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Revisiting the era of fun

  • Published at 04:21 pm August 11th, 2016
Revisiting the era of fun

Looking back at life in the 90s, we can't help but feel a tinge of nostalgia. With the Internet just about making it's way into our lives, our idea of fun wasn't just going out to eat or hitting the next new season of Mortal Kombat on our PS4s. With the iconic Nokia torchlight being one of the first popular phones to light up our lives (pun intended), we weren't as absorbed in the battle between Android or iOS as we are today. While life was much simpler, entertainments options, too, were more abundant. Hanging out didn't mean eating out, rather it meant spending quality time with loved ones as we bowled away at Sports Zone or checked out the "bhoot" train at Wonderland. It was going out to our neighbourhood parks, breaking our neighbour's window, playing kanamachhi or even looking forward to the long drives to Ashulia. Today we look back at these times and revisit some of the ways we had fun back in the 90's.

Rooftop hangouts

Whether it's a cousin who has come over or a bunch of friends who've stopped by for evening snacks at your place, almost always, the next most exciting thing to do was venture out to the rooftop. "Chhaadey jaba?" was usually the call for the sacred rooftop hangout. Waltzing around the roof, leaning on water tanks or venturing into the higher, smaller, more off-limit roof was always an adventure. Times spent on the chhaad always made for great conversations and memories we love looking back on.

Bowling away A great part of life as a 90's kid was places like Sports Zone, where the multi-floored complex housed many kinds of entertainment options now lacking in Dhaka. Along with the fully equipped gym, Sports Zone also housed the first of its kind bowling alley, several foosball tables and also air hockey sets, giving us plenty to choose from. Thunderbolt and Fu Wang were also popular places visited for some bowling action. Buying tiny coins that acted as our ticket for each game, a day at one of these zones meant a day full of wins and losses - but all done in the spirit of fun.

The era of pool games

Back in the day, pool clubs in Dhaka used to be one of the more common places for teens to hangout during their leisure time. When it came to recreation and enjoyment, teens and college students spent hours playing games of Eight-ball at the pool centres, in and around Dhandmondi. Dark rooms, loud young boys and the sound of our sticks directing our cue balls was the name of the game. The love for the game saw many 90's kids, especially young boys, finding a new found passion, some even taking part in major monthly championships involving different leagues. While losses weren't taken that easily, wins usually meant "treats" for all involved.

Living the Arcade life

Every kid in the 90's used to wait for the Friday mornings or their tutors to leave every afternoon, to rush to the nearest gaming arcade. Mortal Kombat, Mostofa, Street fighter – these games were all coin-operated, and teens used to spend their weekends banging on the joy sticks and the buttons. They used to stand in long queues waiting for their turn, as there were only two or three gaming pads in one neighbourhood.

Bookstores

For the bookworms, the 90's was a glorious time. From The Famous Five to Sweet Valley High to Mills & Boon to comics such as Archie, teenagers used to go crazy over these paperback treats. Places like Boi Bichitra and Bookworm, as well as the many book stores in Nilkhet and New Market, were popular with youngsters as a quiter retreat from the noisy city. Visiting the latter two also meant the added bonus of grabbing some phuchka while discussing the latest titles with your friends.

The wonder of Wonderland

Who can forget the iconic yellow and pink building in Gulshan that we once knew as Wonderland. Loud, bright and in the centre of Gulshan, Wonderland really was the stuff of wonder back in the day. It may not have been close to any of the more exciting theme parks we watched on TV, but it was our most exciting themepark. From getting our heads spinning inside giant teacup rides to waiting in line to bump and thump the famed bumping cars, we've done it all. Finally, we had the both exciting and scary train ride that took us down a dark alley as a man in costume tried to scare us out of our wits. While many of us grew up debating about whether or not he was real, despite knowing the truth, we still loved the idea of finding out as we trudged through the ride.

Long drives to Ashulia

If you were a teenager in the 90's, you surely remember going for long drives to Ashulia with your cousins or friends. This was when Dhaka was less populated, and the roads used to be empty, even during weekdays. How can one forget that “Cholo na ghure ashi ojanate, jekhane nodi eshe theme geche” song playing in the back, the company of your close ones, sipping tong-er cha and munching phuchka, life all happiness and smiles.

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