The 90s: A decade to remember
If you grew up in the 90s, you’re more fortunate than today’s kids and we all know why. It is because we enjoyed our childhood during those simpler times as it was before the era of smartphones, tablets and social media. Those were the times when kids would look forward to playing with paper boats during rainy days during summer breaks beneath their grandparents’ mango trees. Cricket was all the rage back then and ‘Kit kit’ was not far behind; the 90s’ kids used to take it as seriously as any professional sport. Another fun pastime was the game of ‘seven stones,’ an improvised version of the American game, ‘Tag.’
The 90s was a transformative decade as it was the last decade of the last millennium. It was a dynamic era where we, as 90s kids, saw changes happening all around us. A technological transformation was taking place across the world and we saw trends change across the board - from black & white TVs to colour TVs, from tape recorders to CD systems, from Doordarshan to cable TV. We were also witness to the coming of the World Wide Web, the spread of Hip-Hop music culture and a booming pop culture industry. The 1990s was a decade of dramatic change in mass mediums and we, as the generation that grew up in that era, can proudly say that we were in the middle of it all.
Maybe every generation thinks the decade of their childhood was the best, but here’s just a taste of what made the 90s unique.
The 90s cartoon shows were not only fun and entertaining, but also educative. Let’s turn the clock back as we take you to the time when cartoons used to define the childhood of young ones.
Aladdin: We all remember ‘lamp boy’ Aladdin, his faithful genie, the talking parrot and his best friend Abu, the monkey. His adventures kept us all engrossed for hours and we all wished we had a magic lamp, just like Aladdin’s.
Ducktales: Scrooge Mcduck, who was better known as ‘Uncle Scrooge,’ was one of the most iconic cartoon characters of the 90s and the theme song ‘Everyday they are out there making duck tales oo woo oo’ still lingers in our minds even today.
Tales spin: ‘Dosti humari hai jaan se pyari, chalo suney kaahani.’ We just can’t forget Baloo and his beloved yellow airplane, can we?
Tom and Jerry: Well, this one is just synonymous to growing up in the 90s as we just can’t get over the two naughty ‘frenemies.’ We still continue to watch them and ‘Tom and Jerry’ videos have racked up millions of views on the video-sharing platform, YouTube, in recent times.
Scooby Doo: This is another handpicked favourite. This animated series has brought out the mystery heads in us all. Scooby, Shaggy and friends had solved many a mystery in the funniest ways possible.
Dexter’s Laboratory: Ah! The genius boy and his bully sister Dee Dee and the unbelievably massive underground laboratory. Dexter was indeed every kid’s favourite scientist back in the day.
From Shaktimaan to Raja aur Rancho, the 90s was an era when the whole family would cluster around television sets and watch the shows together. Those lucky enough to grow up during that era would fondly remember these TV series.
Malgudi Days: If you have not watched this classic Indian TV series, you simply missed out on a golden show. The life of Swami, his friends and the people living in the small town of Malgudi is one of those popular classic TV series we all got hooked to back then. The show was watched by adults and children alike.
Shaktimaan: Shaktimaan was seriously one of the coolest Indian superheroes from the 90s generation. No one can ever forget the mischief and comedy of Gangadhar either. In fact, some of us might still have the Shaktimaan costume that was used for fancy dress competitions in school. One last twirl as the iconic hero Shaktimaan, anyone?
Captain Vyom: Two of India’s sexiest men, Milind Soman and Dino Morea, were seen in this sci-fi favourite which was possibly the first sci-fi series telecast on the national television.
Raja aur Rancho: This detective was one of the coolest characters on television who had a mischievous yet adorable monkey by his side who helped him solve mysteries.
Mahabharat: There were a lot of mythological series like ‘Om Namah Shivai’, ‘Jai Hanuman’, ‘Ramayan’ and others which were all the rage back in the 1990s. But, if we had to pick the best from them, we would all definitely vote for this one. In fact, it remains popular on television even to this day.
The fashion of the 90s was a distinctive marker of popular trends like denim, dungarees, chokers, crop tops and off-shoulder tops. 90s fashion was iconic and a milestone in itself.
Dungarees: A major throwback to the iconic Bollywood movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, we all must have seen Kajol rocking the dungaree after which it hit the 90s fashion scene and later became extremely popular.
Denim: Urmila Matondkar in Rangeela with the denim look was a classic from the 90s which will never go out of fashion. 90s fashion has again made a major comeback in Bollywood, as stars are seen wearing the same throwback fashion trends.
Off-shoulder Tops: This trend started in the 90s and they are being worn to this day. Remember Juhi Chawla in her beautiful off shoulder top from Darr? It is still trending and has become quite a thing now. 90s Bollywood fashion has now become a timeless fashion statement.
Candies and Gums:
From Mango Bite to Coffee Bite, from Big Babol to Boomer. This bygone decade is sure to take you on a nostalgic trip down candy lane. Many of these candies and gums may not be available anymore in the grocery stores today, but 90s kids will never forget them.
Coffee Bite: Perhaps this delicious candy was one of the favourite chewables, rich with the flavour of coffee which often was bought for birthday celebrations and other festivities.
Poppins: These fruity and colourful candies had kids of the nation hooked with flavours like litchi, strawberry, mango, guava, orange etc.
Mango Bite: This mango flavoured bite-sized candy from Parle was amongst India’s most popular candies. In fact, the tagline from the ad ‘aam ki rasili goli enjoy very slowly’ is still fresh in our minds. Mango Bite was the ultimate 90s candy.
Big Babol and Boomer: Big Babol and Boomer were our favourite chewing gums. Remember, how we used to compete with our friends to blow the largest bubble with these bubble gums?
The 90s were an especially amazing time for music fans. Music in the 90s saw the spread of a new musical genre called ‘Hip-Hop’ which grew and continued to be highly successful in the decade. Also, Pop and Rock music remained extremely popular throughout the decade. Furthermore, boy and girl bands were topping the charts on a regular basis throughout the entire decade.
Boy/Girl Bands: Ah, the era of boy bands! We all know The Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Savage Garden, Westlife, Boyzone, Venga Boys, Spice Girls, Wilson Philips and many more! The list goes on with radio waves being dominated by these girl groups and boy bands.
Hip-Hop: The 90s were without a doubt the golden age for this new genre of music giving you the finest chartbusters by the likes of Snoop Dogg, Vanilla Ice, Jay Z and others.
Pop and Rock: Rock bands like Nirvana and Guns & Roses changed the way people perceived rock music as they released one chart topping hit after another. They truly took hard rock to a diverse audience. Meanwhile, pop sensations like Madonna, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears churned out some of the most memorable tunes ever recorded during this period of time. Truly a ‘dangerous’ time to be alive if you weren’t a fan of music!
Indi-pop: While America was dancing to Britney’s ‘Baby....one more time’, desis here in India were swaying to the infectious tunes of Punjabi Superstar, Daler Mehendi. While people in other parts of the world were listening to Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice Ice Baby,’ desi poppers were tuned to Lucky Ali’s melodious voice filled with his distinctive mellow songs and Baba Sehgal’s unique rhymes. Meanwhile, Aryans were belting out evergreen rock tunes and Pankaj Udhas was the go-to musician if you happened to be in love and needed some music to reminisce about your loved-one.
If you’re a 90s kid, we hope we made you cry a little with nostalgia, refreshing your childhood memories. 90s kids have a lot of greatness to reflect on as we lived in an era that was simple, pure and most of all, innocent.