Mythological drama takes over small screen

Source : IANS 2021-05-06 11:36:26

Last year during Covid lockdown, Doordarshan struck gold re-telecasting "Ramayan", Ramanand Sagar's hit mythological series of the eighties. This year, as India has come to a standstill once again owing to the second wave of the deadly coronavirus, many soap makers seem to have picked up cue. Mythology seems to be flavour on the tube once again, as Indian television finds a ready homebound audience base.

A host of shows including "Vighnaharta Ganesh" and "RadhaKrishn" make for prime family viewing while the epics "Ramayan" and "Mahabharat" are being re-run on a private channel.

Shooting for mythological shows in the time of Covid is naturally tough, given the grandeur of set, costumes, heavy jewellery and the execution they demand. Also, no matter the precautions, actors would always have to take off their masks in front of the camera.

"Shooting in Covid times is tough because there are so many precautions. Actors are at high risk because while shooting we cannot wear a mask. If the team is good and precautions are being taken, actors are safe. You need to sanitise your hands and take precautions and see if people are wearing masks around you and sanitising their hands," says Riney Aryaa, who plays Goddess Laxmi in "Vighnaharta Ganesh".

She adds: "A lot of people touch actors for costume, hair and make-up. The costumes are so heavy and the temperatures are high and that makes it very difficult. We are in our jewellery and get-up for 16 hours."

In times of despair as the lockdown, portraying a mythological character also entails a very different challenge. Shows in this genre are meant to spread hope during a crisis as the pandemic, as people look up to divine protagonists on the small screen with reverence. In turn, this means there is the need to be careful about portraying a character with authenticity more than ever, as these are characters people have immense faith in and are sensitive about.

This is something actress Madirakshi Mundle observes. She plays Devi Parvati in "Vighnaharta Ganesh".