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The 1980s were known for action movies, but in 1988, a film was released that brought back

romance in Bollywood. The film starred Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla. Do you know the name of the film? Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak Aashiqi Maine Pyar Kiya Dil
Few days ago, read this post written by our very own Desi Blog Hero, Gaurav Sabnis. In this post he wrote about the downfall of Hindi cinema in 1980s, where every second movie practically had the same ghasa-peeta storyline. Myself, being a complete Hindi movie buff, I somewhat agree with Gaurav. However, I dont think that this problem existed only in that decade. This problem is very much present even today. Every director/producer, wants his movie to be a hit. Rather then experimenting with new ideas, they prefer to stick with the winning formula, made successful by some previously released movie. Anyways getting back to my topic, even in 1980s there were quite a few movies which made a lasting impression and were considered the best among their respective genre. According to me, the best comedy movies were released in this decade. Here is my list of some of the best stuff to come out of Bollywood in the 1980s.
1. Khoobsurat (1980) Director Hrishikesh Mukherjee Producer N. C. Sippy Lead Actors Ashok Kumar, Rekha, Rakesh Roshan, Shashikala, Dina Pathak and Keshto Mukherjee. Rekha has given one of her best performance in this movie. To have an entire movie centered around female actresses, was itself a gutsy and bold step from the director and producer. However according to me, Dina Pathaks role as Mrs. Nirmala Gupta (a very strict and authoritarian lady) was the main high-light of the movie. This movie won two FilmFare awards in that year. 2. Silsila (1981) Director & Producer Yash Chopra

Lead Actors Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar and Rekha. This movie was billed as a true story when it came out. Even though it is still a masala Bollywood movie, it has some striking resemblances to the life story of the leading ladies and the hero, Amitabh Bachan. In real life Amitabh had an affair with Rekha while married to Jaya Bhaduri. The movie version follows the same script, except adds many secondary characters, such as Sanjeev Kumar as Rekhas husband. All the actors acted exceptionally well, in this movie. It was first of its kind to explore the theme of extramarital romance when such topics were taboo in Bollywood. The song rang barse, from this very movie is considered a national anthem for Holi Festival. 3. Arth (1982) Director & Producer Mahesh Bhatt Lead Actors Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Raj Kiran and Smita Patil Again considered to be based on real-life affair between Mahesh Bhatt and Praveen Babi. According to me, this is one of few good movies to come out of the Mahesh Bhatt camp. Shabana Azmi was simply brilliant in the role of a distressed house wife and Smita Patil was equally excellent in the role of Kavita Sanyal. The best part of the movie are the three songs and the music by Jagjit Singh. 4. Ardh Satya (1983) Director Govind Nihlani Lead Actors Om Puri, Smita Patil, Amrish Puri, Shafi Inamdar, Achyut Potdar, Sadashiv Amrapurkar and Naseeruddin Shah. A hard-hitting film by Govind Nihalani , it has Om Puri in the lead role of a police officer and Sadashiv Amrapurkar as Shetty , the local mafia don. Ardh Satya one of the first movie to explores the corruption in the system , the third degree methods used by the police and finally the frustration faced by honest officers trying to do their duty. It came as hard hitting reality and became very popular with the people and went onto contributing to the cause of hooliganism and vandalism as also the cause of the awareness amongst people as of what really happens in the underworld. 5. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983) Director & Producer Kundan Shah

Lead Actors Naseeruddin ShahRavi Baswani, Satish Shah, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapur, Satish Kaushik, Neena Gupta, Deepak Qazir, Rajesh Puri, Zafar Sanjari, Uday Chandra, Harshad Gandhi, Jaspal Sandhu, Anil Chaudhary, Ajay Wadhavkar. In my opinion, this movie could be considered a cult for Comedy movies. It enjoys the absolutely unique distinction of being among the top three films of any Indian who has seen it. That is what a real classic is. It endures and gains stature thru time. Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Basvani made a wonderfully contrasting pair of idealistic but amateur sleuths who are out of depths in the real India. Satish Shah as a dead DMello was a riot. But the film was stolen by two of the most talented, and greatly under-utilised, comic actors this country has. Om Puri as a lecherous Punjabi contractor Ahuja, and Pankaj Kapur as the sophisticated Punjabi contractor Tarneja. They just have to be watched again and again. The main high-light has to be the Mahabharat scene. Again and again, for lines such as Yeh kya ho raha hai and Shaant Gadaadhaari Bheem, shaant! strike an almost too high comic note. This scene is also a masterly parody of, and dialogue with, the North Indian nautanki and filmic tradition, as various periods, genres, stories and cultures flow into each other. Thecheer-haran scene of Mahabharat suddenly becomes Salims confrontation with Akbar in Mughal-e-Azam. Even just thinking about the scene, I cant hold myself from laughing out loud. 6. Sadma (1983) Director Balu Mahendra & Hrishikesh Mukherjee Lead Actors Kamal Hassan, Sridevi, Gulshan Grover, Silk Smitha & Leela Mishra In Sadma, Sridevi gave a fine performance as a girl whose mental condition reverts to that of a five-year-old when she meets with an accident. On the other hand, Kamal Hassan in an equally stunning performance of an honest guy with a pure heart who decides to help out this girl, while un-knowingly falling in love with her. This movie had an un-conventional sad ending. The last scene of Kamal Hassan at the railway station, trying to remind Sridevi of their time together, was simply heartbreaking and un-bearable. 7. Jhooti (1985) Director Hrishikesh Mukherjee Lead Actors Rekha, Raj Babbar, Amol Palekar, Supriya Pathak and Deena Pathak

Yet again, Rekha emerged winner with her spontaneous comic timing in this film. This movie proves that speaking truth is not always the right thing to do!!! As the title suggests that the movie is about a female (Rekha) who is a liar, and it is this female who shows how much lying can be a worthy quality. Nice movie with some good comedy. As in all Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the setting is a simple middle class family with ordinary existence. A story about your probably next door family. 8. Mirch Masala (1985) Director Ketan Mehta Leading Actors Benjamin Gillani, Mohan Gokhale, Nina Kulkarni, Deepti Naval, Suresh Oberoi, Harish Patel, Dina Pathak, Supriya Pathak, Smita Patil, Om Puri,Paresh Rawal, Naseeruddin Shah. A powerful performance by Smita Patil where she demonstrated the strength of women, when a group of village women unitedly bring about the fall of a tyrant police officer. The story is set in colonial India, when the British have disarmed the people, and continue to oppress villagers, through tax collectors calledsubedars. These subedars in turn lust for more than the tax. The movie successfully conveys the cowardice of oppressed men who cannot even think of rebellion, and even beat up their wives when they protest against their decision. The end scene where all the village women attack the subedar and his men by throwing chilli powder on their faces, is extremely mind-boggling. 9. Chameli ki Shaadi (1986) Director Basu Chatterjee Lead Actors Anil Kapoor, Amrita Singh, Pankaj Kapur, Annu Kapoor, Amjad Khan and Om Prakash. Another classic movie in the comedy genre. Amrita Singh, Anil Kapoor and Pankaj Kapur were simply too good in this movie. Basu Chatterjee and Sharad Joshi have been successful in capturing the spirit of a small town in UP. The language used is right out of some town in western UP and the result is a laugh-riot. Tips given by Amjad Khan to Anil Kapoor inorder to pataooo his love, were hilarious.

There were other movies like Himmatwala, Parinda, Mr. India, Mandi, Sharabi, etc that stood out from rest of the movies which were released in that decade. So I guess, if you

look closely you will realize that even in 1980s there were brilliant films that did manage to touch our hearts as well as entertain us.
. Khoobsurat (1980) Director Hrishikesh Mukherjee Producer N. C. Sippy Lead Actors Ashok Kumar, Rekha, Rakesh Roshan, Shashikala, Dina Pathak and Keshto Mukherjee. Rekha has given one of her best performance in this movie. To have an entire movie centered around female actresses, was itself a gutsy and bold step from the director and producer. However according to me, Dina Pathaks role as Mrs. Nirmala Gupta (a very strict and authoritarian lady) was the main high-light of the movie. This movie won two FilmFare awards in that year.

Bollywood in 1980's : A Period Of Classics!

