Coronavirus Outbreak: Doordarshan to telecast reruns of Jaspal Bhatti's satirical sitcom Flop Show after wife Savita's request
Flop Show is among the old iconic Doordarshan shows like Ramayan, Mahabharata, Buniyaad and Shaktimaan to be re-telecast on the channel.
Veteran actor-producer Savita Bhatti on Wednesday said she feels "rejuvenated" after Doordarshan announced the re-run of Flop Show, the satirical sitcom which is an intrinsic part of her identity.
Flop Show, created and directed by Savita Bhatti's co-star and late husband, satirist Jaspal Bhatti, joins the long list of DD's iconic old shows such as Ramayan, Mahabharat, Buniyaad, Shaktimaan, among others to make a come back on the small screen amid the coronavirus -led lockdown.
On Monday, the national broadcaster revealed that it was bringing back the serial, which first aired in 1989.
Here is the announcement
— Doordarshan National (@DDNational) May 19, 2020
"The coming back of Flop Show has rejuvenated my life... It's emotional as it's so intrinsic to my identity. All those layers of life's ups and downs, they just disappear.
"Now that it's back on TV, your identity is being refreshed in your own eyes. Otherwise you question yourself thinking 'Am I someone who can be a has-been at this stage of my life?' Whatever happens in your life, you will always be a part of such an eternal show," Savita Bhatti told PTI in an interview.
Doordarshan's announcement came over a month after fans on social media rallied for the rerun of Flop Show.
In the 1 April interview with PTI, Savita Bhatti said she would love to see the show return to the small screen.
The actor said she learnt about the show was returning after a good Samaritan alerted her on social media.
"Last month, a lot of people told me that they have tagged Doordarshan on social media and asked the channel to bring back the show. On my personal level, I reached out to the former DD chairperson A Surya Prakash. The chairman was kind enough to get back tome saying he had forwarded my suggestion and it should happen quickly.
"Someone told me on Monday on Facebook that the show is coming back. I checked Instagram and somebody had posted about this there. People, on their own level, have been sharing about it, but I didn't receive any official confirmation."
Savita Bhatti said watching the show on TV has spurred mixed feelings, especially when it involves seeing so many teammates who aren't around anymore.
Jaspal passed away in a car accident on 25 October, 2012, while co-star Vivek Shauq died of a heart attack the previous year on 10 January.
"But when you see their work, they live on. When you see Vivek, you see what a great actor he was. Other than the emotional part, the apparent part which hits me again and again is the bravery of Jaspal ji's unique vision," she said.
At a time when Chandigarh was far away from the national capital of Delhi and Mumbai, the entertainment hub, Jaspal Bhatti showed courage by shooting the show in the city, she said.
"He built a film environment in this city, used the locations for production and developed a pool of local talent. Also hats off to the team as well who latched on to the show as it were their own project."
She also praised her husband for "keeping the turban on". "It was the first time we saw a Sikh gentleman on TV associated with intelligent thoughts and humour with great depth. We've always been in the periphery, we have been ridiculed, we are thought as people who could speak Punjabi and say 'Oho ho' and 'Balle Balle'."
But the bravest part of Jaspal's legacy is freedom of expression, without mincing words, she said.
"Doordarshan, which censors so much content, didn't edit a single word on Flop Show. The irony was the last episode of the show was about Doordarshan and the broadcaster aired that. A big thumbs-up to DD for that. But a greater kudos to Jaspal ji for his writing. Even if you break down, you remember the laughs," she said.
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