Do you remember the old Doordarshan characters whom you watched leaving all other important things, years or may be decades ago? Those days, Television was not available 24/7. We used to wait whole day to watch our favorite TV serials. As Doordarshan was the only channel, remote controls were not the part of the living room. However, its shows and characters always fascinated and mesmerized the people from my generation and that is still nostalgic about it.
Those days, there was no choice, only one television channel – Doordarshan and a standard set of programs but the quality of programs was more superior to what we have today, hundreds of channels where either you have third grade reality shows, Saas bahu drama or news shows where everything is breaking news. Today, I am going to have a recap of some of the most popular Doordarshan characters who still have some space in our memories.
Ram :: Ramayana :: Played by Arun Govil
Close your eyes and try to imagine Ram, you will definitely visualize Arun Govil as Ram. This is the level of popularity of Arun Govil who played these charactes.
Krishna :: Mahabharat :: Played by Nitish Bhardwaj
It was due his popularity that after the serial, Nitish Bhardwaj was elected from Dhanbad in 1991 on a BJP ticket.
Basesar Ram :: Hum Log :: Played by Vinod Nagpal
Vinod Nagpal played this role in Hum Log. He was alcoholic father with a dark, sarcastic sense of humour. He was the live face of middle class appointment viewing in contemporary India.
Veerawali :: Buniyaad :: Played by Kiran Joneja
Kiran Joneja shot into the limelight with her role as Veerwali in Buniyaad. She also acted in popular Doordarshan serials like Mahabharat, Yug and Swabhimaan.
Rajani :: Rajani :: Played by Priya Tendulkar
Priya Tendulkar rose to national fame with her TV series Rajani (1985) where she played a housewife who can’t stand any injustice and solves public social issues. Her portrayal of Rajani made her a household name all over India.
Karamchand :: Karamchand :: Played by Pankaj Kapur
Karamchand was India’s first detective TV serial. Pankaj Kapur played the role of Jasoos Karamchand. This serials became a big hit and he became a household name.
Shaktimaan :: Shaktimaan :: Played by Mukesh Khanna
Mukesh Khanna played the role of Shaktimaan and his alter-ego Pandit Gangadhar Vidyadhar Mayadhar Omkarnath Shastri, a photographer for the newspaper Aaj Ki Aawaz. It was one of the most popular and longest-running television series for Indian children on the Doordarshan channel.
Abhimanyu Rai :: Fauji :: Played by Shah Rukh Khan.
Fauji starring Shahrukh Khan went on to become a mega success. The magic of Fauji transformed him into an overnight celebrity. The character played by Khan (Abhimanyu Rai) gained instant popularity due to the brilliant writing, shooting and editing of the team of creators who were all young and deeply committed.The character of Abhimanyu Rai was based on the exploits of Lt Col Sanjoy Bannerji of the Bombay Sappers, Indian Army.
Byomkesh Bakshi :: Byomkesh Bakshi :: Played by Rajit Kapur
Byomkesh Bakshi (1993) directed by Basu Chatterjee was the critically acclaimed television adaptation of the series. Actor Rajit Kapur played the role of Byomkesh Bakshi, for which he was highly praised. Ajit was played by K.K. Raina and Satyaboti was played by Sukanya Kulkarni who was the first actress to play the character. The series lasted for 33 episodes.
Budhai Ram :: Neem ka Ped :: Played by Pankaj Kapur
Pankaj Kapur played bonded labourer "Budhai Ram" who lives in a village with a Muslim Zamindar (landlord).
Shanti :: Shanti :: Played by Mandira Bedi
Shanti was first ever daily soap on Indian television. Mandira Bedi played the lead role in the serial.
Kalyani :: Udaan :: Played by Kavita Choudhary
Udaan was based on the struggle of a woman aspiring to be an IPS officer. It was probably the first Indian television show on women empowerment. The serial is inspired by true story of Kavita Choudhary’s elder sister Kanchan Choudhary who after several hardships went to become the first female Director General of Police. The direction and performance of Kavita Choudhary were applauded and loved by the media and the public.
Mr Yogi :: Mr. Yogi :: Played by Mohan Gokhale
Mohan Gokhale played the role of a NRI who comes to India to get married. The story revolves around his search for a perfect bride.
Samir Diwan :: Dekh Bhai Dekh :: Played by Shekhar Suman
People still remember this comedy serial for the fantastic performance of Shekhar Suman.
Mungerilal :: Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne :: Played by Raghubir Yadav
Mungerilal is a small time clerk who gets bossed around by his wife at home and by his boss at office. To top that, his father in law rubs salt on his wounds by exaggerating his own achievements as a Police Inspector. He overcomes all this by day dreaming, where he takes revenge on his boss, his father-in-law. He also dates his beautiful colleague. As he basks in the glory of his accomplishments, his wife wakes him up to ruin dream.
Raja :: Yeh jo hai Zindagi :: Played by Rakesh Bedi
Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi was the first sitcom and one of the biggest hit shows on Doordarshan. The serials revolved around funny happenings in the lives of Ranjit Verma (played by actor Shafi Inamdar) and Renu Verma (played by actress Swaroop Sampat, a former Miss India 1979), who play a married couple along with Renu’s unmarried and unemployed younger brother Raja (Rakesh Bedi).
Guru :: Nukkad :: Played by Dilip Dhawan
The serial and the character played by Dilip Dhawan received tremendous response from the viewers
Srinivas Wagle :: Wagle Ki Duniya :: Played by Anjjan Srivastava
Wagle Ki Duniya starred Anjan Srivastav as a bumbling sales clerk in a multinational and Bharati Achrekar as his wife. The series was hit and made Anjan Srivastav a household name.
Jaspal Bhatti :: Flop Show :: Played by Jaspal Bhatti
Flop Show was an Indian television sitcom that first aired on Doordarshan in 1989. The show was written and directed by satirical humorist Jaspal Bhatti, who also played himself as the main character. His wife Savita Bhatti produced the show and also acted in all the episodes as his wife. The sitcom was a satire on the socio-cultural problems faced by the common man in India at the time. Although only 10 episodes of the show were ever produced, the show has had a long and powerful legacy.
Kroor Singh :: Chandrakanta :: Played by Akhilendra Mishra
Chandrakanta, based on the novel of Devaki Nandan Khatri, first appeared on Doordarshan in 1994. It ran for two years and the characters of Chandrakanta, Virendra Singh, Kroor Singh aka Yakoo, Badrinath became popular names.