Hello all ! This is the fourth part in the Bollywood series covering my favourite movies from 1980's, having already written about the same in the first part (1950's), the second part (1960's), and the third part (1970's). Here is the latest one from the 1980's ..... 1) Arth (1982) One of the best films coming from the filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, Arth was known to be based on his relationship with the late actress Parveen Babi. The film had two of the best actresses of Hindi cinema, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil pitted against each other resulting in some super-volatile performances. The soulful songs rendered by Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh were truly beautiful. The film is about the complexities of an extra-marital relationship from the points of view of the husband (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), the wife (Shabana Azmi) and the mistress (Smita Patil). Shabana excelled in the role of a wronged wife and gave the character a certain dignity hitherto absent in such roles despite the scene when in a drunken state she calls her husbands mistress a whore publicly. But Smita walked away with the accolades as a guilt ridden, insecure other woman and her final scene with Shabana when in a hallucination she picks up the imaginary mangalsutra beads of Shabana shakes you up completely. Give it a try, and you will surely not be disappointed with this love-hate saga. 2) Jaane Bhi do Yaaron (1983) You just cant watch this film and then once you have watched it, you cant stop talking about it. One of the most brilliant satires coming out of Hindi cinema, Jane Bhi Do Yaaron has some of the brightest actors of Hindi cinema. The film is about two simple and honest photographer friends,

Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Vaswani. By chance they witness a murder and are dragged into the corrupt real estate deals with politicians and bureaucrats. Actors like Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, Satish Shah and Satish Kaushik shared some incredibly funny scenes in the film. People remember the outrageously funny dialogues of the film like Naseeruddin Shahs "Thoda khao, thoda phenko, Om Puris "Oye DMello, Tu to gaya". They are definitely some of the most memorable lines from this laugh riot. Some of the funniest scenes include a drunk Om Puri trying to help Satish Shahs dead body to start his car (coffin) and the million times copied now, famous modern Ramlila scene are absolutely side-splitting. I watched this movie last month again, and it made me feel like watching it again and again till my browser started screaming, not any more :D 3) Mr.India (1987) Shekhar Kapoors Mr. India had all the ingredients required for the superhit status that it acquired. A superhero like protagonist, great plot, Sridevi at her sexiest best, catchy songs and Hindi cinemas most adorable villain, Mogambo. Anil Kapoor as the guy who had the power to go invisible was just awesome in the film. Amrish Puris menacing act as Mogambo was not just a turning point in his career but also the most memorable comic-book-villain-acts in Hindi cinema. The audiences were thrilled every time Amrish Puri glared down at them with his fiercely bulbous eyes sporting an atrocious blond wig and garish knee high silver heeled boots. They came back again and again to hear him mouth possibly the most repeated line of Hindi cinema (post 80s), Mogambo khush hua. Children loved the film for its special effects and the kiddie brigade taking on the villain. The grown ups couldnt get enough of Sridevi in one of the most erotic 'wet saree (blue clingy chiffon) songs ever in Hindi films, Kaate Nahin kat te. Anil kapoor in the scene where he discovered the gadget to go invisible is so kiddish that you instantly fall in love with him. To go along with all these, was a brilliant child brigade who touched your heart at every moment in the film. 4) Qayamat se Qayamat tak (1988) Aamir Khans debut film, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak made him an instant heartthrob. QSQT is one of the landmark films of Hindi cinema. It was a welcome break from the violent 70s and 80s with all and sundry doing their angry young man act. Even the original angry young man was no longer angry. QSQT was a simple youthful love story with a fresh look at doomed romance. It is about a star-crossed young couple from traditional feuding families a la Romeo and Juliet. The young lovers elope and are chased by their parents. When they find no hope for their love they decide to die and make their love immortal. The film was a blockbuster making Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla household names. Written by veteran producer/director Nasir Hussain and directed by his son Mansoor Khan, this one film changed everyone's careers. Not many people know that Juhi Chawla who won the Miss India title was actually offered the role of Draupadi in the mega television series 'Mahabharata', which she turned down to do QSQT. And as they say, rest is history! 5) Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) "Dosti ki hain, nibhani to padegi hi", is probably the most repeated quote in a friendship, valid even now and often repeated. This flick, directed by the first timer Sooraj Barjatiya and coming from the 'clean image' family entertainer production house of Rajshri movies was instrumental in many ways. It brought back the family dramas and romantic comedies once again into business, after almost a decade of nonsensical Bollywood action flicks. It made a star out of Salman khan, who has earlier debuted in a small role as the hero's side kick in 'Biwi ho to aisi'. It brought the merchandise of film items back into business. Remember, those "FRIENDS" caps, mufflers, and bags. Though Bhagyashree, heroine of the movie failed to take advantage of this big break, as she decided to marry and work only with his husband. Even though couple of producers were so

desperate to cash on her popularity that they even decided to work with both of them, only to realise the potential fatalities related to it later on. The songs of the movie, be it 'Dil deewana','Mere rang mein rangne wali', 'Aaja shaam hone aayi', or my favourite 'Aate jaate', everyone was a gem in its own. Not to forget, the parody of songs during the 'Antakshari scene' which become such a rage, that every time after the release of the movie, in weddings it became part of the auspicious celebrations. A must watch for any movie buff! 6) Parinda (1989) Directed and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, it is considered to be one of the turning point in reality Hindi cinema, as it dealt with the real life of Indian underworld gangsters and their complex relationships with the residents in the city of Mumbai. Starring Jackie shroff, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in the lead roles, it was India's official entry for the 1990 Academy award for Best Foreign language. Although it lacked the visceral punch of RGV's Satya in 1998, still its acclaim and influence can no longer be discredited. Nana patekar was edgy and memorably offbeat as the fire-phobic mob boss. Although the movie's pace gets slow down due to unnecessary songs punched in, this is still a worth of a watch due to sheer dynamic performances by the principal cast. 7) Agneepath (1990) The title of this movie was taken from a poem penned by Harivansh rai Bacchann, father of the main protogonist of the film, Amitabh Bacchaaan, who immortalised the character of 'Vijay Dena nath chauhan'. Ironically, this is the only movie till date for which AB has won a national award for best actor even though he has acted in numerous hits of 70's and the 80's. Produced by Yash Johar and directed by the extremely short lived talent house, Mukul.S.Anand, it brought loads of praise for him the way he handled the sensitivity of the characters. Mithun Chakarboarthy and Rohini Hattangadi won the national award for best supporting actor and actress respectively for this movie. Quite a few of the scenes were actually inspired from the 1983 movie Alpachino's enacted 'Scarface', along with a few background scores. The believable characters in real situations make this movie a worth watch. PS: Feel free to add other of your favourite movies from this era. Some of the notable omissions of this period are as follows: a) Karz - probably the best reincarnation drama in Bollywood. b) Love story - When Kumar Gaurv took the world by storm, only to see the downside later on. c) Saaransh - Anupam Kher's Best performance till date. d) Mashaal - One of the most realistic movies ever made by Yash Chopra. e) Masoom - One of the Best Parent-child movie ever made in Hindi Cinema, Songs to die for!

Many feel that the 1980's saw a gradual decline of melody in Hindi film music. During this time a Rajshree Productions film 'Maine Pyar Kiya' was a musical hit and saw the revival of melody in Hindi film music. Who was the music director of this film? Jatin Lalit Ram Laxman Nadeem Shravan Anand Milind

Guess the bollywood movie names of 1980's

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Guess the bollywood movie names of 1980's

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Chalbaaz Mr. India Nagina Himmatwala

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Damini Dadagini Ram Lakhan Gundaraaj Hero

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Arjun Pandit Jeet Betaab Jaanwar Mawaali

Surabhi: This serial was telecasted on DD in 1991 and was anchored by Renuka Sahane, who played a supporting role in many movies and Siddhart Kak. It portrayed the culture and lifestyle from various parts of India. The serial also emphasized upon the customary practices from different regions of India. Sometimes it pictured the story of people who are influential and who create an impact in the minds of people. The show was presented by the Cinema Vision India and this serial was telecasted on DD channel for a very long time as it gathered immense popularity. One of the interesting aspects that fascinated the audience was the beautiful smile portrayed by Renuka Shahne. It was a show that was cherished by all type of audiences of India. Buniyaad: This serial which was telecasted in 1986 on DD channel, was directed by Ramesh Sippy and Jyoti Swarup. The script narrated the life of three generations who lived under the same roof and underwent various unusual experiences due to the partition that took place between India and Pakistan in 1947. overall, it depicts how the partition affect the life of the common people who resided in the boundary of India and Pakistan. The stars in the leading role of this popular serial are Alok Nath, Kiran Juneja, Soni Razdan, Mazar Khan, Dalip Tahil and many more. Alok Nath who played the role of Master Haveliram is the protagonist of the story. Bharat Ek Khoj: This serial directed by Shyam Benegal became immensely popular due to the excellent presentation of the historical events that took place 5000 years back before Independence. Shyam Benegal who was a director and the writer of the script was inspired by the book written by the Former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who was considered to be a great patriot. It was a type of documentary film which was starred by Roshan Seth and Om puri. Roshan Seth played the role of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. This serial created a lot of historical awareness among the audience and the pictorial and audio presentation of the serial was really magnificent. This show was admired by the people of all groups of people. It was a show that blended the purpose of education and entertainment among the people. Many other serials on DD became popular such as Katha Saagar which operated on channel in 1986. the telecasted was repeated in 1991 again. It comprised of various episodes and a different story was narrated every week. I remember that this serial ran on DD channel on Friday. Most of the stories narrated were inspired from the books such as Sakhi, The Dawn, etc. every story of every episode was touching to our hearts. The channel of DD was popular until 1990 and consequently many other serials became popular such as Hum Log, Udaan, Nukkad, Hum Panchi. I still remember I watched Hum Panchi and how the story touched my heart after watching the life of the kids who reside on the roadside. I loved to watch Turning Point presented by Nasiruddin Shah. I loved to watch this show because I was fascinated by the rich English language used by Nasirrudin Shah and also emphasized upon scientific studies as science was my best subject in school.

