Sunday mornings will never be the same again! In an exciting revival of the once-popular phenomenon of Sunday morning TV viewing for the whole family, ZEE TV, India's leading Hindi General Entertainment Channel (GEC), will premiere the country's most revered mythological series, Ramayan, at 11 AM.
A timeless classic based on Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas, Ramayan shows viewers a way of life … it is rich in the core values, ideals and principles that form the crux of Indian culture and upbringing. Centuries after the original epic was first written, its relevance in contemporary times remains unquestioned. The jet-setting, smartphone-toting denizens of the Twitter age can benefit immensely from applying its learnings to their lives!
Ajay Bhalwankar, Head- Content, Hindi GECs at ZEE said, "Ramayan is a way of life that our future generations must carry on as their biggest legacy … The characters Rama, Sita, Lakshman, Bharat, Hanuman and Ravan are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India. They are the embodiments of concepts such as the ideal father, wife, king, servant and brother. The show, like the religious epic it is based on, explores the subtleties of the delicate relationships within one's family. By showcasing Ramayan on a Sunday morning, we wish to engage the entire family, right from grandparents to the baby in the house, in a joint TV viewing experience."
ZEE TV's Ramayan will be a grand recreation of the original epic and will thrive on authenticity of representation. Speaking of the production quality of the show, Ajay Bhalwankar said, "We have roped in the only team in India truly equipped for the task … if anyone can make the magic of Ramayan come alive, it is the Sagars. Moti ji, Amrit and Meenakshi Sagar are all set to recreate the classic."
Neil Bhatt, who played the lead in ZEE TV's 12/24 Karol Bagh, will be seen as the devoted brother Lakshman while Shikha Swaroop, the former beauty queen-turned-actress will reveal shades of grey as Kaikeyee. Actor Rishabh Shukla will step into the shoes of King Dashrath, Lord Rama's father.
Shikha Swaroop said, "I am excited about my role of Kaikeyi. I think essaying a warrior queen with shades of grey calls for an air of regality, poise that comes only with power, strength of character and a stern, steely body language. As a former beauty pageant winner and a model, I have, over the years, imbibed the art of composing my body language to suit any role I play. I will enjoy playing such an iconic mythological character and hope to add my own charm and individuality to it."
Neil Bhatt added, "I am told I was cast because I had the lean, athletic physicality required for the role. What I also hear is that Ramayan on ZEE TV will not have archaic Hindi in the dialogue. The language will be kept simple and lucid. This will aid us as actors in connecting better with our audiences as you can emote with better conviction when you feel the lines!"
In a most unique innovation in the digital space, ZEE TV is all set to create a virtual temple on its official website that will let devotees perform an online aarti at the click and drag of a mouse. Ramayan will also have interactive apps on social networking websites to ensure a good connect with the younger demographics.