In a stunning discovery that could shake the American way of living (and also that of pseudo-westerners in India), a young officer working at Doordarshan discovered that the classic American TV show, “The Simpsons” that recently aired its 500th episode, was a copy of a Indian TV show that never materialised.
Mr. Subodh Gupta, who recently joined the Doordarshan team as an Asstt. Director was given a few of the old files (picked up at random from a cupboard by draw of lots) as a part of his induction and acclimatisation at DD, when he stumbled upon a proposal by Mr. Manav Ganguly, dated 1st April, 1982 conceptualizing a new TV show for Indian Television. As Subodh read the proposal in detail, he realized that the show was very similar to “The Simpsons”.
“The similarities are too strong for this to be just a co-incidence!” quoted Mr. Gupta, on learning that FN was interested in his latest discovery. Apparently FN reporter Varun was the first to know of this incident, as he stumbled on Subodh’s tweet highlighting this profound life-changing discovery after a friend had re-tweeted it without even reading its content.
Based on the contents of the file, our correspondent reported that the show was titled “The Sharmas” and featured an Indian middle class lifestyle epitomized by the family of the same name. The show was set in the future in the very real and lively locality of Delhi–6 and portrayed the slow but steady destruction of the Indian value systems and cultural traditions due to the influx of western culture in India in the form of TV shows, movies, culture and language. The show sought to highlight the travails of the Sharmas as they struggled to cope up with these rapid changes.
|"If this show has an Indian original |
version, I shall find it!" said a gleaming Subodh (c)
“In keeping with the rich Indian tradition of family values, the Sharmas were a joint family and hence all the individual characters were not named in the pilot episode. However, the nucleus of this family was a sub-family of five, the youngest just an infant! This cannot be just a co-incidence – Matt Groening has copied the entire format in an American setting” said a beaming Subodh, clearly having done his share of Wikipedia research before talking to our correspondent.
It was also noted in the file that the pilot episode of “The Sharmas” was shown to the then PM Indira Gandhi who instructed the Director at Prasar Bharti to cancel this project as it “mirrored a reality that Indians need not know at this point of time”. How this concept, which clearly had its origins in India, came to reach the shores of the US is still a mystery; however Subodh suspects an Italian hand in this.
“The story of Manav was buried by the Congress and its friends in media. Manav went into chronic depression and died penniless after seeing his show die a slow death in the archives of the Govt. office. He was a true patriot and deserves to be felicitated by the Government of India”, expressed Subodh on Facebook, which was reshared by 27 people at last count.
(Concept and primary inputs by Shashikumar)