Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Down Memory Lane – The Golden Age Of Doordarshan

I’m definitely getting old because over the past few days I’ve been reminiscing at lot…Last night while I was surfing through the channels on TV, I realized that I didn’t watch even one Hindi serial…Kind of sad because I was a great fan of them in the 80s…

Humlog (1984)
The mother of all shows, Humlog started the craze for serials in India…It told the story of a family, a family that a large number of people could identify with…

Humlog revolved around the everyday life of a north Indian lower middle class family, with each episode focusing on the triumphs and tribulations of one or more of the central cast members…At the end of each episode, Ashok Kumar (Dadamoni) would appear to give a speech and summarize the serial…

The following were the main characters of the serial:

Basesar Ram: The alcoholic father played by Vinod Nagpal
Bhagwanti: The long-suffering mother and housewife played by Jayshri Arora
Lallu (Lalit Prasad): The unemployed eldest son played by Rajesh Puri
Nanhe: The younger son played by Abhinav Chaturvedi
Badki: The eldest daughter played by Seema Bhargava
Majhli: The second daughter played by Divya Seth
Chutki: The youngest daughter played by Loveleen Mishra
Dadaji: The grandfather (a retired teacher) played by Lahiri Singh
Dadi: The grandmother played by Sushma Seth

Buniyaad (1986)
Written by Manohar Shyam Joshi (who incidentally wrote Humlog too) and directed by Ramesh Sippy, Buniyaad was a mega serial based on the theme of Partition and its repercussions…It follows the story of Master Haveliram (a dedicated teacher) and his wife Lajoji and their children and their struggle as refugees in post-partition India…

Master Haveliram - Played by Alok Nath
Lajoji – Haveliram’s wife played by Anita Kanwar
Veeravali – Haveliram’s sister played by Kiran Juneja
Dalip Tahil - Master Haveliram elder son
Lala Gainmal – Played by Sudhir Pandey
Vrushbhaan – Veeravali’s love interest played by Vijendra Ghatge
Satbir – Vrushbhaan’s illegitimate son played by Kanwaljit Singh
Haveliram’s elder son – Played by Dalip Tahil
Sulochana / Lochan – Haveliram’s elder daughter-in-law played by Soni Razdan
Jay – Vrushbhaan’s legitimate son played by Abhinav Chaturvedi

The first soap-type family entertainer that actually ended! I don’t think many watched it as I couldn’t find anything substantial on the net…I was an avid viewer and from what I remember, it was about big business and big ambitions with a few twists and turns…

Actors included: Neena Gupta, Dr. Shreeram Lagoo, Mohan Bhandari, Jayant Kriplani

Rajini (1985)
Basu Chatterjee’s first foray into television, Rajini (played by Priya Tendulkar) quickly became everybody’s favourite crusader…

Yeah Jo Hai Zindagi (1984)
This was the first really funny sitcom on Indian television…The episodes revolved around funny incidents in the lives of Ranjit Verma (Shafi Inamdar), Renu Verma (Swaroop Sampat) and Renu’s unmarried and unemployed younger brother Raja (Rakesh Bedi)…In each episode, actor Satish Shah played a different character who came into contact with the Vermas…

Kachchi Dhoop (1987)
I don’t know if anybody remembers this serial but I loved it…The title Kachchi Dhoop is a metaphor for young and impressionable minds…Written and directed by Amol Palekar, it was loosely based on ‘Little Women’…This fun and clean serial marked the debut of Bhagyashree as an actress…

Malgudi Days (1987)
Ta-na-na tana tane-naa…
Based on R.K.Narayan’s book (a collection of short stories) and directed by Shankar Nag, Malgudi was an imaginary town inhabited by timeless characters who could have been living anywhere in the world…

There were many more serials like Udaan and Fauji… If I write about all of them, this post would become very long and unreadable (I think it already is!)…I’ve not included Ramayana and Mahabharata because I didn’t like them…