A post after lots of rememberances and thoughts!
1. Didi's Comedy Show - "Dieter Hallervorden" was great - I wish someone were to rerun those great episodes of nonstop nonsense which were a great gift from German TV. He didn't speak any language in many parts of the the show and it was easy to see the universal language of humour. Other parts, the dubbing was so nice, that we as children could understand every part of the dialogue. My favorite ones include wallpaper episode, thievery in the next apartment, and a small skit called "Bamberga" etc :) . And to think, that it was shown on TV nearly 15-20 years ago.
2. Telematch - Another German serial that showed ludicrous costumes on ridiculous people. I loved it and would miss my studies to see it. Picked up some elementary German from it, something that sounded like "eich, diech, triech" (One, two, three). In retrospective, that was cool propoganda, showing how happy people were under communist rule. Something like the Soviet Magazines (Misha) and books (Raduga publications, Mir Publications) that made life in USSR look like heaven. From the time when I was 4-5, till about 1989, when I was 14, and the Berlin wall fell (The World This Week showed close coverage), I wanted nothing more than to goto the lovely Soviet land with dreamy-eyed visions of the great land which I saw in books.
3. I enjoyed the economics capsules that were made by Transtel (German Television). They taught me a lot about how cartoons can help me understand a topic that I had not studied in school till that time!
4. Kacchi Dhoop - nice serial with a beautiful storyline. I believe I was sufficiently sophisticated to appreciate good work by Amol Palekar, as far back as 1986! Of course, Bhagyashree made her debut in that serial and later on went on to star in the all-time hit "Maine Pyar Kiya"
5. Johnny Sokko and the Giant Robot - Who can forget those fingers that had missile firing systems in place of nails! Oh how I fell in love with that! Have a look at this website. If you want to download the opening song, click here
6. He-Man, Spiderman were good :) - You can download the spiderman opening song here
7. Derrick - A late favourite that I enjoyed in the early-mid nineties. Another German serial, it had an old detective and a younger assistant. Very tight direction. It was a very surprising serial, since nothing much seemed be happening at a given moment, but if one missed any consecutive 5 minutes (beginning, middle, end), then one lost all track and the story could not be understood at all. I think that is why my brother and I sat glued to the TV and watched it with our complete and undivided attention (10-11 PM daily)
8. British comedies - Yes Minister, Yes Prime Minister were great and proably the best comedies that I ever saw in my life (barring Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Golmaal and Chupke Chupke). There was another serial that was about a departmental store and some whacky comedy, which sometime went over my head. British humour was and still is, subtler than American humour, which tends to be crass and loud. The only notable exception I have seen is Seinfeld, which has become my daily fix these days.
9. I Love Lucy - My initiation with American humour at the age of 6-8 was through this lovable piece. I did not know the great history behind those episodes and still enjoyed it thoroughly. What we were shown was probably fairly old, probably from the 1950s, since I recollect Lucille Ball as quite young. The favourite of us kids was a certain character called Mr. Moony, probably Lucy's brother. We used to call him "Mr. Mooli" (Mr. Radish) in our childish humour!
10. Vikram - Betal - No questions for guessing why we loved it. I had a fair amount of fascination with the question in the end and how the king would solve it since I did not have the brain to solve those great questions of morality and right conduct. But, I think my fascination was higher with the Betal - his fairly stupid makeup that made him more a source of laughter than fear! And I loved "Singhasan Battisi".
11. Of course, we had the staple favourites of Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Hum Log, Nukkad, Buniyad.
12. Does anyone remember Phatichar, Guniram, Bhim-Bhawani (Ashok Kumar-Anoop Kumar respectively), Mamaji (played by Deven Varma. the serial had the duo of Induji-Binduji with the pet dialogue "Indu to main hoon, yeh to Bindu hai!).
13. I enjoyed Rajni ("Ladki hai ek, naam Rajni hai, Rajni, Rajni, Rajni). I enjoyed "Idhar Udhar" with Rathna Pathak and Lilliput (forgot who else was there).
14. I vaguely remember watching Khandaan (Dr. Shreeram Lagoo and Neena Gupta as Ketki). I watched, but could not understand Trishna (Remember names like Sangeeta Handa and Kittu Gidwani).
15. Who remembers Mashoor Mahal with someone called, i think, Raman? And Baaton-Baaton Main with Vipin Handa?
16. Saptahiki!! Chitrahaar - I think it still comes on Wednesday (old songs) and Friday (new songs)!
17. Aap aur Hum? Krishi Darshan with Dr. Jawahar Jain and his "Pusa 407" and "Pachheti Buayee"? Andhi Galiyan (Program about deaddition from drugs)?
18. Ek Kahani was great. So was another program that was made by Cinevista and showed short stories. I think it was called "Katha Sagar".
19. DD made great plays. I loved watching one play about an old man who loves to eat freshly-dug, small potatoes that have been roasted on a fire and lets his wife die so that he can eat those potatoes in peace. Who can forget Ghasiram Kotwal, Agra Bazaar (Habib Tanweer, the director, as the Kakri-seller).
