Back in the 90’s most of our relationships had a very simple and accurate defining factor. It was not by the way one looked or by what they wrote in their ‘bio’, it was the greatest invention of all times – FLAMES. 

F – Friends , L – Love, A – Affair, M- Marriage, E – Enemies, S – Sibling

Just Cant Understand It

FLAMES was not the name of a fancy club or a dating app. It was self-made algorithm that defined the kind of relationship you will have with someone you had a crush on or with someone you’re just friends with.  

It was a fairly simple game. You take your and a crush’s/friend’s name, then subtract all the same letters you both have in your names and then just use the remaining letters to calculate your ‘flame’. And voila! Validation. 

Hell no! This is not childish. 


Literally, every 90’s kid abided by the rules of the game to acknowledge if your pehla pehla pyaar has a future with you or not. But the future (or rather the game) was kind of easy to manipulate. If you didn’t get your desired results with just your first name, you could always use your full name or even nicknames until you actually got the letter you wanted. 

Kids Were Us

In addition to the manipulation, there was always an ‘expert FLAMES player’ who always knew how to get your desired results. Whether it was from sideways, backwards, front or any other weird way, that person always got what we wanted and well, that person was a hero. 


I mean, this game was such a hit among us 90’s kids that our notebooks were filled with this game more than notes our teachers gave us. So much, that an entire rough notebook was dedicated to just this game. 

Even our desks!

Oh! But don’t ever undermine this game. All of those letters had a very specific role and if you got unlucky, your crush might turn out to be your sibling (the cursed ‘S’ letter) and you could do nothing about it because the science behind this game was too powerful to get changed. 

Unless you start a fresh game of course and start over. We sure did!