Many of us lament that the content dished out on Indian television nowadays is no match for the likes of ‘One Tree Hill’ or ‘Gilmore Girls’. But not very long ago, Indian shows were doing it right too! Before scheming mothers-in-law, cheating spouses, and a profusion of children from their polygamous exploits became the norm, there was a time when shows with crisp narration, believable plots and some very fine acting ruled the roost. The good news is that a lot of these classics are now freely available on YouTube. Go through the following list and claim a slice of nostalgia!

1. Hip Hip Hurray

A cult show about a bunch of twelfth graders’ last year at school that struck a chord with millions of youngsters. Who can forget the feisty Kiran, the assertive Alisha or the absolutely goofy Cyrus? Watch it to relive memories from your high school days.

2. Pal Chhin

Is goodness still relevant in a society marred by treachery and selfishness? This classic by Neena Gupta tries to find an answer. Watch it for the legendary Manohar Singh who lights up every single frame he appears in.

3. Rishtey

Following this series was like having Chekov and O Henry’s short-stories come alive. You may not love every single episode, but I dare you to pick out even one that’s crappy.

4. Sailaab

You may not necessarily end up with the person you love, but letting go and moving on can make for a beautiful journey too. This will explain why Renuka Shahane was always a rock-star performer!

5. Itihaas

The Count of Monte Cristo ventured into Ekta Kapoor’s stables and out came this gem. This edgy and intriguing show encapsulated all that Balaji Telefilms was doing right before it turned into a basic bitch.

6. Woh

Despite being a not-so-subtle rip-off of Steven King’s ‘It’, with its dark tone and taut performances, “Who” did a great job of petrifying its diligent followers. Horror was never more real.

7. Kora Kagaz

A bride ditched by her husband, finds support in her in-laws and eventually ends up with the second son. Sound familiar? This show, thankfully, had its heart in the right place and showed the protagonist insisting on dignity, independence and the freedom to make her own choices.

8. Just Mohabbat

A far tamer version of ‘The Wonder Years’, this show had the precocious Jai traversing through his childhood and adolescence, with musings on life and the world that bordered on the metaphysical.

9. Amanat

While it may have ‘Regressive’ written all over it, with Santosh looking like a real doormat, what had Mummies and Aunties across the board hopelessly hooked to it was a sincere and no-frills portrayal of a very relatable plot. Watch it for the performances, but you could stop after a hundred episodes.

10. Saaya

On one hand, you had the badly bullied Sudha who survives her unbelievably tyrannical father and discovers the leadership potential in her. On the other, the ultra-modern, super-confident Kamya learns to eat a humble pie and go easy on life. Good fun!


There are several other iconic TV shows, like ‘Banegi Apni Baat’, ‘Campus’, ‘Choti Si Asha’, ‘Daraar’, ‘Shanti’, ‘Swabhimaan’, ‘Udaan’, ‘Buniyaad’ and ‘Rajani’ that are still lying locked up with either the channels or the production houses. Let’s hope we get to see them soon too