Mahanagar at rajshri.com

Desi audiences all over the world can now indulge their passion for quality Hindi cinema and television at www.rajshri.com. The tradition-bound folks at Rajshri, my favorite Bollywood production house, have defied their conventional image and gone hitech with the launch of their own entertainment portal.

I think it’s a pretty smart move. With their vast experience in production and distribution, the Rajshris had the advantage of a strong base of various inhouse entertainment media. All they had to do was acquire the rights to some more quality titles, and bingo!

This new portal is way better than the forums I used to visit earlier, mostly for my weekly dose of Koffee with Karan. The quality of the videos apart, most of the serials uploaded on such forums are saas-bahu dramas that I can only tolerate in the best of my moods. In contrast, rajshri.com has some really good shows (Malgudi days, Fauji, Surabhi, Talaash etc.) from the 80s and the 90s, which I believe were the golden decades of Indian television if you go by the quality rather than the quantity of their content.

I was especially impressed with a serial called Mahanagar. This was on air sometime in the early 80s which is when I was born and yet impressed me even today. Each episode is based on a short story written by a renowned regional author. The stories are slice-of-life, concentrating on a unique aspect of life in a busy metropolis. The narrative is simple and some brilliant yesteryear actors like Sriram Lagoo, Shekhar Kapur and Reema Lagoo succeed in bringing these beautiful stories to life.

I found the first episode, based on a story by Va. Pu. Kale, especially touching. As an affectionate mother, loving wife, dutiful daughter-in-law and hardworking office-worker, Reema Lagoo struggles to successfully juggle these various facets of her life. At the end of the day, what happens to her dreams and aspirations? Is she ever able to find time for herself?

Another story, again by Va. Pu. Kale, depicts the age-old dilemma between material wealth and happiness. Shekhar Kapur, a young and successful banker with a loving wife and son, strives to build a good life for himself and his family. But what is the definition of a good life? How much wealth and success is required for one to be content in life? And what do we sacrifice in the process?

Wonderful, thought-provoking stuff.

You can watch this great serial here www.rajshri.com/mahanagar/index.asp. Do let me know if you like it.

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