Farewell CID: We’ve Lost our Last Link to ’90s Indian TV

Pop Culture

Farewell CID: We’ve Lost our Last Link to ’90s Indian TV

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty


he ’90s was a good time to be a kid. Growing up an only child with working parents, the TV often doubled up as my babysitter. Some of my earliest childhood memories took place in front of this ramshackle 20-inch Onida box TV in my grandmother’s room with 12 channels and a remote held together with several rubber bands to keep the batteries from falling out.

Baa and I often bickered over what to watch – I liked Just Mohabbat, her favourite was Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka. But all this changed when one evening in 1998, we were introduced to the wondrously mysterious world of CID. Never one for shows that were too intense (she hated Aahat with a vengeance), Baa however took an instant shine to CID – the hamminess of ACP Pradyuman and its crazy episode arcs. I was taken by Daya’s brawny presence; in those pre-Netflix days, he felt almost Superman-like to me. Much before gritty American shows like La Femme Nikita and X-Files, our first brush with murder mystery came when ACP Pradyuman looked at a body and nonchalantly said, “Yahan toh laash hai.” Years before binge-watching became a thing, Baa and I would watch episode after episode of CID. The show became to Sony, what Sooryavansham was to Set Max – the perfect filler between KBC and IPL seasons.