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Friday, January 11, 2008

Doordarshan Nostalgia: Hum Log (1984)

Hum Log was the show that started it all, the craze for serials. Doordarshan was the only channel in India, and people were slowly moving towards the concept of watching television for entertainment. And it was Hum Log that started it all. Starting on July 7, 1984, the show became widely popular. Written by the famous writer Manohar Shyam Joshi (who also wrote Buniyaad), the serial took the life of a family who could be any other family, a family that a large number of people could identify with.
The serial could seem a bit boring to kids, but was very engrossing to adults. It was also different in the sense that till then, most serials had to end in 13 episodes, and Hum Log was the first one that went way beyond 13 episodes.
The serial also had a very popular actor, Dada muni Ashok Kumar who would appear at the end of the episode and summarize the serial as well as give a brief speech. He became extremely popular, and received a large number of letters on a daily basis. And the irony was that he was supposed to do this only for the first 10 episodes or so, but the success made this happen for the length of the serial.
The story of Hum Log revolved around the everyday life of a north Indian lower middle class family, with each episode focusing on the triumphs and tribulations of one or more of the central cast members. The serial took everyday conflicts and tensions in relationships between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, siblings and cousins as the basis of each story, and also incorporated a fair amount of elements such as nationalist issues and patriotic pride, family planning, gender relations and communal harmony. All these also became central to the definition of Hum Log as the story of an 'Indian' family.
The following were the main characters of the serial:
* Basesar Ram: was the father and was an alcoholic. Played by Vinod Nagpal
* Bhagwanti: The mother was a housewife and used to sleep in her kitchen itself. Played by Jayshri Arora who was also seen later in Chandrakanta.
* Lallu (Lalit Prasad): The eldest son, unemployed and looking for a job. Played by Rajesh Puri
* Nanhe: The younger son. Played by Abhinav Chaturvedi
* Badki: The eldest daughter, Played by Seema Bhargava
* Majhli: The second daughter, Played by Divya Seth
* Chutki: The youngest daughter. Played by Loveleen Mishra
* Dadaji: Retired teacher and the grandfather, Played by Lahiri singh
* Dadi: Grandmother, played by Sushma Seth

1 comment:

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