Dharamvir Bharati's 'Gunahon ka Devta' on Life Ok channel and
Rajindra Singh Bedi's 'Lajwanti' are noteworthy efforts on part of Media. To give sound and visuals to the stories written by some of the best authors. It got me into thinking of some of the other authors which I have read and loved, and these stories deserve a place like TV to be heard by the new generation. There is much awareness on indigenous authors now. The colloquial local language from khadi boli to pure. Earlier Shyam Benegal has already immortalised 'Suraj ka Satvan Ghoda' but a remake with strong characters would be amazing just like
Saradindhu Bhandopadhyay 'Byomkesh Bakshi'. The film starring Sushant Rajput tries hard but commercial films lack the simplicity of these stories. Sorry but the beauty of the stories I read are in its simplicity.
Sadat Hasan Manto
My first love amongst all the authors, Manto has so many stories to be told. The stark nakedness of society presented through real life short stories. The nostalgia and melancholy of his stories has a haunting quality to them. The sounds and screams of partition. The misery and drudgery of life. The love and the sex, the lust and the rape, it has the ugliness of humanity. Only Manto could see, only Manto could tell. His classic stories Toba Tek Singh, Khol Do and cinema writing have a wide range of reality and glamour in them. Even his scandalous 'Thanda Ghosht' needs a storyteller. You can catch a short film 'Kaali Shalvaar' if you are a true Manto fan.
Of course the closest confidente and partner in crime was Ismat Chugtai who wrote about lesbianism and two women having physical relationship as a woman in the 1930s. The world was much more liberal those days. The morality was much advanced. Nowadays people are more judgemental, probably these are the side effects of rising middle class or probably the downfall of rich class.
The spokesperson for the middle class of early 1900s. The author who wrote about the poor and their poverty. The sensitivity and depth he brought to his stories and characters were marvellous.
Whereas RK Laxman wrote about innocent characters. The characters of Premchand were poignant. There was a moral lesson hidden in each, whereas Laxman was entertainment in the most innocent way. Most of his stories were for children. That's why RK Laxman has found his place already on celluloid with 'Malgudi Days' and 'Guide' film.
If you really want to play a great children's author then it has to be Ruskin Bond. He has all the fun, magic and horror that you need in a good children's book. I have spent so many evenings of my childhood engrossed in his books traveling to the green mountains and deep valleys with him. Now on small screen a new generation can watch this childhood through their eyes. Yea Ruskin Bond children stories need to be telecast.
Devdas has been remade so many times that a serial would be just another take. But on small screen it would be probably the first. Who can play it after Dilip Kumar, Shahrukh Khan and Abhay Deol. Even Parineeta has been characterised as Vidya Balan. The cinematic interpretation is quiet different but watching the real story will be interesting. So bring on 'Srikantha' 'Nishikriti' and 'Palli Samaj'
The greatest author of the time, the one who gave us 'Vande Matram' the feel of patriotism just like Rabindranath Tagore. His stories are classics to social messages from Kapalkundalika to Anandmath. These could be Republic and Independence Day Specials. These authors need a platform and these stories need a Voice.
Satyajit Ray has already immortalised 'Pather Panchali' and 'Aprajito' but this now needs to be told to the new generation in their style just like Rabindranath Tagore stories. The Bengal early 1900s, the equal men and women and the artists. There are stories that one can retell but they never get old, they only grow and take life of their own.
Mulk Raj Anand
'Untouchables' is the most iconic work of this author. But his short stories have been a balanced attempt to educate and bring awareness of some of the social subjects in a backward society of early 1990s. They were much ahead of times. Then what happened to our TV and small screen and big screen with daily saas bahu soaps, reality shows and 100 crore nonsensical films they only have regressive messages.
The TV now needs to showcase some of the Progressive writers who will remind people to move on and not hold on the past tenets and traditions. It's time to free yourself and follow the future. There is a right to be - anyone can be anything. We have already discussed Manto, Chugtai and Bedi. But their were others whose stories are beautiful and supported in the growth of our society. From such a powerful media platform we are only selling regression. It's time to start the progressive movement for TV. Yes it's not about being serious but it's about showing forward not backward. By showing such things we show that these things are rightful but they are not. Bhisham Sahni and Amrita Pritam were good authors that I have experienced.
Devkinandan Khatri's Chandrakantha is in the mind of every 90s kid who saw it on TV. Forget Chandrakantha they all remember Karoor Singh and that's the power of TV.
To represent the feminist class we could try the brilliant Mahasweta Devi who talks about Indian women. The urban educated middle class women find their voice with Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Jhumpa Lahiri.
These are some of the Indian authors who need a visual rendition and cinematic imagination.