Mutton burger at Rovers, movies at Sahu and cable TV ke mazey!
Surely 2019 has lot more facilities and technologies which have made our lives easier and of course, pushed Lucknow towards development!
But we the desi kids always have a longing to ride a time-machine, to just go back to the period when we were blissfully unaware of the 21st-century chaos and monotony. It was the time when the alarm rang to wake you up for school and not the office, tiffin was from Mom’s kitchen and not Zomato and we were 100 pounds lighter.
So to put you face-to-face with the 90s nostalgia, here are 7 blasts from the past which would give you major throwback goals, if you’re a true-blue Lucknowite.
Currently we have several online portals to book our movie tickets and we can even choose our seats, at the click of a button. But back in the day, watching a movie depended on our patience to stand in a queue.
You know what is even more annoying than standing a looooong queue for a movie? The halls running out of tickets by the time you reached the counter. For situations like these, we had to be dependent on ‘black’ tickets, which came at a hefty price.
The craze for movies has always been a trend in the country; so much so that there have been instances of Lathi-Charge at such venues, in the past! When Gadar had released at Anand Cinema Hall, there was a shortage of tickets and the charge had followed due to the chaos. During the screening of Hum Aapke Hai Kaun, people waited outside halls for a whole month to get their tickets- bhaisaaab crazy times!
As a 90s kid, we’d prefer kulfis from thelas more than ice-creams from Baskin Robbins, any day! There were kulfi walas who roamed the locales and summer afternoons were incomplete without their blaring calls resonating in the streets. We would gather our chillars and then head straight to the door, lest we lost him.
These vendors always had a Wheel of Numbers where you could guess a number and spin it; if the number popped up as you had imagined, you’d get a free kulfi! How kul was that?!
When Lucknow was alien to the concept of Italian food, Pizza Hut set up its base in Hazratanj and introduced us to the world of a cheesy love-affair!
There was an instance of the crowd going bonkers about this new release in the city and believe it or not, just to enter the outlet, there were snaking lines till the GPO. We didn’t know what a pijja was and now, our diets are mostly about pizza [peet-sa] whenever we gotta order in. People are more loyal towards Pizza Hut than their partners, apparently.
Now we have Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime wageirah wageirah to keep us company but pehle nah, it was Doordarshan and chill for us!
And we didn’t call bae for it; we called the whole mohalla to be a part of our Sunday serials and whoever had a coloured TV, the crowd used to throng there. Doordarshan gave us hits like Shriman Shrimati, Ramayana, Udaan, Dekh Bhai Dekh and so on and we’d still watch ‘em any day, over Gopi Vau’s atrocities or Simran’s zahreelay laddoos.
Cafes ke naam pe, initially we just we had a CCD which was a major hangout spot for students and oldies, alike. CCD was the ultimate place for us, where our first date happened, where we went after bunking classes and this place saw our tears too! It has been there with and for us, over the spanning years and our first mulaqaat with fancy kaffee took place here.
CCD has also taught us that it actually pronounced ‘mo-ka’ and ‘mo-cha’; so if we’re fluent at our Starbucks orders, you know who owns the credits.
Similarly, Rover’s was our initial eatery where we used to hog on the best mutton burgers in town and their Chicken Frankies were also quite a hit; in fact, it still is. After college hours and post-midnight, this is where you’d find the ‘cool kids’ in town.
Pagers and phone booths honestly feel pre-historic now, given the digital evolution we’re constantly facing! The last beeps we heard were way back in 2012 and since then, they have declined in numbers and usage has fallen too. Now we have cellphones to heed to our needs and even a 5yo child these days, has one for fun purposes!
Phone booths have witnessed our love stories, heartbreaks, long-distance relationships and the walls of it, have heard tales as old as time. These booths kept us connected to people and the queue for it has inculcated a serious sense of patience in us. Think twisted wires, phone directories, limited call times and expensive bills.
When Lucknow hadn’t faced the force of transformation, for us, Gomti Barrage was the end of the city and beyond these boundaries, we didn’t know what existed. This used to be a chill spot for people and for variations, people opted for Kasturba Gandhi Park and sometimes, the Nimbu Park too. In fact, Hathi Park has also seen quite a footfall because there were major power outage issues and for the sake of hanging out, these were the spots.
This was the time when Indira Nagar was also spreading its wings to form a sprawling colony, which it is today and the Gomti Nagar area was still unbrushed.
When Twenty One Pilots sang, “Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days; when our momma sang us to sleep but now we're stressed out”, we felt those words in our bones.
This was the era of long winters which began in October and stretched till February and makkhan malai used to go to our tumtums directly, before our social media handles.
All in all, the 90s was a really good time for us when it comes to living life to the fullest but if only we were in a Robert Schwentke movie (he directed The Time Traveler's Wife).