My parents were jumping with joy when Ramayan and Mahabharat came back to the small screen, courtesy the coronavirus lockdown. Every day, my dad sits down to watch these two shows with such dedication, it could impress a child who is studying for their tenth board exam. I am simply happy that my parents have something to keep them engaged amidst this dreary lockdown that they are braving alone, not in the company of their two daughters and the beloved grand-daughter. And it is not just these two mythological shows, a slew of other old shows have returned to Doordarshan, like Dekh Bhai Dekh, Circus and Shaktimaan, but the one that I am truly excited about is The Jungle Book. Now that is something I want to watch again, with my daughter.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The Jungle Book is back on Doordarshan.
  • For every 90s kid, this show holds a special place in our hearts.
  • The dubbing of the show made characters like Sher Khan, Baloo and Bagheera legendary.
  • However is the show complete without its title track?

The Jungle Book, Duck-Tales and Talespin are to me what Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls and Recess is to my sister. Or My Little Pony, Hey Duggee and Peppa Pig is to my daughter.

If you are a 90s kid, then The Jungle Book must hold a special place in your heart. It is one of those memories that take you back to your childhood, like Rasna, Phantom cigarettes, sleeping in front of giant coolers in summer or trading comics and racing on your cycles in the evening with your friends. We are a generation that wasn’t privy to the cable television until our pre-teen or teen years. So The Jungle Book, Duck-Tales and Talespin are to me what Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls and Recess is to my sister. Or My Little Pony, Hey Duggee and Peppa Pig is to my daughter.

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Coming back to The Jungle Book, this wasn’t a time when English cartoons were a rage in India. We were giddy watching dubbed cartoons like those mentioned above, perhaps because that was all we had, and because these cartoons were good. But there is something about The Jungle Book, however, that sets it apart; its dubbing, which made characters like Baloo, Sher Khan and Bagheera a household name. And who can forget the memorable title song that had been written by Gulzar. Jungle Jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai. There is such innocence in these lyrics. An oblivious joy that I think waned away with 90s. How many of us parents today would be okay with a song that talked about a child in his underpants?

Perhaps that is the reason why DD is telecasting The Jungle Book sans the famous title track. This hasn’t gone down well with many people. The title track of the show is inseparable from it; the two go hand in hand. Without one, the experience just feels incomplete.

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Having said that, I am excited to watch The Jungle book with my daughter. Perhaps it is my way of giving her a peek into my childhood. Will a kid with access to high-speed internet and iPad and smartphones get why this show is so special to her mother? Will she enjoy the camaraderie between Mowgli and Baloo as much as I did when I was little? I have no clue. But even if doesn’t, she would get to know about her mom which she now lives through her.

The views expressed are the author’s own.

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