Growing up in the 80s ..

Well .. before you guys judge me too harshly, I want to come clean: this is not a jealous response to the facebook group about growing up in the 90s, I am not an envious person. But I am committed to truth and can not have so many of my younger fellow dupable countrymen and even more dupable women led into a false belief: that they had it better than us. This is a genuine attempt to convince all of you who grew up in the 90s that we did have it better .. errr .. joking.

Honestly, there is very little that separates the individuals who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s; the more rapid and detrimental socio-cultural shifts are a phenomenon of the late 90s. Taking the list from the facebook group I will try and compare and contrast.


In the 90s


Evenings on STN/NTM were the highlight of your day.
• The Jetsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Captain Planet were dubbed in Urdu.
• If you were lucky, you had a dish, and you’d watch Disney Hour dubbed in Hindi on Zee TV and write to the host Vishaal. And you never missed “Hum Paanch” (Pa-Pa-Pa-PAANCH!) or Tu Tu Mein Mein either.





• Guys only ever played cricket and football, depending on what world cup was going on at the time.



• You played Dark Room, Tilo-Express, Oonch Neech, Chor-Sipahi and Chupan Chupai.
• You decided conflicts not by rock-paper-scissors, but by Pugan-Pugaai, In Pin Safety Pin, or Akar-Bakar-Bambay-Bo.
• 5 words: Assoo-Panjoo-Haar-Kabootar-Doli.
• Anyone owning a real Barbie or Hot Wheels was a source of envy and admiration.
• “Bil Patori naasa chori aadhi mithi aadhi kori I’m sorry I’m sorry” means something to you. As do “ZAAAAAYYYMEEENAAAA!!!” and “Mein kon hoon, mein kya karoon, mein kiss ko khaaon” and “Ulloo ulloo hello, ulloo ulloo hello.”
• You wished you were Imran or Moattar from Ainak Waala Jin.
• You had nightmares about Bil Patori and Haamoon Jadoogar.
• You drank Frost juice with Super Crisp chips. And then when you were done, you’d chuck the juice box on the floor and jump on it to burst it.
• “Idiot,” “Shut Up” or “Badtameez” was your first cuss word.
• There was never a line at the canteen. Instead everyone drove the canteen wala mad by screaming at the top of their lungs.
• You were cool if you could finish a whole pack of Crunchies or Slanties without showing any signs of weakness, including drinking water afterwards.
• You picked out only the chips from your mum’s Nimco.
• You remember RC Cola and how no one liked it.
• It was taboo for guys to drink Mirinda/Fanta because it was a GIRL’s drink.

• You idolized Imran Khan even though he was retired when you were 2 or 3, and wiped your face with your Pepsi bottle or Frost juice because he did it in that ad.


• Wasim Akram’s “mein cigarette nahi peeta” ad made half ur generation vow to never smoke (the other half just missed out on good stuff).
• You had to ask “Ma’am/Miss may I come in” before entering a class, and you had to stand up to answer questions during a lesson.
• Cordless phones were the coolest things.
• You went crazy when your dad bought his first ever mobile, and you wouldn’t shut up about it to your friends.
• You carried around a cordless phone in your bag/pocket pretending it was a mobile phone, because heck, they both looked the same back then didn’t they?
• You begged your parents for a walkman and then bought tapes of Junaid Jamshed, or if you were really cool, Junoon.
• You went to a Junaid Jamshed concert in a PAF building or a Junoon concert in PC.
• You remember Fakhr-e-Alam hosting the Top Ten on NTM and his “Bhangra Rap” was always #1.
• #2 was “Jaadoo Ka Charagh” by Awaz and #3 was “Dohlna” by Shehzad Roy.. #4 was “Mann de Moaj” by Hadiqa Kayani, the only cool female-singer in Pakistani (and that was her only song for a long time, till she sang Dupatta Mera Malmal Ka.”)
• You were really sad when Awaz split up. And later you took sides between Haroon and Fakhir, and if you liked one you had to hate the other.
• You remember waking up early in the morning on Saturdays and Sundays (back when they weren’t weekends) before school to watch English cartoons on Star Plus (before it got taken over by the Indians).
• You still hold a grudge against the Indianization of Star Plus after all those years.
• You remember celebrating when they changed the weekends to Saturday and Sunday because it meant Friday was a half-day.
• You remember crying because of it if you were older, since the schools would make you come on Saturday for a full day anyway.
• You played Sega-Mega Drive, Atari and Super Nintendo.
• You played Mario Brothers like there was no tomorrow.
• You remember the Nintendo game where you had to shoot ducks with an actual gun-shaped joystick and thought it was the most amazing thing ever.
• Your life was never the same again when your first Windows 95 was set up in your house.
• You played Dave 1 and thought level three was the hardest thing in the world. Then you upgraded to Lion King (probably from a Power Games CD bought out in the street).
• You shafted Polka Ice Cream when Walls became popular. And yes, admit it, you used to wait for the Ice Cream wala in the afternoon and bought Paddle Pops from him.
• Walls wasn’t as good as the Challi Walla (end there were rumors that people loved them so much because there was chars in the masala).
• The boys watched Captain Majid (some daring girls did too) and the girls watched Jem
(so did some guys, for that matter, and hid their interest under the pretext of making fun of their sisters).
• Cartoon Network showed good stuff like Johnny Bravo and Johnny Quest before crap like Cow and Chicken ruined everything.
• You had “kutti” (pinkie finger) with your enemies and “sulli” (index+middle finger) with your friends.
• Our idols were either the guys from Alpha Bravo Charlie or the guys from Teen Bata Teen.
• It’s “copy,” “rubber,” and “dustbin.” Or rather, “duss-bin.” And “desk” was once “dex.”
• Your childhood was over when they made you stop using pencils and start using fountain pens. And you always made a mess filling the ink.
• You watched Small Wonder, even after it was dubbed in Hindi by Star Plus.
• You wanted to be on the Crystal Maze, The Legends of the Hidden Temple and such game shows.


