Wed, 21 Aug, 2019

Childhood rumours: then and now

Recently, #90sKidsRumours emerged as a top trend on Twitter, and people shared the beliefs they had as kids while growing up in the 90s. What were these beliefs, and what are the rumours and beliefs of today’s kids? TG Life tries to find out

13th February 2019, 02:00 Hrs


Many people believe that social media is the purview of youngsters and teenagers, but that’s not entirely true. It also has a sizable population of people in late 20s and early 40s- the people who still call themselves ‘90s kids’. They are powerful enough to dominate Twitter trends, and they recently made quite a memorable trend: #90sKidsRumours. People from around India began discussing cultural phenomenons and beliefs that made essentially defined the life of the 90s. Taking a clue from the trend, we at TG Life also asked people what stories they could remember from the 90s, and tried to find out what are the rumours and beliefs in the world of ‘generation Z’ ie the kids after 2000. 

“The 90s were certainly interesting times to live in!” says Chitresh Srivastava, a social media professional from Panaji. “Tthe WWF wrestling was a popular entertainment at the time, and there were many myths surrounding the wrestlers. For instance, it was said that the Undertaker had seven lives, and that he had died once and been reborn,” says Chitresh. 

Natasha Nair, an advertising professional based out of Puducherry also remembers this belief. “The undertaker was one of the many dark yet comical rumours of our time,” informs Natasha. “In mumbai, we had this legend of ‘teen mundi wali bai’-the three headed woman who stalks the streets at night. She calls out your name from behind you, but you should not turn your head,” Natasha adds to the rumour mill memories. This is similar to the legend of ‘Naale Ba’ that was popular in the areas around Bangalore, Karnataka, and is probably the inspiration behind the recent film Stree.  Pavitra Tupurani, a producer with a big brand in Mumbai also remembers another one of the dark beliefs. “There is this blue star in the sky, and if you look at it, you will die,” she narrates in brief. 

Another scary rumour from the 90s surrounded actress Sridevi. After watching the movie ‘Nagina’ starring Sridevi and Amrish Puri, many school kids had begun to believe in the existence of ‘Ichha Dhari Naag’ ie snakes who could transform themselves into humans, and some even went ahead, claiming that Sridevi was herself an Ichha Dhari Nagin, and had magical abilities. 

All things said and done, most 90s kids’ rumours involved some dark force taking you away or killing you, but when 2000 came around, we scaled it up to global doomsday! “Around the year 2000, there was this phenomenon called ‘Y2K’,” muses Anushka Sudhakar, a 3-D animator who was born in late 90s, and thus can be called a sort of ‘mid-millennial’. “We heard that there was a virus called Y2K, and that all computers would crash when the year 2000 came around.” 

In reality, experts did warn of a computer bug named Y2K. Problems did arise as many programs represented four-digit years with only the final two digits — making the year 2000 indistinguishable from 1900. However, these were later resolved. 

As we rolled into the 2000s, there came the biggest prophecy of them all, ‘2012’,” smiles Neel Vaidya, the 18-year old student from Panaji. “2012 was the biggest rumour of my time, and when the film came, it made things all the more scary and believable,” he adds.

 Swaraj Kanerkar, a student from Bethora also remembers a peculiar trend of the time. “We grew up with a lot of superhero movies, and we believed mutation can turn you into a superhero. I used to think that I too would turn into Spiderman if bitten by a radioactive spider!” 

During the 1990s, the most influential super hero was Shaktiman. “We believed that Shaktiman was real,” says Natasha Nair. “A number of kids in Mumbai jumped from high buildings believing that Shaktiman would save them. Because of this, they added an educative segment to the show, demonstrating how Shaktiman is made.” 

So, the 90s kids believed that the world is a good place in general, demons would kidnap them and superheroes would save them, and the 2000s kids say that the world will be destroyed, but they will emerge as superheroes! Given the situation in the world today, one could say that the 2000s kids might be right. The world is heading towards destruction, and we need our kids to be able to save it.  

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