Even till a few years ago, doing anything other than the run off the mill saas-bahu saga was seen as a bold step. The nation couldn’t get enough of their beloved Tulsis and Parvatis. But should we then ignore the fact that before the world of cable and digitization, the streets of the country were empty each Sunday morning in the late 80s, given Sampoorna Mahabharat on Doordarshan. We think it’s safe to say that mythology in India has always been big; and now it’s seemingly making a comeback on the small screen with makers willing to invest in such concepts.
Zee Tv’s Ramayan has been doing fairly well on the scene. “Ramayan and Mahabharat are epics which have been part of our culture and are always going to exist. I feel it all boils down to having the right execution” says Nikhil Madhok, Vice President Marketing, Star India. Life Ok’s Devon Ke Dev Mahadev has been consistently garnering high numbers and can easily be seen as a milestone in the careers of all those associated with it. But people from the industry swear by the content apparently. Ajit Thakur, GM Life Ok says “Mahadev was able to capture the viewer’s attention not just because it’s a mythological show but because of the right storyline, narratives and right casting.”
Ajay Bhalwankar, head of content Zeel, shares Thakur’s opinion “Relevant content works irrespective of whether it is a mythological show or historical.” Apart from these myths being an integral part of our culture, we wonder if there’s another agenda for these shows. According to Madhok, “it’s a good way to keep the new generation in touch with our culture,” Well, the popular opinion seems to be that, it’s the content which goes beyond the genre.
But are mythos a profitable bet? Suresh Mishra, Asst Director, Sahara One Media and Entertainment Ltd, informs us that they are. Jai Jai Bajrang Bali, their mythological show, has managed to get the channel good numbers and is running into its second successful year. He says “With Jai Jai Bajrang Bali, from its launch to now, we have only grown and picked up. It makes it clear that we have an avid audience for it.”
It must be note that in spite of all the masala entertainment, people today still have a large appetite for mythology. Thakur says, “Mythology is very much a part of who we are as Indians and every story has the potential to bring the whole family together like no other story can. With Mahadev, we have taken the storytelling and treatment to the next level for any myth show in India. The look of the series is very different from anything seen before on Indian television.” That’s true. Mahadev’s graphics have been an important factor in grabbing eyeballs. He further adds “Life OK has always been about stories that inspire the ‘aam aadmi’ and how we can make a difference to their lives. Every episode of Mahadev has something for us to learn from.”
The makers have stressed on the fact that these shows are also a tool of making the youth of the country aware of our myths, culture and heritage. Looks like there’s no going back to the saas-bahu sagas that were prodigies of the past and the mythological trend is here to stay!