If you compare an "ordinary" American TV show to an Indian serial from the 80s, one striking difference is that back then, we never talked about "seasons". Indian shows at the time had only one "season", at best (or, as the case was sometimes, worst) two. You can't really call them seasons, because the one thing nice about TV shows in the 80s was that they were given a fixed number of episodes at the start: You could either go on for 13 weeks, which made you a medium-length show, or you could continue for 54 episodes, which would make you a Ramayan or a Khandaan. There are very few shows from the 80s that actually came back once they were done. One of the shortest, most memorable TV shows was Kashish, a six-or-seven-or-eight-parter with Sudesh Berry and the really cute Malvika Tiwari. Of course, there was the sixpart Tamas. These days, we would call them both mini-series, but for some reason when I think back to the time, although I might consider Tamas a mini-series, I will not concede thatKashish was one, too. Television longevity was measured differently in the 80s. When Buniyaad went on to make more than a hundred episodes, it was BIG FUCKING DEAL. Back in those days (cough cough, soda cost a nickel! A nickel! Ow, my back hurts!) Doordarshan wasn't worried about TV ratings, they were the ONLY thing you could watch on TV, so they didn't have an equivalent of SWEEPS WEEK where they would have to force Anita Kanwar from Buniyaad to participate in a Poker Challenge against Priya Tendulkar from Rajni, or have Vinod Nagpal from Hum Log wrestle Shriram Lagoo from Khandaan in a boxing ring, they didn't have to make sure a television show had a set number of episodes consecutively, before it quit for the whole year and came back the next season with fresh episodes. They just broadcast one episode after the other, and neither rain, nor sleet, nor sunshine could stop that. Well, unless, that is, some stupid politician died, in which case, sometimes the TV channel would mourn for six long days with ghazals, and devotional and inspirational songs sung by either some Hindustani classical fart or a bunch of men and women clad in their white kurtas, pyjamas and sarees. Buniyaad took almost exactly two years from start to finish. If it were on American TV, it would have taken us six, maybe seven, years to see Mazhar Khan as a middle-aged businessman in Hong Kong, making a trunk call to India to wish his father Alok Nath a happy ninetieth birthday. By the way, if you have never seen Buniyaad, that was the final episode. There ARE a few shows, though, that actually were so good and were so popular, that DD actually gave them permission for another 13- or 54-episode slot. Examples: 1) The 54-part Ramayan was followed, after about a year's gap (maybe?) by Uttar Ramayan which had 13 episodes, and sucked donkey dick. Strangely, by the time Uttar Ramayan came out, maybe only a year and a half after the original Ramayan took the country by storm, it felt like it was already old news, because Deepika Chiklia had already filmed the soft-porn scene in the Ramsay horror

flick, Cheekh, (I can still remember my Ghat friends laughing at the name of this movie.) and Arun Govil was back to drinking (he quit during Ramayan) and was involved in other projects - like Vikram Aur Vetaal. 2) Karamchand! The original show, with Pankaj Kumar as the eponymous detective with an addiction to carrots, and his bimbo secretary (What I call a prop. Most detective or other shows have at least one. You know, the person on the show who goes, "But sir, why did you do that?", so that the hero can say, "Damn, you're so stupid, let me explain from the beginning", and then dumbs it down for the retards in the audience) Kitty, made Pankaj Kapoor so famous that his salary for the SECOND season shot up to an astronomical Rs. 10,000. That was a BIG FUCKING DEAL at the time. In this case, the second season did not disappoint. A lot. 3) Nukkad was followed, eventually, by a second season and then a spinoff. I liked the original, watched a few episodes of the second season, but by the time the spinoff was on the air, everything had changed. As I said, TV longevity is measured differently on the Indian TV screen. This page was born from the desire to list a shitload, if not all, of TV serials from the 80s that we at Timepass remember. Most TV shows in the 80s can be broadly classified into three categories: Imports, Delhi productions, and Bengali pieces of crap. Imports were the shows that Doordarshan was broadcasting with the kind permission of (mainly) Transtel, based in Cologne (Kln), Germany. There were sooooo many shows that had the Transtel logo at the end!!! As a sidenote: Googling "Transtel Cologne", one of the first few results was a article on cricket, and it had this to say about Doordarshan back in the day: "While one of the best ways for
Doordarshan, when it ruled the roost, to fill up time between programmes was to put up 'sorry for the interruption' boards, on a few occasions it used to telecast five-minutes capsules on football techniques produced by the German television channel TransTel Cologne. It had big guns like Lothar Matthaeus and Rudi Voeller expounding on a particular skill -- dribbling, tackling, defending, scoring -- all within five minutes."

Some surprising imports from the US made it to India at that time - famous ones like Star Trek, and not-so-famous ones like Project UFO. (I was recently reminded by a reader of Different Strokes, too. Thanks, Rupali!) Delhi productions usually consisted of actors who were probably discovered while they were in acting school in Delhi or just on the streets looking for a job in acting. These were serials that tried reaaaaal hard. Many of them didn't make it, at least as far as I am concerned. But some of them made it reaaaall big. For example, Hum Log. Bengali pieces of crap mostly were just that. Pieces of crap based on novels by EastIndian authors. Example: Mujrim Haazir Ho. I think making a TV adaptation of a Bengali novel meant that you had to sign an agreement with the author or with the

State of West Bengal to promise to employ a minimum number of East-Indian character actors. Just like the making of a Larry David TV show requires the cast to be at least 80% Jewish.Clarification: I don't mean to say that 80% of the actors are Bong. They don't even have to be playing the lead role. For example: the male and female lead in Mujrim Haazir Ho were Rajiv Verma and Navni Parihar (Thanks, Swati Chaudhuri!) ALTHOUGH Salil "da" wrote the music for the theme, so I guess in this case, one BIG Bong makes up for the lack of other smaller Bongs. Anyway, on to the list. Please remember! This page will be complete only if everyone who remembers at least one TV serial that I forgot will email me ( and let me know that I have to add it here. Here is a list, in alphabetical order, of TV shows that were featured on Doordarshan in the days before STAR TV, the days before we had a choice. Some of these serials weren't bad at all. Some of them were huuuuuuge. Some stank to high heaven. Some were controversial, even.

THE LIST: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ A Air Hostess: Kitu Gidwani plays an air hostess on this show. She's a cutie. I saw her on this Krakjack ad two months ago, and she still looks almost the same. Dizamm. The Adventures of Baron Trenck: A miniseries (12 parts, if I remember correctly) consisting of hour-long episodes, based on the two volumes The Life and Adventures of Baron Trenck by Friedrich Freiherr von der Trenck. Even though I understood very little of the political climate of the mid-18th century from this show, and even though it was on at some ridiculously late hour (midnight, I think, for a reason), we would often stay up for the costumes - boobs that seemed to overflow, excessive cleavage, and women who, we thought, for some reason had opened umbrellas inside their skirts. Aired late Tuesday nights. Ados Pados: A Sai Paranjpe sitcom about a bunch of neighbours in a chawl, featuring her typical group of Maharashtrian actors like Arun Joglekar. Not bad. Aa Bail Mujhe Maar: A 15-minute show every Saturday afternoon featuring Amol Palekar as a henpecked husband who never seems to stop inviting trouble.

