Remember the serial Neev that used to air on DD Metro? It first aired in 1990 but I remember the 1994 something reruns that had me hooked. The theme song used to be like this:
Dharti par suraj ki kirne,
rakhe neev ujale ki.
Vidya ke prakash se roshan
neev bane vidayalaya ki
neev agar mazboot ho manav
dharti par aaakash bane
Koi Gandhi, koi nehru
koi veer subhash bane
This show was about kids in a boarding school somewhere in Shimla/Panchgani/Dehradoon/Gwalior, I forget. The whole story was about this kid called Anurag Sharma(very very very cute) who joins this residential school and is ragged by the ‘posh’ brigade and is made out to be a loser. The serial ends with him becoming the school head boy and the local heartthrob! Each episode was about some trouble the boys get into and how they extricate themselves. There was a school captain who was as cute as they come, a school geek, complete with spectacles and all, a school petu who was always thinking about food, the empathetic teacher who was the only one who understood the boys, the teacher’s daughter who was the only girl allowed in this boys’ club and the school bullies, some of whom have a change of heart in the later episodes and of course Anurag.
This show made boarding school glamorous for us home babies, and all I wanted in life was to study in a boarding school like the one in Neev. Where the school captain is a hot, smart guy who everyone is in love with, the school geek is your best friend, and all you do is sit and stare at guys and gossip and giggle!
Then came Jo jeeta wohi Sikandar when boarding schools became the epitome of fun in a young school-goer’s life. Oh how much we liked to be a part of the ‘fun’! Who can forget the sweetness of tunna and the innoence of Anjali, the guile of Devika, the petu(there is always a petu in every school show) ghanchu and the strict ways of Ramlal Sharma?
For those too young to remember(argh), Hip Hip Hurray comes close. Although HHH didnt have that honesty and that simplicity that Neev or JJWS did. HHH was more about these rich kids in a top boarding school and language peppered liberally with english swear words! And the girls all wore the shortest of the short skirts and were as fashionable as they get. In contrast, the few girls of Neev were closer to how we were when growing up! My sister used to swear by HHH and it was her mantra growing up, but me, I was a Neev girl through and through. HHH was too modern for my taste!
Growing up has certainly not dulled my view of boarding school life. And do not mistake boarding school to a college hostel, they are poles apart. Only a place that is hip and fun and energetic and happening is called a boarding school, a hostel is a place where there are rules, and everyone follows them, a boarding school is a place where there are rules, and it is fun to break them! No?
PS: thinking about Neev and the old serials of DD has given me a brilliant idea. I am going to scrouge around and find all old serials(ones I grew up on) and make a dvd of all of them and preserve it for my kids to see how my life as growing up. Ones that come to mind are Neev, Arohan, Fauji, Trishna, Nukkad(not the Naya Nukkad), Rajni, Yeh Jo hain Zindagi, Byonkesh Bakshi, Tehkikaat, Reporter, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Udaan. I am sure my kids will grow up with MTV and reality show crap and will definitely miss out on the gems of my generation. What say? Do add to the list!