Back to 80s

For someone who was born in 1960s or 1970s they would have cherished their life the most in 1980s and am no exception to it. Am going to go back to my school days and remember the things that I have liked the most in 80s that I miss today. Hopefully, I will also take you back to 80s.

Television – Most of us had Black and White Television at home and it was during the 1982 Asian Games we started watching color television in India. My father bought a Color Television around this time, we were the few ones in our community to have a Color Television at home. These were the days when there was no Cable or Dish. There was one National Channel and some of the popular programs I remember are Around the World in 80 days, The Lucy Show, Different Strokes, Spider-Man Cartoon, Star Trek, The Goodies, Chitrahaar (Hindi Movie Songs), Oliyum Oliyum (Tamil Movie Songs). We loved watching the English News in 80s, we did not have the debates and the News Anchor read News with a smile unlike what we watch today. My favorite program was Quiz Time hosted by Siddhartha Basu even though I never answered most of his questions. Finally, going to my favorite subject Sports, we were lucky only to watch live Cricket Test matches played in India, watch only the highlights if played away from India and in Tennis it used to be only the Wimbledon Men’s and Women’s final. We were also lucky to watch the World Cup Soccer final and highlights of Olympics.

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Tape Recorder – We did not have the smart phone those days. We used to have a small Tape Recorder to listen to our favorite songs. I remember buying TDK D-90 cassettes to record my favorite numbers. I also remember using the Tape Recorder as a Radio to listen to my favorite songs and most importantly Cricket Commentary in short wave if India plays matches overseas.

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Sports – As mentioned earlier, I was following only Cricket and Tennis those days. Star Television came to India only in 90s which is when I started following my favorite Formula One and MotoGP. Apart from Cricket and Tennis, we were lucky to watch World Cup Soccer and Olympics. Some of the Athletes of 80s who are still my favorite are Diego Maradona, Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, Kapil Dev and Carl Lewis. One thing that always stays on my mind is watching the 1985 Benson and Hedges World Championship of Cricket played in Australia and India winning it.

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Internet – We did not have the internet and we didn’t have Facebook, WhatsApp, Netflix and Google. Life was much better without Internet and we were well connected with our friends and family without Internet. Friends were wished on their Birthday with Greeting Card and it was the Postcard that was used to communicate with Family and Friends when we travel.

Subscriber Trunk Dialing (STD Booths) and Telegram – Communication cost was so high those days and there was no mobile phone. We used to have Landline Phone at home and most of us did not have STD or ISD connection to make calls to other cities in India or Overseas. There will be shops with Landline phones to make STD or ISD calls. Also, if there is an emergency or an urgent message that needs to be sent we were relying on Telegram from Post Office. In those days if there was a Telegram delivered at home, people will start worrying before they read, most of the times it will be a message about one of our relatives passing away.

Walkman – We did not have the smart phone and it is impossible to carry the Tape Recorders when we travel to listen to our favorite songs. It used to be the Walkman that will travel with us for songs. These Walkman consume lot of battery and it will be the Reynolds Ball Pen that we used to rewind or forward the cassette.

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Pepsi Cola and Big Fun – We did not have either Pepsi or Coke those days. We used to have Pepsi Cola Ice which is nothing but Ice on a pouch. This used to be very popular those days. Finally, it was the NP Chewing Gum and Big Fun Bubble Gum. NP Chewing Gum was so popular and I don’t remember sitting in the classes without chewing this. Cost of Pepsi Cola Ice was 50 paise, NP Chewing gum 15 Paise and Big Fun 30 paise.

Games – After we return from school or if it is a holiday we will be in our community ground playing cricket, seven stones, Kings etc.., If it is the summer vacation we used to play matches with other community and we will be at our home only to eat and sleep. Thankfully we did not have the Mobile Phone and Video Games. It used to be so much fun playing Cricket with our friends, fighting after the match and next day playing few more matches and fighting. These are the fighting out of the interest we had on the game with our friends after the match and not remembering anything the next day.

I wish we go back to 80s, life was much better without Internet, we were better connected with our friends and family without WhatsApp, as kids we were playing on the Ground and not inside our home and finally Television was much better without Cable or Dish.

