The Millenial Troubles Solved So Often By Doordarshan
If you are a millennial, chances are you remember the times when having a television set in the house used to be a big thing. Nowadays, we hardly watch television, our interests have shifted more towards on-demand video services like Hotstar, Netflix, Hulu and others. After all, the content in regular television, barring a few, are really not that great and we don’t have time to wait patiently to watch a barrage of ads for 5 minutes of content. However, childhood days were different. Life was much simpler and the only thing we could see on television was Doordarshan and its channels.
However, we didn’t grumble much; instead, we sat down religiously to watch shows that made us laugh and cry. The content was way better than what is available now on the television and those shows have stayed with us all these years. Right now if you are having a little bit of a nostalgia attack, I don’t blame you. After all, these were the shows we grew up with, these are indelible parts of our childhood. Thankfully, many of these shows have now been made available on YouTube, so you can easily take out some time and enjoy a little bit of your childhood at your own convenience. Here’s a little handy list of shows that are available out there. Let’s delve right in!
The “King Khan” of Bollywood before making it big on the silver screen had made his debut as Abhimanyu Rai in Fauji, a TV series which was aired way back in 1988 on Doordarshan National. The story revolved around the Indian Army and how the yet to be Bollywood superstar matures from an irresponsible devil-may-care young man to a responsible and valiant army personnel. The series was heavily lauded during its run for the realistic portrayal of the Indian army and a stellar performance by the cast. You can catch a bumbling young actor learning the ropes of the trade in this fondly remembered television series in the official channel of Rajshri.
Dekh Bhai Dekh
Dekh Bhai Dekh, which aired in 1993, made Shekhar Suman a household name. The serial which focused on the trail and tribulations of a family of three generations who live in the suburbs of Mumbai was immensely relatable and it became an instant hit with the audience. An interesting fact about this serial was that it had Jaya Bachchan on-board as the executive producer. The entire serial was about the celebration of life, its little problems and joys. It is and will always remain an important footnote in the annals of Indian television. You can catch the entire episodes of this television programme on their official channel.
One of the biggest drawbacks of living in a fast-paced world is that somewhere in all this hustle and bustle the voice of a common man is getting muffled. Although we get words like progress, development thrown around every day, he ends up standing in a line for eight hours to get a simple task done or has to bribe the peon to make sure that something that is even legal gets done in a proper fashion. Jaspal Bhatti, decided to stand up for that common man and created the Flop Show, a show with acid dripping satire and barbs of humour that showed many the error of their ways. One wonders if such a show would even be allowed to be aired in the present day. However, it did air back then and gained both critical and mass appreciation. You can find it in the official Doordarshan archives on YouTube.
Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi
Comedy doesn’t need to be crass to garner viewers; it doesn’t need to come up with sexual innuendos and puns at the drop of the hat. It can be clean, something you can watch with all the members of your family and enjoy every bit. For these very reasons, Kundan Shah’s ‘Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi‘ will remain the golden standard of Indian household comedy series. It was an insightful look into the nuclear family that was slowly developing at that point in time and how things were rapidly moving forward while not discounting the past. A middle-class family, with a loveable man of the house, hyperactive wife coupled with an affable and goofy brother-in-law gave us an insight into the nitty-gritty’s of life as it is. You can find it on the Indian TV Classics channel on YouTube.
Each of the episodes of this serial started with a song that would loosely translate to mean a street corner where people are simply out of luck but never out of love. The series revolved around characters that were based on the lower income labour strata in cities and how they struggle to make their ends meet. It is a serial based on people with limited resources but a big heart, something we get to see very little these days. It reached cult status and was one of the biggest draws during its airing days. Inspired by the success of the initial run, there was an attempt to recreate the same magic in series which was titled Naya Nukkad, however, it didn’t gain quite the fan following as its predecessor. You can give it a watch on the Indian TV Classics channel on YouTube.
An unobtrusive man in search of the truth, he doesn’t like it when someone calls him a detective, he prefers to believe that he is a seeker of truth or a Satyanweshi. This creator created by Shardindu Bandhopadhay received a personification when Rajit Kapur played the character in Basu Chatterjee’s series for Doordarshan. This Dhoti-clad Bengali detective would solve baffling cases and would often come to the aid of the police and these stories would be chronicled by his trusty aide Ajit. One would almost draw parallel Sherlock Holmes and Watson; however, this character was as Indian as one can be. He was married, didn’t have any addictions, loved reading the newspaper and doted on the simple things of life. If you want to take a time machine and visit Calcutta briefly after its independence and solve crimes; this might just be the thing you are looking for.