'Hum' recreates the 'Hum Log' magic
New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) Remember "Hum Log", that revolutionized the genre of TV soaps in India? Producer Shobha Doctor has brought a new show titled "Hum", which she says is imbued with the spirit and soul of the popular 1984 serial.
"'Hum Log' was the first hugely successful daily soap of India. It is termed as a legend in the history of Doordarshan. The new show has the same soul and spirit as that of 'Hum Log' with real locations and real characterizations," Doctor told IANS.
"It's not a completely entertainment serial, we are giving you information as well as entertaining you," she added.
While "Hum Log" was about a single family's ups and downs, travails and triumphs, "Hum" is on a "wider canvas", according to writer-director Sanjay Tripathy.
"'Hum Log' was a very honest effort, had good artists and good characterization, it was slice-of-life kind of show of one single family. In the new show, we have grown from a family to a new-age village," Tripathy said.
"While in 'Hum Log' the issues were of a family, 'Hum' is on a bigger canvas and talks about today's villages and their problems," he said.
It is a story about five village women and how, due to socio-economic and political circumstances, they end up meeting at one point. How they bring about a total change in the village is what the show is all about. It deals with women's rights.
"After Manohar Shyam Joshi, who wrote 'Hum Log', I didn't find anyone who could bring a good story but when I met Sanjay I found it was an exclusive and explosive talent, which I don't find in today's era," said Doctor.
"It is time that we go away from havelis of Rajasthan, go away from palatial backgrounds. And I have great faith that the younger generation is more receptive of information. It was very inspiring to work in actual locations and with actual people," she added.
The entire show has been shot at locations in the native village of co-producer Kavi Kumar. Village Malipur Pakdi is in Sitamarhi district, near Indo-Nepal border, 130 km from Patna.
Shooting in the remotest part of the state of Bihar was not an "easy task", admits Kavi Kumar.
"From the finances point of view, it made a lot of sense for me to go outside and create a set of a village... We went around but didn't find the flavour. So we decided to shoot in a real village and in real locations," he said.
"Initially, it was difficult in terms of accommodation and sanitation but everybody cooperated," he added.
How different is "Hum" from "Hum Log" in terms of storytelling?
"It is a fast moving story almost like a film and ends at a point where there is a natural curiosity to see what happens ahead," said Tripathy.
While thespian Ashok Kumar was the 'sutradhaar' in "Hum Log", his place will now be taken by veteran actress Sushma Seth, who also starred in "Hum Log".
The cast of "Hum" includes Sadiya Siddiqui, Mona Wasu, Vineet Kumar, Suhasini Mulay, Anjan Srivastva, Himani Shivpuri and Harsh Chhaya. The biweekly show will be aired Friday-Saturday on Doordarshan.