Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lets recall 1991

Lets recall 1991 (or 1992,93,94,95 if you can't do 1991).

Cinema halls were places which were dark and damp, frequented by anti social elements,

Even old technology by US or other western countries standards was not available in India like computers or mobile phones.

We had Maruti, Ambassadar & Fiat premier padmini for cars. Going anywhere by road was considered a huge pain as roads were in piss poor state. NHAI did not exist back then.

Going abroad for a holiday was never heard of. I remember when my father went to london we all (about 50 people) went to see him off.

Calls to US/UK were not even in reach of rich. Though if you knew a telephone dept. employee you were lucky. Mobile phones were not there.

If your landline phone went dead and was repaired in 1 month, it was considered to be a good service.

Cancer treatment was available in only Bombay.

Trunk calls in normal mode used to take 12 hours. Lightening one was 30 mins (?) and used to cost four times.

Opening a bank account and getting the damn passbook updated was a half day long task in itself.

Domestic air travel was not heard off. Tickets were super expensive for kind of earnings those days. Travelling even in 2nd or 3rd AC was considered a luxury. Getting a ticket in railway was difficult. Very difficult. Online was not a word.

Novels or other non text-books were not available easily. There were some like mills & boon etc which you could buy in 2nd hand or get issued from library. I always used to think that one day if I have money I will buy lots of books.

Information was hard to come by. I remember my father renting Newstrack to watch news about babri mosque demolition. You had to believe on what radio used to tell you. I remember how we used to wait for 8:30 news at night.

Cinema halls were dark, damp places that used to be frequented by anti social elements. Entertainment industry was very very small and it was hard to find. Mall as a concept did not exist at all.

Bharat bandh or state bandh were very frequent. Riots were very frequent too.

In all, I feel we have come a long way.

I am not saying we live in a rosy world and sure some places in India are really backward, however we have more light than darkness. We have ubiquitous telephony, accessible & cheaper air travel, much better service in terms of railways and other ticketing. Malls and multiplexes has made long tail cinema possible and profitable along with mainstream commercial cinema. Internet is still not as ubiquitous as we would like to but we are moving towards it with a very fast pace. We have much less incidents of riots and bandhs. Sure, UP has riots and it is not going to end there anytime soon. However much of India is does not witness as much communal violence as we used to witness in those days. Polio is eradicated. Banking is much more ubiquitous and accessible than it was before.

Miles to go before we can call ourselves a developed nation, but surely we are not moving in the wrong direction.