Ramayan returns
The return of Hanuman on the big screen was well received. Now Ramayan is all set to make an entry in a new avatar on the small screen, says Gitanjali Sharma

Gurmeet Choudhary and Debina Bonnerjee will perform the role of Lord Rama and Sita in Ramayan, to be telecast on NDTV Imagine from January 21
Gurmeet Choudhary and Debina Bonnerjee will perform the role of Lord Rama and Sita in Ramayan, to be telecast on NDTV Imagine from January 21

Twenty years ago, Ramanand Sagar had set a new high for Indian television, a nascent industry then, with the blockbuster show Ramayan. Now the Sagars plan to recreate the same magic with an "all-new" Ramayan on NDTV Imagine, starting January 21.

Riding the back-to-mythology wave (with serials on Ravana, Krishna and other mythological figures enjoying high TRPs), the makers of the new show hope to grab the eyeballs of even the die-hard fans of saas-bahu serials.

The serial, to be aired Monday to Thursday at 9.30 pm, promises a fresh approach to the classic tale with state-of-the-art production facilities, lilting music and a new star cast. Elaborate sets to depict palaces in Ayodhya and Janakpuri have been erected in Sagar Film Ciy in Vadodra (Baroda), where the entire production is being held and where the launch of the show was recently announced.

Targeting the family audience, especially the 560 million population below the age of 25, Sagar Arts — which is already engaged in production of popular historical and mythological serials like Sai Baba, Prithviraj Chauhan and Krishna Kathaiyen — is banking on the timeless appeal of the great epic. It promises to dish out a fare that will enlighten, entertain and delight both the old and the young.

Prem Sagar, son of the late Ramanand Sagar and the man behind the promotion the family’s serials, says the Ramayan like the Ganga river is sacred, timeless and unmeasurable. The new show, he asserted, had the advantage of being produced in times of huge technological advancements which would enhance the story-telling in a compelling way.

Also hopeful of Ramayan making a huge connect with audiences across the country, Sameer Nair, CEO of NDTV Imagine, an entertainment initiative from NDTV Ltd, said Indians were still "one-television" families and their new show had all the elements to delight and entertain a family together every evening. He declared that Ramayan was a tale for every generation. "It is multi-layered, multi-faceted, multidimensional`85 and this brand new daily version of the timely classic has been interpreted to cater to the taste of a shining, modern India."

This time round the characters in Ramayan will be played by new faces: Gurmeet Choudhary (Lord Rama), Debina Bonnerjee (Sita), Ankit Arora (Lakshmana), Vije Bhatia (Bharata) and Lalit Negi (Shatrughana). The music for the serial has been composed by Ravindra Jain, and Kavita Krishnamurty and Suresh Wadkar have sung the title track.

Caught in a tangled net

The Net brings the downside of computers
The Net brings the downside of computers

In the modern world computers rule every aspect of our lives. They cannot just alter our lives but even destroy them with the click of a key. The Net on HBO on Tuesday January 15 at 9 pm is a chilling tale of how computers and the Internet can wreak havoc with an individual.

The story revolves around computer expert, Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock), who is sent a programme by a friend that has a bug which only she can clear. She works on the glitch and finally manages to open the programme. To her horror she discovers that it gives her access to government and military computer systems. She tells her friend about it and he asks her to keep quiet till he meets her. But on his way to her home he is killed. That’s when she realizes that she might be caught up in a massive information altering racket. She takes a break from work and goes to Mexico for a holiday but that too turns into a nightmare. When she returns home, she finds her very existence altered in government records and she has been given a new identity of a prostitute with a police record. How she gets her own back forms the crux of this high-tech movie about at the complex world of computers.

Marriage woes

Jamegi… married to the web
Jamegi… married to the web

This is a hilarious take on matrimonial sites. Jamegi telecast on Wednesdays at 10.30 pm on 9X is a contemporary and youthful offering that shows the lighter side of match-making on the worldwide web. The site Jamegi is being successfully hosted by a mother (Sulbha Arya) and daughter (Mona Vasu) with predictable results—fixing up wedding of total strangers through their website. However, their paradise is rudely shaken when the duo lands up in stiff competition with Ladka Ladki an online dating agency owned by the dynamic and handsome Angad (Mihir Misra). The show highlights the conflict of the new and old ideas. The issues raked up include tradition and modernity, love and arranged marriage and kundali versus computers all with very comical results. This turbulent marriage of technology and tradition is surely worth watching. — NF