Joy over Ramayan's world-record run

Ramanand Sagar's epic Ramayan, which was re-telecast in India after 33 years, has become the most-watched entertainment show in the world.

Actress Deepika Chikhalia, who gained popularity playing the role of Sita, is ecstatic with the love that the serial has received yet again.

The 55-year-old feels the magic created 30 years ago has helped make the re-run successful.

Last Thursday, a tweet from the official account of the Doordarshan channel read: "WORLD RECORD!! Rebroadcast of #Ramayan on #Doordarshan smashes viewership records worldwide, the show becomes most watched entertainment show in the world with 7.7 crore (77 million) viewers on 16th of April."

According to reports, the show overtook the popular Game Of Thrones in terms of viewership.

The final episode of Game Of Thrones in May last year had 19.3 million viewers.

"I am really overjoyed that it has overtaken Game Of Thrones. I thought it is one show that everyone has viewed," said Deepika. "The only immediate reason I can think of for its second successful run is that it has always had a story and a background. It always had a legacy and an era.

"When people started watching, I would get messages that 'now, we are also part of that legacy and the magic'."

According to Deepika, who later joined politics, people began spreading the word that the show is "great to watch".

"I think that was the kick-off," she said. "And, once they started watching it, they kind of believed in the magic. That is how the circle moved.

"The series already had a name for itself and the re-telecast rode on the success of the original success. That's how I see it."

Deepika said that all involved with the project worked hard for its success.

"I see it as a genuine labour of good work when it comes to performances, narration, direction," she said. "As an actor, when I see my own performance, I am baffled that at the age of 18 I had so much maturity to carry forward the lines and dialogue. There was so much patience in me.

"I performed with my eyes. Ramanand Sagar said that 'I want someone who emotes with her eyes because the body language should be that of Sita'. Today, I see his vision.

"He had a vision and it's really, really wonderful. It is a genuine piece of work in every department. They all added to the success."

Would she like to be a part of Ramayan again, if it is re-made?

"If I am Sita, I would like to," she said.

Ramayan, based on Valmiki's Ramayana and Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas, was written, produced and directed by Sagar. It first aired on Doordarshan from Jan 25, 1987 to July 31, 1988 and had 78 episodes. The show featured Arun Govil as Rama and Sunil Lahri as Lakshman. It also starred veteran actors Lalita Pawar as Manthara, Arvind Trivedi as Ravan and Dara Singh as Hanuman.

Ramayan's re-run concluded on April 18.

Indo-Asian News Service

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