Horror Show

If that weren’t enough, 20 years ago was when Zee Horror Show, one of the few TV programs that actually scared us shitless (yes, all the best series we watch today included) came to an end. It was like one of our own saying to us, ‘I’ve scared you all I can. Now go out into the adult world and try to not shit yourself.’


14. The End Of Tara

The TV drama that operated on the levels of classics like Shanti, Tara had us hooked for years and that 4-year addiction came to an end 20 years ago. We were as involved in Tara’s joys and sorrows, her successes and failures as pretty much everyone we knew – very.

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15. The End Of Byomkesh Bakshi

The show that brought to life Bandyopadhyay’s curious detective satyanweshi, or seeker of truth, that we loved so, wrapped up two decades ago now. A truly intriguing mystery series, Byomkesh Bakshi was path-breaking television and we still miss it.

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16. Lucky Ali’s Dekha Hai Aise Bhi

A year after O Sanam’made us fall head over heels for Lucky Ali’s voice, he brought us Dekha Hai Aise Bhi and we were once again, all his. 20 years ago, Ali conquered our hearts and for many of us, he’s still one of the few real voices of romance.


17. ‘Ooh La La La’ from Sapnay

Ik bagiya mein rehti hai ik maina got every last one us grooving to Prabhudeva’s moves and Rehman’s captivating music. 1997’s Sapnay, or Minsara Kanavu – its Tamil counterpart – was the film that brought us the song that became an instant cult hit.


18. A.R. Rehman’s Maa Tujhe Salaam

The one alaap in A.R. Rehman’s soulful voice that wakes up the Indian in us all, was released 20 years ago. Maa Tujhe Salaam has since played at every one of our school Independence Day functions and it’s pretty much as integral a part of our childhood as it is a representation of our country’s patriotic pride.

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Still wondering why the colony ke bacche sometimes call you uncle/aunty instead of bhaiya/didi?

Wake up, friend. Those days are long gone. I mean, Happy New Year!