Nostalgia: Cartoons We Can Never Forget

Popeye the sailor man, Micky Mouse, The Pink Panther, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Dexter’s Laboratory, Noddy, Oswald, Tom and Jerry, Johnny Bravo, Scooby Doo, The Jetsons, Powerpuff Girls, The Backyardigans, Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Looney Toones, Jungle Book (remember Mogli?), Richie Rich, Bob the Builder, Ed, Edd and Eddy, Sylvester and Tweety, and the list goes on.

I bet most of the people reading this would’ve felt nostalgic reading the list of the cartoons that used to be played on TV before. I remember sitting with my brother every weekend and binge watching all the cartoons being played on Cartoon Network and Pogo. it was almost impossible to get us to stop, and hence all the homework for Monday would remain as it is. And whenever my parents would change the cable connection, we would always make sure that they chose the cable that Cartoon Network was included in- of course it was our topmost priority!

In India, Cartoon Network would play the Hindi version of the cartoons. I got used to watching it that way and now when I watch it online, I need it in Hindi! Though, I must say that watching these cartoons online and watching them on TV is a complete different experience. I agree that I can watch them at any time I want and anywhere I want, but the feeling of sitting in front of the old, fat TV with your friends and siblings, waiting for the programme to start and the advertisements to end is a feeling that just can’t be described in words. And if there happened to be no electricity at that time (which happened a lot), there would be a sure ruckus.

Slowly these cartoons started to be replaced by modern ones, with better animation and graphics- which we didn’t clearly care about. Although many such ‘modern’ cartoons were attractive and had a good story line, a few of them were just stupid adaptations of old ones. Take for example, Chhota Bheem which my brother watched and which really annoyed me (I was a dedicated Popeye fan, and still am),. It’s plot is pretty much the same as Popeye, except this guy eats Laddoos instead of spinach and was nowhere near the original.

A few cartoons like Johnny Bravo, Tom and Jerry, Courage the Cowardly Dog, etc are being played on Cartoon Network now, and its nice to see them finally appreciating the importance of the classic old cartoons. I really feel sad for my younger cousins who are missing out on these classics.

I’m pretty sure that everyone who grew up watching these cartoons knows how much they’ve contributed to our lives. And I know it’s too early to decide, but I”m definitely not letting my kids miss out on any of this.

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487 WORDS OF RANDOMNESS

I’m sitting in my room trying to write something but all that comes in my mind is… nothing. I’m trying to think of something to write but the situation makes it hard for me to get over the weirdness surrounded by me. It is really hard to concentrate on something else when your mind is preoccupied with weird random thoughts. Well, I wouldn’t call it random but it’s definitely weird. I don’t remember the last time I felt like this. I’m listening to Carnival of Rust by Poets of the Fall, and the lyrics seem to make a lot more sense now. It has been raining almost every day in Bangalore now and I wonder if I’ll get drenched tomorrow while coming back from college. I can’t tell you how much I hate it. I used to love getting drenched in rain. But now somehow, it sucks.
I’m sitting in my balcony and while I write this, there is a cat running around near my apartment’s swimming pool. I want to go play with it, but I feel too lazy to move. It’s such a dull day today. The song has now changed to All Fall Down by One Republic. Beautiful lyrics. I always wonder how they come up with such ideas, such great sound. I believe music is the greatest creation ever made. If it’s made or discovered, can again be debated. I’m sure there won’t be a single individual who doesn’t find music fascinating. It makes everything seem so beautiful. The rhythm, the voice, it’s so soothing.
The song changes to Heal the World by Michael Jackson and I just realize I’ve written 270 words of randomness. I guess its fine once in a while. It’s your randomness that tells you how far you can introspect and contemplate about things around you, how far you can get lost in your own thoughts. It’s difficult, with these busy lives, we have time for everyone and everything but for ourselves. We never realize, that with other people, it’s important to also give ourselves some of our attention. It’s important to flatter ourselves, to please ourselves, to love ourselves. It’s important to feel good about ourselves.
Honestly, I’ve written 3 paragraphs of complete random crap, and I don’t know why you are reading this. I don’t know why I’m still writing. Maybe everyone goes through this phase some time or the other. You just feel like there’s nothing in this world that concerns you anymore, and that you have all the time in the world and nothing to worry about. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But I know that when I wake up tomorrow the reality will hit me hard and I’ll again know that I’ve too many things to do but too little time. Ah normal life!
Dark clouds are approaching and I think it’s going to rain. I’ll probably further wonder about something random.

Bangalore Scenes

It’s been about 8 years since I’ve lived in Bangalore, and yet this city never fails to amaze me. Usually, I wake up hearing birds chirping and dogs barking, with the cool morning wind reminding me of a new day with new possibilities.

