The nineties were a fun and goofy time to live in India. The benefits of liberalisation were in full flow, and India was just becomin one of the youngest nations in the world. As the new took over the old, several things changed overnight. Here are some of the everyday niceties the Indian had in the nineties which were taken away.
#5 Petrol could be sold loose.
This was a godsend for college kids on a budget, and required most of them to carry a bottle with them. If they would be out of petrol, they could waltz into any petrol pump and buy petrol literally by the rupee, in a plastic bottle. Of course, the minimum amount of sale would be Rs. 10. Then, the Government passed the rule of no selling petrol loose after some riots and India could no longer hea “Dus rupaye ka petrol dena”.
#4 Cigarettes were sold at railway stations.
Back in the day, cigarettes were sold on railway stations, though it was still a crime to smoke inside the train bogey, not to mention hilariously impossible. The Government woke up to public enemy number 1 somewhere in the nineties and the cigarette shops at the railway stations were shut down. Most of the displaced shopkeepers today sell bhel.
#3 There were no cooling charges
This might not happen during the winter, but come to the summer season and you have to pay a premium if you buy anything that has been in the refrigerator of the dukaan. The general price is 2 rupees. Which means, if you buy a mineral water botte for 18 rupees, you will have to pay the shopkeeper 20 bucks. This is highly illegal, but nobody bothers to look into the matter. This is another thing that was unheard of in the nineties, the shopkeepers were happy that someone was buying something from their shop.
#2 Rickshaw drivers were not Jerks
Most housing societies and densely populated areas have a rickshaw stand. Back in the nineties, these rickshaw drivers used to literally hound you to hire them for your journey. Gone are those days. Since the past five years or so, rickshaw drivers have started refusing fares, again, something that is downright illegal. It is only now that the RTO has finally woken up to the one grievance everyone faces – refusal of fares.
#1 Bombay was from Churchgate to Andheri
Though the geographical boundaries of Mumbai have never changed, the psychological boundaries have. Back in the nineties, anyone who lived after Andheri, that is, between Andheri and Borivli were supposedly not a townie. The idea is still prevalent today in some high heeled circles, but is not as blatant as it was in the nineties.