When we believed in magic

If you watched any of these shows, get ready for a heavy dose of nostalgia

Sajeer Shaikh June 15, 2024
These shows are just the tip of the iceberg. Photo: File



Ever glance at your phone and think, “Wow, these babies have a come long way. I still remember the nondescript hole left in the floor from when I dropped my Nokia 3310?” Or, you hear kids these days talk about “rizz” and a whole lot of other words you don’t quite comprehend and you silence the “coolsies” that was about to escape your lips?
Yeah, you’re not alone.
Let’s face it: most of us are getting old. We’re becoming our parents, thinking about the heydays when things were “better.” Heck, we’re so nostalgic that our collective yearning is reprising dead Bollywood careers in the form of long-awaited comebacks.
And you can’t really have a healthy dose of nostalgia if you don’t reminisce about the kinds of shows you watched as a kid. Yes, Gopi bahu rinsing a laptop may be all the craze in the form of memes now, but not too long ago, there were some Indian shows that pulled you in with their creative (and sometimes stolen) plotlines.
Saddle up folks, because if, like me, you remember watching any of these shows, it’s officially time to start using retinol:
Shaka Laka Boom Boom
If there was one kid I was insanely jealous of when I was growing up, it was Sanju. He had friends AND a magic pencil. I’m pretty sure he had an alien buddy at one point too. But that pencil — oh boy. We’ve all imagined letting our childish fantasies run wild by manifesting goodies through the usage of that magic pencil. Sure could use one of those today. Would probably draw myself some money, a house, a car, etc. The world would be my oyster.
Son Pari
You know what’s at par with having a magic pencil? Having two magical entities be at your beck and call because of some gem. Frooty was an annoying kid, which made not being envious of her easy. But man, I always wanted my own Sona Didi and Altu uncle.
Let’s get one thing straight. Farida Jalal is and will always be Nani, no matter what role she plays. She grandmother-ed an entire generation of kids without even knowing it. Also: before Karanvir Bohra took on the role of our favourite, terrifying red flag in the form of Viraj Dobriyal, he won our hearts as the lovable, adorable Dhruv. We shipped him and Jia hard and were always annoyed when Pam tried to wriggle her way in. And Shanti Aunty... well, she was a task and a half on her own. More than anything, though, it was the magic of the fantastical universe created by the show, and stellar performances that made us fall in love with the cast.
Karishma Kaa Karishma
Okay, okay. Perhaps this was a “borrowed” concept. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t great. It was always freaky to see Karishma’s circuit board being opened, but deep down, we all wanted a Karishma in our lives.
Don’t let anyone tell you that the Indian landscape never had great superheroes. Hatim was that and so much more. That show was our budget Game of Thrones before the latter was even a thing. It helped that the lead nailed playing the suave, swoon-worthy Yemen ka shehzada, but again, the world-building was absolutely incredible. From fascinating tasks, to creative obstacles and terrifying villains, this show was one for the books.
An absolute cult classic, the Parekh family was the very definition of absurd. From the iconic Hansa played to perfection by Supriya Pathak, to the forgetful Praful essayed brilliantly by Rajeev Mehta — each character contributed to the plot in a hilarious way. Real fans will have watched the bonus films as well.
Baa Bahoo Aur Baby
Nothing will ever quite hit the spot like the depiction of a semi-dysfunctional, flawed family that loved its members to bits, but also navigated complex internal, emotionally charged dynamics. Sprinkled with bits of comedy, this show could make you weep endlessly when it wanted to, and it was still worth it.
Sarabhai vs Sarabhai
Tuning in to watch elitist Maya Sarabhai take on her “middle-class” daughter-in-law Monisha, whilst begrudgingly making space for Rosesh’s poetry was always a treat. The cast shared a fun dynamic and it translated into their collective chemistry, making this show an unforgettable watch as well.
These shows are just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty more that tugged at our heartstrings, made us laugh, or even terrified us to our very cores. But, for now, this walk-down memory shall have to suffice. After all, as Hansa would say: “Main toh thak gayi bhai saab.”


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