TV shows we'd love to watch on big screen!
Every time you think back to Doordarshan Network's classic serials like Malgudi Days, Hum Log, Dekh Bhai Dekh or Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, you wish some mainstream channel acquires their rights and re-runs them at prime time. How wonderful it would be, if some of these shows were to be adapted on to the big screen, a la Khichdi or this week's release Musaddilal Chale Office Office, the film version of the popular sitcom Office Office.
Of course, the downside to this would be the unavailability of some of the actors who left their stamp on the respective shows. Can you imagine Hum Log without Ashok Kumar or Nukkad without Guru (the late Dilip Dhawan)?
Nevertheless, here's our wish-list of television shows we would love to see being made into movies. Read on:
This iconic show, a channel topper for Doordarshan, was written by the Sahitya Akademi winner Manohar Shyam Joshi. It would make for a gripping drama.
Hum Log depicted common people torn between family, struggle and aspirations.
The protagonists of Hum Log were once an integral part of the Indian viewer's life -- no names have greater recall value than Basesar Ram, Chutki, Nanhe, Majhli or Bhagwanti.
Biggest challenge: To edit one of the longest running shows in India (at 156 episodes) into a three-hour film format.
Other than this, the late Dadamoni's presence will be deeply felt. Come to think of it, the legend was called in at first to add star value to a show that had virtually nothing going for it.
Image: A still from Hum Log
R K Narayan's fictitious small town is a small world in itself. Malgudi Days was one of the most popular TV shows ever made.
It's a glorious high of the gone-by days, a unique feat one doubts will be achieved in soap-dom anymore.
Following Swami in a way that he's not being watched, Malgudi Days sparkles with innocent humour, school-time mischief and friendly banter.
Biggest challenge: Since Malgudi Days is a collection of stories taken from several of Narayan's books, one would be spoilt for choice -- the dilemma of which to use and which to discard.
More importantly, who would play Swami, the wonder-boy Graham Greene reserved his deepest affections for? Not Darsheel Safary, please.
Image: A still from Malgudi Days
It's a bit amusing to introduce Circus as one of Shah Rukh Khan's earliest-known television shows to make it relevant to today's viewers -- the Aziz Mirza-directed Circus was once a great calling card any director would love to have.
It was popular not only with adults but with the kids too, because it depicted the circus life with an unusual camaraderie between man and animal, the sort Raj Kapoor tried to capture in his ambitious film Mera Naam Joker.
Biggest challenge: The sheer diversity of its cast. To assemble such actors for a film would be quite a task.
Just a thought: given the marketing-savvy times Bollywood is living in, one hopes its cast won't go to Jumbo Circus to promote it.
Image: A still from Circus
With only high-rises and haphazard constructions as far as the eye can see, the very concept of a nukkad (steet corner) has been demolished. Which is why it becomes imperative to pluck a show like Nukkad out to make a film so that it reaches today's public.
It's time to resuscitate Khopdi (hoping he never kicks the bottle) and have Guru, Hari and Kadar Bhai back in our midst.
Biggest challenge: Can Nukkad be envisaged without Guru essayed so amazingly by Dilip Dhawan? The bearded Guru, the charmer who would have people flock around him, cannot be replaced by any other actor.
Image: A still from Nukkad
Dekh Bhai Dekh
To see Shekhar Suman blurt out inanities on comedy shows is to disbelieve his work in a show like Dekh Bhai Dekh (and some amazing films, too). One still remembers, right at the beginning of Dekh Bhai Dekh's credits, 'Jaya Bachchan Presents' emblazoned across the screen.
Who would forget the constant cries of, 'Kareema, Kareema,' reminding one of Raghu, the indispensible cook-servant from Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Bawarchi?
Biggest challenge: To make Shekhar look still younger than he already does for a repeat of his role as chachu. And on a more serious note, to fill the position of the absent-minded Balraj played by the late Navin Nischol.
Image: A still from Dekh Bhai Dekh
A great admirer of possibly the most famous Urdu poet to date, Gulzar's Mirza Ghalib is a poetic homage to Asadullah Baig Khan. Gulzar brings out the essence of Ghalib, placing his poetry and thoughts (set to tune by Jagjit Singh) within the context of his life.
In what could be termed one of the greatest performances in any medium, Naseeruddin Shah in the title role proves why acting has the power to move the viewer.
Biggest challenge: Naseer has often stated that Ghalib is a performance dearer to him than most of his other work and it would be apt if Gulzar repeats him and other characters. Wouldn't wish anything to be changed from the original.
Image: A still from Mirza Ghalib
Our wish seems to be getting fulfilled rather soon.
Buzz is that Sridevi's comeback film English Vinglish is inspired by Zabaan Sambhalke, the hilarious sit-com starring Pankaj Kapur as a Hindi teacher imparting a subject, in his own words, which he teaches but has never studied himself.
His students are from different cultures, including an Arab, a Russian and an Englishman.
Biggest challenge: Although a remake of Mind Your Language, Zabaan Sambhalke worked because it relied more on the characters than its plot. Its humour sprang from the cultural clashes.
Image: A still from Zabaan Sambhalke
Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi
It revolved around a family of three -- the rather odd pati, patni aur saala. At the end of it all, it is left to Satish Shah to add to the laughs. In this age of crassedies (crass comedies), Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi would be a breath of fresh laughter.
Biggest challenge: To fetch the beautiful Swaroop Sampat, who married Paresh Rawal and opted out of acting. The late Shafi Inamdar is irreplaceable.
Image: A still from Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi
This is Ramesh Sippy's Sholay for the small screen.
Made during the early days of television in India, Buniyaad is sparse and economical but its effect is ironically powerful.
Yet again Manohar Shyam Joshi's script has a dazzlingly real quality to it. It follows the travails of Masterji (Alok Nath) and Lajjoji (Anita Kanwar) and is set in the aftermath of the Partition.
Biggest challenge: TV producer Deepti Bhatnagar had re-released Buniyaad a few years ago. Buniyaad, if sensibly made into a film, can be ranked alongside Garam Hava and Mammo, both brilliant sagas of the Partition days. The same could be said of Govinda Nihalani's Tamas, too.
Image: A still from Buniyaad