Anil Thakraney: Bring Rajani back!

09 May,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Not to be confused with the southern superstar… he hasn’t gone anywhere. Not from the movies and not from the social media jokes and forwards. I mean ‘Rajani’, that lovely television soap from the good old days, the one whose protagonist was the feisty, bubbly, ass-kicking Priya Tendulkar. I recall how, as a family, we would crowd around the B&W TV set on Sundays as Rajani went about exposing assorted social evils.


For those of you who weren’t around in the mid eighties, this was a hugely popular show where Rajani, a middle class housewife, would get after dhongi babas, dowry seekers, bride burners, food adulterers and other criminals. And kick the hell out of them. But what was most engaging and entertaining about the serial was the treatment; the show was not serious at all (unlike the much hyped Satyamev Jayate). While the issues being discussed were serious, the style was humourous and very lively. This made sure we kids would enjoy the fare along with our parents. In my view, Aamir Khan’s biggest challenge is going to be to attract, and more importantly retain, Young India. But Rajani achieved that effortlessly.


It’s been many years since. Sadly, Ms Tendulkar is no more. The idiot box has boomed like crazy, and now there are hundreds of channels offering a huge array of programmes. And yet, programmers are forever struggling to find stories that can cater to the whole Indian family. And a lot of trash gets produced in the process.


Satyamev Jayate brought back memories of Rajani. And a thought: Why not re-create that serial? With a brand new Rajani, operating in contemporary times, and using the latest gadgets as she goes about changing the world. But treated with the same simplicity and charm of the past. I think it will be a huge crowd puller, even amongst those urban kids who are forever glued to their smart phones. And it will give the very serious Satyamev a run for its money.


The biggest challenge would be to find a girl who can match Priya Tendulkar’s pleasing persona and chutzpah. But it can be done.


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PS: Who would have ever thought a day will come when the mighty Sir Martin Sorrell would be compelled to apologise for an ad created by an agency that belongs to his own group. This pertains to the hugely controversial Argentinean propaganda film that features an Olympic hopeful exercising at the Falkland’s war memorial. The promo must have really riled the usually thick skinned ad baron for him to say sorry.





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2 responses to “Anil Thakraney: Bring Rajani back!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sir, I think Tulsi Virani can perfectly fit into Priya Tendulkar’s role.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Spectacular piece! I have seen Rajni back in my glorious Doordarshan days. Thank you Anil Thakraney for writing this magnificent piece.

    Its absolutely nostalgic.