A Sunday in Bangalore – what was it like for the 90s kids?

No small screens, for one! In the 90s, a Sunday in Bangalore meant a slow morning, a siesta-filled afternoon, a blissful evening and an early night to prep for the week to come. And while this may seem boring, it was anything but!

Mornings would begin with a puja at home or a visit to the local church for Sunday service. Families would then pack themselves, their kids and a few sweaters (depending on the weather) onto red-hued BTS buses, beige Pusphak buses or, if routes allowed, the elusive Double-decker buses and make their way to one of the few hotspots in Bangalore. In under 20 minutes, you’re there; traffic was an unknown phenomenon, as were roadwork, noise pollution and dust. The few cars that dotted the roads were the likes of Fiat, Maruti 800 and 1000, Contessa, Ambassador and its skinnier counterpart Premier Padmini.

Queen Victoria’s statue in Cubbon Park. Image credits: MP Murthy

A typical Sunday in 90s Bangalore meant a visit to the park. Cubbon Park was one of the most popular hangouts for families with young children. You would see your friends with their families too, as you made your way into the Park from the entrance near Queen Victoria’s statue. Then, of course, you would run to Bal Bhavan, followed by your parents who would patiently stand in line to buy tickets for the toy train ride. The Putani Express has its own fan following and was the envy of other play activities like the see-saw and swings.

An exhilarating train ride later, it was time for a lazy picnic in the park. This was before the eatables ban in Cubbon Park, so the puffs and Frooti packs would gallantly emerge from thoughtfully packed bags. And while the parents would laze around in the soft grass of the lawn, we would run around, our mouths liberally plastered with puff pastry flakes, our hands sticky with the yellow nectar of Frooti. We’d call it a day with some pink candy floss and souvenirs of the day that was – balloons shaped like fat apples, or bubble blowers.

Sunday in Bangalore
Putani Express in Cubbon Park. Image credits: Bangalore Daily Photo

If not Cubbon Park, Lal Bagh was the place to be for a 90s Bangalore Sunday picnic. All you needed was some packed food and some games. Snake & Ladders and Ludo were the favourites, while endurance games of kalla-police, ice-spice (I Spy) and hide-and-seek were preferred by the slightly more active lot.

On entering Lalbagh, we would scout for a large enough space to set up camp, while the adults handled the rest – setting down the blankets, arranging the food and water, and laying down boundaries and rules as to how far we were allowed to run.

How the morning passed, we had no clue as all we did was run and play around Lalbagh. Afternoons were all about quick lunches and choco bars. Sleep would come for us, and we’d lie under the shade of the many trees, while the picnic blankets protected us from any creepy crawlies. Of course, this was followed by more running around, an evening snack of jola (tava-fried corn-on-the-cob), and a walk to the Glass House and the Band Stand in the middle of Lalbagh.

Nothing beats a relaxed Sunday in Lalbagh. Image credits: Buzzing Bubs

As we grew older, trading WWF cards and then Pokemon cards with our friends in the neighbourhood were added to the list of activities that included gully cricket, lagori, and lock-and-key. We’d head to M.G. Road, and walk up and down Brigade Road. Perhaps we’d watch an English movie at the single-screen Rex TheatreGobi Manchurian had just made its debut so we’d have this dish whenever we could. Rice Bowl was the ultimate restaurant for Chinese food, while the softee outside Rex Theatre was the OG dessert.

The hold these tazos had on 90s kids should be studied by researchers. Image credits: ED Times

Soon, we’d hit up snooker parlours and bowling alleys. We’d start soaking in Bangalore’s wild pub culture and wild rock music scene. We’d save up money for concerts and weekend trips; sleepovers and nightouts would become more frequent than ever. Slowly, we would bid adieu to the parks and toy trains, without even realizing that the last time we’d spend an old-school Sunday in 90s Bangalore, would be the very last time.

The 90s were a vibe, and Sundays in 90s Bangalore were something else entirely. With no apps on our phones (no cell phones, really) and no cabs choking the city’s roads, every place was a playground and every little piece of anything was a plaything.

share this article:


Fill the Below Form