Doordarshan turns 62 today: Celebrating some of its top shows
When Netflix and other streamers didn't exist, Doordarshan was the binge-watching channel for people born in the late '80s and '90s. Founded on this day way back in 1959, the signature tune of the broadcaster was composed in 1976 by Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Ahmed Hussain Khan. Today on its birthday, we raise a toast to some of Doordarshan's top shows.
When feminism was not a point of raging discussions, Shanti arrived on our TV screens. Mandira Bedi played the titular character ferociously and her look comprising her flowing curly hair tied with a pincher on top and downward-faced arrow-shaped bindi, has become a stuff of legend. Did you know except for the 49-year-old, most of the actors were NSD alum or/and theater performers?
Surabhi explored India's culture with sincerity. Hosted by Renuka Shahane and Siddharth Kak, it ran for 11 solid years, with a year's gap in between. Also featured on Limca Book of Records, this extremely popular show depended heavily on one thing: the 15p postcards! Viewers had to send answers to its weekly quiz question in postcards and this interactive feature worked in its favor.
62 years of eventful journey...— Mayank Agrawal (@Mayank23Agrawal) September 15, 2021
On the Foundation Day, #Doordarshan thanks viewers for their love continued support. Maintaining high ethical standards and reaching out to diverse populations through a bouquet of channels, are our prime objectives. We assure to live by that. pic.twitter.com/wzAwZ5yXHr
Mahabharat and Ramayan came a year apart from each other, with the latter airing a year earlier in 1987. Both the mythological shows were broadcast again during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Ramayan becoming the world's most watched show. This only goes on to prove the immense impact both the shows had on people's mind when they were originally shown on the television screens.
Shaktimaan deserves a special mention. It came later than these shows mentioned here, but was a landmark venture. It dealt with a man with superhero powers and arrived at a time when Stan Lee was probably creating his now famous superhero characters for comic strips.
Parents of our generation thought watching Chitrahaar or Rangoli would be disastrous for us and we would mature up before time because these shows featured clips of songs from the latest releases of Bollywood. These two uber-popular shows are as old as we are! While Chitrahaar started its journey in 1982, Rangoli came six years later. Hema Malini was one of the latter's hosts.
While Yug dealt with the lives of freedom fighters, Chandrakanta was a fantasy show dealing with a princess. Both these soaps had catchy and excellent title tracks, which remain etched in our heads. Sonu Nigam and Vinod Rathod sang the Usha Khanna composition for Chandrakanta, while Rathod lend his voice for Yug's theme track. Both the soaps boasted of actors who were stellar performers.