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King Bharat to King Shantanu | Mahabharat Hindi TV Serial On DVD | Personal Reviews

Consider every event happened as a dot and you will be able to draw lines by connecting them. Steve Jobs, in his famous commencement speech mentioned that you can connect the dots by looking backwards. So to understand consequences of a particular event one need to find out and analyse the previous events which affect it. The job of a detective is thus always to do the same.

No, we are not going to talk about any crime fiction or detective stories here. Let us explore the famous epic from Indian literature – Mahabharat, through B. R. Chopra’s magnum opus – Mahabharat – a Hindi TV serial.

TV Serial :
Mahabharat
Producer : B. R. Chopra
Writer/Dialogs : Dr. Rahi Masum Raza
Director : Ravi Chopra
Starring : Harish Bhimani (Samay (voice)), Rajesh Vivek (Maharishi Veda Vyasa), Nitish Bharadwaj (Lord Krishna), Shampa Gopikrishan (child Krishna), Kewal Shah (adolescent Krishna), Gajendra Chouhan (Yudhishthira), Sonu (young Yudhishthira), Arjun (Real name: Firoz Khan) (Arjuna), Ankur Javeri (young Arjuna), Roopa Ganguly (Draupadi), Praveen Kumar (Bhima), Sameer Chitre (Nakula), Sanjeev Chitre (Sahadeva), Razak Khan (Ghatotkacha), Paintal (Shikhandi), Arun Bakshi (Dhrishtadyumna), Mayur (Abhimanyu), Mukesh Khanna (Bhishma), Pankaj Dheer (Karna), Harendra Paintal (young Karna), Puneet Issar (Duryodhana), Vinod Kapoor (Dushasana), Kaushal Shah (young Dushasana), Gufi Paintal (Shakuni), Surendra Pal (Dronacharya), Dharmesh Tiwari (Kripacharya), Pradeep Rawat (Ashwatthama), Babbu (young Ashwatthama), Ashok Banthia (Kritavarma), Kapil Kumar (Shalya), Deep Dhillon (Jayadratha), Raj Babbar (Bharata), Ashalata (Shakuntala), Kiran Juneja (Ganga), Rishabh Shukla (Shantanu), Debashree Roy (Satyavati), Sudesh Berry (Vichitraveerya,), Vishnu Sharma (Vasudeva), Sheela Sharma (Devaki), Kshama Raj (Rohini), Ramlal Gupta (Ugrasena), Goga Kapoor (Kans), Rasik Dave (Nanda), Manju Vyas (Yashoda), Sagar Salunke (Balarama), Ajay Sinha (Akroora), Devidas (Kans’s Minister), Girija Shankar (Dhritrashtra), Renuka Israni (Gandhari), Virendra Razdan (Vidura), Tarakesh (Pandu), Nazneen (Kunti), Roma Manik (Madri), Kamlesh Maan (Sulabha), Channa Ruparel (Rukmini), Vikas Prasad (Ekalavya), Vinod Raut (Purochana), Om Katare (Adhiratha Sushen), Saroj Sharma (Radha), Varsha Usgaonkar (Uttaraa), Sameer Rajda (Uttar), Chandni Sharma (Sudeshna), Lalit Tiwari (Sanjay), Dara Singh (Hanuman), Sumeet Raghavan (Young Sudama), Chetan Hansraj (Young Balarama), Parijat (Radha), Ram Mohan (Head Priest), Rafique Mukkadam (Minister), Shivendra Mahal (Parashurama and Lord Shiva), Randhir Singh (Hidimb), Rana Jung Bahadur (Jarasandha), Karunakar Pathak (Shishupala), Sharat Saxena (Kichaka), Gopi Krishna (Chitrasena), Ayub Khan (Parikshit Abhimanyu’s son), and others…
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Some of the recent Hindi TV serials tried exploring the epic of Mahabharat by focusing on the battle of Mahabharat and the immediate events happened prior to it. Some of them were really good and got critical acclaim while some of them prove just the costume drama.

However the Hindi TV Serial made by B. R. Chopra and his team which was aired on Doordarshan on its early days was significantly fantastic. The script writer and the makers of that serial did extended research and started the TV Serial in a way that the audience can understand the entire flow of the epic. Most of the people consider – Mahabharat – as the deadly battle happened in the land of Kurukshetra. The battle was one of the deadliest the history has ever seen. It claimed a lot of casualties. Remember, one need to demolish or clean up the old stuff to reform and restructure it. And hence, the battle of Mahabharat became an unavoidable requirement at a certain point. But why? is the question. And without exploring the past events, one cannot get the answer of this question.

That is why the episode 1 of Mahabharat starts with the last segment of King Bharat’s life. Bharat was a great king (the actual name of Republic of India – Bharat or BharatVarsh – is derived from him) in all the aspects. He was not only a brave warrior and a good administrator, but he was also a wise visionary too. He understood the philosophy of Varna and Karma really well. He believe that one cannot be considered as a successor of a king by simply being the child of him. If one has to become a king, he must have abilities to be one.

He thus took a bold and unexpected step by not declaring any of his own sons as the crown prince (and as his successor)! But, he rather chose the most suitable candidate from his citizens. He considered that a king is like a father to all the citizens, and hence the people of entire kingdom are like his children.

These events are filmed in nice way and Raj Babbar played King Bharat convincingly. The dialogs are written really well. The conversation between Bharat and his mother (after Bharat’s announcement about the crown prince) is worth watching. It is applicable in modern days as well. We see most of the professions continued in family lineage, even the politics! If one have the abilities to be a successor then it is fine, otherwise it is dangerous for the health of the entire society.

The TV Serial then do not waste any time and land into exploring the life of king Shantanu who became the king of Hastinapur after many generations from Bharat. The life and events happened in his life are quite important to understand the Mahabharat.

Shantanu was a brave and skilled king of course. He was also a human being and thus have his strength and weaknesses. Some of the decisions he took in his life, which seem good to him when he took them, prove to be the ones he regret later. That happens with almost everyone though.

The episode explores how Shantanu meet and mesmerised by a lady which later discovered to be Ganga. He like any other lover stunned by the beauty of his lady love and got emotional. In this emotional mood he gave a promise to Ganga which would later play very important role in the fate of Kuru clan and Hastinapur. Rishabh Shukla and Kiran Juneja played the role of Shantanu and Ganga respectively in convincing manner.

Right casting is very important for any TV Serial or movie or drama, and here they got right actors for right roles. The costumes are rich and the sets are glorious. The background music is also goes with the mood of events. We see that most of the TV serial exploring an epic usually takes very long time by exploring events in slow manner; and most of the times that makes it dull (in terms of execution) by stretching events. This TV serial however maintains good pace as a positive aspect. We must say that the script and the dialogs are the real essence of this TV serial. The DVD quality is good for both picture and sound. The technology used while filming it originally was not so advanced compared to today, so you may find it a little disappointing.

Summary: A genuine try to explore the events of the epic of – Mahbharat – in a fantastic way. The episode is definitely worth watching.

Did you watch the TV serial when aired originally or on DVD already? Do let us know your views about the same then. We love to read you. And yes, we will keep providing our views and reviews for the episode 2 onwards, so keep visiting us.

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