Men In The City: Uno

By Pratishtha Dobhal


90s man: *Statutory Warning: Resemblance to any person dead or living is purely coincidental. *Statutory Claim: They walk amongst us. I take complete ownership for the mumbo-jumbo that follows below. You may or may not enjoy.   They are an increasingly diminishing breed. They happened right before the new millennium, so in the natural and rather obvious order of things, they transitioned and progressively adapted. Willingly, unwillingly, they became creatures of discomfort. No. Not the discomfort that absolves you of all material fluff-like comfort, but one that ‘evolves you’. Before preceding any further it would be important to state the aforementioned applies to those few men who may feel the same, and if not, err… deal with it (no, this is not a #feminist-rant; #patiencemayjustbeavirtue) For obvious reasons hashtag-ged instead of capslock. Now, back to where I was heading: straight to the men of the nineties. Moving around in packs of two or three; Simpsons, South Park, Donny Darko, The Wonder Years, Peter Andre, Shaktimaan, Channel V, Trey, Baywatch, OC, Beverly Hills 90210, Cruel Intentions, all these idiot box iconic pop cultural references make perfect sense to him. Growing up this 90s man remained at ease watching Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, and the ever-growing fleet of really bad hair cuts on Indian celluloid while watching Schwarzenegger and the rest of his crew slip into spandex. How to obviously spot him: When entering a bar, a pub, a coffee shop with the sole intention of spotting the 90s man you’re likely to slot the men in varying 90s decades (No, this is not a Cosmopolitan-ish piece on rules of entrapment). The same 90s man who was growing up as a 10 year old, 20 year old, and 30 year old, the one who decided to live the peculiarity of each age to become the quintessential 90s man. These were the divergents; the ones who separated themselves by virtue of natural selection and good evolution. And then… there were the non-divergents. The majority that remained stuck in the epoch they were attached to by default= the lazy 90s boys. The ones who never grew up, the ones who never grew young, the ones who remained altruistically constant/ or tried hardest to be a tad pig-headed. Bad haircut, crew cut, and the very baggy denims just barely sitting on the ass, and you know the guy can distinguish between Michael Learns to Rock and The White Stripes. Trainspotting and Fight Club remain the benchmark for all things cool. He may or may not know the difference between a Won Kar Wai and a Majid Majidi, but he would definitely know Friends from Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The ideal 90s lover will never be in your face, he’d be subtle and because his default settings remain programmed to a time before the internet, he would put his thoughts down in writing. Garbled, non-garbled prose or para would satisfy you both. You’d be happy to discount the grammar, the handwriting for the sheer effort of finding a pen, paper, and writing I love you (or whatever else). That’s how desperate we are for love :I When LunchBox became a sleeper hit, its strength remained in the simplicity of emotions the film conveyed. In just handwritten notes a story unfolded, two lives took you on a narrative. I am getting in touch with my own 90s girl—in writing things down. Atleast that part of the decade made absolute sense. In being vintage, I am being a tad millennial hipster. While generation Z waits, I’ll have my time of deconstructing the men in the city, in the continents and countries I travel to, in the companies and people watching I indulge in. To the men who are 90s fanboys, you are not so bad, minus the hair and chest high denims, and the thick gold chains around the neck, and that uber machoism: once you resign yourself to when everything was a little less complicated, you’d get our attention.


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