‘Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan is all set to return to Doordarshan as India remains hunkered down during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown’ – this made headlines on March 27th, 2020, after the Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi announced a lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus in India. This announcement made headlines in almost every news channel and newspaper. It brought a wave of memories to people, especially of that age and it was surely a walk down the memory lane.
As the lockdown progressed, I witnessed all my family members were glued to the television set on respective time, not even late by seconds to watch Ramayan and Mahabharata, the two epic shows. I was wonderstruck when my 7-year-old daughter would not miss a single episode of the show and watch with all zeal and excitement. This made me realize what a TV show is capable of, not only it did attract old/young, women/men but also as budding minds as 7 years old. This is where I started finding facts about the show and tried finding out what made that show such a gigantic success.
So, come with me, let’s walk down the memory lane and witness the grand success of the epic show Ramayan and also find out the little big things that made what it is.
Ramanand Sagar would always be known as a man who united tens of millions of people over a single TV show.
Starring Arun Govil as Lord Ram, Deepika as Sita, Sunil Lehri as Laxman, Arvind Trivedi as the Iconic Ravan, and not to forget Dara Singh as Hanuman, the galaxy of stars itself depicts the success and has no match. Ramayan has first aired 3 decades ago on June 25th, 1987, and continued till July 1988, consisting of 78 episodes. For roughly 35 minutes every Sunday, almost everyone would do one same thing – watching Ramayan.
The people in India are emotionally driven and spiritualists having strong faith in God, started adoring the stars of the show as God themselves, and could not take Arun Govil smoking, as they believed him to be their God. The impact of the show was so huge that people would eat non-vegetarian food, neither clean nor touch it. All household chores would pause and revive during the commercial breaks. Owing to its great popularity, all buses and trains would halt and passengers would gather a place with TV to just watch the show. However, the crowd would be so huge that nothing can be seen but just being present there would be more than sufficient.
In those days, owning a TV was a rare, luxury affair so people used to huddle together at the neighbors who owned a set. People would remove shoes, sit in namaskar mudra with women with pallu on their head, symbolizing respect for God, they believed in the show. In short, they all loved the show from the core of the heart and the empty streets were befitting evidence to the giant success of the show. Unbelievable, but few episodes then reached 100 million viewers, a giant record in itself which none of the shows have to date.
In today’s era of special effects, the characters with supernatural powers to fly and take any form was laughably kiddish and seemed that it belonged to another century.
For viewers, the show was like God themselves have incarnated one more time and filled with all devotion and bhakti.
All these and many such instances reveal Ramayan garnered unprecedented popularity then. Owing to its epic success it was re-telecasted during the lockdown. Many were skeptical if it can hold the audience like before but I guess it’s needless to say it’s a show of all ages and eras. It kept glued the viewers as it did 33 years ago. Even in 2020, amid all modernization and globalization, Ramayan has its popularity and presence. In short, Goodness still exists in this world…
Happy watching…..Stay Home, Stay Safe..!!!
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