In the 80s


Yes, this is quite true. But because we were older we preferred the fall guy, flash, manimal etc;

We grew up on tanhaiyaan ..!!Andera ujala!!

Earlier for us the highlight of the day was the 15 minute showing o hackle and jackle I think .. or on Sundays the program on bollywood movie songs.

Again, we would occasionally watch these programs but because we were much older we would be doing other stuff .. like walking around the neighborhood.

Ummm .. in school we always played cricket .. no football even .. we were just interested in cricket.And the girls would play hop scotch.


Yupps all of these .. and cell chupana .. and koona koonaYupp Puggan pugai was the decider ..

I also remember whenever we used to play team sports and had to make teams we would make pairs and then say daak daak .. koi lay miandad, koi lay imran khan .. and nobody wanted to be Miandad ..



Not these but in our day alif laila was more in and we used to read tarzan and amro ayyar stories or sheikh chillie .. or the cassette kahanis Ferozesons produced in Qazi Wajids voice. Adam booo ..

We drank country juice the pineapple flavor or actually, Pepsi or Crush .. with golden chips. Our favorite was having aloo channa or imli from the street vendors who used to come often.


Nopes. In our time it was chugging a pepsi down in a go without tears welling up in your eyes.




Haha true. We called it ‘ladiss drink’

In our time he was not retired 😉

And we loved him.

We would turn up our shirt collars because he did.


We made fun of this ad. And made our own vulgar versions of it. like jo sawal poocha hai uss ka jawab do .. etc

No man. Digital dialing was .. because we had the ancient phones with the round dials you had to turn ..

Nopes. I don’t think most of us bought into boasting about ‘stuff’. For us respect came form being the bad boy of the class. Having ciggys at one time was it ..










We used to wake up early on Sunday to watch Indian TV. It was a mission getting a good signal it required wrestling with the antenna for a while. He-Man used to play in the morning on Sunday.


Ummm .. I am sketchy on this.



Atari was it in our day. We used to love it.

Although we spent most of our time outdoors, getting up to all kinds of mischief.

Most of our generation was not into video games that much. We were more outdoor people.





No we were Rocco loyalists!! And Yummy too … back in the day Chaman icecream was huge.

What??? I never heard that.


We fell in love with the female actress in Elf. She was very cute with her braces and all.


We didn’t have cartoon network, for us Pink Panther and Tom and Jerry have iconic status.


Ours was Amitabh Bachan!



Man we had a good time with fountain pens .. back in the dollar and wing sun (I think) introduced very funky ones and we spent fortunes getting all the colors and types etc;

We wanted to own knight rider for our generation the two most popular shows were knight rider and air wolf. We wanted Kit. How could we not??







I think this has made me quite nostalgic .. it calls for a post on growingup in the 80s ….

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8 Responses to Growing up in the 80s ..

  1. Hijab says:

    Hahahaha 90’s are still better than the 80s! It’s cool that you went on my facebk group though, I hardly expected so many people to join.

  2. dilsenomad says:

    Lets for arguments sake admit that 90s were better than the 80s. Then we still enjoyed both the 80s and the 90s which are better than what has followed 😉

  3. Farah says:

    Take away 10 from the 90’s and 80’s and you are left with the 70’s/seventies. You are a legend if you lived through the seventies. It’s amazing I always remember the weather – scorching summers, deep snows, monsoons and the fog. No one was too bothered about tv in those days – perhaps one of the reasons now that I’ve done without it. Well perhaps a little tv does come to mind as in black and white memories. The odd dash of colour.
    Instead of the ‘bogey man’ we had the ‘lady in the red coat’ who was the fright of the neighbourhood.
    We had an electric power shortage on the 31st of October 2007. This occured on the same day in the seventies. What a coincidence. Only I remembered….

  4. dilsenomad says:

    You know what .. I too remember the black and white TV days. In our house we used to have this old style TV with a single leg to stand on .. and the only think I ever recall watching was this drama about this girl who walks while sleeping .. back in the day that totally freaked me out.

  5. azhar says:

    80’s or 90’s, at least those years did save us from nature-deficit disorder. 😉

  6. Farah says:

    >>>80’s or 90’s, at least those years did save us from nature-deficit disorder. <<<

    Perhaps not because you spent a lot of time infront of the telly:-(

  7. azhar says:

    Boarding school only allowed an hour of it. Sometimes. So we had to make up for it by playing sports (lethargic sumo’s like me preferred table tennis) cards or just plain old gossip. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Growing up in Lahore in the 80s .. « DilseNomad

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