Hope you enjoyed going back to 80s. It will be nice if you could use the comments section to share what you liked in 80s. Take Care and Be Safe.

My Sabarimala Experience

The Sabarimala Aiyyappa Temple is located at Sabarimala inside a Tiger Reserve in Pattanamthitta district, Kerala, India. Sabarimala is known for its annual pilgrimage where devotees turn up in millions around Nov 15th to Jan 15th every year. Sabarimala Aiyyappa Temple is also open every month for monthly pooja. During the monthly pooja very few of them, maybe in thousands visit Sabarimala. According to belief, Aiyyappa is the son of Shiva and Mohini, Mohini is the female incarnation of Vishnu. The temple is located in a dense forest, most of the devotees during the annual pilgrimage will trek for around 40 miles from Erumeli through the forests. All devotees visiting Sabarimala during the monthly pooja will start their trek from Pampa River, this is the shorter route to reach the temple, this is around 5 miles from Pampa to reach the temple. Some devotees even during the annual pilgrimage will start their trek from Pampa.

Image from Outlook

Route The 40 mile route starts from Erumeli. After walking 4 hours we reach Aludha River. From here we have to climb up the hill for around 2 hours and then climb down the hill to reach Karivilam Thodu. We have to continue walking in plains for 4 to 5 hours and then start climbing the Karimala hill. This is a very steep climb and might take around 3 hours to climb up and another 3 hours to climb down. We have to continue walking in plains for around 2 hours to reach Pampa. From Pampa we climb up the Neeli Mala hill and reach Sannidhaanam in around 3 hours. Most of them trekking will walk bare foot. It is easy to climb up and climb down the various hills bare foot.

Image from sabarimala.tdb.org.in

Fasting Most of them visiting Sabarimala will observe fasting for 6 weeks. Before starting the fasting I will take blessings from my parents and wear a Thulasi Maala. I follow these for 6 weeks from the time I commence fasting. eat only Vegetarian food and also avoid onion, take bath twice in a day and offer my prayers to Aiyyappa, during the weekends I will visit Aiyyappa Temple, observe strict celibacy, wont watch cinema even on Television, avoid listening to film music, avoid visiting friends or relatives, wont go for hair cut or shave my face, sleep on the floor, foot wear only to office. The purpose of fasting is to keep our mind clean and also maintain good health.

Sabarimala Trip After observing 6 weeks fasting, we start our Sabarimala trip by taking Irumudi in the presence of Guruswamy. Irumudi is a travel bag which contains rice, coconut with ghee, coconut, pooja items etc.., When I visit Sabarimala in January, I used to take the Erumeli route. I also used to visit Sabarimala in March and July, during this time I start my trip from Pampa. We always go in group to Sabarimala, around twenty of us in January and for the monthly trip maybe four or five. The purpose of fasting is to climb the Eighteen Steps at Sabarimala Temple. These eighteen steps symbolizes vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, love, anger, avarice, lust, pride, unhealthy competition, jealousy, boastfulness, discernment, passion, dullness, knowledge and ignorance. After climbing the eighteen steps devotees will have the darshan of Lord Aiyyappa.

My Sabarimala Experience I first went to Sabarimala in 1990. During this time I will observe 6 weeks fasting and visit Sabarimala in January. When I start walking from Erumeli, there will be hardly any shop on the way. These were the days when there were no mobile phone. When we walk in the forest climbing up and down the hill, there will be hardly any light. The fasting I observe for six weeks will help me trek at ease. Since, it is a dense forest, very active on wild life, we used to walk with lot of fear. I will call my parents only after having darshan of Aiyyappa from a telephone booth. As the days were passing by more people started visiting Sabarimala. Once mobile phone made its way, it is like walking with our people in Sabarimala, even though they may not be physically present. There used to be more shops and the route was completely lighted. We used to hardly see any wild life because of crowd and various shops that were located on the route. There were also people who used to smoke while trekking resulting in polluting the air. Between 2001 to 2014, I used to visit Sabarimala three times in a year. I used to observe sixty days fasting for my January trip and twenty days fasting for the remaining two trips in a year. I stopped going to Sabarimala six years back, I have gone to Sabarimala seventeen years and more than thirty five times.

