At the best and with utmost euphemism nostalgia can be described as an Obsessive compulsive disorder to travel in life with the reverse gear , a perpetual desire to take a trip down the memory lane.
To some the feelings of nostalgia is so chronic that they live in a state of denial of present , clinging to their past . So addicted are they, to their past that the ambience around them is consistently enveloped in their past.
Haven’t a song in melodious voice of Lata Mangeshkar coming from far has suddenly made you time travel to your college days when you watched the particular movie with your college gang , however lousy the movie was, you still have a smile on your face to think of it. In all possibilities you can still even name many of your friends you watched the movie with.
many of our Marathi Mandali, will be suddenly overcome with an overwhelming emotion by hearing the famous song from the movie Ashta Vinayak , “Datun Kanth Yeto….” (equivalent of BABUL KI DUAYEN LETI JAA....). many women would vouch to have cried listening to this song and have thought of their father , ask even women married more than 40 years now. my personal nostalgic high comes as soon as I hear mangalashtakas in any marriage and, my lachrymal glands almost instantaneously start functioning at peak.
I personally associate the fragrance of Johnson and Johnson powder with my children’s infancy , Summer vacation with grand parent’s old house where a huge dark and dingy room was specially kept for dumping old stuff, raw mangoes and children .
The windy march afternoons and ruffling of dry leaves on the roads still make me nervous and nostalgic about the exam’s time and the compounded tension and anxiety I experienced along with .
Some nostalgias are specific of certain generations , if we have grown up and evolved with BW TV , landline phones , our imagination was nurtured and flickered by Amitabh Bachchan’s movies and Doordarshan’s moderately entertaining and largely pontificating serials (they were not soaps then) , then it’s highly likely that today’s soaps full of wicked scheming women characters who are garishly dressed , wielding cells in their hands all the time , wearing make up even while sleeping are highly incompetent to keep you engaged . You watch those soaps to criticize them , ridicule them or to compare them with those of “our times” but never for its entertainment value.
Ever remember the romance of calling up your betrothed on the landline when probability of he/she picking the phone was one upon number of family members available in the house . As the customized ubiquitous cell phone made the clandestine phone calls obsolete ,the fluttering of heart while anticipating and hoping that the sweet heart would pick up the phone is spoiled .you may think that cellulars have made access and communication easier but surely would never imagine damning those good old days of calling up 5 digit ,simply itched on heart, numbers.
We all have uncles and Aunts in the family whose dialogue !!! ,(read monologue) , starts with ,” in our times… ” , however difficult those times were , the times bygone are always remembered fondly. An aunt of mine , now 92 years old , told me many a time that how as a ninth daughter in the family , at the age of 14, was taken to a village to show her for the prospective alliance(my uncle) . Once the groom’s family approved of the relation , her father singlehandedly married her off in her mother’s absence in the same visit telling that it was unaffordable for him to come all the way again for the ceremony . Aunty still remembers her times with mixed feelings of admiration and wistfulness.
Nostalgia can be a comfort zone, a refuge , a security blanket when we are unhappy with our present or trying to escape from the unpleasantness in day today life but, for most of us it’s a bridge between our past and the present .
I always wonder 20-25 years down the lane what all things we would be nostalgic about and would bother the next generations with all the trivial details of our times ,
To list a few –
In our times
(IOT)we had to ask our parent’s approval to get married.
(IOT) In our Times we did not have very good network for mobile phone, sometimes there would be no signal and we had to come out of the house to Talk.
(IOT) we would get parking place in the city malls within half an hours search during off peak hours
(IOT) we used to write proper dictionary spellings for answers in exams, sms language was looked down upon.
(IOT) there used to be quite a many youngsters and teenagers who would not have a bike of their own to go to high schools.
(IOT) parents and their money both were respected.
YOU can add a few too in the same line to enrich the list.