Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Back Then...

By: Rabia Tirmizey

Do any of you remember the candy floss man passing on the street outside your house and filling you with excitement? Were you one of those who would wait anxiously for those five minutes of your favorite Cartoons on PTV just before going to school and once more in the evening?  Do you remember fighting endlessly with siblings for your turn on the sole set of “game and watch” (the only handheld gaming device available then), a packet of Slims and a Frost juice pack making your day, or itching to finish homework and sneaking out to play on the street with neighborhood friends? Were you one of those who would know all tracks of the latest Vital Signs and Junoon albums (on both Side A and Side B) by heart? Were games like Hide and Seek, Kings and Dark Room the primary non-sport games you loved playing with cousins and friends? Did you wait for months for a dinner treat at a fast food restaurant, or a picnic at the Hawks bay?

 If you were born and raised in Pakistan in 70s or 80s, or even early 90s, there are high chances that you will be able to relate to this.  For the newer generation, some of this may sound like Greek, but these used to be the major highlights of an average Pakistani kid’s life back then.
That’s not the case anymore. It is surprising how lifestyle for Pakistani children raised in a middle class household remained static for more than a decade. But when it started changing, it progressed so rapidly that it is difficult to track if there is anything left from the past.  Fewer choices, less advanced technology and media, a much better security situation and joint system being the more prevalent form of family structure are some of the factors that defined that period of time. All of these have changed to a great extent now.
The meaning of joy and happiness has changed tremendously for kids and even the bar for happiness has risen. While the little things mentioned earlier used to be the biggest sources of pleasure to children then, now I don’t see kids being happy unless they have bought something equally exciting as their friend’s dad recently got for him/her from abroad.  They prefer curling up in front of the idiot box (don’t have anything personal against it!) for hours instead of playing out.
On the brighter side though, there have been many positive changes as well. For instance, kids are a lot more aware today and answers to any questions that mum and dad cannot answer are just a few clicks away. It has become so much easier to learn in this day and age, and children today are making use of that quite well.
I am sure that given a choice, no kid today would want to have been born two decades ago. And given a choice, I would not trade my sweet, simple childhood for anything in this world! Would you?


  1. Great Article! I was born in the 90s so yeah I can relate to this :D

  2. Love this post! How can I forget watching "Roshan Pakistan" every morning from 7 - 7:30 am before rushing to school...trying to watch as much as I can!
    Playing Mario on Sega games, renting disney movies to watch on my VCR - VEE CEE AARR! We used to have that stuff yeah! and it was a big deal!
    and since I was a fan of video games, i used to crave going to the video game ki shop in my neighbourhood where they had these big terminals at which we could play on rent - but sadly only boys used to go there :( So I would settle for a cup of Polka icecream...POLKAAA! Strawberry and vanilla. Thats all. No fancy, berrilicious flavors. Plain simple vanilla. Ice lolly for Rs. 5 ONLY. Waiting for the icecream wala every day after school to spend the Rs. 5 of my savings.
    Buying Top Pops for just Rs. 2! And enjoying every bite of it like it was OPTP's Jumbo fries.

    I'm probably very lucky to have learned how to use MS-DOS at the age of 7 maybe! Now the world moves on the touch of a finger! Tablets, handhelds were only a figment of our imagination back then!

    Had only 2 channels on the TV. And so how could I miss that one hour of cartoon in the evening that the channel used to air! Watching Batman and Robin fight the bad guys used to send me to a dream land :D

    Eating out: strictly chinese or BBQ. There weren't any sophisticated Cafe Zouk or Arizona Grill or Nandos...or even McDonald's! Times change :D But I wouldn't trade all these memories with anything in this world - it was simple and lovely back then :)

  3. Nice one - though I'm one of those who would like to go back in time (not trade my childhood but definitely visit a generation past :)

  4. I would very gladly trade today with my childhood...oh do u guys remember gumby and his adventures or camp candy or thunder cats?? we used to watch VJ in the hiding cuz we werent allowed to:)and it was so much fun then discussing it in school next day...hehehe:) Those were lovely days..I miss them very much sometimes!

    1. childhood memories are something to be cherished :)