Popular Yesteryear TV Shows
Do you remember the old Doordarshan (DD) shows that you watched so affectionately? Those days were special and will not be forgotten.
The magic that they had can’t be replaced. But we have a savior – the internet. We can experience many of the classics as they are uploaded online. Some even have their home video DVDs.
Serials like Alif Laila, Malgudi Days, Shrimaan Shrimati are especially close to my heart. Many others like Surabhi, Bharat Ek Khoj, Mahabharat were highly informative. And several others were extraordinarily entertaining.
So, let’s have a recap of the best serials of the 80s’ and 90s’. Nostalgia is the order of the day!
Alif Laila (1997 – 2002)
- Lead: Shahnawaz Pradhan, Seema Kanwal
- Episodes: 260
- Directed by: Anand Sagar, Prem Sagar, Moti Sagar
- Description: The hit series where Shah Nawaz played the lead character excellently.
- Lead: Alok Nath
- Episodes: 105
- Directed by: Ramesh Sippy and Jyoti Sarup
- Description: Buniyaad went on to become a hugely popular serial which showcased the life of a common man after India’s partition and its aftereffects. Alok Nath was selected for the prime role of a freedom fighter. Some other known faces are Dilip Tahil, Goga Kapoor, and Soni Razdan.
Byomkesh Bakshi (1993)
- Lead: Rajit Kapur, KK Raina, Sukanya Kumar
- Episodes: 34
- Directed by: Basu Chatterjee
- Description: The crime detection series based on the novel written by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. The show still has a cult following in which Rajit Kapur played the lead role. Well crafted episodes with attention to every detail make this one a treat to watch.
Bharat Ek Khoj (1988)
- Lead: Om Puri, Roshan Seth, Tom Alter and many others.
- Episodes: 53
- Directed by: Shyam Benegal
- Description: Shyam Benegal’s direction brought forward to us the history of India. The series has altogether 53 episodes showcasing the story of caste formation, Ramayan, Emperor Ashoka, Kalidas, Akbar – The Great, and many more. The vivid and simplistic approach to showcase India’s history is impressive.
Chandrakanta (1994 – 1996)
- Lead: Shahbaaz Khan, Shikha Swaroop
- Episodes: 130
- Directed by: Nirja Guleri
- Description: This was based on the novel written by the same name. Though, this ran into controversy as the book writer’s grandson accused them of misrepresenting concepts. Only after the Supreme Court’s order, the show was reinstated.
- Lead: SRK, Renuka Shahane, Sameer Khakhar
- Episodes: 19
- Directed by: Aziz Mirza & Kundan Shah
- Description: Enter Shahrukh Khan. Shahrukh played the lead role of Raghavan, a Malayalee circus artist. Other actors who went on to make a name for themselves after this are Renuka Sahane (love-interest of Shahrukh), and Ashutosh Gowarikar (SRK’s friend?).
Chanakya: An Epic Saga (1991 – 1992)
- Lead: Chandraprakash Dwivedi
- Episodes: 47
- Directed by: Chandraprakash Dwivedi
- Description: This series is based on the eminent thinker, teacher, philosopher of the 4th century. Apart from that Chanakya was one of the earliest political thinkers and served as the chief adviser of emperor Chandragupta Maurya. This epic serial has had the honor of getting many international awards. A total of 47 episodes was aired in 1991 on a weekly basis.