Today's 30-35-plus generation will recall that in their childhood, the only kiddie show in Hindi on the only telly channel, Doordarshan, was Khel Khilone, anchored by Manju Singh.
|Aao likhein ek nayi kahaani: |
Manju Singh with her son Gautam
Her name is also synonymous with the weekly Ek Kahaani on DD, which had leading stars bringing alive a literary piece.
Based on the works of writers from all over the country, Singh's Ek Kahaani made literature entertaining as well as watchable.
Bees saal baad
Almost two decades later, Singh along with son Gautam, is reviving Ek Kahaani as Phir Ek Kahaani, for DD. This hour-long weekly will air every Monday at 10 pm. "Gautam is 21 and is now part of the process. To think that the show was on air even before he was born," says Singh whose Video Eye production banner also produced the film-based Showtime, the first sponsored show on DD.
The most obvious question is why DD? "Why not?" asks Singh, who has always stuck to the channel. "I began as an actor on Delhi Doordarshan in 1964. I have always been associated with DD as anchor, actor or producer over the years. All over the country, many people still tune into it. Also, I am comfortable working with DD."
Why is she reviving Ek Kahaani? "There are many viewers who prefer a start-to-finish show to a serial that goes on and on. Of course, today people are hooked to various soaps on satellite channels, but Phir Ek Kahaani will provide a choice with a tinge of nostalgia."
In the new edition of the show, Singh has pencilled in several known as well as new writers.
"We have names like Ashapoorna Devi and Gangadhar Gadgil as well as Raju Sharma who is an award-winning Hindi writer. The format of the show remains the same; taking in actors from the region where the story is set as well as having the writer provide his viewpoints on the story. If the author is deceased, we have someone associated with his work talking about the story."
Phir Ek Kahaani premiered on DD on Monday with the Rajeshwari Sachdeva starrer, Abhinetri, written by Amrita Pritam.
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Though Manju Singh's son Gautam is joining her Video Eye production, her two daughters are not into entertainment. Her older daughter, Suparna Jashnani, is an artist while younger daughter Shalini Zaveri is a jewellery designer.
Singh used to produce Miss India shows for DD. "In 1984, the year Juhi Chawla was crowned Miss India, my son Guatam was born while the show was on the editing table."
Singh acted in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's film, Golmaal.