With this happy mood I get ready for college and as soon as I hit the road, the same beautiful Bangalore turns into a cruel monster trying to tear you out of your senses. As a person who has just started driving, I find it pretty hard to swoop through the everyday traffic (and believe me, there’s a lot) like other experienced drivers do. Knowing that I’m hardly anywhere close to being good at it and my driving skills still require a lot of work (though I haven’t fallen or hit anyone or had any angry driver shout at me), yesterday- just two months since I got my driving license- I went ahead and proudly took off the ‘L’ sign from my vehicle. Well, the sign never really made a difference; people still rushed through, cars still kept honking like crazy and the humongous buses still tried to kill you.

What really annoys me is the fact that both the pedestrians and the two-wheeler-riderss never really realize the true purpose of a footpath. The pedestrians walk on the roads, ignoring the presence of a separate pavement made just for them, and on the other hand, the drivers happily use these pavements to avoid the traffic jam, leaving the other drivers to contemplate in their cars as to why they didn’t think of getting their two wheeler to work. I’ve never liked people who drive on footpaths, and hence, I never do it. Though when there is a traffic jam and the slope for the footpath is right beside me, there are usually people honking behind. Well, I’ve mastered the art of not giving (in a polite way) a damn.

The best of all are the autowallas who just want to get on your nerves every time. A person must always know the first rule of driving on Bangalore roads: never drive on the extreme left side of a busy/main road. And if you are, and there is an auto in front of you, then only God can save you. That guy will drive so slowly, stopping every five minutes to pick up a person, and once he does, no one can stop him. He will squeeze through all kinds of small places he can get to fit the auto in. And sometimes, these autos leave out so much smoke so it comes all over your face and chokes you to death.

Even better than that are the potholes on the roads. And not small ones, big huge potholes. Almost like someone dug up the middle of the road and left it for people to fall into (well, this doesn’t sound surprising at all!). But when it rains (and it always has to rain while I’m riding), the roads are filled with water and it’s impossible to know where you are going and when you will drive right into a huge pothole. This one time I was driving back from college and almost fell into one. And that wasn’t even the worst part- while I was managing to get the vehicle out of the damn thing, its wheels splashed water all over another girl driving right beside me. Even though it wasn’t my mistake, I still feel bad about it.

I remember this one day I didn’t feel like riding back home so I asked a friend to, and I sat behind. Not to mention, I regretted doing that the next second. Somehow, with universe’s good grace, we reached safely.

But there’s definitely something about this place that I can never get enough of, and however bad I think the Bangalore traffic and the roads are, I will still prefer this city over any other.

THE FOOT AND THE SHOE

“But in time, stones and bits of glass,

streets, ladders,

and the paths in the rough earth

go on teaching the foot that it cannot fly,

cannot be a fruit bulging on the branch.

Then, the child’s foot

is defeated, falls

in the battle,

is a prisoner

condemned to live in a shoe.” –excerpt from Pablo Neruda’s To the Foot from Its Child as translated by Alastair Reid.

This beautiful poem by Neruda throws light on the sad and inevitable future of almost every child born in this world. Each one of us have dreams and unending imaginations of how we all see ourselves in the future, but somewhere in the back of our mind we somehow know that its mostly not going to be that way. Just like a child’s foot, which is unaware of its physical state and inability to fly or be a fruit on a branch, faces harsh realities of life and is finally ‘condemned to live in a shoe’.

What is this shoe? Is it our family, friends, our responsibilities? Or does it just mean the shoe, literally? I would like to think of this ‘shoe’ as the box we all live in. A box that limits our imagination, and far from being a place of comfort, is a boundary, a limitation to our capabilities. A box that does not let us reach our fullest potential, and condemns us to a life like everyone else’s. And yet, we cannot help but be pushed into this box and become a slave of life’s treacherous plan. We cannot fight back, and when we try to, we realise that we are pushed far deep into the box that it’s almost impossible to get out of it. Just like the foot, we are all forced to live in that shoe.

“Thinking outside the box is just thinking inside a bigger box”. I could not agree more. We are all embedded in this society in a way that its influence reaches our unconscious. Without our conscious knowledge, we fulfill the societal norms, everything that the society wants us to do, and in case we don’t, society finds its own way of getting things done. We are so scared of breaking the norms, of going against the wishes of the society that we repress our wishes, our dreams, and our unending imaginations and reduce them all to something immediately available and closely related to this material world.

In the end, we all end up being like those unused toys of a child that are forced into a box, expected to live in it, forever, with our dreams being reduced to dust outside the box, kept in the darkness of the attic, and the dreamless dust being cleaned and thrown away once a while, at the same time reminding us that we are mere puppets of life’s treacherous plan. And who knows, in the end, the box might just be opened and the toys taken out with new dust all over so another child can play with them, or, in Neruda’s words, the foot might just be born again as a butterfly or an apple.