For those who were born in late 80s, Doordarshan has a place in their hearts. Those were the times when we go up early morning on Sundays to watch He-Man, Chandrakanta, Danu, Alice in Wonderland and Jungle Book. We stayed up very late to see Shaktiman, Alif Laila and Reporter. Our kick for investigative journalist came from Ankhon Dekhi (run by Arun Shourie’s sister) and Chitrahar and Ragoli served us music videos. I am sure just names of these programs are capable of taking many of us back into time and I am sure I can spend hours talking about those day with my friend over a cup of tea.
Well, the objective of this blog is not to have another nostalgic talk about Doordarshan rather to look beyond Doordarshan.
For us, TV will always have two eras. Doordarshan Era and Post Doordarshan era. For an idiot like me who loves television, there will be no shortage of reasons to love the idiot box. There are number of serials in the post doordarshan era which were better in both quality of content as well as production and for me I have very personal reason to get nostalgic about them. I use to stay with my uncle during engineering days and use to watch TV only in the evening. I had found some amazing serials which are still there in my collections and I watch them while I code on my computer.
Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai (Star One)
My love for this serial goes much much beyond a typical relationship between a viewer and a program. It is surreal. The “love” here is more like “love” in the word “lovemaking”. EVERY day and I mean EVERY day, I watch at least 3-4 episodes of this serial on my computer while I am busy with coding. I dont really have to look at the videos because the images play in my head while I echo back each and every dialog in the serial. I would say in last even years I must have seen each episode not less than 50 times. If a doctor has to observer how I watch this serial I am sure he will need no further investigations to certify me as a psycho.
This is a comedy serial produced by Hats Off productions. The same people who made the slapstick comedy Khichadi. Unlike khichadi, Sarabhai is an intelligent comedy. It is about a high society family and their antics. Each character in this serial has certain traits. These traits are very very subtle and you will notice them only after you watch good number of episodes unlike in Khichadi. Also, the way Rahul Dravid indulges in T20 for sake of novelty and proving himself, each of these characters also take up extremely opposite roles in the serial from time to time. With such a powerful cast it seems easy but its not really so simple if you think over it. For example the episode where “Maya becomes middle class”. Her character in that episode is exact opposite of what she plays usually, (a sophisticated high class socialite). Maya is played by the talented actress Ratna Pathak. Her good son Sahil’s role is played by Sumit Raghavan. In one episode he cross dresses to become Maya’s sister Nayesha. Maya’s husband is the great actor Satish Shah who probably plays the most prominent role after his Mayer Dmello in Jane bhi do yarron. In my opinion he is THE BEST character in the serial. In one episode he is hypnotized to become Maya Sarabhai i.e. his own wife. Same thing happens with other characters as well.
I have purposely not seen two episodes of this soap and I will never watch them just to ensure that in case I forget this serail say may be after 10-20 year when I grow old one day I will remember it and watch those two episodes.
This serial is considered to be one of the best serials ever made in India and Star One re-telecast it until it closed down the channel itself a few months back.
Love Story – Sab TV
Anurag Basu made this 100+ episode tv serial. Now though the name says its a love story, I would say the main theme was a thriller. That you get to know only in the end however. Unlike other soaps, I think Anurag had the entire plot in his hand before he made the serial. Hence each episode is logically well connected and ends in a surprising and a sad way. Akash and Shruti’s romance is one of the best portrayed romance on Indian television so far. Icing on the cake was that , Basu had chosen some classic Ghazals and some haunting original songs for this TV serial which too became very popular. Akash, Shruti and their friend were the central character. There were murders, crimes and romance throughout the serials. It was also bit depressing serial too.
Dil Kya Chahta Hai
This was another comedy serial which was telecast on Star One and it’s videos are not available anywhere. I would say it will come second only to Sarabhai. It was about 4 guys and their antics. Akki is a happy go lucky radio jockey and the episode always started with he making some statement in his show “dil kya chahta hai”, that was a clue for us that this is going to be the theme of the episode. It was probably the first show to give so much thought to the persona of typical urban males and their issues. Ram was a millionaire playboy, Raghu was a theater artist and the Nitin (mamma’s boy) was a journalist in a financial newspaper. While the serial was hilarious on most occasions it was also philosophical at times. Times when Ram confronts his ex-wife, or says no to another woman and so on.
But the main theme in the end was always “Men will be Men”. 🙂
Pyar Vyar and all that (Mtv India)
4 students in Goa and their relationship with each other. Another modern yet realistic take on life of urban youth. This was a short serial (I guess 14 episodes). But it was very touching.