A few songs down the nostalgia lane

If you have been a child of the eighties in India, you probably recall the time without Internet, without television and once television came, days of Hum Log and Buniyaad and waiting for Chitrahaar on Wednesday evenings.

If you were anything like me, you also probably  had a huge crush on Kumar Gaurav in Love story. (or Vijeta Pandit depending on your gender/sexual inclination heh heh)
(I know, but I did, on Kumar Gaurav! Murdering Vijeta Pandit was  probably one of my greatest ambitions at that time.)

I also grew up on a diet of English (36th Chamber of Shaolin, Herbie goes bananas)  and several Hindi movies of those times. (Mostly Amitabh starrers, I recall). My dad used to take us to the 'theatre' (we used to say 'theatre--never a cinema hall and multiplexes were unheard of in those times) as a special treat on weekends to watch movies. Oh, the joy!

I remember in the absence of Internet and instant access to information like we have today, figuring out  the lyrics of songs we like, used to be a major activity. Either we had to have a ' cassette tape' of that song  (Remember this? I don't think my children even know what this is)

  which we would endlessly rewind , pause and forward in order to catch the right lyrics or if we did not have the cassette  tape, then we had to wait perched, prepared with a pencil and paper, for the radio to play that song and write down very quickly the lyrics or what we  thought we had heard, the latter often producing hilarious results, because of relying solely on our sense of hearing or whatever the person who was hearing it and dictating it, said. (as sometimes, we had special assignees--the ones assigned to decipher the lyrics and another assigned to write it down).

Very often, the lyrics we wrote down were wrong--but who cared! We formed our own music bands (with musical instruments borrowed from the Kitchen--a stainless steel plate and a spoon made a good tambourine substitute and the storage containers turned into drums along with the wooden  chappati belan turning into  a stick) and we sang these songs at the top of our voices.

 I vividly recall singing 'Qurbani Qurbani Qurbaani' along with my brother. I can to this day, play the drums at the start of Qurbani  with my eyes closed and I can say the lyrics in my sleep too. ( oooo--bi-bi-tujpe-kurba-meri-jaan--that is how I used to sing it).

Sometimes, when a wave of nostalgia washes over me, I break into the Qurbaani song, much to the amusement of my kids who stare at me with that look in their eyes which says Oh-has-mom-gone-mad-she-was-fine-just-a-minute-ago.

This morning the song 'Aaap jaise koi mere zindagi mein aaye' played on the radio. Who can forget the sex appeal oozing Nazia hassan's voice and the even more sexy Zeenat Aman who danced to it ? Satish told me that one of his relatives took great offence to this song, as they misheard the lyrics as 'aap jaisa koi mere zindagi mein aaye toh BAAP ban jaye' (instead of baat ban jaye). I couldn't stop laughing when I heard that.

In the more recent times,(which translates to a few years ago) I had the song 'Tu hi meri shab hai..' from the movie Gangster as my hello-tune (a tune which the person who calls you hears instead of the boring tring tring).  An elderly aunt of mine called me up on my mobile whereupon she was greeted with the very peppy 'Tu hi meri shab hai' song.

She hung up the phone hurriedly even before I could answer , proceeded to call me upon the landline and then gave me a full blown lecture about putting unsuitable and negative songs as caller tunes. Puzzled, I asked her what could possibly be negative about a peppy love song which proclaims eternal love and she said that she doesn't understand these modern songs and that she fails to understand how  anyone can possibly express their love by  saying 'You are my dead body'. It took me two minutes to figure out that she had heard the lyrics as 'Tu hi meri Shav hai' :D
I am laughing as I type this now.

Some times it is indeed fantastic to travel down the nostalgia path.
ps: I apologise to my non-Hindi speaking readers and my English friends for the extensive use of Hindi in this post, without any translations. Somehow the beauty of the songs get killed if one translates.
If you still don't know about my Ted x talk, go watch!
If you like my blog, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. (You don't need a credit card. You can pay cash on delivery) or if you are an Amazon Fan, you can grab them here


  1. That's really good :) :)

  2. ha ha ha ha!!!OMG..I m still rolling on my sides listening to this misconstruction of the lyrics of my very Favourite songs!!!I ws born in 1986 n do not recall watching buniyaad..though vague memories of my mom n aunts watching it is still intact in my mind..Well even I have a confession to make..I too used to sing the song as "Aap jaisa koi meri indagi mein aaye to BAAP ban jaaye" n i ws too young too understand it...so i used to sing it to my DAD n ask hw ws it possible!!!!!!
    Thanks Preeti for the trip down the lanes of nostalgia..it ws a much needed breather in today's mad and frantic pace of life!!!

  3. Its amazing to go down the memory lane and recall those special moments of life..as i read the post i could relate, apprehend feelings and most importantly had a smile on my face..the 80's era has been special..its our era..thanks for sharing and making your readers aware of the transformations over this time period..time never stays, memories do always!

  4. Anonymous2:28 PM

    It is fun to revisit the past, isn't it? I am still holding onto some rare old cassette tapes. I have to convert them into some modern form soon.My mother similarly remembers how she used to wait for the radio to play Jim Reeves' songs so that she could write down the words.

    Thanks Preeti. Feeling nice and warm inside thinking about some good times from the eighties.


  5. Oh I can so relate to everything you say !I was banned from watching hum log coz I was still very young (8-9 I think) and that serial was supposedly unsuitable for me :) I have spent my entire summer holidays watching Amitabh Bcchan movies. Do you remember the Spiderman cartoon before the Sunday movie ?