Aamne Saamne: Appu Aur Pappu: (Thanks for the reminder, Padmaja!) The 1984 Asian Games were held in New Delhi, and the mascot was Appu the Elephant. You guys remember Appu Ghar? Theme parks were a novelty at the time. The Jantar Mantar was also an associated logo, wasn't it? A lot of kids in my class spent a lot of time trying to make sure THEIR picture of Appu the Elephant was closest to the actual mascot. Appu Aur Pappu is a show from the mid- to late 80s involving a shikari (played by a magaan yinsaan whose name I forget - but he was a regular fixture on all the Delhi-based TV shows, and might have even featured in Ramayan and Mahabharat in one role or the other. He was definitely in Ramayan. Mahabharat had a higher production value and sucked a lot less.) who rescues a baby elephant named Appu. Shikariji adopts the pachyderm so that he can find a playmate for his son Pappu. Is it my imagination, or did the show have a detective bent to it? As in, Little Kid and Pet Elephant Solve Crimes? I'm sure there were poachers ALL the time on this show, threatening the elephant's life. This show was on Sunday mornings. The title song: Appu aur Pappu ki dekho yaari Kitni pyaari, kitni nyaari Appu aur Pappu, Pappu aur Appu Appu aur Pappu! Aisa Bhi Hota Hai: A 15-minute show Sunday mornings with world/local records and interesting trivia. Two hosts (Names unknown. Can someone help me out?), one male and one female. Three kinds of items were featured: One was almost like an actual news item, where they took the camera around and interviewed people (For example, an episode had something about a family that has the same crow visit them every year or something like that), another was just the two hosts exchanging infomercialesque banter about an interesting fact (For example, you can not fold any material into half more than seven times), and the last one was a five-second rotating slide with an image that one of the hosts would say something about (For example, "Did you know that your height increases when you fall asleep? And by the time you wake up, you shrink back to your original height") while there was tinny music (tin tin tin tin tin tin tin tin tin tin) in the background. Thanks, Grishma, for the reminder! Alif Laila: Sunday morning fantasy serial featuring gaudy getups, shrieking sheikhs and histrionic hilarity. Sadly, I did not watch enough of this show to appreciate it. I do

remember that everyone in my college class discussed on Monday morning what transpired on Sunday's show. The effeminate lead character's sword was called Sulaimani, and cries of "Sulaimaneeeeeee!" filled my classroom with laughter. B Buniyaad: The buniyaad (foundation) for Buniyaad had been set by Hum Log, and the former was released within a year of the latter. Hum Log lasted only 54 episodes, and Buniyaad lasted more than double that. This show tells the story of another joint family settled originally in what is now Pakistan, and their trials and tribulations during and after partition. It starred the then-fresh Arrey Tommy, Arrey Bozo character, Alok Nath as Professor something (it will come to me soon, it will) and Anita Kanwar (another fresh face, and not so bad looking, either) as his wife Lajjo-ji. I think his elder brother (or was it his dad?) was Lala Gaindamal, played by Sudhir Pandey. Some other people on the show were the seductress of yesteryears, Asha Sachdev, as is typical of her roles, portraying the daughter-in-law who causes a lot of brother-brother and brother-father friction, Veerawali (played by Kiran Juneja), the innocent sister who falls for Vijayendra Ghagte (I forget his character, it was some prince or something, wasn't it?) and begets an illegitimate son, who is played by Kanwaljeet Singh (he later on got another chance in a TV show that was moderately successful, about a reporter couple who are also detectives, called Chapte Chapte. Now if only someone tells me who the chick was... was it Kittu Gidwani? Or Anuradha Patel? Soooo fucking cute, in either case). Mazhar Khan played one of Alok Nath's sons. I don't remember very much, but I DO remember the last episode. Alok Nath turns 90 or something, and Mazhar Khan, now a very successful businessman settled in Hong Kong, gives him a call (Hong Kong is represented by a picture of HK visible from MK's stage window, poor but decent graphics for the time).... The family, or what's left of it, is reunited and they are happy.... Buniyaad is, I think, still one of the Hindi TV shows that ran for the longest time AND STILL DIDN'T STINK. And this includes all the stupid fucking cable soaps in Hindi. Screw you, Tara! Hasratein! You are allll just cheap melodramatic ripoffs! And check THIS SHIT OUT! The first search result from Google for Buniyaad, and the second, and yet another, this one about "Bollywood King" (?!?!?!) Dalip Tahil, who was also on Buniyaad. And hey, check THIS shit out! According to another article, I forgot that Kruttika Desai (a very young version) was JB's widow and ends up marrying Kanwaljeet's character... I DO remember him coming drunk into her house, and then something happens... the usual stuff, you know. Maybe I should just have a CHECK THIS SHIT OUT section for some of the more famous TV serials.

Note added June 3, 2006: Buniyaad airs on Sahara? Why wasn't I informed? What the hell are you people doing?! This is the kind of stuff I would like to hear about from you readers! Don't sleep on the job! Bahadurshah Zafar: A sobfest featuring Ashok Kumar in the title role. We all know what happened, we all know where this old fogey is headed. There was Lakshmi Bai and there was Tipu Sultan and Tatya Tope. It was a 13-parter. Not bad, but a little too serious for me. Aired Tuesday nights. Bodyline: Everyone else knows Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith, I know him as Douglas Jardine, captain of the English cricket team. Yes, this miniseries about Bodyline bowling during the Ashes test back in the 1920s inspired a bunch of us to try and bowl like Harold Larwood. I find it very amusing that there was actually a time when television shows would induce me to play sports. This was one of them. Aired Tuesdays or Wednesdays, I'm not sure. Bante Bigadte: Bharat Ek Khoj: Please see The Discovery of India.

C Chunni: Sardar logon ka ek aur serial, oye! In the mid-80s, another hot button to exploit was the Punjab terrorist scare. Quite a few TV shows involved terrorism in Punjab. Chunni and Saanjha Chulha were two such shows. Chunni begins a lot more cheerfully (Sunday morning at 11, it better!), I thought. It also had the magaaaaan Mukesh Khanna in it. Chunni rang de lallariya meriye, Ho chunny rang de lallariya meriye, ke teen ranga (drum sound) ke teen ranga rang rang de ke teen ranga rang rang de Mere des ka (hoy oy oy mere des ka) Mere des ka nishaana tiranga ke teen ranga (drum sound) ke teen ranga rang rang de...

Chunauti: The Cossacks: A 10 to 15 minute Russian import that played right before another Russian import, Just You Wait, on Sunday evenings before the movie. It featured a bunch of Cossacks who were never up to any good. It was funny at the time because we didn't know we were just watching a bunch of Russkies racially stereotype a bunch of other people. Ha ha. Contact: One of the best quiz shows on Indian television or elsewhere, for that matter. It was similar to the show, Summit. Definitely more challenging than Quiz Time, which was the benchmark for all further quiz shows on the tube. I think it was on Tuesday nights. Chapte Chapte: Kanwaljit Singh and Anuradha Patel (I still think she was such a cutie) are investigative reporters? It was a comedy as well as an action-drama. Monday late night show? Or was it Tuesday? Chaayageet: Every Thursday night in Bombay, we'd have our own version of Chitrahaar. So, basically, we had a double-dose of Chitrahaar every week. Since this was back when we had no easy access to music or videos, these shows were our basic Music Television. Chitrahaar: While Chayageet was more of a Classic MTV, Chitrahaar was more for promoting new releases. I remember that during the late 80s every song would be preceded by the poster for that particular movie. Hilarious. And these songs were released weeks before the actual movie was. What a cool marketing strategy. Wednesday nights were the most fun. Chitramala: The pan-Indian version of Chaayageet. On Monday nights, we would get to watch songs from movies made in the four corners of India (it basically consisted of one Gurdaas Maan song, that song from Chemmeen that goes Saagara, kadambarattil ulsavam aai (sp?), one Gujju song, and one Bong or Assamese song. We'd wait to see if some Hindi song was cool enough to make it into their list, and were hardly ever not disappointed. Circus: Believe it or not, folks, there WAS a time when Shah Rukh Khan was not terrible. It was called the late 80s. Circus is a sitcom about a bunch of characters who work at a circus. Lilliput was a shoe-in for a role on this show, ha ha. But it also had a lot of people from Nukkad. Might have had to do with the creators of this show

being the same as the Nukkad people? Shah Rukh Khan is the young know-it-all son of the old circus owner, who passes away. It is up to the son to restore the failing circus back to its former glory. As in every such show, he comes in with the idea of selling it to the highest bidder, but ends up staying because of the hearts he touches. Yuck. But not intolerable, really. Circus hai, bhai circus hai, yeh duniya ek circus hai. Rang-birangi circus hai, yeh duniya ek circus hai. Choti Badi Batein: The only thing I seem to remember right now is part of the title song. It *might* have been a Sai Paranjpe serial, and *might* have starred Amol Palekar or Arjun Joglekar or a linear combination. Thanks for the reminder, Grishma! Chamatkari Telephone: Shelly, Mac aur Jonathon... was how the Hindi version of the main title started. It was (I think) a 15-minute animated series about a magical telephone. I think it was British, but was translated into Hindi. Thanks, Grishma, for the reminder! Chanakya: A historical drama based on the life of Kautilya a.k.a. Chanakya. Ved Prakash created the show and decided to give himself the title role. What I remember most about this show is that Drona from Mahabharat was Amatya Rakshas and was more visible than Chanakya himself. Well, that holds for most of the main characters. Ved Prakash made an appearance here and there, that's about it. Thanks for the reminder, Grsihma! Chandrakanta: A faux-historical drama based on a novel. Featured garish/gaudy costumes and was to Hinduism what Alif-Laila was to Islam. Charitraheen: I swear that I have seen almost every episode of this show, but the details now elude me. Thanks, Grishma, for the reminder!