20. There was a serial called "Phir Wohi Talaash" in the early-mid nineties about a boy (played by Dr. Ashwini Kumar, a Delhi based doctor), who comes to the city to study and falls in love with a rich and beautiful girl. The boy's father was played by the guy who plays Jassi's father in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin and my favourite scenes include one where he instructs someone to look after the shop with a stern warning "Kuch Khaiyo Mat" and the other one where he shouts at his son, who wants to study but the father wants him to sit at the shop; so he says "Ek toh Chori Chhupe Padhai Kar Lee, Aur Ab Himmat Dekho, Jaake Imtihaan Bhee De Aaya"! The girl has a friend who was played by Neelima Azeem and her romantic interest, an inspector was played by the guy who can be seen as Parvat Singh in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin. There was another scene about "Hum Yahaan Se Sab Ko Kaadh Rahe Hain" to be mistaken as "Gaad Rahen Hain" - very hilarious.
The serial was very nice.
21. I loved Mr. Yogi and Space City Sigma along with Star Trek. We made the communicator used by Mr. Spock and his team, using a rubberband and two cardboard matchboxes. That was a cool serial :) - I saw the recent episodes of Star Trek and they do not even match up 1/10th of the original series.
22. Then there was Ek-Do-Teen-Char - amateur detectives who sang "1,2,3,4 - Charo Milkar Saath Chale Toh Kar Deh Chamatkar"
23. FAUJI !!!!! Who can forget Shahrukh Khan as Abhimanyu Rai. "Buddies" and "I say chaps" which became part of the lingo.
24. I enjoyed "Satyajit Ray Presents" with the thrilling episodes, the eerie background music, the aura of mystery around everything, the feeling that something unexpected is about to happen and the feeling that please God, don't let the electricity fail at this moment!
Vyomkesh Bakshi was good too but didn't have enough time for it when it was aired. I watched Srikant and understood it somewhat ! I just remember Farookh Sheikh was called "Tyun Tyun" by a woman and he used to hate it. I remember one of my friends was called "Tyun Tyun" by all of us, since he resembled Farookh Sheikh.
25. Ek aur Anek - Download the original here. Looking for "Swimmy" audio/video, Kanjoos Bania Ballu Malle Shah video/audio. I loved Mile Sur Mera Tumhara ( I have the original mp3 and a new video made by some MIT guys but am looking for the original video). There was "Ek Anna Ka Dana" about saving foodgrain.
26. Deepak Ka Jinn - Modern Genie who wore a suit and entered the room from the door instead of making a grand appearance from a lamp. Carried a briefcase, and whatever one wanted was obtained from opening it!
27. Mungeri Lal Ke Hasin Sapne - I could and still can do an accurate copy of his dream-beginnig sequence!
28. Another with Priya Tendulkar and Karan Razdan which was a comedy. They both were marriage counsellors, as far as I can remember and that was the source of laughter.
29. MALGUDI DAYS - Swameeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! Amazing work by Shankar Nag - I have read all the Malgudi Days Books and the serial is an amazing example of a TV/Movie Adaption that is true to the original, a rare event. Manjunath as Swami was utterly believable. I wonder what is he doing these days. Don't see him on TV/Silver Screen anywhere. Girish Karnad was amazing as the father and every character played their role to the hilt.
Malgudi days is enjoying a rerun these days on DD India - Sunday Nights 10:30 PM. I am enjoying it all over again. I wonder if Shankar Naag can be persuaded to remake Guide (as a movie or a serial) since it was clearly documented by RK Narayan himself that he hated the song-and-dance filled Guide. I tend to agree and disagree with this posture of Narayan. While he has every right to demand sticking to the original, Guide as a movie is not bad compared to the run-of-the-mill bollywood potboiler. I mean come on, the hero and heroine are not married and enjoy a long relationship openly. That in itself was revolutionary for the 1960s. I think that Guide should be preserved as a good movie inspired by the novel. But if we are looking for a true adaption, then we need not look beyond Shankar Naag.
30. Streethawk - How we wanted to ride that fast :)
31. Dekh Bhai Dekh was cool too!
32. Then there was "Aisa Bhi Hota Hai" (like Ripley's Believe it or not) with someone called Monica. She was so beautiful that it was rumoured that she got 19,000 marriage proposals every week. I particularly remember one episode where a man demonstrated boring a hole in soft metals like Alumnium coins by just staring at them with a powerful gaze!
33. Ulta Pulta and every singly episode of Flop Show - kitne yaad karoon!
34. Karam chand - kitty and gazar :)
35. Then there was this nice cartoon called Jamie and the Magic Torch. I think this is one of the earliest television that I can remember. Look at this website on the program and click here for the song. Of course you can always find more references on the net, as this was a popular serial abroad too.
Eik Sapna - Found em....the only words which could describe my state of mind right now... Btw, if for any reason this song is new to you...correct your mistake right ...
10 years ago