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The return of retro

The past packs quite a punch. Going back in time is today's winning mantra. Whether it is films or fashion, you can never get over the past. HT explores.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2006 17:24 IST

Why are we going back in time? In the dream factories in Mumbai, they are remaking old hits like there is no tomorrow.

The music of the '70s and '80s plays in city bars, and it is not just the ageing hippies who are swaying to Pink Floyd's Another Brick In The Wall. We are wearing polka dots again. Even the hair band is back in vogue. And brands of soap and toothpaste that our grandmothers used are still around on our bathroom shelves.

Anyone who thought the past was dead and buried is wrong — it keeps popping up like Banquo's ghost. Part of it — like our dependence on old products and brands — has to do with habit and trust. If my mother used a particular hair oil, so will I. Part of it has to do with the fact that old wine can always be re-packaged and re-sold in new bottles. And part of it is simply the fact that we constantly need inspiration.

The beauty is that while the return of retro might be something of a nostalgic trip for an older generation, it is a trip of discovery for younger people. "My parents were quite cool," they say, as they go off to see Don, switching off Smoke On The Water that is playing on their iPods, even as they push their round, over-sized sunglasses up on their Brylcreem-ed hair.

First Published: Nov 12, 2006 17:24 IST