Saturday, April 17, 2010

10 things I miss from TV in the 90s

This discussion actually started off as a minor chatter on the balcony of our hostel a couple of weeks back. As our academic calendar draws to a close and every body is reminiscing about the good old days, we decided to really step into the past and pick up 10 things from the 90s television we would love to have in our lives once again. This is the list which we discussed after 2 hours of non-stop, non-utilitarian discussion and does not appear in any order of preference. So here goes: 
1. Chitrahaar and Rangoli:
Our weekly dose of Bollywood was limited to these to programs. My guess is Chitrahaar was on Wednesdays and then moved to Fridays.. and then again moved back to Wednesday evenings but Rangoli was part of Sunday morning breakfast ritual. Dahi-jalebi with Rangoli... yummy!!! or in winters... watching Rangoli while hiding inside the razai.

2. Byomkesh Bakshi:

The baap of all "who-dunnit" serials in the world. The serial involved a complicated mix of medicine, chemistry, logical analysis and intuition, all the while keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. While many people might consider it as the Eastern rip-off of Sherlock Holmes.. with the doctor accomplice but to me it is probably one of the best detective series ever made, with a very simple production backing strong stories and some great acting.

3. Surabhi:

The Sistine Chapel of Indian TV's cultural revolution. Only person who could have rivalled Siddarth Kak in popularity might have been Arun Govil (who played Ram in Ramayan) but Renuka Shahane with her broad grin and emphatic namaskar was miles ahead of any female on Indian TV at that time in popularity. The show brought many cultures, many cuisines, sight and surroundings into the Indian middle class household for the first time, taking us on exotic travels and fuelling dreams of far and wide for many of us. That and of course, the huge number of postcards they used to receive for their TV competition, leading to the launch of the Rs3 special postcard by the Postal department. Some oppurtunism that !!!

4. Potli Baba Ki, Baloo (Talespin) and Duck Tales:

Bachha time now. Sundays 10 to 11.30 am were reserved for the kids of India, with the dubbed versions of Disney cartoons playing out on the small screen. While Baloooo was serenading his boss, Uncle Scrooge and his 3 nephews were always out on some crazy adventure involving mummies and genies, making our Sundays all the more fun.
This generation was followed by legends like Daanu the Danasur..of chipkali ke nana fame!!!
5. Alif Laila: 
The pre-cursor to all those special effect serials that we now see on TV. Ramanand Sagar was immortalised by Ramayan, which was said to have brought the whole country to a stand still. But Alif Laila has a charm of its own. Right from its opening soundtrack to all those crazy sounds and special effects. Not to mention the fact that it had some of the more scantily dressed female protagonists for its times. With all the djinns, pari and shaitans, the serial would take us down a never ending path of fantasy and magic, with the good triumphs evil message splattered all across the storyline.

6. Shanti:

UTV Pictures presents Shanti...Shantiiii... Shantiiiiiiiii.....
After the baap of who-dunnits, we have the grand momma of all the modern day tear jerkers. In a convoluted plot of an illegitimate child, avenging a rape on a decaying family housing an underworld don as its servant, while the family itself is in self-destruct mode, our country's Lady Cricket Mandy Baby rocked the world with her reporter-giri and badle ki aag for Kamesh Mahadevan and Raj G J Singh. Bhandari with his crazy underworld act and finger-tapping dialogs and Nanu Jasoos were essential props to the Shanti success story.

7. Nukkad/Mr. Yogi/Mungeri Lal ke Haseen Sapne:

We hark back to the time when comedy did not mean stand up comedians dishing out corny one liners full of double entendre. Good clean humour, involving Mungeri's day dreaming, day to day happenings at the nukkad or the eteral search for his bride for Mr. Yogi (unsuccessfully ripped off in Wats your Rashee!!) is still a treat for the mind after a taxing days work.

8. Archaic ads of Laxman Sylvania, Link Locks and Nirma Detergent:
Everytime I see a bikini clad woman walking ashore for advertising JK Cement (the seriously WTF ad of the century!!!... if only sex and sleaze could sell everything) I am reminded of the Laxman Sylvania ad .."arre wo Ram Laxman wala bulb dena" or else the legendary Nirma gal or Link locks... featuring never seen before animation..where a filing rod is being used to break the lock and instead the rod breaks with lots of sparks flying around it!!! Simple, almost laughable and yet we are able to atleast relate the ad to the product.. Some times I wonder if we people have progressed o degenerated mentally!!!

9. Dekh Bhai Dekh/ Sarabhai vs Sarabhai/ Tu Tu Main Main:


The second generation of comedy serials, featuring up market families and primarily aired on the DD Metro network. DBD was a legend in itself with Deven Bhojani and Shekhar Suman pulling of comedy scenes with aplomb while Rosesh Sarabhai ki sadi hui kavitaon ka kya kehna.  Sachin created the first ever saas-bahu item on Indian TV and all Indian male population would agree that it was million times better than the stuff being dished out now. Goooooooooooood ollldddddd daysssssss of laughter Momma!!!

10. Ajnabee:

My favorite army serial, featured Danny and some other leading actors and was about the life in terror stricken Kashmir... one of my favorite characters was a terrorist name Shakoor Rana, who could generate enormous hatred and revulsion through his cool attitude and devilish dialogs. No over hyped, false bearded terrorists as in Sunny paaji's  movies. Just plain and simple story.. and yeah the opening sound track was good too.

So this is my list of 10 things which I hope would come back on TV and I can be happy again. Ofcourse, we discussed many other candidates like Hum Log and Buniyaad ( of which I have no great recollection!!), Vikram Betaal, Shaktimaan and Chandrakanta, Captain Vyom (I am sure this suggestion was more sarcastic than genuine!!) and the legendary Ramayan and Mahabharat. But I am sticking to these ten things... do let me know in case I am missing something else!!!


  1. How about Hum Log, Buniyaad, Gul Gulshan Gulfaam, Ek se badhkar Ek (first program on indian TV to show songs countdown mixed with comedy series), Ek Kahani- depicting short stories of O'Henry and the likes, He Man and the Masters of the Universe, and Micky and Donald. And not so old Chhutti-Chhutti,

  2. Nice article... nostalgic kar deeya
    You can add
    1. DD News at 9 pm with its typical opening sound
    2. Friday / Saturday feature film with ads thrown every now and then
    3. Cricket world cup - i still remember India vs Australia 1992 world cup match

  3. Bhai...3 stooges, Dennace the Menace & I dream of Jeanie!

  4. Street Hawk, Knight rider, Mitti ke rang, Yug, Swabhimaan and Junoon...

  5. Dekh Bhai Dekh, Shriman Shrimati, Jungle Book


    7 chinese hindi dubbed kungfu series on HOME TV

    Zu Mountain saga
    Blood Stained Intrigue
    Brothers under the skin
    land of the condors
    legend of the condor hereos
    other side of the horizon
    hunters prey

    Himgiri Ka Veer (chinese kungfu dubbed - Zee Tv

    3 stooges, Dennace the Menace & I dream of Jeanie. ALF, Gilligan island etc (Hindi Dubbed) SONY TV

  7. Home TV launching again. everyone send ur request to "Me Home TV" to telecast again this great old serials..


    Manav Entertainment & Media Pvt. Ltd.
    Plot No. 26, Sec-31, HSIDC, Industrial area,
    Mathura Road, Faridabad, Haryana-121003
    Contact no: 0129-4044930, 4104931, 4104932, and 4104933
    Fax: -0129-4045610

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