Good old times #WritingWednesdays

Sometimes it is fun to watch old movies. It is a nostalgia trip and a way of life which no longer exists. Just make sure not to watch it with the kids. There are so many things I have to explain to the boys. The language itself sounds so cliched. I will ignore the over-acting done in those days.

I was watching Masoom, an 80s movie with my son recently. Naseeruddin reaches his office and tells his secretary, ‘Book a trunk call to Nainital’. Hmm.. So many things in this short line. In the free national incoming and outgoing calls generation, I had to explain that, once upon a time, people used to book a ‘trunk call’ for calling an STD. Woops. Then I had to explain about STD calls. He could definitely not fathom why an operator had to dial it for us and then connect the calls and perhaps listen in to the conversation. Anyways, the call gets connected. Both Naseeruddin Shah and Satish Kaushik try to speak at the same time with their voices a pitch higher. My son burst out laughing asking why are they shouting and the confusion in the call as everyone is trying to convey a message hurriedly. Well, those were the times when STD calls cost a bomb. So, they would talk loudly and real fast and hope that the message is conveyed.

Move a few scenes, a postman comes with a Telegram. I held my breath for the question. ‘Mom, what is a telegram?’ I had to explain solemnly, ‘Son, there were many places where the telephone had not reached. In those days, to send an urgent message, people used to send telegrams in very cryptic English as the message was charged per word. Mostly, used to convey deaths, births, travel details.’ Phew.

Another day I was watching ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’. Oh! I like to watch movies and these old movies are so full of memories of plannings and trips made to the nearby theatre to watch a movie. I told my sons, that I loved the movie so much, I watched it twice. And they looked at me, ‘Duh! So?’ Well, nobody went for a movie twice in those days. Also, someone had to go to theatre, stand in a queue and book physical tickets. There was no spur of the moment, ‘Lets go for a movie’ thingie. Nowadays, its a few swipes on the smartphone and we can just go.

Another concept, the boys cannot understand is the hobby of stamp collecting. I used to have a small collection in an old diary which I had converted to stick all the stamps I gathered. My dad worked in an export company and they got letters from all around the world. Sadly, I do not know where I lost the book. Who posts letters anyways? Its all sending of messages on the Whatsapp. Letter writing is a skill which is no longer used to write those long, winding letters to friends telling them about the happenings in our lives. Really, who did that? Write letter, put in envelope, put appropriate stamps and then to go to put it in a post box. I can hear my sons say, ‘Mom, you guys really had all the time in the world for such stuff’ followed by peals of laughter.

So, where is the time of the new generation going. We were affected by those traditional long-winding ways and came up with solutions to make life easier. I wonder if the lives of the new generation is so easy, will they ever come up with something that will change our lives drastically? Like just tapping a hand held device and speaking endlessly to our loved ones.

I remember our parents used to think that our generation is hopeless as we have all the comforts in life including watching TV. And we are feeling the same about the next generation. Eeks.. Now I am sounding like my parents. Have you felt the same?

14 Comments Add yours

  1. draliman says:

    I had a little stamp collection too! Kids today collect Facebook followers.


  2. Pr@Gun says:

    Refreshing memories, my kids too laugh when I tell them similar stories of postman dropping letters, finishing the camera reel to see final photos, std, even our interaction with our friends was not swipe& what’s app. I still try & write letters , & try to motivate my kids too. They r surprised by my books too. Those were the fun days. Loved ur post a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shalini says:

    Haha! So much has changed for sure! I’m a 90’skid and I love everything from Birder to Kuch Kuch Hota Hain. Maine Pyar Kiya and Chandni are some of my favorites from 80’s too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Esha M Dutta says:

    I am nodding all along as I read your post, Lata! So much of the things that were a part of our lives have gone out of our lives. I loved collecting stamps, writing longhand letters to friends, still remember making long-distance STD calls to friends and relatives and writing letters home or having penfriends. Going to movie-halls only after standing in long queues …oh my God, the list is truly endless! This generation will never know any of that. It does make me sad at times that so much of technology has taken over the lives of these kids. I’m glad though we had a childhood very different from what we see nowadays! I guess every generation will be different. Change is the only constant and we better get used to it. Loved everything you wrote in this post, Lata. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think each generation thinks the next one has it easy. I don’t have kids of my own but working with teenagers in the last decade has taught me we had a lot to be grateful for. Sure kids these days get everything immediately, but I think that leads them to focus on immediate gratification and persistence gets lost in the process. Plus don’t even get me started on bullying and lack of emotion regulation. I don’t think we lived in perfect times either but each generation has things which leave their mark. I am grateful to be an adult in this day and age though!


  6. Modern Gypsy says:

    Ah, the nostalgia of old movies! I can imagine how difficult it would be for children these days to know about STD calls and what it was like to stand in a queue a day in advance to book movie tickets! Things sure are so much easier now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Obsessivemom says:

    Oh yes, I feel like my parents all the time. And I have to continually remind myself to not compare the children with my childhood. The other day N sat with a cassette in her hand and asked What is this? It kind of threw me that they had no clue at all. How much time we used to spend in making song lists then getting them recorded! What a wave of nostalgia you’ve unlocked Lata!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kala Ravi says:

    So much has changed! I can totally relate to the old movie watching experience with the kids. They just can’t bear the slow pace! It almost seems like post, telegraph, stamps are something closer to a lost civilization. Tech has suddenly crept in and taken over our lives. Days did seem a lot longer and a lot more productive way back the. Sighh! Loved the post Lata!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Debbie D. says:

    It’s hard to keep pace with all the technological advancements when one comes from the “old school”, isn’t it? Those of you with children at least have an advantage, since the kids are fluent in ‘techno-speak’ and can translate it for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. LAta wasnt that an era??? My God coming to think of it so many thngs have changed. I used to love collecting picture postcards, with the stamp intact. And I had relatives from across the globe sending them in. ow no body sends these as wishes and pictures are all thru Whats app:))

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Rachna says:

    Ah nostalgia. Yes, I remember watching Masoom with the kids. Luckily, I feel no nostalgia for long winding trunk calls or telegrams. They were such a waste of time. 😊 I think our kids are very smart, much smarter than we were and I feel that they will do much more than what we did. Their challenges are more unique, sometimez of plenty, social media, devices etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Shailaja V says:

    I love anything to do with nostalgia 🙂 In fact, in many ways, I feel like Gy is an old soul, considering how many of the old films and songs she thoroughly enjoys.

    We started watching old Hindi/Tamil/Kannada films on Amazon prime recently and she is completely hooked. Fortunately, most of the queries are directed towards her dad so I can enjoy the movie in peace 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. BellyBytes says:

    The good old days indeed Lata. Who would have thought that trunk calls, STD , movie tickets and letter writing would be things of the past ?
    So much from our childhood has changed that I wonder what will change in our great grandchildren’s childhood .
    As it is Facebook is now passé . Twitter is phasing out . Hotmail has gone . Even emails are going. Desktops are outdated , solar is gaining currency……. what will happen next ?


  14. Rajlakshmi says:

    Hahaha I guess it’s the same with every generation. Our previous gen thought we are all laad saaheb, with all the facilities… And now we think the same about next gen. Circle of life. I used to collect stamps too. And oh yes writing longggg letters to friends. Talking to them only a couple of times a year, either on their birthday or on Diwali. Those were little joys of life.


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