Growing up in 80s Chennai ..

I unabashedly admit that I am a product of the 80s – the very epitome of an 80s girl. It’s something I cherish dearly. The early years spent in Chennai were easily the best of my life. Even today, when I feel down and depressed, nostalgia picks me up like nothing else does!!

Life was just so happy and without care. Besant Nagar was my first home after birth and it continues to be home today. Besant Nagar in those days was a very different place – there was more sand and land than houses. A big part of life was building sand castles and watching the beach from our window. Life was all about going to school in the mornings and to the beach in the evenings. Everything else was unimportant. Pleasure in life was always derived from little things!

The general themes in the 80s Chennai as I remember:

  •  The fashion – love it!! Give me 80s fashion any day!! Half saris, long plaits, jasmines in the hair, black twines with little pendants … those were the days!! Wish I could go back …
  • Ilayaraja, Ilayaraja, Ilayaraja … and the sheer magic of his music. When I need to be inspired or motivated, I listen to him even today.
  • Soppy melodramatic movies. When I am really down, nothing like a mindless 80s movie to cheer me up!
  • Kamal and Rajni – love them both!
  • Kathakaalakshebams and concerts at the temples – still look forward as much as I did then!

On a personal level, this is what gave me happiness in the 80s:

  • The excitement of watching TV for the first time – and waiting for ‘cool’ programmes like Oliyum Oliyum, Chitrahaar and the movies. I still feel remember in detail serials like Hum Log, Buniyaad and Nukkad!! I still remember the horrible power cuts that deprived me of some of the best episodes of Hum Log and Buniyaad 😦
  • Watching sport with my dad and arguing with him because we always were in opposite camps. I liked Navratilova and he liked Christ Evert, I liked Sabatini and he liked Steffi, I liked McEnroe and he liked Borg, I liked Kapil Dev and he liked Gavaskar …. the list was endless and the fights were endless!!
  • Playing with the monkeys and deers that frequented our school campus! There were times when monkeys stole our lunch boxes and those were the BEST days ever because there would be SO much drama. School was a drag otherwise … I was not a particularly bright student and the fact that I didn’t top the class never concerned me. I sucked at Science and decided in year 7 that I wanted nothing to do with Science. I had to tolerate it for 4 years though until I finished year 10. Physics – I hated with a passion, Biology – I saw no value whatsoever in studying the anatomy of dissected!!
  • Slyly watching idiot boys from my class ride their bikes up and down my street hoping to get my attention and laughing at them. All they needed to do was knock on my door to say hello but no – they lived in the era when it was just not the ‘done thing’!!
  • Riding a bike to school with my sister – I won’t say more 🙂 🙂
  • Giggling uncontrollably at the silliest things. At those moments my mortified kid sister used to look at me as if to say – ‘I wish I could make her disappear’ but she would eventually end up giggling herself!! We’d laugh so much we’d forget what we laughed for in the first place ….
  • Getting on the bus to Uni with a huge gang of friends (who were nuts like me) and creating a racket on the bus every day with our giggles and chatter!!

Wish those days would come back ….

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15 thoughts on “Growing up in 80s Chennai ..

  1. Sands April 27, 2010 / 10:59 pm

    right there with you on most of those 🙂

  2. sathi April 30, 2010 / 5:40 am

    wonderful episode to remember the good old days of my time with my lovable daughters.All of them are a gem to me.
    appa

  3. Pramod July 18, 2010 / 2:15 pm

    All of it was great ! Absolutely wonderful ! But why would you wish it back ?!!

  4. Arun December 4, 2010 / 7:42 am

    Just happened to read this cool Post. Even i was in high school during 80s. Those were the happy days which i think i will never ever get in my life time again. :-(.
    Money and technology now seems to have snatched away the pleasure of smaller things in life.

    • myanasworth December 4, 2010 / 8:35 pm

      I know : ( When I visit Chennai now, the pleasure remains unchanged but the changes are just so mind blowing. Want to get back on the time capsule again or create a colony where things miraculously become very 80’s!!

      Also Arun, thanks for visiting and posting your comments!!

  5. niyaz March 18, 2011 / 5:33 pm

    u brought me back those good old chennai …. i still love a lot … some time when i am stressed out with fake faces …i jus remember those days with no curelity , fake faces, dual personality ,,,,,,,, unable to face this stupid people ….. those are the days in my life .. i missed a lot ………

    • myanasworth March 18, 2011 / 8:31 pm

      I miss the old Chennai too … but I guess evolution is a necessary evil!!

  6. Som March 29, 2011 / 5:47 pm

    I’m a 17 year old kid right now. But I get what ya’ll mean though. Chennai is kinda gettin more messed up every year. Wonder how it’s gonna be by the year 2030.

  7. வில் வேந்தன் April 5, 2011 / 1:56 pm

    But isn’t this nostalgia in an idealized form as generations cycle through various time periods? 🙂

    • myanasworth April 5, 2011 / 8:35 pm

      Nostalgia usually is ‘idealised’ : ) My grandparents thought their era was the best, my parents thought their era was colourful and I am no exception.

  8. zarookshah May 30, 2011 / 3:55 pm

    great post. my favorites are the 80s bands-genesis,sting, duran duran, cyndi lauper. even now I listen to them.
    how about the sunday wonder baloon on TV. as well as sherlock holmes , disney cartoon the treat on Sunday. And home work and research meant the newsapapers or the run to the library.
    The only cars we knew where the ambys and the fiats.
    Fun hangouts- eldorado, alsa mall and cisons. with the gamimng arcade filled with space invaders and pac man.

    wish i could go back in time.

    • myanasworth May 30, 2011 / 11:15 pm

      Eldorado. alsa mall are archaic now with all the mushrooming malls. Not sure I like it!!! Wanna go back in time too … if you find a way let me know 🙂 great to hear from you Zarook!!

  9. luvsuksam July 20, 2012 / 4:52 am

    Chat at Luz Shatha Vihar, shopping at FP (Fountain Plaza) Egmore,browsing at BC and American library on Mount Road- I refuse to call it Anna Salai-frisbee at Besant Nagar beach,Mackenna’s Gold for the nth time in Devi, ABBA and BoneyM…those were the days dear those were the days…!

  10. Vinod December 15, 2012 / 1:01 pm

    nice post….brought back nostalgic memories…probably the only era when bus travel to univ was leisurely without jams

  11. Shobana December 26, 2014 / 2:19 pm

    I really loved this blog just like you mentioned when ever Iam down I think of the nostalgia memories ,nothing like chennai memories those days free from gadgets ,luxury we have now ,thanks to google we can search anything we want and get these little happiness .

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