Old Doordarshan Serials

23 05 2007

I have been a member of Orkut for a year now and one of the most interesting communities that I have found there is the Old Doordarshan Serials community (Sign in with your Orkut/Google account to view the community). I don’t personally know the owner of this community but still applaud his effort in creating this community which has a good 5000 plus members as of now.

People reminisce the good old days of television in
India. Back in the ‘80s and the early ‘90s when we had only two channels of the state owned TV station Doordarshan, we were practically over the moon when we watched our favourite serials. If I try to recall, I can still remember Chitrahar (a half hour program on film songs) was telecast every week on Wednesday and Friday at 8pm. Tuesday was the day when they showed a short play enacted almost without any retakes. Then there were serials like Buniyaad, Hum Log, Khandaan which brought many well known TV stars. Names like Alok Nath, Neena Gupta, Kanwaljeet, etc all became household names overnight.

I still remember the time when they used to telecast Mahabharat on Sunday mornings. That was the time when literally the entire nation would come to a stand still. The drama of the serials of that era was so intense that we viewers sat in rapt attention in front of the TV set. Compare them to today’s serials and you will find that they are poles apart. Today’s serials (most of them from the Ekta Kapoor stable) don’t even have a determined story. They go on and on for as long as 7 years (and still counting) and you will never see the head or tail of the story.

This Orkut community that I’m talking about has people talking about old serials, dating back to Hum Log. It makes me wonder, were there no serials before that? Or is it that members of this community are not so old that they can recall serials of before that era? Or maybe one good reason could be that most people at that time were so poor that they could not afford to buy a TV set and also the fact that television services were restricted predominantly to urban areas and with limited hours of programming, so people rarely cared to buy a TV set.

Still, it makes me feel nostalgic reading about all the good old serials of DD, some of which I don’t even remember. But looking back I do think that being the owner of a 29inch black-white Televista TV set dating back to 1969 does make me an oldie among TV viewers.

© Writer’s Block