January 23, 2011

Ignorance is this

As you may have guessed, I am still in Coimbatore(most of this post was written about 2 months ago), stuck in my room since morning, as a quick glance out the window tells me that the heat outside could possibly modify my cell structure, and, as a direct consequence, I find myself writing one more post that is of little consequence.

Before I get down to business, I would like to clarify that for some reason, my parents thought it best that my brother and I not be exposed to TV at a young age(read: until the age of 12). Looking back, I think that worked out pretty well, as we often spent our summer holidays playing cricket all day, occasionally taking the time to beat our grandma at trump cards, playing brick game till we managed to set a high score, reading Hardy Boys and Secret Seven books--with Nancy Drew thrown in occasionally for variety, painting(with a Paintbrush, heavens be praised, not on Paintbrush), and playing Monopoly so often that we even knew all the Chance cards by heart. Hindsight, unlike my vision at age 13, is 20/20 they say.

Against this background, it is also not hard to understand why we would wait eagerly for Sportstar to arrive every Thursday, and then fight over who should read it first and/or keep the poster. Then, we would get down to the serious business of scavenging each page and extracting every little bit of useless information, like the lap records of Damon Hill, the ingredients of Vicco turmeric, David Coulthard's qualifying times, Venkatesh Prasad's batting average, Ronaldo's transfer fees(the original Ronaldo, not Cristiano, you idiots), Kasparov's opening move against Deep Blue and Thiru Kumaran's IQ. Every passing minute of every passing day was also spent perfecting the lost art of cheating at chess. As I write this, my cousin sister, all of five years old, has an LED TV mounted on the wall across her bed, watches Youtube videos, uses Google Instant to help her with  her homework and dammit, keeps asking me why I don't have an iPhone. Now unlike her, since I did not have Google at my disposal while growing up, it was easy to be misinformed/completely oblivious of certain things while growing up without a TV in the '90s. Here are some of the embarrassing ones.
  • How to pronounce Grand Prix. Ever since my brother and I started reading about Formula1 and MotoGP in aforementioned Sportstar, we got so carried away with glossy pictures of the F1 circuits and MotoGP bikes, that diction took a backseat. We spent the better part of our childhood asking neighbours if they had watched the French Grand Pricks. Sometimes, they would just collapse in a confused heap. Other times, they would complain to our parents about our excessive use of racist expletives.
  • Harry Potter is an author. To the best of my knowledge, Harry Potter mania struck shortly after I had enjoyed my childhood, and since calling myself an avid reader would amount to perjury, I was not really equipped to differentiate between authors and characters. A thousand apologies, Ms. Rowling.
  • Israel and Egypt must be on the same continent since almost one half of a famous book is dedicated to their incessant quarreling. Maybe it was the fact that we had Scripture as a subject till 12th Standard, but Kannada only upto the 7th, but suffice it to say that everyone in School took Israel vs. Egypt more seriously than Allied vs. Axis forces. In this context, it came as a big shock to me to find out that these two countries hated each other so much that they fought across continents. 
  • The Undertaker actually has 7 lives. Most of our early childhood was spent buying one rupee posters of WWF superstars, and trump cards for special occasions. We knew useless "facts" about most of the wrestlers, some of them legitimate--Fights fought, Height, Weight, Fights won and Waist, but some, dubious, like how many lives The Undertaker had left.  
  • In keeping with the WWF theme, I also thought the owner of the WWF was called This Big Man. Needless to say, a few years later, when I figured his name was actually Vince McMahon, my whole world collapsed around me, as I came to the realisation that I had been living a lie.
  • Michael Jackson was a woman who had a sex change. She pioneered breakdancing, wore stylish cooling glasses and inspired Prabhu Deva.
  • Wimbledon is tennis. It takes a very secure human being to admit to this, since it is extremely embarrassing. However, till about the 5th standard, I was sure that Wimbledon meant tennis and vice-versa. Not sure how I came to that conclusion, but luckily for me, I was not in a position to bet large sums of money on this assumption.
  • Steven Tyler is Aerosmith
    So there, for your kind approval and judgement, is my list of popular myths during the '90s. Whoever said "Ignorance is bliss", certainly wasn't referring to this, I presume. Luckily for me though, back in the day, small mistakes like these didn't really matter so long as you knew how to balance chemical equations and the formula for volume of a cone.

    For the reader: This is just a preliminary list, prepared out of boredom, more than anything else, which I'm sure will be frequently updated, as and when I remember or am reminded of other notorious errors that didn't really seem to matter when we were kids. At the risk of never getting another visitor on this blog and also against every blogging instinct in my  body, I have decided to publish this post. If you can think of other myths that you subscribed to in the 90s, let me know, and for a small fee, I can publish it on this blog. If you can't think of any misconceptions that you had while growing up during the 90s, you and that high horse you rode in on can go straight to hell.


      1. Ah, the 90's.
        I believe you've left out the Backstreet Boys (or equivalent) and the fact that they embodied music.

      2. I remember baba sehgal and Apache Indian .. The new face of Indian pop ...

      3. Bugger - how can you EVER forget

        Papa : "We should probably buy a Sony"
        Me,you : "No Papa, please, lets get Prime Sports TV" (erstwhile Star sports)

      4. haha...can't believe we actually said that..
        and i do suppose that the backstreet boys and apache indian require more than a brief mention...i remember i used to draw pictures of the backstreet boys...oops

      5. I was going to bring up your obsession with drawing BBoys, but I didnt have the heart to see the followers count take a nosedive. But now that you bring it up ..... :)

      6. I too used to think Wimbledon was Tennis too. Also, I am saying this at the risk of getting kicked out of my company, I used to think Nokia was a Chinese company *gulp* :-/

      7. Grand Pricks: Me, guilty until 5th standard! :) They just didn't teach us stuff like this at Clarence.

        I used to have a joke book in which I wrote jokes from Tinkle and Champak. I still have it. Twenty years old it is.

        I learned how to pronounce words like "kaleidoscope" and "silhouette" and "chauffeur" only in 9th or 10th. Until then I'd stick to using five-letter words in conversation.

        And only after I did my English degree did I learn that you don't put a space before punctuation like this ! (Rajiv still does this, BTW! So I think it's another Clarence thing)

        Did Joseph David confiscate your trump cards? He tore ours into little pieces, along with our auricles and ventricles :( My favorites were Tatanka, Yokozuna and Macho Man Randy Savage :D

        I thought Whisper was like adult diapers for when they wanted to pee but couldn't... since adults never seemed to want to go to the loo.. and I wanted to grow up so I could use them too... and not have to ask the teacher to let me go in the middle of class :-/

        Lol. Backstreet Boys drawings? Really? :P Did you use yellow for Nick Carter's hair? Hahaha :D

      8. @ulfet: so i can safely assume that you lived a blissful life until recently? :D

        and yes, the backstreet boys


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