  6. I was born during 90's but yet I could get connected with whatever you are telling. Mom and dad usually say about this. Whenever there is an old film showcased on TV, daddy calls us out and order us to watch those movies. His words are true. Before cinema's were so meaningful. These days only few we can find. I too sang 'aap jaisa koi song' once but I had misinterpreted the song the same way you have mentioned above. Daddy corrected my singing once. Lol good old days they were.

    We had Philips raido then where I would tune into Aakashwani. I used to have collection of cassettes and play it on tape recorder. Nostalgic now :D

  7. I so remember the 'cassette tape' rewinding and furiously writing down sessions... I think this was something my friends and me did whenever we were on a night over.

    Sad that now there will be no cassette players ever!

  8. Hehehehe...!!! Amazingggg post, I am still smiling:), especially "Baap Ban Jaaye":P

    The song
    "Saawariya.ahhh...Saawariya" is again quite misintrepreted by the Tamil speaking folks. "Saawariya" is a slang in Tamil.

    I was a great fan of the song "Chumma Chumma de de", and again "Chumma" has different meaning in Tamil and Hindi.

    There are so many such instances...and I am feeling so nostalgic right now...THANKYOU so much PS for this:)

  9. I was born in 1980 bang on when the decade began! truly remember watching buniyaad, humlog in awe. I'm from Mumbai so citrahaar in Marathi and chaayageet in Hindi every Wednesday was what we waited for.

    I have keep a couple of cassettes for my son, he must know what was it to be born in the 80s.

    Thank you Priti for the wonderful blog, so many memories came alive because of you.

  10. Hey Kiddo :), this stuff was all just yesterday - not qualifying as nostalgia. For a real dose of N, think of Helen and Mehbooba O Mehbooba, or the one and only Dream Girl (Vijeta Pandit ??? Yuk !!), or grooving to Voulez Vouz, or transistor to the ear to catch Vividh Bharathi. For a real real piece of nostalgia imagine being enchanted with Jayalalitha running around trees with MGR and singing Vizhiyae, Vizhiyae ....... Sigh ...... :):)

  11. Born in the beginning of 90s, I can never forget the Sundays without Chitrahaar and the lovely music which we used to rewind, play and pause just to write down the lyrics
    A great read, took me down the memory lane

  12. Anonymous3:26 PM

    really interesting to find out how a little difference in hearing can result in blunders!!! good one :)

  13. I am a 90's kid... but even I used to sing it as Baap ban jaye :P! i did'nt even know what it meant then!! I miss the cassettes too.. I would put a reynolds pen inside the circles to rewind and forward it too....Chitrahar and Yeh jo hai zindagi... My favourites! Great post Preeti! very nostalgic

  14. Thank you for a wonderful trip down memory lane, Preeti. I was having my Kaapi this morning and relishing this post. I loved the opening statement(chitrahaar, buniyaad and all those episodes were my favorite too) and by the time I finished my kaapi, I was laughing hilariously at 7 in the morning!!! Also, it was wonderful to look at the cassette after all these days :-)

  15. Oh... Preeti you took me back in those days!!

    That time was simply wonderful. I still have a boxful of those casettes and I listen to them very often though people chide me for being old fashioned but as you rightly said who cares!!!

    Love, friendship, joy and perhaps everything had a different meaning then...wish I could go back in time!

    Thanks for such a lovely post!

  16. Hey Preeti, thanks for that trip down the nostalgia lane... I too had a crush on Kumar gaurav and I must be what, about five then. My mom used him as a tool to get me to do things she wanted! And I remember singing 'kya dekhte ho' from Qurbani with my dad in baby voice. Thanks for this, Komal

  17. Hey Preeti, thanks for that trip down the nostalgia lane... I too had a crush on Kumar gaurav and I must be what, about five then. My mom used him as a tool to get me to do things she wanted! And I remember singing 'kya dekhte ho' from Qurbani with my dad in baby voice. Thanks for this, Komal

  18. Hehe --that was a good read.Even today when I am alone I sing the Qurbani song as 'AAp jaise koi mere zindagi mein aaye--toh baap ban jaye'..It is sohilarious that way.

    Loved recording our songs in the cassete player and then listening.

    Fun times!


  19. Nice one Preeti ... :-)
    Even I also fondly remember by school days during late 80s and early 90s. We used to eagerly wait for Sunday morning cartoon shows and evening movie shows. Remaining week days(or rather school days) we hardly had time to watch TV ... 3-6 used to be our play time in open grounds/gardens and late evening we either chatted with parents/friends or do school homework ... we were dead in bed by 9-10pm.

  20. We were the first family to get a B&W Beltek in the muhalla. My mom used to go crazy bcoz the entire neighbourhood wd be walking in & out of my house those days[esp sundays]. I had a friend who crazy abt K. Gaurav;-D....so everytime his song wd air on chitrhaar I'd stand outside my house & yell "Preetha" & she'd knw. But by the time she'd wear her dupatta & footwear & come puffing[she was a bit overweight;-D] upto the house, there wd just 30 secs of the song left and both of us wd be so disappointed;-D. Memories....

    Lovely post Preeti:-))!!!! Tu hi meri shav hai bit was hilarious...I can just imagine the lady's irritation;-D

  21. That made me a bit sad, I miss my childhood. Aah those were the days. :)
    India and my crazy rants

  22. That made me a bit sad, I miss my childhood. Aah those were the days. :)
    India and my crazy rants

  23. That made me a bit sad, I miss my childhood. Aah those were the days. :)
    India and my crazy rants


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your leaving a comment! Okay--I appreciate your leaving a comment if you have something nice to say ;-)