Ramayana: Not in tune
Zee TV, Sunday, 11 am
Cast: Gagan Malik, Neha Sargam
Thank God for the fast forward button on the DVD player! It helps one survive the latest version of Ramayana produced by mytho-experts, the Sagars. The latest edition of the epic was meant to woo the younger generation with shriveling attention spans and as a wholesome show for the entire family on a Sunday morning (a slot which Aamir Khan showed could work with the right content) and learn the lessons afresh. Alas, the pace of the show is its undoing and so is the melodrama (you should see the three queens going berserk every time a 'maa' situation demands), not to forget some of the tacky special effects.
I watched the show with my teenage son who found the entire sequence of Lord Vishnu having a dialogue with Kaushalya who promptly faints and bingo, finds baby Ram crying on the bed when she regains consciousness, funny. He asked: Mum, is this how babies are really produced? She wasn't even shown pregnant. Then there is the almost malnourished, model-like Kaikeyi which had my son wondering if she was indeed the prettiest of all queens! We loved the sequences between the younger versions of Ram, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughan at the gurukul.
It was indeed heartwarming to see the camaraderie the four shared and I wished some more time was spent on their childhood. But I guess, in the bid to tell the story faster, the kids grew overnight. It was nice, the way guruma stressed on the future kings being taught to empathise and be kind – a well-rounded education is the need of hour even in today's cutthroat times where tolerance, patience, love, kindness and politeness are easily traded with impatience and aggression.