….continued from the previous post..(2/4)
The eighties & nineties was the era of Doordarshan (& some private broadcasters) with limited shows spanning across various genres and subjects. Looking back at the telecasts then; I always wondered how one could create something so specific and detailed. The intelligence, with which things were crafted, depicted the sheer brilliance of the story writers. Every subject matter was dealt with much care and science. It reflected a well-researched effort and the artiste displayed the right emotion needed for the character. The stories had a meaningful name with a subtle start graduating to a high-minded climax and a gripping end. They mirrored our society at large. The characters represented the middle class segment and viewers saw themselves in them. They connected well with the audience and soon became a part of the family..
Mythological dramas like Ramayan, Mahabharat, Sai Baba & Shree Krishna ensured that the Gen-Next was enlightened about our ancient scriptures and cultures. It depicted many flavors of patriotism, brotherhood, family love, evilness, romance and conveyed morals & messages. More epics followed and I got worried at the speed with which these blockbusters were developed. At one point of time I wondered if they are going to cover all the 33 crore deities – the last documentated census of the Hindu mythology.. Crazy stories of most god-fearing families performing ‘Pooja’, applying ‘Tilak’, lighting ‘Agarbatti’ in front of the TV screen and praying to the deity up there, were being commonly cooked up. Coconut breaking followed later with the holy Prasad being distributed religiously. Instances of people even falling on the feet of the artistes for blessings were also heard of. Strange isn’t it??
Hum log (154 episodes) and Buniyaad (104 episodes) laid foundation of the family values showcased within the backdrop of a general ‘every-house’ subject. What it lacked was the flashy glamour quotient. It was relayed natural without any graphics or camera tricks so to say. The essence of the storyline was maintained all thru such that audience loved every gradual scale up in the show. Suspense was non-guessed, tragedy was frowned over, happiness celebrated, birth rejoiced and death grieved…
Historical and fiction flicks like The Sword of Tipu Sultan, Tamas, Surabhi, Chandrakanta, Chanakya, Mirza Ghalib, Bharat Ek Khoj brought to life the History text book and portrayed the opulence and flamboyant personality of the great Heroes. One critical thing these shows did was personify the above characters by giving a face to them.. We still visualize most of them as if they incarnated on Mother Earth for the serial shoot and left for their heavenly abode on completion of the task..
Chitrahaar, Chhayageet & Rangoli brought the weekly classical melodies to us and then there was Superhit Muqabla – a countdown show. Every number was a hit among masses and summed up every mood of the nation.. One of the popular songs “Didi Tera Dewar Deewana” topped the charts for several months (so much that we completed almost 3/4th of our school curriculum in that academic year)
Comedy shows like Ye Jo Hai Zindagi, Dekh bhai Dekh, Flop Show, Shriman Shrimati, Nukkad, Zabaan Sambhaal ke, Office Office, Hum Paanch added the humor quotient and they literally had something new-to-offer its audiences. Each of these shows never gave belly-pain laughter but continued to tickle with their subtle, homely & funny one-liners.
Byomkesh Bakshi, Karamchand & Janki Jasoos were the Crime thrillers with a “lot more realism & science” (pun intended) in solving murder mysteries and theft incidents.
Children shows included Dada Dadi Ki Kahaniya, Malgudi Days, Tenali Rama, Vikram Betaal, Jungle Book (“Chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai……”). The ‘elders’ watched it more, with undivided attention, only to give their kids a lesson & a moral in their typical presentation style: “Dekha, agar jhooth bologe toh aisa hoga…” or “Chori karne se ye hota hai…”
An attempt to publish Educational and Patriotic fillers like “Ek Chidiya…..” & “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara…” respectively were the talk of the town and millions hummed it in leisure.
News was the least glamorized show among all the above. Salma Sultan and Ved Prakash covered the daily news in the simplest fashion and without much over-hype of an issue.
Just when television had a lot more to offer thru diverse content; it experienced a dramatic insurrection – Tulsi bhabhi was born along with Parvati bhabhi– in 2000. Things no longer remained as before. Content changed. Serial names changed. Storyline changed. They revolutionized the families, way of living, thinking pattern and most importantly they revolutionized the television serial. I have conceived a set of self-made observations topic wise to pen, which may not be wise to attend to in this piece. Because……
…..to be continued (2/4)