Udaan, the TV serial that ran in the 80’s and 90’s in Doordarshan, was and is the only serial, that I saw completely. I have seen bits and pieces of serials before and after, but that was the only one that I saw religiously, every episode without fail. We only had one channel back then and serials were a weekly affair unlike the daily soaps today. I was in college then and staying in a hostel. We would wait religiously week after week for the half hour, which filled many conversations during the course of next week.
We were at a very impressionable age then. Studying, defining ourselves within and without. Finding the identity, the voice, the career. Because we saw the serial in this phase of our life, it made a huge impression. For those who do not know, Udaan is based on the life of Kanchan Bhattacharya, who is the second lady IPS officer and went on to become the first female Director General of Police. That she is the sister of the actor (Kavita Chowdhary) who played the protagonist made it all the more interesting.
I remember the serial mainly for the way the lady portrays the role of the police officer. She is honest, upright, ready to take on any challenge. That she is a woman was not highlighted at any point nor her femininity subdued. She is a police office period. It is incidental that she is a woman. There was no under or over playing the gender factor. It is very difficult to take the thin line without sensationalizing.
The inner struggle within her when she sees the jealousy the one upman ship in her colleagues when she progresses in her career is well articulated. She talks about how in the journey from being the common man to being an officer, how the individual undergoes a transformation. She admirably tries to change herself than blaming the system and the people around. The introspection is well captured.
Her relationship with her family especially with her idealistic father is very well portrayed. She becomes the normal daughter in her relation with her mother and brother, but it is her father who fills her ideals and is her hero. Her friend later on points out, how difficult it would be for her to find a partner who matches the ideals of her heroic father.
She becomes the girl when wooed by her fellow officer. Even then her conflict between the ideals and the reality is well represented, when she asks him about the allegations leveled against him. The dialogues between the two captured the tenderness and at the same time the conflict. Maybe it was the times, but they were very subtle and poignant. Imagine seeing these scenes in a hall full of girls 🙂 Everyone went woo aah and dreamed of their prince charming.
I recently came across the entire series on youtube, which triggered yet another wave of nostalgia. Thanks to those who uploaded it. Reminded me of all those days when we were ready to take flight into the stream of life.