Doordarshan is an inextricable part of our childhood.
The name DD itself sounds so nostalgic, isn’t it?There were no set-top boxes and cable networks. It was just a TV antenna which was the lifeline. A channel that is watched only on Independence day and republic day in most of the urban areas now actually played a role in gathering a number of people together back then! It was actually the ‘golden era’ of television shows. Let us take you through the memory lane of some of the shows which were way better than today’s nonsensical Saas-Bahu dramas…
1. MALGUDI DAYS
Stories taking place in the village Malgudi were so melodious and very much relatable to daily life.
The background score by Carnatic musician L. Vaidyanathan and RK Lakshman’s cartoons made left a striking impression on the watchers.
2. HUM LOG
At the end of every episode veteran actor, Ashok Kumar used to discuss the ongoing story using Hindi couplets. And the interesting thing was he received over 4,00,000 letters from young audiences, asking him to convince their parents in marriage of their choice, during its17-month run!
What makes the series more special is, this was the first Indian soap opera and still better than today's shows.
Sunday noon was always dedicated to this guy who used to fly and fight the evil. The show was produced by Mukesh Khanna who also played the role of Shaktimaan and directed by Dinkar Jani. The evil Kilmish saying ‘Andhera Kayam Rahe’ was the one every kid desired to fight with! Well, as Mukesh Khanna has now announced the comeback of the show we are eagerly waiting to see our childhood back with this superhero!
4. RAMAYANA & MAHABHARAT
5. BYOMAKESH BAKSHI
The series stars Rajit Kapur and K.K. Raina as Byomkesh Bakshi and Ajit Bandyopadhyay respectively. Bakshi is certainly the Indian Sherlock Holmes who reached every household.
It became critically acclaimed and most celebrated adaptation of the character keeping it fresh even after decades. This series was actually a ‘Baap’ of all the thriller crime shows which are aired today!
6. RANGOLI & CHITRAHAAR
None liked to miss even 5 minutes of the show as there was no gaana.com or Saavn.com. It played a variety of songs in an hour. One of the most beloved shows by every age group!
While Chitrahaar used to every Friday for half an hour.
These were the shows that featured a few new and old songs of Bollywood films.
7. JUNGLE BOOK
Jungle Book was an adaptation of the stories of Rudyard Kipling.
We adored all the characters from Mowgli to Sherkhan. And the immensely popular part of the series was ‘Jungle jungle pata chala hai…’, which was written by Gulzar and composed by Vishal Bhardwaj that we still love to hum!
8. DEKH BHAI DEKH
It was a Hindi sitcom which premiered on Doordarshan's metro channel, DD2. The show was created, developed, edited, directed by Aanand Mahendroo and produced by Jaya Bachchan.
It starred Shekhar Suman, Navin Nischol, Farida Jalal, Bhavana Balsavar, Deven Bhojani, Sushma Seth, Vishal Singh and Natasha Singh in lead roles.
It had a weekly quiz open for viewer’s participation and they used to post their responses using the 15 paise postcard of India post.
According to the Limca Book of Records, the show once received the highest ever documented response in the history of Indian television with over 1.4 million letters in a single week!
Only Doordarshan shows have that potential because of a wider reach.
People and things eventually change with time. But these parts of memories can never be forgotten…
Written by Medini Kajarekar
Walking through the pages to find home in words.