Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi
Yeh jo hai...yeh jo hai zindagi, kabhi akeli kabhi dukeli... crooned Kishore Kumar and we were hooked. From its catchy title track to the funny visualisation, Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi was a winner. With just a handful of actors, Shafi Inamdar, Swaroop Sampat who played a couple, Rakesh Bedi – Swaroop’s brother who stayed with them much to the dismay of Shafi —Vijay Acharya and Sulbha Arya, the South Indian neighbours, Tiku Talsania as Shafi’s boss and last but not the least Satish Shah who played different but key characters in every episode, the serial was a laugh-riot. Set in a middle-class home, the serial dealt with everyday problems faced by a couple.
It ranged from buying furniture to suspecting the spouse to a case of mistaken identities. Brilliant performances by the actors, especially Satish Shah who earned the moniker ‘king of comedy’ and inherent humour in the situations makes this sitcom an all-time favourite.
A motley of low-income people residing in a nukkad (crossroads) in a city, with every episode focussing on the story of one character formed the basis of this serial.
The unspoken love between Guru (Dilip Dhawan), the leader of the nukkad gang and Teacherji (Rama Vij), the generous Kadherbhai who owns a tea stall, the lovable drunkard Khopdi (Sameer Khakkar), the bumbling havaldar Ganapat (Ajay Wadhavkar) and the earnest Hari (Pawan Malhotra), smitten by the educated Madhu, were the highlights of this Nukkad.
What made the show a hit was its sensitive and realistic portrayal. Would love to revisit this show, now!
It was based on the works of award-winning author R.K Narayan and directed by actor-director Shankar Nag. Need we say more? Simple stories set and shot in a village, the serial instantly struck a chord with the viewers.
Actors like Girish Karnad and Anant Nag playing key roles was an icing on the cake. But the one who stole hearts was the little boy Manjunath who played the pivotal role of nine-year-old Swami. So much so, that another series Swami And His Friends was made revolving around the impish and cute boy who hates school and finds excuses to be with his pals.
A reminder of the carefree, innocent childhood days, it’s is a must-see for today’s fast-track generation.
Written and directed by Kavita Choudhary, who also played the lead role, Udaan was an aspirational serial about a woman, Kalyani aiming to be an IPS officer. It traced her struggle to fulfill her dream, her fight against gender bias and the ultimate triumph.
Her biggest support was her father (Vikram Gokhale) who encouraged her every step of the way. Apart from the uplifting subject, what made this serial hot was the drool-worthy Shekhar Kapur who played a small but significant role as Kalyani’s love interest.
Dekh Bhai Dekh
Shekhar Suman, Bhavna Balsavar, Deven Bhojani and Vishal Singh are still remembered for their outing in this comedy. The story revolves around a upper-class joint family living in the Mumbai suburbs.
What made it stand out was, even when the problems were grave – ranging from relationship issues, rivalries or trouble in business — they went about solving them in a logical and light-hearted manner. Everyone had a peculiar trait.
While Balraj (Navin) was absent-minded, Sameer (Shekhar) talked fast and Karima was a little on the effeminate side. The serial was a huge stress-buster, something that we need pronto!
Though it was called Khandaan, it was not a saas-bahu drama nor did it deal with kitchen politics. What it dealt with though was ambitions, business rivalries, drug-addiction and divorce — something that was unheard of on TV those days. Neena Gupta played the vamp with elan.
Others in the serial included Shreeram Lagoo, Mohan Bhandarkar and Jayant Kriplani. Apart from its stellar cast, the serial was fast-paced and slickly shot.
Based on the Brithish comedy Mind Your Language, Zabaan Sambhalke had Pankaj Kapur teaching Hindi to a class of cross-cultural students from the country and abroad. It had a Tamilian, a Sikh, a British, a Mahrashtrian and so on trying to learn the National Language for different purposes.
Just imagine what happens when the meaning of the word is lost/changed in translation! Best thing would be to bring back the serial that starred besides Pankaj, Bhavna Balsavar, Shobha Khote, Viju Khote and Tom Alter, and re-live it.
Ravi Baswani and the Pathak sisters, Supriya and Ratna starred in this serial that was way ahead of its times. This comedy was about two women who shift to Mumbai for their jobs and share a flat with a man! How they go about dividing the housework and make Ravi do the bulk of it was hilarious. It will be a delight to watch the trio together again.