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Ramayan retold

Prem Sagar is set to re-start the Ramayan saga. The producer speaks to Anil Merani on the Ramanand Sagar legacy.

tv Updated: Jan 14, 2008 12:56 IST
Anil Merani

Prem Sagar is all set to start with Ramayan again on NDTV's new entertainment channel NDTV Imagine. He tells us why:

Ramayan again.. why? Haven’t most people seen it?
Says who? The number of television sets in 1987 were few compared to today. Also, you can’t argue the fact that Ram is one of the greatest mythological figures in India. Youngsters would love to know more about him.

Are mythologies really relevant today?
There is a huge demand for shows which help the youth to connect with their roots. But no one is willing to abandon the saas bahu genre.. except for us.

Haven’t our shows, Prithviraj Chauhan and Sai Baba done well? Jai Ma Durga’s opening episodes have recorded very good TRPs too.

How different will it be from the previous Ramayan on TV?
Obviously we can’t change the story. Since it’s a daily, we can concentrate on parallel tracks which weren’t explored earlier. The biggest attraction will be the special effects and the grand sets.

What about the cast?
I can’t tell you much about them now. Raavan will not be the clichéd villain with a devilish moustache.

Going down memory lane.. how were the old Ramayan days?
( Laughs ) It was hard convincing people to back it even then. We were asked ‘Who will watch Ramayan ?’ But my father (Ramanand Sagar) was adamant and made it happen.

What do you think of television?
It’s the medium of the future. If you’re making a movie, you only have a limited number of people who watch it in a multiplex.

Here we’re providing entertainment to millions of viewers across the country. My father knew what he was talking about when he advised us long ago, to shut down our film business and concentrate on the tube instead.

As a producer, which do you prefer? Doordarshan or satellite television?
I prefer DD. It has a reach of over 40 crore,while barely four crore people are tuned in to satellite television. Ironically, when we came up with the concept of Sai Baba, DD refused to take it. Sameer Nair then came to my rescue. He approached us to remake Ramayan for NDTV Imagine.