’60s & ’70s: Those were the days

April 9, 2007


We used to hang around the Chepekayi mara in our Ajji’s house in Basavanagudi, whenever we were there. We used to hang upside down many times. It was a real Kothi Cheshte.

I was (and even now) fond of Guavas – that too ‘kasakatte kayi”.

Kite flying was one of the pastimes. Cricket, Goli aata, Gilli dandlu, Eyes spies, Jootata, Lagori, Soor chendu (a free for all ball hitting game ), Cycling, viewing cinemas in tents (apart from cinema theatres), SKC in the hotels with my father, Carrom, playing Cards (in summer holidays, we have played non-stop for 9 hours on many days), gossiping with cousins on Ajji’s house metlu were the favourite pastimes. There was always company.

I had also a craze for matches(the labels on the matchboxes). I had a collection of nearly 700 matches.

Radio held the sway. Telephones were extremely rare. Only the rich had them. For story books it was Chandamama, Balamitra, Kasturi, Uththana, Koravanji was another small booklet published. Harikathe was popular during Ramanavami celebrations. Going to temples was as common as visiting friend’s houses.

Summer holidays were heaven, where it was just aata, oota and niddhe , with most of the time spent with cousins. Visiting all relatives was a second habit.

Deepavali would start a month earlier with bursting crackers and end a fortnight later.

All these are childhood memories etched during the 60s. I do not remember much of the later decades because they were less intense for me.

There were no traffic lights, all roads (except avenue road which was one way- perhaps the earliest) were two way roads. We could cycle, bike or drive through Lalbagh to Double road, Jayanagar, Basavanagudi. Lalbagh even had a restaurant then. (We were very fond of the Masala Dosa there). Lalbagh had only a fence around it and not the present compound wall .

I have even taken my cycle to the Airport and stood next to the run way when an aircraft was taxing off .(this was in early 70s- where in I sneaked through the fence on the Agaram side)

This apart the innumerable festivals were celebrated with gusto by my parents. Ganeshana habba meant visiting all neighbourhood houses. We used to cover Basavanagudi, NR Colony, Thyagarajanagar, Nagasandra areas in our circuit.

My uncle’s favourite song was ‘Meri pyari pyari soorat ho, kisee ki nazar na lage, chasme baddur’ .He was fond of Saigal . Later on it was Hemanth Kumar, Manna dey, Rafi,Mukesh. Of the females it was Suraiya, Noor Jehan, Geeta Dutt, Lata, Suman Kalyanpur ( Her songs are haunting- including the Kannada songs- ‘Bellane Belagaayithu’- I think from the film “Sangolli Rayanna”).

Films in Kannada- Anna thangi, Naandi, Gaali Gopura etc., by Kumarathrayas (Raj, Udaykumar, Kalyankumar) were famous. Pandaribai, Harini, B.Saroja Devi, Jayanti, Narasimharaju, Balakrishna, Vadiraj were the rage of the day.

Well let me stop. Otherwise it becomes another Nostalgic saga from my side (if it hasn’t become one already).

In the end I would say…( to repeat the words of a famous song)

‘Those were the days, my friend
we thought they’d , never end.

For ever and ever.

Also read:
Who said I am nostalgic?
Remember some of those ’80s ads?


22 Responses to “’60s & ’70s: Those were the days”

  1. […] mattwatkinson01 wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptWell let me stop. Otherwise it becomes another Nostalgic saga from my side (if it hasn’t become one already). In the end I would say…( to repeat the words of a famous song). ‘Those were the days, my friend we thought they’d , never end. … […]

  2. Vani Says:


    Lovely article, thanks for taking us to those times…..Most of us visiting Bellur’s Site are models of mid to late 70s and share the same feeling about early 1980s……

    One small correction, “Bellana belagaayithu” was sung by Latha in 1967 and not Suman Kalyanpur as mentioned. It is the only kannada song by Latha, the tune is very similar to the song “Jyoti Kalash Chalake” from the movie “Bhabhi ki chudiyan”.

  3. Veena Says:

    TSSM avare, haage nimma photonu haakbidi, namage kathe na imagine maadolokke sulabha aagatte. almost more or less namma experience gaLe… though its 2 decades later!! 🙂

    Good post for a monday morning/afternoon!! Keep writing. neevu blogger aagalu enu tante illa, full marks nimage.

  4. TSSM Sir,
    Good down the rails article. Most of us as vani points out are OLD models 🙂

    I could feel the ‘kahi’ of the kasakatte kai’s….

  5. praneshachar Says:

    super agide nimma baravanige
    tegedukondu hodri nammannu
    60-70 ra dashakagallodege
    anubhavagala saramale
    odi dhanyradeve illi navella

    nanna balya saha more or less hege
    kalyeitu. close relatives yella onde kade
    iddirinda yella habba haridinagal majane
    maje nentara behiti oota odata chennagittu
    igella adu ondu nenapu matra agide

  6. neel3 Says:

    Nangu nam ajji mane, avara mane mettalu, mane -aatada savi nenapaaitu.
    another thing that I was reminded of is: nimmaneli ganesha koodsideera??
    this question would be put to innumearble houses in swimming pool extension ,before we would ‘nuggu’ for a darshan of ganesha .we would sprinkle mantraakshate and do namaskaara.
    A game which comes to my mind is the post-dinner markothi aata.Its headquarters was the Lakshammanavara maneya karbevina mara.
    Our eden garden!!
    wah! kya din the!!

  7. rk Says:

    thanks for taking us thru this nostalgic journey.
    btw, what happened to the matchbox collection?

    wrt bellane belagaayitu, interesting to note that in the film kraantiveera sangolli raayanna ellaa parabhasha gaayakare.

