Malgudi Days TV Serial

Do you remember watching Malgudi Days, eons ago, when Doordarshan was the only source of entertainment and television synonymous with limited dose of Chitrahar and a Sunday Movie?

Well, the choices were limited and perhaps we were so devoid of options that we hurriedly devored, whatever Doordarshan decided to shower on us!

Ummm.. Yes and No.

Though it may sound boring today, but in those good old days, entertainment was clean and educational. I still remember lots and lots of programs ftom my childhood days including Surbhi, Jungle Book, Dekh Bhai Dekh and of course Malgudi Days.

Today, while searching for something worthwhile to watch on Amazon Prime, I inadvertently noticed Malgudi Days, being included as Top TV series. Needless to say, memories overwhelmed and pretty soon I was glued to the first episode, featuring adorable Manju as Swami, in one of my favorite shows.

Though, this time, I am watching it as an adult and noticed many details I hitherto missed.

First and foremost, the show is based on the first novel by R. K. Narayan, Swami and Friends. Narayan had written many novels set in Malgudi, but ironically, the book that  made him famous among kids, was never titled as Malgudi Days! It seems to be a masterstroke on the part of director Shankar Nag.

The next interesting fact that caught my attention was that the TV series featured illustrations by the famous cartoonist R. K. Laxman. As a child, I often confused him with Narayan the writer!

And, yet another interesting fact, the TV show, was based upon the translated version of the book and the translator was none other than Arundhati Rao, who married the director Shankar Nag and gave a stellar performance as Vidya Balan’s mother in Paa!

Surprised! Yes, it was my reaction too. We often miss out on such details, when we take things for granted as sheer entertainment, but when watched with a keen eye, many mysteries unfold.

For now, I am enjoying the first episode of Malgudi Days, laughing at the cute antics of Swami and his Friends, and in my heart wondering, that these child actors must have grown up as formidable artists, though I know almost nothing about them.

Childhood memories aren’t etched in ink, but are indelible prints, guiding us through life…

Anupama Sarkar




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