As Calvin would say – In my opinion, television validates existence…

I was well into my early teens when I realized Swapnil Joshi was not Lord Krishna and Puneet Issar was not the evil Duryodhana from Vyas’s Mahabharat. Growing up when computers were just becoming popular meant that television played an important role as a means of entertainment and information. Indeed, the tube was where I learned the stories of Lord Krishna (1993) and Mahabharat (1988), thanks to Ramanand Sagar and B. R. Chopra. Spending the best part of my summer vacations at my grandfather’s place, and a lot many subsequent Sunday evenings, meant that there was no escaping the beatific Joshi as Krishna or the deep, rough baritone of wicked Issar.  As the 90’s moved on, another serial became a part of the Sunday routine – Akbar-Birbal. With Birbal played by the likeable Anang Desai (Tulsidas from ‘Khichdi’) and the venerated Akbar played by Marathi theatre personality, Vikram Gokhale, it did not take long for the show to capture a young boy’s imagination. Continue reading