Shaktimaan, Circus, Ramayan: Doordarshan’s OG Shows Will Give You Company During Quarantine

Keep the COVID-19 blues away!

Annabelle D’Costa

Millennials and pre-Millennials went for a trip down memory lane when Information and Broadcasting Minister, Prakash Javadekar announced on March 27, 2020 that Doordarshan, India’s first television channel, will air re-runs of hit 80’s shows Ramayan and Mahabharat. These two shows, based on eponymous Hindu mythology, became a cultural phenomenon when they first aired. The nostalgia factor associated with the shows have tugged on the heartstrings again with the news of them being on television again.



Twitter was ablaze with references, comments and general chatter. One user wrote “The first #Super30 batch of mankind,” and another said “When my mom tells me to eat
tinde: Yeh sambhav nahi maate.” As the first episode of Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan went live, it went on to become one of the top searches on Google search engine in India with several people trying to find out the series’ timings or trying to find an online link to watch the show.

 

For those old enough now to have watched the original telecast back in the days, it is pure nostalgia. The boxy television set and the antennae on the roof that needed adjusting to ensure clear reception. Waiting excitedly for the famous DD tune playing as the rotating logo came into focus or the smell of incense sticks and the chants of aarti that filled the entire locality at nine in the morning when Ramayan was on air. Those were the days when TV viewing was a community activity when neighbours with television sets would open their doors for others and families would time their routine to match the screenings.

 

Under the current duress of a spreading pandemic and ensuing isolation and lockdown, the Doordarshan shows of yore offer a sense of comfort. The return of these shows along with many others is a reminder that even in times of ‘social distancing’ the idiot box manages to bring together thousands of people sitting miles apart to watch the same show at the same time.

 

What began as an experiment in September 15, 1959, became a service in 1965, revolutionising the Indian television scene with shows that were a perfect mix of information and entertainment. Last year in September, DD even celebrated its 60th anniversary. 


By bringing back its “popular demand” shows, DD is now almost running a neck-to-neck competition with popular streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hotstar. Mind you, it’s not just the nostalgic TV audiences that DD is tapping into, but also smartphone-users with DD’s own apps such as NewsOnAir and Doordarshan, available for free downloads on IOS and Google PlayStore. 




As the re-telecasts of your fave shows start today, here’s where and when you can watch them:


Ramayan

: Television adaptation of Indian mythological epic of the same name, authored by Valmiki, depicting the life of Hindu god, Lord Ram.

Where to watch: DD National or NewsOnAir app

When: Every day, 9:00 am and 9:00 pm

 

Mahabharat:

Television adaptation of Ved Vyasa’s eponymous epic about the struggle and feud between Kauravas and Pandavas.

Where to watch: DD National or NewsOnAir app

When: Every day, 12:00 noon and 7:00 pm

 

Byomkesh Bakshi:

Originally created by author Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, Byomkesh Bakshi is a television series on the cases solved by the mystery-solving and crime-fighting detective.
Where to watch: DD National or NewsOnAir app
When: Every day at 11:00 am



Circus

: Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan makes a comeback with Circus, which follows the lives of circus artists.
Where to watch: DD National or NewsOnAir app
When: Every day, 8:00 pm


Shrimaan Shrimati:

A rib-tickling Hindi sitcom built on the premise of ‘love thy neighbour's wife’.

Where to watch: DD National
When: 2:00 pm

Shaktimaan:

One of India’s most successful superheroes, Shaktimaan can be considered India’s answer to Superman. The show follows the life of an Indian superhero who works as a photographer with supernatural powers.

Where to watch: DD National network

When: Every day, 1:00 pm


Hum Hain Na:

a drama comprising of a cast that calls themselves ‘troubleshooters’.
Where to watch: DD National Network
When: Every day, 10:00 pm


Tu Tota Main Maina:

A comedy that takes us inside the lives of a couple they serve as domestic help
Where to watch: DD National Network
When: 10:30 pm 


Chanakya:

A televised biopic on the life and history of Chanakya, an economist, strategist and political theorist, who was also the royal advisor of King Chandragupta Maurya.
Where to watch: DD Bharti
When: Every day during afternoon slots


Upanishad Ganga:

A show that explains the meaning of the Upanishads (ancient texts of spiritual teaching and ideas of Hinduism) in the modern context.
Where to watch: DD Bharti
When: Every day during afternoon slots

 

Krishna Kali:

Amol Palekar's sensitive depiction of a complicated woman by the same name
Where to watch: DD National
When: 8:30 pm 


Dekh Bhai Dekh:

The Diwan family is always up to something mischievous, get inside their lives and treat yourself to some free gags.
Where to watch: DD National 
When: Every day, 6:00 pm  


Lead creative by Vartika Pahuja

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