When television was introduced in India Doordarshan was the only channel available. At that time it created shows that were simple and clean and have thus stood the test of time. These shows are popular even today. One such show is the classic, Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi. A comedy series that aired in 1984 and continued on for over 50 episodes. That’s right. Just a little over 50 episodes.
The show revolves around the trials and errors of Ranjit (Shafi Inamdar), his wife Renu (Swaroop Sampat) and his unemployed brother-in-law Raja (Rakesh Bedi). Later episodes introduced the character of Chachi (Farida Jalal) who comes to live with Renu and Raja while Ranjit is overseas. Chachi is brought there by her daughter Rashmi (Reena Wadhwa) who wants to work in Bombay. Supporting characters involved Bhattacharya (Vijay Kashyap) and Mandira (Sulbha Arya), the Bengali couple next-door.
The USP of the show lies in the characters played by Satish Shah who played a different role in each episode. No two characters were repeated. He was the neighbour, the salesman, the friend, the servant, the shopkeeper, the co-worker, the detective and many others. His characters play a central role in each episode.
Storylines involved the daily life of these characters and the hilarious ways they endure and move on. The series is notable for it clean humour and simple characters. If you ever get an opportunity to watch it please do.
Today there are more than 100 channels showcasing different shows (most of them with the same storylines) and rarely do we enjoy them. At times we need to look back at such shows that used everyday situations to create a fresh approach to comedy. It gives you an insight into the undramatic world of humour. Take it from me. Once you catch the Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi bug, you never recover.