Mention the ’90s in front of anyone born between 1975 and 1990, and you’ll have to stop doing everything because all your attention will be demanded by these Boomers. This could lead to an extended reminiscing of how they used to read lyrics from the booklet inside cassette covers, wait endlessly on limited television channels for the latest indipop chartbusters, live a whole life without Google, and so on (and on and on).
The sheer chance of things happening was the high point of the ’90s. You couldn’t go out and demand to watch/listen to a song. You couldn’t immediately verify trivia. You couldn’t search for top songs or films instantly. And so recollecting every little detail from life back automatically gets ‘90s kids so excited that it confuses millennials.
Mumbai radio jockey Rohini Ramnathan, from 91.1 Radio Nasha, has been playing on this exact nostalgia in her show Meri 90s Ki PlayList, where she invites guests to share their best memories and belt out their favourite songs from the ’90s. The guest list has included so many comedians, we’ve been listening in. Here are the highlights. Take a shot every time you think, “Whoa! Really?”
Rohan Joshi Decodes Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein
Joshi loves Baazigar. “The movie started with an F1 race…in those times,” Joshi is excited. But what will blow your mind is his theory: In the song Yeh Kaali Kaali Aakhein, Kajol didn’t have black eyes, she didn’t even have gore gaal! That’s because, through the song, Shah Rukh Khan was trying to give her a clue about his whole plan (whut!?)
We can’t tell if it’s fortunate or unfortunate that Joshi did not have Instastories back in the day to share his genius interpretation with the world.
Anu Menon Woman Crushing on Urmila Matondkar
None other than Urmila Matondkar for Anu Menon. Going gaga over her oomph in Tanha Tanha Yahan Pe Jeena moves from the film Rangeela to lusting after her black swimsuit look. Both Menon and Ramnathan get dreamy… which gets interrupted when they think of Jackie Shroff in his speedos!
It’s Shah Rukh Khan for Ashish Shakya, All. The. Way.
Ashish Shakya shares his playlist with two Shah Rukh Khan songs; back to back. Ramnathan reminds Shakya that there were more people, beyond SRK. So he jumps to Karishma Kapoor, only to come right back to Khan in Le Gayi, Le Gayi from the super iconic Dil Toh Pagal Hai. Fitness, health, costumes, dances, stage sets… this movie blew Shakya’s mind. And then, of course, a whole generation signed up for Shiamak Davar’s dance classes that summer!
Border Made Abish Mathew Feel Like an Indian
The one definitive ‘90s film that defined the era for Abish Mathew was Border. For Mathew, it is the most iconic film from the ‘90s because that’s the first time he felt patriotic, felt like an Indian, felt like, “mereko bhi army join karna hai!” An out and out tear-jerker, Mathew says you’ll cry till you’re dehydrated. The movie had such an impact, he found himself wishing he was more like Sunny Deol himself. We’ll just leave that here.
Raveena Tandon is the Stuff of Legends for Sumukhi Suresh
“She is the stuff of legends,” Sumukhi Suresh declares. Suresh’s favourite song? Sheher ki Ladki from the film called Rakshak starring Raveena Tandon and Suniel Shetty. Both Ramnathan and Suresh remember her whacky wig styles and her dresses—colour wise—more fluently than nursery rhymes. Suresh’s ultimate observation: no one can pull off a wig like Raveena Tandon.
Kanan Gill Remembers Shiamak Davar (but not for his dance)
While everyone else obsesses over hardcore Bollywood when you say ‘90s, Gill brings in the perfect garnishing with the indipop songs he definitely wants in on his #Meri90sKiPlaylist. Who is he referring to? Shiamak Davar. For the millennials thinking, “But… he’s a choreographer??” Well, back in ‘90s most of our icons were multitaskers and Davar had a singing streak. You’ll love listening to and watching this song, which was basically used, reused, and re-reused by Davar for all his future dance performances.
Akshay Kumar Cost Fan Varun Thakur Eight Stitches
On his episode, Varun Thakur declares himself the biggest Akshay Kumar fan there can be. And if you haven’t already heard that Akshay Kumar’s jumping over an Ambassador in the climax fighting scene in the movie Khiladi was the reason for the eight-odd stitches on Thakur’s chin, you have to watch the video below.
What was Thakur trying to replicate? Watch 5:30 onwards:
Sonali Thakker, the True Connoisseur of ‘90s Indipop
Ramnathan says that if there’s one person who knows ‘90s songs like the back of her hand, it’s Sonali Thakker. Her first request is this indipop song by Aslam and Shibani Kashyap called Ho Gayi Hai Mohabbat Tumse. Thakker explains how this song was a great boost to two things: tourism for Kerala’s backwaters, and Shibani Kashyap’s career. But the whole song, sung by a male artist, called Aslam… who is he? Where is he now?
Kunal Rao Loves What Came Out of Baba Sehgal Singing for AR Rahman
Indipop was love for Kunal Rao in the ‘90s. So was Baba Sehgal. But there was also AR Rahman. Having acknowledged all the icons, Kunal Rao can’t gush enough about that one rare moment when AR Rahman and Baba Sehgal came together to give us Rukmini Rukmini from the film Roja. What he doesn’t understand is how anyone was allowed to get that raunchy then!
Rahul Subramanian is an Atul Agnihotri Fan
“Yaar, to be honest, main bohot hi bada fan tha iss legend ka. Unka naam hai Atul Agnihotri.” (Aye! Don’t judge!) Subramanian has his reasons. He asserts that Agnihotri was way more good looking than a lot of the others. Then, with a poker face, talks about the ridiculous lyrics of Rain is Falling Chhama Chham Chham and wonders what happened to the poor guy. “Thode misguided thhe…”
If he’s being sarcastic, we can’t tell. What do you think?