It was an age of innocence. It was an age when television was yet to take its 24×7 avatar. It was an age when Doordarshan was the only TV channel around. It was an age when quality undeniably topped over quantity. The weekly television serials were eagerly awaited with the entire family gathered in the living room.
Here’s a trip down memory lane on some of the most popular Doordarshan characters that became household names back in the eighties and the nineties.
1. Ram (Arun Govil)
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Who can forget the deadpan face of Arun Govil as Ram in Ramanand Sagar’s magnum opus Ramayan. His facial muscles reacted the same way regardless of whether he was expressing love to Sita (Deepika Chikhalia) or was facing arrows from arch rival Ravana (a gross Arvind Trivedi). But even three decades later, It’s Govil who we still remember as Ram. It’s rumoured that people used to come to the shooting spot to seek his blessings.
2. Bhishma (Mukesh Khanna)
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The entire country came to a standstill at 9am on Sunday mornings when BR Chopra’s Mahabharat was shown on TV. Mukesh Khanna as Bhishma became one of the most favourite Doordarshan characters of an entire generation. Khanna went on to play the title role in another superhit production Shaktimaan, but he is still best remembered as Bhishma, a role which he played to perfection.
3. Rajani (Priya Tendulkar)
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Long before consumer awareness even warranted minor cognizance, the crusading homemaker Rajani became the inspiration for the Indian middle class to stand up for their rights. Priya Tendulkar played the title role of this hugely popular TV serial directed by Basu Chatterjee. Aired in the mid-eighties, Rajani walked into our hearts and has since remained forever.