Remembering an era

VISUAL TREAT

It has been 50 years since Doordarshan (DD) made its way into our television sets. And even today, despite the growing competition, this channel manages to bring clean, informative and entertaining shows to its viewers.

Fifty-years back, people had no choice when it came to television channels. The one and only Doordarshan’s many programmes were so impactful that even today, people are able to recollect their favourite shows and even associate memories with each programme. One cannot mention Doordarshan without Ramayan and Mahabharata. Actors like Arun Govil, Rupa Ganguly and Dara Singh were household names.

“Literally there used be a curfew-like situation on Sunday mornings when these two epics were telecast. I remember, the roads used to be empty and there were some who used to actually do puja before the serial started,” says Sandeep, a lecturer. Shankar Nag’s Malgudi Days, based on R K Narayan’s book, was one of the best serials which both the old and the young enjoyed.

“I still remember the title song of this programme and of course, who can forget R K Laxman’s sketches,” says Rashmi, a sales executive. Known to be one of the longest running serials, Hum Log, is still a record-holder. One common link that drew many people’s attention to DD was a dusky and scrawny boy, now  known as Shah Rukh Khan.
“Even though no one imagined the boy to become the actor that he is today, I remember watching those serials for that ‘cute boy’,” says Smitha, an entrepreneur.

Rangoli and Chitrahaar were once-a-week delights which satiated every film fan. “The little snippets between the old Hindi songs in Rangoli were interesting. Even today, the show gives a taste of the old Hindi film songs and Chitrahaar was something that the entire family used to wait for,” says Bhaskara, a software engineer.

Weekends were never complete without cartoons like Ducktales, Talespin to Jungle Book. The title song of Jungle Book used to be on the tip of every kid’s tongue. What was special was that it was Nana Patekar, who gave voice to Sherkhan; the director was Vishal Bhardwaj and lyrics were by Gulzaar.

“It was an age when Cartoon Network didn’t exist. Hence these cartoons took care of our entertainment for the entire week. A bunch of us used to make sure that all our homework was done before they aired, so that our parents would not find any excuse to take us away from them,” says Ranganath K, a software engineer.

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