“Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya…. Glanir Bhavathi Bharatha,
Abhyudhanam Adharmaysya.. Dhatatmanam Srijami Aham’.
Praritranaya Sadhunam…Vinashaya ChaDushkritam
Dharamasansthapnaya… Sambhavami Yuge-Yuge.”
Indeed the chant takes us back to the enigmatic days when B. R. Chopra’s Mahabharata was aired in Doordarshan.
These were the great words of wisdom that talked about the decay of righteousness and that Lord Narayan would reincarnate in every age for the protection of good and destruction of evil. The words changed the course of human civilization. They say when the greatest war of mankind was fought between the dharma and evil, Lord Krishna imparted this wisdom to the Great Arjuna, who along with other Pandavas would fight the fierce battle of Kurukshetra.
The greatest epic of Hindus, Mahabharata treasures within its pages the truth of mankind and human society. Time and again, Indian television recreated the magnificence and grandeur prevalent during the era of great Aryans. These attempts succeeded at times, while in most of the cases it stumbled upon the rock bottom and succumbed to the call of commercialization. Nevertheless, the trend ushered by B. R. Chopra in Indian television continued to make appearances ever after. It was aired on Doordarshan at a time when television in India was just starting to come out of its cocoon. Audiences were wooed with the dramatic representation of the Great Indian Epic, so much so that they even started worshipping the characters who portrayed pivotal roles in Mahabharata.
Years and many more failed attempts of representing Mahabharata later, Star Plus showed the audacity to recreate the magic all over again. Star Plus presented the greatest story ever told in a never before seen scale on Indian Television. Not only did the producers dispense an unfathomable wealth to manifest their reel life sets into an extravagant affair most suitable to the era but they also managed to pull together an impressive ensemble of actors essaying pivotal roles in the show. Most of these actors are making their debut in the Indian television which made it easier for the audiences to accept them in the characters they portrayed.
There are a lot of aspects that worked in favour of the latest representation of the Great Indian Epic. Firstly, neither did they try to blindly replicate what B. R. Chopra did years ago, nor did they try to dilute the dignity and preeminence of Mahabharata with undue commercialization. Starting from their costume to make-up, the stars of Mahabharata are emanating nothing short of sheer grandeur. One can only guess the opulence of the time when Draupadi appears on screen draped in those gorgeous specimen of muslin or Padavas showcase the most artistically embellished shawls. I would like to mention specifically over here that the producers chose elegance over unnecessary skin show unlike its predecessor produced and attempted by reigning princess of Indian Television – Ekta Kapoor.
It is commendable how the makers of the series had eye even for the minutest details of the show. From the crowns to the jewellery adorned by all the characters of the series, every piece of accessory is distinct from one another and it is carved keeping in mind the specific personality traits. The set designed for Hastinapur, Indraprastha or Panchal is certainly a close to perfect reflection of how life potentially used to be when Aryans lived on the earth. It is apparent that the makers din’t shy away from conducting extensive research on the epic.
Apart from the materialistic aspects of the show, the makers took a keen interest on the story behind every episode of Mahabharata as well. It is the result of their unrelenting efforts and constant dedication that this time around the show was able to pull off some amazing enactments of the incidents as mentioned in the epic. They have taken special care to establish each character and stress upon the situations that contributed to build their might, virtue and personality. From Bhishma to Karan , every impersonator did proper justice to their role and it doesn’t seem to be a replica of their prototype from B. R. Chopra’s Mahabharata. The close to reality demeanor of the characters and the natural course in which the events unfold is truly a welcome treat for the viewers to experience the most glorious events in the history of ancient India in an all new avatar.
In simple words we can say Mahabharata in Star Plus takes us back to the age when good fought against the evil and when evil tamed the most virtuous warriors of their time to rage war against the righteous.