In a country dominated by Bollywood, some Indian TV series have been able to leave an indelible mark in the minds of the masses. That is in itself a great achievement. The Indian Television Industry today is perhaps as popular as Bollywood itself among its audiences. This is why we must take a look at some of the best television serials that have captured the fancy and attention of Indian viewers over the years.It’s 25 years since satellite TV came to India. We look back and zoom in on 10 desi shows we loved.
It was aired during 1987-1988, created, written, and directed by Ramanand Sagar. The remake of Ramayan series was again presented by Sagar Arts and which aired on NDTV Imagine in 2008. When “Ramayan” aired, India (even then having a population over 900 million) came to a standstill. Buses stopped running, religious services (Hindu and non-Hindu) were rescheduled, and everyone stopped what they were doing for 30 minutes every Sunday morning to watch the ancient Indian epic brought to life on television. It’s hard to believe that something like that is possible, but it really happened. Despite being dismissed by some as a cheap production with garish sets, cheesy special effects, and melodramatic dialogue, “Ramayan” was and continues to be a phenomenon.
Apart from Ramayan, Mahabharata was an immensely popular Indian TV series which aired from October 1988 upto June 1990. It was based on the Hindu epic of the same name and was produced by BR Chopra and directed by Ravi Chopra. A special feature of the show was where as voice of time narrated the series at either the end or the beginning of every episode. It was broadcast after Ramayan and enjoyed if not more but equal status in terms of capturing the attention of the Indian audiences.
3. TAARAK MEHTA KA OOLTAH CHASHMA
With over 1700 episodes and still counting; there are no two minds about the fact that Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah has managed to win the hearts and fickle minds of the Indian Audience. In the new era of Indian Television where shows are launched with much fanfare and bid adieu in silence within 3 months of their launch, the show continues to entertain week after week.
Mr Tarak Mehta, a popular Gujarati writer, whose column ‘Duniyane Undha Chashma’, which translates loosely into ‘seeing the world through upside-down glasses’, in the weekly Chitralekha, is the basis for this sitcom.
The serial is based on the happenings of Gokuldham Co-Operative Housing Society and the day-to-day life of its members.The bevy of cast includes the prominent families of;the Gadas, the Mehtas, the Bhides, the Hathis, the Sodhis, the Iyers and the singleton Popatlaal, all of whom are the dwellers of the society, with the associated characters of Sundarlaal, Pinku, Abdul, Natthu Kaka, Bagha, Reeta (reporter) and an unseen character of Daya’s mother.
4. BALIKA VADHU
A break from the usual Saas-Bahu saga, Balika Vadhu came as a breather to the Indian Television Screens and instantly caught the fancy of audiences. With an intense subject and wonderful cast, this Indian TV series has carved its own place among all past and present serials in the Indian Television History. The plot, which revolves around child marriage, and the consequences are superbly orchestrated and complemented by great acting by the cast making it a brilliant watch.
A crime thriller which first aired in January 1998, CID has been going on for over 14 years. ACP Pradyuman, Daya and Abhijeet have become household names and a favourite among the children. It is a record in itself how the Indian TV series has sustained for so long and still going strong. Probably the universal appeal of the show from children to octogenarians is the reason for it thriving through so many changes in the Indian television scene.
6. KAUN BANEGA CROREPATI
In the year 2000 came an Indian TV series – more of a reality show – which captured the fancy of millions across the nation. It was hosted by none other than the larger than life, charismatic Amitabh Bachchan. With half the battle won by the unparalleled host, the rest was taken care by the format which provided the opportunity for ordinary men and women to fulfil their dreams. It was so successful that it influenced the book ‘Q&A’ by Indian author Vikas Swarup and eventually the Academy Award winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.
7. SARABHAI vs SARABHAI
Rukmani (Ratna Pathak Shah) and Prashant (Satish Shah) were back as Maya and Indravadan Sarabhai on Star One, a few pounds richer and heavier, living in a swish SoBo apartment. Their sons were called Sahil (Sumeet Raghavan) and Rosesh (Rajesh Kumar). Sahil had a wife, the ‘downmarket’ Monisha Sarabhai (Rupali Ganguly), bullied by her ‘prim and propah’ saas. Remember the catchphrase, ‘Don’t mind me beta, I’m just making a point’?
8. DEKH BHAI DEKH
Dekh Bhai Dekh was a Hindi sitcom produced by ABCL and directed by Anand Mahendru. It starred actors like Sushma Seth, Navin Nischol and Shekhar Suman along with an ensemble cast. The story of three generations of a family living in Mumbai, it was very much appreciated for its comic relief. It was a situational comedy and was aired on Doordarshan since 1993.
9. OFFICE OFFICE
This show, which touched a chord with thousands of TV viewers at the turn of the century, was a comment on our bureaucracy. First aired on SAB TV in 2000, it took a scathing dig at the exploits of a man who runs into red tape, corrupt officials and middlemen in the government.
A family comedy surrounding an old man, his good for nothing son, Praful and wife Hansa, widow daughter in law Jayshree and their children, Jackie and Chakki, who are the smartest of them all. Khichdi is a pure entertainer. Every single moment of it is enjoyable.Don`t think this is another kind of irritating T.V serial.It really entertains you and makes you laugh!