D Dada Dadi Ki Kahaaniyaan: Hemant Kumar sings the theme song: "Dada dadi ki kahaaniyaan, sadiyon yaad rahe. Bhoola nahin koi, bachpan mein suni..." Dada (Ashok Kumar) and Dadi (I think it was Dina Pathak) entertain their grandchildren

(well, I think they might just have been the kids in the neighbourhood) with Indian folk tales. There was a lot of overlap between the stories on this show and the show it immediately preceded, Vikram Aur Vetal. I remember that this was on Sunday afternoons, before the stupid Hindi film of the day would start up. Rasna sponsored Spider-Man, I don't remember who the sponsors of VAV and DDKK were. Ideas? Probably Dabur. Lilliput starred in a lot of the episodes, but I think he had some sort of rolling contract with the mythological/devotional TV shows at the time. He was in fucking everything. Darpan: Stories based on different Indian writers, most of them not well-known. One story definitely disturbed me, it had to do with a dead body in a railway train toilet. The theme music of this show started scaring me from then on. Monday nights. Dadi Maa Jaag Uthi: A year or so after Hum Log ended, there was a short-lived series about some Dadi who wakes up after 20-30 years in a coma to find a very changed Delhi. Mildly entertaining, since I only saw one whole episode. Dhamaal: A fifteen-minute breakfast program. Sketch comedy with Satish Shah. I am sure I would find it silly and irritating now, but we recorded every episode so we wouldn't miss it while we were at school. Doctor Biwi: A fifteen-minute breakfast program. Doctor Biwi is this clean freak who keeps embarrassing her husband and family with her attention to detail. Mildly funny. The Discovery of India: Nehru's book transformed into a TV series by (I think?) Govind Nihalani. Good job. I used to watch it just because it was full of stories at the time, but on viewing it recently I found that it also had commentary on Indian culture back in the day, which is pretty much what the book does, except the book is like LOTR with its boring annoying songs and poems, and the show is like the LOTR movie series, lots of action and very little boring stuff. Did I just dis the LOTR books? Holy shit, I'm going to have to deal with a lot of J. R. R. Tolkien fans now. Bring it on, bitches. Let's kill two birds with a stone: let me also mention that Frank Herbert's Dune trilogy sucks donkey dick. Sundays, filling either the 10 AM or the 11 AM slot. Didi's Comedy Show: Ah, TransTel. Dieter Hallervorden (did I spell that right?) alias Didi on his slapstick English-dubbed adventures stayed on to entertain Indian audiences throughout the 80s and into the early 90s. My dad brought back Didi Drives Me Crazy, an actual full-length movie with Didi in it. Remember the one scene they kept playing over and over again? Him slipping on some wet floor and landing in a bucket and slipping way out into the snow? The music: tyanv tya-danv ta da da da da

da tyanv! There was also the "burger" sketch, with him just overpronouncing towns' names like Bamburger, etc. Uh, well, it was funny at the time. Diff'rent Strokes: Broadcast in the early- to mid-80s, probably on Saturday afternoons, I used to like this show at the time. Now, of course, I find it completely "wholesome" and silly. And of course, Dana Plato died of an overdose, Gary Coleman still looks like he did on this show, and is a REAL joke (and not in a good way) and the *other* guy also isn't doing so well. The actress who played Mrs. Garrett went on to play the same role in the show, Facts of Life. Ultra terrible. Diff'rent Strokes at the time was actually entertaining. I don't remember if I actually knew that "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?" was an oft-repeated phrase. But I do remember liking the theme song a lot.

E Ek Kahani: (Thanks for the reminder, Sowmitra!) I always confuse this show with Katha Sagar. I forget what the difference was - maybe just the sponsors! Both these shows consisted of television adaptations of short stories by famous authors. Maybe one was based on Indian authors and another on foreign authors? I don't think so. Ek Kahani feels like a Tuesday or Thursday night show, probably 9 PM, but I could be just pulling this informtion out of my ass. Ek Do Teen Char: Definitely based on detective stories a la The Famous Five and The Hardy Boys, this show featured four kids trying their hand at detective work. I remember the very first episode had something to do with a clue phrase, " never see..." that the four morons translated as "Universe" to enable them to look into a book named, "The Universe" for the next clue. The theme song: Ek do teen char! Ek do teen char! Charon milke saath chalein to kar de chamatkar! Charon milke saath chalein to kar de chamatkar! Kabhi jo milke juda na hon, ham hain aise yaar! Ow! Thanks, Grishma, for the reminder!

F Flop Show: Seminal sketch comedy show by Jaspal Bhatti. Although most of JB's shows from the 80s and early 90s are silly in retrospect, this on stands out as one of a kind. Each episode was prefaced by a dedication to the group of people that particular episode was going to make fun of. Each dedication was followed by the Flop Show theme song. "Bhow bhow (drum roll) bhow bhow bhow! Fuh-fuh-fuh, fuh fuh fuh, fuh fuh fuh, FLOP! Zoom in zoom out! Zoom in zoom out, fade in fade out, _______ hua-ah ah ah! ____ hua-ah ah ah! ______, camera fell down flop show, flop show! Writer, fighter! Writer fighter, producer director, singer actor hua-ah ah ah! Cameraman! Everymaaaan! FLOP! Flop show, flop show! Flop show!" I have to say, this is one of the funniest theme songs of all time. I WISH someone would go on YOUTUBE and find me the video for this thing. If you have any Flop Show "aaypisodes" (as JB himself would say), PLEASE digitize them for everyone's benefit, send me a link, and I will put them up here! PLEEEEEEAAAAASSSSEEE!!!!!! Anyway, begging aside, each show ALSO ended up with the parody of a famous Hindi song that would be related to the episode itself. Examples: 1) The one where JB makes a TV show: He wants to make a tragedy, but ends up making a comedy. [NOTE: Saala, Vivek Shauque ko use karega to comedy nahin to kya tradegy banega! Remember International Khiladi??] The song in the end is a parody of the Manoj Kumar song, Duniya Bananewale: Serial bananewale, ka tere man mein samaayi? Kaheko comay-dee banaayee, tune kaheko comay-dee banaaye? Kahan se laaye tune khote se actor? Kaise hai pakda tune nakli director? etc etc 2) The one where JB is Vivek Shauque's Ph. D. thesis advisor and blackmails him into marrying his sister-in-law contains a parody of Jo Tumko Ho Pasand: Jo tumko ho pasand, wohi baat karenge! Beaker ko agar jar kaho, jar kehenge! 3) The one that makes fun of chief guests and their "punctuality" has a parody

of Hum Intezaar Karenge: Hum intezaar karenge, tera qayaamat tak! Khuda kare ke qayamat ho, aur tu aaye! ...yehi junoon, yehi dehshat ho, aur tu aaye!

