Things that defined the 2000s in India!

Source : SIFY
By : Deepak Gopalakrishnan
Last Updated: Thu, Sep 11, 2014 15:23 hrs

Can you believe it’s been close to 5 years since we bid goodbye to the 2000s? For many of us, it seems that VVS Laxman’s 281 was just a few years back, not 13!

While the 90s were an era of Rasna, cricket cards, Helix geometry kits and more, the so-called noughties kicked up the notch a little. Here are eleven things that made growing up in those ten years (or 11, if you count 2000 or 2010!) worth it.

Image: TribuneIndia

Super Selector

The baap of all the cricket fantasy games that are doing the round today. Super Selector by Star Sports was a magnificent concept, and gave a whole new reason to follow cricket. It was created by Joy Bhattacharya, hosted by Nasseruddin Shah with cameos from Navjot Sidhu – then yet to unleash his mouth and vocabulary on the world, and Geoffrey Boycott – who never missed a chance to talk about his grandmum and Shilpa Shetty. Not to mention, it also had the voyeurism element of reality TV when crews would go to winners houses with cameras to capture reactions!

Too bad the show killed itself by making participation ‘paid’ in later years. 

When Hungama used to be a gaming portal!

Image: Hungama

In the media industry today, Hungama is a well-known digital agency, and the layman will know the Bollywood wing, which is Bollywood Hungama.

However, its first avatar was a gaming portal where users could earn points for each game played, and win prizes and redeem points for merchandise.

Some games were branded – I remember playing plenty of Coke games. It was addictive, and probably way before its time! It was so long back, there are hardly any mentions of it online!

Custom MP3 CDs

The era of clunky cassettes were over! While MP3 players and phones playing music were still a while away, the coolest things were MP3s – low-bitrate tracks where you could rip an entire album for 50 MB!

So while some of us took the effort of converting our precious CDs to digital music, others scouted out music stores where, surreptitiously, the owner would whip out reams of paper where you could select MP3s from all sorts of genres, and he would burn it for you. You could then play it on your computer while playing Quake. What bliss!

Things we get from packs of chips

So we all loved chips. But what made it even cooler was that you would get cards or tazos! And tazos were so cool, because you could make them fly.

A few accidents were caused, of course, and there were thriving mafias, but hey – all part of growing up! Pic below is from my own tazo collection!

Auto-tune in our songs

There was this golden era of Indipop (1995-2000, roughly) and then things, along with collective sensibilities in what we expected from Bollywood, started going downhill.

Towards the first half of the noughties, most non-film Hindi music was rubbish, and even the quality of Bollywood was arguably sinking.

For instance: The usage of auto-tune in our music. Sample this disaster, where there’s so much autotune, it almost seems like a computer singing. What’s tragic, of course, is that there are fans of music like this (see video comments). Thank goodness for Amit Trivedi.

Dialup connections

Now we all have 3G on our phones. But just over a decade ago, things were quite different. This tune below meant that phones would be tied up, huge bills would be racked up and if you were lucky, you could download a 5 MB song in 10 minutes.

Internet cafes

Image: Sify

Not wanting to run up huge internet (and more importantly, phone) bills back home, we often ran off to internet cafes – those oases in dial-up deserts which had broadband which only a few of us could ever dream of in the early days!

Nowadays, internet cafes are a bit of a rarity, but back in the day, they were invaluable for everyone from porn surfers to students (not mutually exclusive!).

You had the seedy local ones, to nicer, air-conditioned ones like Sify iWay and Reliance WebWorld.

Price of petrol

Image: Sify

In Mumbai, the price of petrol in mid-2002 was 33.45. The price has almost doubled since 2004.

Sigh Air fares


The great middle-class flying dream started with Air Deccan, and a subsequent slew of low-cost carriers which meant we were not at the mercy of the Railways any more.

Initially, when the focus was more on visibility and adoption rather than P&L sheets, airways gave away seats for ridiculous prices. Remember the days when you could actually grab a flight for three digits, without ridiculous amounts of taxes hiding?

Awesome biscuits and chocolates

Okay, we have awesome offerings from Sunfeast and Cadbury’s today – but each of us remember some awesome confectionery from the 2000s.

For instance – the excellent Britannia Checkers! Remember the thin and highly breakable (also the reason for the company phasing out the brand) biscuits? They are so rare that you’d be hard-pressed to find a picture of it online today!

And… India's middle order

Image: Sify

All through the 2000s, the reassuring presence of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly calmed and excited many an Indian cricket fan. While we have some potential stalwarts today, they have some massive boots to fill.

More from the author:

Lalit Modi recruited by Election Commission to 'spice up' the General Elections

Sachin fans threaten editors for publishing other news!

The Diwali Characters

Five CV bloopers you must avoid

Deepak Gopalakrishnan aka Chuck is a Mumbai-based cartoonist, blogger and green chilli aficionado.

He tweets here