    ** bellane belagaayitu – lata mangeshkar
    ** elaare iruteero endaare baruteero – lata mangeshkar
    ** yaariva nannanu marulagisidava – usha mangeshkar
    ** yaako eno – asha bhonsle
    ** neere neenu baare bega – manna dey
    ** jagavidu sojiga – manna dey

    music: lakshman berelekar

    another thing what i felt was that the pronunciation of the songs are not clear in the film. bekaadre haadugalannu keli. saahitya sariyaagi arthavaaguvude illa. enu heltidaare amtaane gottaagalla.

    naturally ella non-kannadiga singers antha vaada maadona andre enu kashtavaada saahityavu alla.

    nan friend magalige yaav bhaashe haadu antaane gottaaglilla.

    gaayakara kanta maatra chennaagide ashte.

  8. bellur, nange ondu mail haktira? i wanted to send u something, but nim mail id bounse agtaa ide.

  9. rk Says:

    kalsidhini. mail check maadanna.

  10. neel3 Says:

    But singers (parabhaasha0 are more careful with their uchaaraNe annisutte.sonu Nigam etal seem to be working on it.

  11. neel3 Says:

    I meant parabhaasha singers these days.A word went missing.

  12. Pratap Says:

    “kasakatte kayi”!!! yeshtu dina aagittu aa pada kELi! aa pada kELe nanage seebe kaayi thinda haage aaytu 🙂

  13. greatunknown Says:

    Very expressive article. Alas! Those days ended before we realised what we had on our hands!

  14. eniv Says:

    You reminded me of my erstwhile sibbekaayi mara! 😥

    In *my* tree, there were two big branches of which had shaped like a chair(these were penultimate branches!), I could cosily sit there for hours munching on all kaskatte kaayis and reading Tinkle, Balamangala Enid Blyton and scores of comics.

    Just don’t get me started on marakothi aata! 😀

  15. rk Says:

    that last line gaayakara kanta maatra chennaagide ashte was wrt the film ‘kraantiveera sangolli raayanna ‘.

    yes i agree that sonu nigam and shreya goshal uccharane is good. anyday better than udit narayan and hariharan. and even a-kara ha-kara gottillada gurukiran.

  16. Anil Anand Says:

    RK avare……u have this knack of recollecting memories for others !! Seebekai mara-da bagge odhi thumba khushi aaythu. Nanna ajji mane nallu ondu seebe mara iddu , i too used to hang arnd the tree always.
    Though i am a 80’s model, guess growing up then was quite similar.
    ….ahhhhh !!!!! those were the days!

  17. rk Says:

    this post is courtesy TSSM. sakkathagi bardhidare alwa?!

    I have even taken my cycle to the Airport and stood next to the run way when an aircraft was taxing off .(this was in early 70s- where in I sneaked through the fence on the Agaram side)

    yen majaa maadidare nodi ivru! 😀

  18. TSSM Says:

    Vani avarige,

    Thanks for the comments, and thanks for correcting me. I was all along under the impression that it was Suman Kalyanpur.
    As RK has rightly pointed out, the pronunciations are not clear, though there is melody.

    Veena avare,

    photo-geeto ondu beda madam. It is nice to be in RK balaga. It gives a lot of pleasure to be amongst you all.

    Mohan – even today my wife brings me the harder ones, but still it is nothing compared to the ajji mane seebe kayi. in fact we got scoldings from grandma for spoiling the doors, as we used to break the seebekayi by ‘cracking them open’ by jamming the door with the seebe kayi. In the bargain, the door, near the hinges would get dented.

    Praneshachar avare
    I am sure you too would have had similar and even better experiences in your childhood. Waiting to hear them
    sure, we used to ‘nuggu’ to any and every house during ganesha festival, more for the prasada than for the bhakti.
    Fortunately, all doors were open for us. None would mind.
    That way once I have covered a lot of houses in B’gudi, nagasandra, thyagarajanagara, NR colony etc.
    As you have told those were the golden days.


    thanks a lot. you are the ‘kaarana kartha’ .good research on the singers.
    I am sure, you too would have even more juicier stories to narrate of your childhood.
    The security in Airport was not that strict. No terrorism problem. Hence was able to get through (from the rear side). Now it is a different story.

    Kasakatte kayi sakkath agi neevu enjoy madiddeera. So we have company here.

    sure, the days ended very fast. but my concern is present day kids have very little of these pleasures. These cost us next to nothing, so parents were not troubled at all.

    marakothi aata- wow, must have been very exciting. These things happen only in villages, now a days I guess. Though, I have heard of a different school in Bangalore, which doesnot have presecribed syllabi and exams , where in the student (s) can play around, climb trees, draw, paint etc, while some would listen to the teacher. The teachers there do not mind.

    Anil Anand
    The models may be different. the engines(i mean the hearts) are similar.
    Wonder, how do the NRI children enjoy their childhood abroad ?.

  19. greatunknown Says:

    TSSM today it takes a lot to get a little happiness, alva?

    Everything from the games we played, to the sweets and groundnuts we ate and the trees we climbed seem to have all but vanished.

    For crying out loud, children don’t even have a decent playground to run around and enjoy childhood.

  20. TSSM Says:

    very true, but then ‘time’ is the ‘master’ of our lives.
    who knows, our children may have similar feelings about their next generation when they grow up?

  21. Krishnakumar Joshi Says:

    My Dear Friend,
    You’ve mentioned about your Uncle’s favorite song. But it is TERI pyari pyari soorat ko, not MERI pyari pyari …..

  22. […] ’60s & ’70s: Those were the days […]

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