Foreign Film: Every Friday night was Friday Foreign Film night. These movies started late, around 11 PM, so after the news, and we were mostly too sleepy to watch them. Most were esoteric, since they were Czech or Russian movies made during the cold war (For example: 100 Days in The Life of I. I. Oblomov). But every once in a while DD would throw us horndogs a bone - like the time they had this Czech movie that had loads and loads of nudity. Alrighty. I saw that one three times. There were also weird Korean/Japanese movies. Then again, since when is ANYTHING Japanese normal? Speaking of which, I remember Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. This movie stars, among other people, David Bowie as WWII prisoners in a Japanese prison or something like that. One of the few scenes include the trial of a Japanese soldier named Kanemoto who is accused of sexually assaulting some Dutch soldier. In his defense, the judge says something like, "A JAH-BANEESE soldier... blah blah blah... but a JAH-BANEEESE soldier..." Fauji: Short and entertaining show about people training for the army. One of the cadets was Shah Rukh Khan. I actually liked him on that show. That was before he became famous with the movies and what not. There was also some officer in the military who kept saying "I say, chaps", and that was an oft-repeated dialogue used by kids at the time. To this day, when I see Brits depicted on the screen and one of them starts a sentence with "I say", this is what I recall. I think it was on Wednesdays. Am I wrong? (Click here for a YouTube clip from Fauji) Farmaan: Kanwaljeet Singh G Gul Gulshan Gulfaam: A serial with Kashmiri houseboats featuring Jalal Agha (Thanks, Tejaswi!) It feels like a Friday night serial, but I could be wrong. Guldasta: Ajit Vachchani and Rita Bhaduri with three or four kids in this sitcom. The only episode I clearly remember is the one where the family is on a picnic and there's a disagreement about a cricket match. In fact, it was something REALLY stupid that could have immediately been resolved. Rita Bhaduri wasn't even playing, she was sitting under the tree fanning herself with her palloo, and all of a sudden the batsman launches the ball into the air, and since she is still fanning herself, Rita Bhaduri

inadvertantly ends up catching the ball. Up until then, she wasn't even interested in the game, but as soon as some women get some attention, they think they are the most important person in the universe. So she thinks she did something important, and of course the fielding team thinks it is completely legal and the batsman is out (What the fuck are you talking about?! She wasn't even in the game! According to you douchebags, any spectator in Wankhede stadium can therefore participate in the game once they catch someone's sixer!)..... and the batting team of course says this is completely retarded. Rita Bhaduri is happy and suddenly very interested in cricket. To resolve this dispute, all of a sudden a couple of Indian cricketers show up, all in uniform, and sing the song "One Day Cricket", a cover of the song, "One Way Ticket". It goes something like, "One day cricket, one day cricket, one day cricket ka hai ruuuuuuule"... which is rubbish, they shouldn't be talking about the rules, since they side with Rita Bhaduri's team (What am I saying, she wasn't even ON the fucking team!)... I think I really have some issues I should seek counselling about. Anyway, the theme song suggested that jeevan was a guldasta, and it has thorns just as it has roses, take the good with the bad, etc etc. Giant Robot (a.k.a. Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot): Giant Robot's on Jump The Shark! Who doesn't remember this show? It was originally aired on Doordarshan in the early 80s. It had a second run when DD-2 was launched, and I remember watching it at my friend's place on evenings with a bunch of other kids. This show features some Japanese kid who accidentally ends up voiceprogramming one of the huge creations of the alien invader Emperor Guillotine into submission. Giant Robot as he is called, only obeys Johnny Sokko's commands through a wrist watch that the kid wears all the time. The kid is then accepted into the Japan-based human secret service resistance against the aliens, which is called something like the U-team, because his partner is codenamed U3 and Johnny Sokko himself is U-7. This show starts with footage of the robot launching itself from its hideout. Apparently, before the robot obeys ANY of Johnny's commands, he has to show that he acknowledges them by crossing his arms twice. This was accompanied by a sound effect:whoossh-shick! whooosh-shick! This is followed by the robot flying around, landing and finally demonstrating one of its capabilities: the atomic punch, I think? Sound effect: whoossh-shick! whooosh-shick! B aaam! Baaam! and the dam breaks. In each episode, Emperor Guillotine sends over one of his latest creations. Each monster has a silly name like Scalion, Megatron, Optikon, etc, and has the same voice (apparently they recycled the voice box) : some sort of loud screeching. I remember

that the Scalion had some sort of deal where he could spit acid and corrode ships and shit. Then there were other beasts that could fly. The Optikon was just an eyeball. Who the fuck can't defeat a fucking eyeball?! There was an episode with Japanese vampires, whose cries were dubbed into the robotic: We went blood! We want blood! In the final episode, Giant Robot has to battle it out with Emperor Guillotine. In order to save the Earth, he leaps into the sun with the Emperor, thus letting Johnny Sokko bid a tearful farewell to his long-time mechanical pal... for about twenty minutes, then he goes out an buys an Aibo. Ghar Jamai: What happens when North meets South? Comedy, that's what! Satish Shah plays Punjabi father-in-law to his Madrasi live-in son-in-law, Anant Mahadevan, who is a Khalsaite just like yours truly. Short-lived show, but entertaining. Ganadevta: Some stupid show about a bunch of people in Bongland or something like that. The plot was very confusing, especially since I missed a couple of episodes in the beginning, but characters with names like Lohar Bahu and Chandi Bahu only added to the idiocy. Gul Gulshan Gulfaam: Serial with Kashmiri houseboats featuring Jalal Agha (Thanks, Tejaswi!) H Hum Log: There were those serials that came and went, and there were those that stayed and paved the way for other serials to show up. There were some serials that challenged others to show what they were made of. Hum Log, the story of a lowermiddle class joint family living in New Delhi, was one of the best serials (probably the first Indian night-time soap opera) on Doordarshan in the 80s. The end of each episode would have Ashok Kumar commenting on what was going on. That was funny at times, with his proverbs that started with the words, "Chann pakaiyya chann pakaiyya..." and don't forget, this was when Johnny Lever was actually funny, so his parody of Ashok Kumar in the movie Jalwa should be remembered. Jalwa, of course, was a copy ofBeverley Hills Cop, but a good copy at that. Anyways, why the fuck are we talking about that on this page?! This show was first broadcast on July 7, 1984 . Hum Log made the careers of many people (at least for a while) - that Vijay Nagpal guy that played the dad, Basesar-Ram. Sushma Shreshta was in Silsila later on, I remember. She still does rounds as the rich queen mother in Hindi movies, I guess, from time to time. Loveleen Mishra (who was the little girl, Chutki or something?!) stayed just that - she went on acting on stage like she had done before Hum Log came

along. Abhinav Chaturvedi didn't get too famous, even though he did get a couple of film roles. A couple of his closest friends, related in NO WAY to Hum Log, DID become famous later on. Raveena Tandon and Vishal Devgan (later called Ajay). If only AC's could talk! I forget now, but did Kaamiya Malhotra (that was also her real name!) really look cute? Or is it just my imagination? All I had to do was look on Google!!! Check THIS shit out! I remember AC has a crush on her for a while. Who else? Badki was FUGLY. I think she was also from acting school or something. HAD to be. Plus, this was long before Doordarshan fell for that TV-people-have-to-be-good-looking crap. In a way, it was good. In a way, I guess it was bad. Oh well. Manjli was alright, I think I still remember her face. Badki had the most pimples. Her face was like the moon, full of craters and shit. I think Dadi Maa died in the last episode, didn't she? She had CANCER OF THE FOOD PIPE. HOW the fuck do you remember all this shit?!?!?!?! Hum Log lasted 54 episodes. It was one of the longest yet. And check THIS SHIT OUT: the first search result from Google for Hum Log: Hakke Bakke: Ek Alibaba bechaare, baaki chalis chor! Ravi Baswani was a Family Guy and there were a bunch of children on this show. I don't remember anything else. Himaalay Darshan: Show with disjoint stories that have the characters doing something in and around the Himalayas. My favourite episode is the one where Lalit Parimu falls asleep somewhere and dreams of a future where all the goats that he is herding actually answer to roll call: "Ek? Meeeeennnnn! Do? Meeeeeeennnn! Teen?.... Teen?.... Teen?" And then he calls the satellite to track down goat number three. Hum Hindustaani: Pointless but entertaining farce about a chawl full of people from all parts of India, with Ashok Kumar running the local clinic. The big deal about it all was that there was a lockout at the factory where all the men work, and that night all the men get it on with their wives, so all the kids are born on the same day or

something. The clinic is ruined in a fire, the good news being that no human lives were lost, but the bad news being that the records were all destroyed, meaning the parents don't know whose babies they are holding. While the women treat the babies they are holding as their own, the fathers dote on their neighbour's kids (one each), convinced that that kid belongs to them. Therefore, we have the typical Indian melting pot bullshit about how the Sikh girl learns Bharatanatyam and the Tamil girl wears Punjabi clothes, while the Mallu child becomes a commie and the Bong kid becomes a commie... oh wait... Anyway, the last episode basically is a KELA to all the dads: Ashok Kumar reveals that the records weren't destroyed, he just lied to them to find out how they would react. Turns out that the moms' hearts were in the right place, the kids at home were the REAL kids. The fathers are embarrassed and promise to live in harmony with their neighbours. What a bunch of bullshit. It ended very much like the book, Jurassic Park: all through the book you're entertained, but in the last five pages you are hoping against hope that the author isn't THIS LAME and the story isn't over LIKE THIS??? Honee Unhonee: (Thanks for the reminder, Padmaja!) I forget the name of the lead guy on this show, damn, it was Trivedi or Dvivedi or something like that. Oh wait, it was Ved Prakash, I think! But he was also a regular fixture on a lot of TV shows, always the principled choot with a reporter ki thaili slung across his shoulder, complete with khadi shirt and all that. This show featured Ved Prakash (let's call him that, for now) as an investigative reporter (?) who would go around trying to debunk "miracles" or claims of supernatural occurences and explain them away with science. The cool thing about this show was that he had about a 50% success rate. So there were times, like the one episode where a small boy suddenly starts talking in a deep male voice about some guy named Durjan (by the way, who the fuck names their son Durjan? I want to meet these parents and kick their fucking ass. It's like Seinfeld says, when you name your baby Jeeves, you've pretty much mapped out his future.) who wronged him and killed him, when Ved Prakash can't explain the incidents. But there are also episodes, like the one with the chootiya Krishna devotees in this highrise apartment building with a view of the Arabian sea, where the mysterious moving oil-lamp is explained by the sound of the conch shell causing a resonance and making the lamp move due to the humid air. That was cool. I think this show aired Thursday nights.