What I learnt I always like to observe fasting, this helps me have good control of mind and also have good health. My various visit to Sabarimala taught me what are the essentials of life, made me a better person and most importantly taught me nothing is permanent in life. It is very important to visit Sabarimala Eighteen years, I hope am blessed to visit the Eighteenth Year.

My Favorite Michaels

Am someone who have always loved the Music, Movies and Sports of 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Even today I prefer listening to Music of 80s and 90s and I go to YouTube and watch videos of Tennis, Formula 1 and Athletics. I was in school in 80s and went to college in 90s and tried to do my further studies in 90s. For those who have lived in 80s and 90s, when it comes to Sports or Music, there were many popular athletes or music band, I had one similarity in the persons I worshiped baring an exception, their names start with Michael. They were Michael Schumacher, Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan and the only one exception was Pete Sampras. All of them were very successful, popular and some of the records they achieved will never get erased.

Michael Schumacher I started watching Formula 1 in the early 90s and I straight away became a big fan of Senna and Schumacher. Senna lost his life on May 1, 1994 at San Marino Grand Prix, I was watching this race live on TV and I could not believe what I was watching. After this I have watched all races of Schumacher, enjoyed it and celebrated his wins. Days of Schumacher in Ferrari were the best days of Formula 1, after every race win by Schumacher, I used to party with my friends in a pub at Chennai. Schumacher retired from Formula 1 in 2006 and returned to Formula 1 in 2010 to drive for Mercedes. I didn’t like his return until India hosted a Formula 1 race. I watched this race live, became emotional to see my Biggest Legend. Schumacher was the most successful driver in the history of Formula 1. He holds 7 world championship title, 91 race wins and 13 race wins in a single season. Maybe, one day these records might be broken, what I love about Schumacher is, he was dominating Formula 1 so much that the FIA have to keep changing the rules to see a different winner, FIA was never successful since the winner was always constant. He had a freak accident when he was skiing in 2013 and he is still recovering. I keep praying for him every day with the hope he will be normal very soon.

Image picked from Hindustan Times

Michael Jackson When I was in school one of my friend was talking about Michael Jackson and Thriller. I remember going to a Record Shop and recording Thriller in a TDK 90 cassette. When the small music player started playing wanna be startin somethin, I thought the music player at home became a new one with woofer and tweeter because I have never listened to such quality music until then. After listening to Thriller, Beat it, Billie Jean and P.Y.T. even without understanding the lyrics, I started liking Thriller and Michael Jackson. There was not a day when I was in school, I missed listening to Thriller. When the album Bad was released, I was one of the first guys to have the album recorded. By this time I was a big fan of him. Those days we didn’t have the cable television and I have hardly watched any of his dance moves until we had MTV in our Television. When the cable television made its way in 90s, after watching Smooth Criminal, I was almost worshiping Michael Jackson. Nowadays I listen to more of Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and also Carnatic Music. Michael Jackson is no more, but his music will always stay here. Even today once in a while I will watch his videos on YouTube and go back to 80s days. He will always remain the King of Entertainment.

Image picked from mjvibe.com

Michael Jordan I have never watched Basketball until early 90s. Again thanks to cable television I started watching this game. Those days if its basketball there were only 2 names – Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls. I used to watch basketball like cricket or tennis in 90s. I remember there were days when I have even gone to work late if there was a match played by Michael Jordan. After Jordan left Bulls, I used to follow Kobe Bryant for a while. Some of the records of Michael Jordan that will be permanent are – 6 times NBA Championship, 6 times NBA Finals Most Valuable Player and 5 times NBA Most Valuable Player. He had a career average points of more than 30. Today, I hardly watch basketball, maybe I will start watching again if we have one more Jordan or Kobe.

Image picked from houstonchronicle.com

Michael Schumacher, Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan are my favorite Michaels, my favorite among these will always be Michael Schumacher.