I Indradhanush: You can count the number of Indian science fiction TV shows on the fingers of your left hand, even if you had two or three fingers chopped off in a freak kitchen accident. Space City Sigma and Indradhanush were basically the only two such shows in the late 80s. Isi Bahane: Intezaar: J Jeevan Rekha (Lifeline): Tanvi Azmi was in it. Who else? Benjamin Gilani? Help! Just You Wait: K Khandaan: The Marathi Kshirsaagar brothers, Sridhar and someone else, decided to make it big with their version of Dynasty or something. Only, this show was not at all as decadent as said US soap. It ran for almost 105 episodes, not as long as Buniyaad, yet one of the longest of its time. This was during the 80s drug scare in India, when there were a lot of TV shows that in a way or another showed the harmful effects of drugs - and in most cases, they were really extreme, so much that I think they were just ripping off Reefer Madness....and so they had one character of the khandaan turn into a drug addict. But: let me start from the beginning. This show tells the story of yet another not-so-joint family, a really well-to-do family of which Shreeram Lagoo is the head (the Dabur Chyawanprash badminton ad followed in the heels of his Khandaan success), and one of his daughters/daughters-in law is played by his daughter in real life, Reema Lagoo. Other actors on this show include Rohini Hattangadi as Lagoo's wife, Jayant Kriplani (was Archana Puran Singh his wife on this show?) and the cat-and-mouse couple Mohan Bhandarkar and Neena Gupta. They get a divorce, and she became the first superbitch on the Indian TV screen. And, of course, the aforementioned drug addict - Vivek (later Viveck) Vaswani. A pair of lines I remember VERY clearly from this show: when Vivek Vaswani is forced to become a drug addict by some baddie, I forget who. The bad guy asks VV to taste something... VV: Kadhwi hai! (It's bitter) bad guy, with evil grin: Yeh BROWN sugar hai!

Personally, even at that point, I found it hilarious. Anyway, another important thing I have to mention is (the whole reason I brought the drug thing up) that when VV goes into a hospital for rehab, he is brought back to normal by a very very very very very very very very cute Shehnaaz Patel. Man, parsee babes!!! She was slightly squinteyed, and even featured in the Mahesh Bhatt movie Janam, ("Hmph! Marna bhi nahin aata! AAaaa!!!" - Anupam Kher) starring opposite Kumar Gaurav, once again as a nurse! Talk about typecasting! Wonder what she's doing now... Anyone have any photos?! Khandaan also featured Anant Mahadevan, an ex-Khalsaite (YEAAAAAHHHHH!) from Bombay, like me. He went on to act in Ghar Jamaai and be the bad guy in Khiladi (oops did I ruin it for anyone?!) I remember very little. Who was Jayant Kriplani's wife on this show? Kapil Dev & Kirmani & Ravi Shastri & Who else?!: Kiley Ka Rahasya:Gul Gulshan Gulfaam: Serial with Kashmiri houseboats featuring Jalal Agha (Thanks, Tejaswi!) Karamchand: Knight Rider: Back in the REALLY early 80s, Sri Lankan television broadcast this show and MAnimal. How do I know? While on summer vacations in Madras, my cousins had a powerful antenna that would sometimes pick up Knight Rider and Manimal. Apparently everyone in Madras was doing this instead of watching sucky Doordarshan. Hmm. No wonder DD sucked, especially on weekends! These bizarre people had a TAMIL movie on Sundays, and the Hindi movie came on on Saturdays!!!! It was a totally upside-down world compared to what we had in Bombay - the regional movie on Saturday and the Hindi movie on Sunday. But more about that elsewhere. Back to Knight Rider. Years later, almost at the same time as Street Hawk, Doordarshan finally acquired Knight Rider. By this time, we were wise to the "charms" of David Hasselhoff so for some reason it was not as good as Street Hawk. This was also very close to when Baywatch was on Star Plus, that might have had something to do with it, too. Kala Jal: Katha Saagar: Show similar to Ek Kahani, consisting of television adaptations of short stories by world-famous authors. So famous, in fact, that a lot of these stories were also part of our English text in high school. Thanks, Saki (H. H. Munro) for Dusk, among others. I guess a bunch of Saki's shit made it to both Katha

Saagar and my CBSE English textbook. Is it my imagination, or was KS sponsored by the good people at Vicks Vaporub (Proctor and Gamble)? Kashish: Kahan Gaye Woh Log: L Lohit Kinaare: Late night Classical music/dance: Lifeline (Jeevan Rekha): - A. K. Hangal and others in this St. Elsewhere - inspired hospital show. Tanvi Azmi played one of the doctors, too. (Thanks, Tejaswi!) M Mungeri Lal Ke Haseen Sapne: Mickey and Donald: Mahabharat: B. R. Chopra's seminal devotional drama based on the Ved Vyasa epic about the Pandavas and the Kauravas. Where Ramanand Sagar and Raveendra Jain took the low road and used annoying song-and-dance sequences to fill up their onehour Ramayan episodes, B. R. Chopra's Mahabharat was on higher ground. They obviously used Godrej's sponsorship well. The Godrej housing colony in Vikhroli right where I lived (a short walk away from the Godrej Soap Factory) was the venue for some of the battle scenes. This show still remains the benchmark by which other devotional teleserials are judged. Sadly, nothing since has ever made it into the hearts of mainstream audiences - devotional teleserials are no longer food for thought, they are liquified pieces of crap that are easily ingested by the toothless old people who are the sole target of such fare. There is a lot more that has to be said about Mahabharat, and that will take time. Be patient! Mujrim Haazir Ho: Mister Yogi: Mriganayani: Malgudi Days: A bunch of R. K. Narayan stories about the now-famous fake town of Malgudi in Karnataka were made into this TV show. Malgudi Days had two

"seasons". The second season had a six-part sub-section about the life of the little boy Swami, played by Manju Nath, an unknown. Following this six-parter, Malgudi Days was known as the show with Swami in it. The Swami sub-section even had its own theme music that started... Chaami!!! (Swamy) I was in Bombay early this year and saw thatPogo now shows Malgudi Days. Good! AZN in Baltimore had a couple of episodes on the other day. Strange. Manju Nath went on to star in Stone Boy. Mashoor Mahal: Quiz show from the mid-80s (Thanks, Mohd. Mehdi) I don't really remember very much about this show, so if you know anything, any information will be apprecaited. N Nukkad: The News: Nayee Dishaayein: O The Old Fox: Der Alte ("The Old" in German) was screened with English dubbed voices. This show follows Erwin Koster (Herr Koster, which always sounded to us like Herr Custard) who plays an aging detective with the Polizei. A fine Transtel programme. P Phateechar: PC1008: Project UFO: Pop In Germany: Paying Guest: The magaaaan Subbi Raaj, in what I am sure was his first "famous" role, plays Champak Lal, happily married and aging houseowner who has an extra room to let. The show followed the couple as they go through tenant after tenant, improving each other's lives and making a difference in the tenants' lives as well. (thanks Rupali!)

Potli Baba Ki: A collection of short stories aimed at kids. Many of them inspired by The Arabian Nights. The title sequence featured the baba carrying the potli. I remember the baba's costume and facial appearance was creepy, therefore I rarely watched this show. Also, the stories kind of sucked. Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan: Q Quiz Time: R Rajni: This show follows liberated 80s lady Rajni (played by Priya Tendulkar) and the hilarity that ensues when she goes head-on against the establishment - sometimes against her kaamwali bai. Karan Razdaan played her henpecked, laidback husband. If it weren't for the fact that I saw this show BEFORE I saw either Disco Dancer or Kasam Paida Karne Waale Ki, my brain would have exploded trying to reason with itself: How can someone who is so normal an actor on a TV show be soooo fucking terrible in a movie?! Karan Razdaan, by the way, had a really hot wife, Soni. She featured on a bunch of TV serials, and also played the vamp in a bunch of movies. There are very few women in Indian cinema who can pull off a sexy vamp, and she was one among this exclusive club. Ahem... anyway, back to Rajni. This show was good. I watched it all the time. Was it broadcast Sundays? Raag Darbari: Ramayan: Regional Film: S Shriman Shrimati: Sportsmag: Spider-Man: Sunil Gavaskar Presents: Space City Sigma:

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em: Star Trek: Back before we had a VCR at home, we had a VCP. That was between 1981 and 1983. That was when the original Star Trek was on the air, either Saturday or Sunday mornings. Such an impression, in fact, that even the ghat kids in the neighbourhood who didn't understand a word of that show were making their communicators with a couple of matchbox covers and some rubberband. They taught me how to make them. I'm sure a lot of you readers had these cool communicators made of Ship Matchboxes. If you didn't, you REALLY missed out. There is NOTHING like a kid opening up his communicator and then saying something Marathi into it. The second episode screened (or maybe it was the third?) was just before we were beginning our summer trip to Madras. It was the one with that scientist who lives with his wife on this deserted planet, performing some experiments or some shit like that. The away-team comes there to investigate a bunch of bizarre crew deaths, and it turns out that the scientist's wife is the alien beast that needs to suck the salt out of everyone. That was the first really scary monster I saw (Well, other than the whole Evil Dead movie, which left us shitting blood for a week) and that bothered me for a while. Funny how kids' imaginations can make them totally ignore the zippers in such shitty costumes. Street Hawk: This is Jesse Mach. An ex-motorcycle cop injured in the line duty now has been recruited by a secret government agency to ride Street Hawk - an all-terrain attack motorcycle capable of speeds up to three hundred miles per hour...(zoooom) and immense fire power (ratata booom!) Only one man, federal agent Norman Tuttle (featuring Joe Regalbuto as Norman Tuttle) knows Jesse Mach's secret identity - the man (vroom) the machine (vroom) Street Hawk (vroom vroom, vroooooom)... cue Tangerine Dream theme to Street Hawk, Le Parc. Probably 1988-1991. Sponsored by MRF Tyres, I think? So they could have free use of the Tangerine Dream theme. The Man, The Machine, The Tyre... MRF. Surabhi: In the early 90s, just before or during the advent of satellite television, Surabhi was hosted by Siddharth Kak and Renuka Shahane, and was sort of a mix-and-match of Indian tourism, culture and what the news people now call Human Interest Stories - things that basically involve some cute little incident like someone's dog getting stuck in a tree and being rescued with cameras pointing at it... The theme wasn't too bad. It was probably a Louis Banks theme. That dude did a lot of themes in the 80s and early 90s. Subah: Master Raju's dad goes through a lot of trouble to get him into college, where he falls prey to drugs. It was pretty depressing until they thankfully changed protagonists and Master Raju became just a sideshow. He went on to play a drug addict in Govinda's Khuddar, too. Salim Ghouse was the head drug dealer on this

show, right? Also the lead addict. To this day whenever I hear that name I can only think of the evil drug addict from Subah. I think this show might have been inspired by that South Indian journalist/anti-drug activist, Shivashankari. Saanjha Chulha:

The Sword of Tipu Sultan: THE ultra-mega-supra-oxy-hyped teleserial of the 80s, this show had more people talking about it BEFORE it started broadcasting than after it began. Feroze and Sanjay Khan went all out and publicized this most awesome of awesome TV shows in the mid- and late-80s, but then tragedy struck - during shooting, the set caught fire and Neena Gupta was barely able to save her infant child. Not so much good luck for The Khans, though. Sanjay was burnt, and had to wear gloves throughout the show. Oh, and the show SUCKED, by the way. It was hilarious. To this day I can not find anyone who can answer the question: was it Ghazi Chacha, Qazi Chacha, or Raazi Chacha?! What the FUCK?!?! Different kids and people on the show pronounced his name different ways. I remember being a new student at my school in Madras in Ninth standard, and Praveen and Srinivas and I getting together to recreate the main credit sequence. I would do the drum music, Srinivas would do the title music, and Praveen would ride the camel/elephant with his head held high, bobbing back and forth. The funniest thing about this show was that the Wadiyar Raja of Mysore had his own little gay theme music. Whenever they showed him, they made him out to be a "patron of the dance" (which involved him twirling his wrist in the gayest manner possible) and a scene featuring his face would be accompanied by the gay theme music. I think this actually pissed off the descendants of said Wadiyar! Ahahahahaha. Did I mention this show sucked? I remember there was this whole episode where they did nothing but bitch about some bad dream one of the queens had. God DAMN. Shut the bitch up and go kill some people, dude. Showtime/Show Theme: Safarnama: Singhaasan Batteesi: Satyajit Ray Presents:

Stree: Swaraj?: Shoestring: This one was English, I think. It follows detective Eddie Shoestring on his adventures in crime-solving. In the summer of 2003, I discovered some Italian friends who claimed to have regularly viewed it during the 80s. Ah, Doordarshan, you sometimes help civil conversation transcend national borders! Swami: See Malgudi Days. Stone Boy: (Thanks for the reminder, Padmaja!) Filmed entirely in Mauritius and telecast Sunday mornings, this show was about a young NRI and his helpful imaginary friend (Manju Nath of Swami), who is either inspired by or is actually the spirit of a stone statue on a hilltop, called Stone Boy. Not bad at all.

T Tamas: "Darkness". Govind Nihalani's six-part series follows a poor peasant (Om Puri) who is trying to cross the border into India during the partition with his pregnant wife (Tanvi Azmi). Well-hyped and well done. The newborn baby's cries are joined by the cries of "Jai Hind" and Long Live Pakistan. Good job. Tasveer Ka Doosra Rukh: A Delhi Film School type of serial, follows a group of Doordarshan reporters and TV personalities in Delhi and shows the world from their point of view. I only remember an episode where some old couple is trying to follow a recipe from the telly and they end up changing every one of the ingredients because they want a low-fat, low-sodium diet, and instead of halwa they end up with huggoo. At this precise moment, the two reporters are at the door. The couple invite them in and blame them and the rest of Doordarshan for their lack of culinary skills. Boo hoo, Doordarshan, I feel for you. Maybe if you didn't suck as much as you did. Terah Panne: Did Hema Malini have anything to do with this? A show with thirteen women from different times in India's history, including Razia Sultana, Lakshmi Bai and Padmini, the queen who is famous not because of how she lived, but because of how she died. Pshaw. Anyway, sub-standard fare. More melodrama than drama. Talaash:

Telematch: Another Transtel import, Telematch was used as a filler between shows and also whenever there was trouble with the live transmission of a cricket game or when it was teatime during a cricket match. I found these games pretty cool. Besides, where else would you get to see the tiny German town of Badenwurtzern challenge the other tiny German town of Garching-Hochbruck in a game where ten teammates had to swim across a pool in a dragon costume carrying balls from one end to the other? U Udaan: Ulta Pulta: Uttar Ramayan: V Vikram Aur Vetaal: W What's The Good Word: World of Sport: Wagle Ki Duniya: From R. K. Narayan's Wagle's World emerged Wagle Ki Duniya, starring Anjan Shrivastav as Mr. Wagle. I don't remember very much else about this show. It wasn't bad. I watched it almost every week. The World This Week: Weekend Hindi Movie: X Y Yes, (Prime) Minister: Yatra: Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi:

One of the first programs I remember watching on television. This was also one of the first TV programs I remember being sponsored by some product. In this case it was Vicco. They would have either the Vicco Turmeric ad with Sangeeta Bijlani in it, or the Vicco Vajradanti ad before the show began. To this day, whenever the Vicco Turmeric ad jingle on TV ends, my mind automatically starts playing the beginning lines to Yeh Jo Hai's title song. Yeh jo hai, zindagi, thodi khatti, thodi meethi Thodi teekhi, thodi pheekee. Phir bhi, ismein haskar... sang sang baskar Kuch alag hi hai mazaa! A sitcom about a married couple (Shafi Inamdar and Swaroop Sampat), sometimes accompanied by the wife's brother (Rakesh Bedi) and Satish Shah in different roles, YJHZ was very successful. I don't remember very much, but I am sure quite a few kids from the 80s will recall the Satish Shah phrase, "What a relieeef!" I am pretty sure this was ripped off in a few movies subsequently. [April 7, 2005] Waitaminit! Tiku Talsaaniy Yes, (Prime) Minister: Yatra: a was on this show, wasn't he?! He was the boss or something. He kept saying, "Yeh KYA ho raha hai?!" in a very pathetic confused wail. Z