I have opened this thread to share with you my experience in watching Ramanand Sagar's Shri Krishna serial in full. Before, I had only watched a select number of episodes, so I missed out on a lot of the valuable stories shown. Recently when they went to India, my dad and sister found the complete set of Ramanand Sagar's Shri Krishna, so we all are now watching it together whenever we find time.
In this thread, I will share with you my thoughts and feelings on the episodes we watch each day in the form of diary entries (just to be creative), and I would love it if you all also leave your inputs on the respective episodes. I hope we will have great fun in this thread and cultivate some rich, lively discussion.
Any criticism of the episodes is wholly welcome, but please keep language respectful and do not resort to bashing. I know no one in this forum does that, but just saying it beforehand to avoid future fights/arguments.
Other than that there are not much rules, but please NO comparisons between this serial and other mythos shows. That is not only against the rules of this thread, but also the forum. You may discuss how other serials showed the same story similarly or differently, but absolutely no comparisons between actors of other shows and the cast of this Krishna, especially in terms of who is 'better looking' or acted better. So yeah, that's it for my rant.
And for those of you who are curious, this is the SK DVD version I got. Moserbaer released it in 3 sets: Krishna's early life (Vasudev and Devaki jailed - Jarasandh's first defeat), middle life (Uddhav - Pradyumna's birth and growth), and Mahabharat.
We began Shri Krishna today, and I must say that the way in which Parikshit's story was shown was really remarkable and interesting. Just so we would be assured of its accuracy, my dad looked the story up in our copy of Shrimad Bhagavatham, and I was pleased with the way RS paid attention to even the minutest detail in portraying the distress of Rishi Sameeka when he learned of his son Shringa's hasty curse. And the actor who played Parikshit Maharaj did very well too, as well as the actor who played Rishi Sameeka.
Coming to Shukdev's story, I was a tad bit disappointed that the DVDs had edited out the beautiful 'Muni Katha Sunaate' song in which Shukdev recites Ram Katha to Parikshit Maharaj, not to mention the rest of the avatars of Lord Vishnu as appears in the original Bhagavatham story, but since I saw it on dailymotion some time back, no real damage done. The child who played Shukdev was okay, but whenever he smiled it looked kind of forced...guess he was nervous about the camera's focus on him. But other than that, I also enjoyed that story, especially when Shukdev explains the merits of listening to Krishna Katha and how submitting oneself to Lord Krishna can bring ultimate happiness. Really beautiful explanation.
Next, we completed the entry of Kans, the Gods asking Brahmaji for help, and Vasudev and Devaki's wedding and Vidaai. I do not really have much to say about this, as they were completed in quick succession due to many parts being edited out, but I must say that I felt Vilas Raj portrayed the cruel and maniacal character of Kans very well. There were times when I felt he overdid it with the huffing and puffing (reminded me of the 'big bad wolf' in the three little pigs fairytale), but later on in the show when he had to act all frightened and mental whenever he saw Seshnaag or Lord Vishnu, he did that well.
As for the Vasudev and Devaki actors, they were just amazing from the start. My dad commented that the actor who played Vasudev had a very soft, calming countenance, and my mom said Paulommi made a very pretty and innocent looking Devaki. The wedding and Vidaai sequences were well done, and when Kans acted so caring and concerned for Devaki during her Vidaai, my mom and I wondered how a brother who loved his sister so much could go so...wrong, but then we reckoned that if there was one thing Kans loved even more than Devaki, it was his life.
The Aakashvani incident was also well done, not too slow and not too quick. I liked how Vasudev immediately grabbed hold of his duty as a husband and saved Devaki from Kans's sword, even if it meant sacrificing his own children. The scene afterwards in Vasudev's palace (or was it one of Kans's palace?) was sweet, and the scenes afterwards before Kirtimaan's death were also well done.
Kirtimaan's death had to be one of the saddest and most emotional scenes I ever saw in any serial or movie. The pain of Vasudev and Devaki was so well portrayed, and the way in which Kans returned the baby only to kill him later on was just so...sadistic in the evilest possible way! I can never watch that scene without feeling chills run down my spine, especially during Devaki's bloodcurdling scream. And the words of the ensuing song, Vidhna Tere Khel Niraale, are so powerful and only make the scene all the more painful to watch.
The following scenes: Rohini's escape to Gokul, Nand/Yashoda's talk with Akrur, all the Akrur scenes where he and the other loyal folk discuss Kans's plans, the political discussions between Kans, Chanoor, Bhanasur, and the other evil ministers, Ugrasen's imprisonment, Mitrasen sneaking into Vasudev and Devaki's Bandi Grah, and Kans's Rajyabhishek were really attention grabbing and interesting to watch. I do not remember my exact thought process during these scenes, but I do know that they kept me wishing for more, so my family could not help but watch such a large chunk of the DVDs late into the night.
And then the scene where Vasudev and Devaki lose another five children was also very emotional and painful to watch, and I esp loved the way in which RS showed them gradually aging, so that by the time Balram is conceived, we can see a few flecks of gray in their hair. The conversation between Seshnaag and Krishna in Golok was very interesting, and then the whole conception/transfer of Balram from Devaki's womb to Rohini's womb by Yogmaya was well portrayed. And it was so cute how Vasudev and Devaki feel hopeful about the sixth child because of the glow surrounding Devaki's womb, and Kans's mental reaction with all those "I saw a snake!" incidents were both hilarious and annoying because I just wanted the story to move instead of focusing so much on his face. Leaving that aside, I esp liked watching Rohini's very natural reaction to suddenly finding herself pregnant out of thin air, and then Maharishi Garg and Rishi Shandilya's conversation about Balram's divine origin. When we learnt that Rohini was the incarnation of Kashyapa Prajapati's third wife Kadru, my dad was so interested by the story that he looked up Kashyapa, Aditi, Diti, Kadru, and the rest of his wives online for background information. Anyhow, Devaki and Vasudev's despair when they think Devaki had a miscarriage was sooo heartwrenching. And the way in which Vasudev swallowed his own pain to comfort Devaki made me cry even further.
And to end this entry, we finished at the part where Shri Krishna is conceived and the Devtas all celebrate his upcoming Janmashtami. The baby they showed playing in Devaki's womb was just adorable and so cheerful, wonder what RSji did to make him/her smile and giggle so much. Anyhow, that's it for this entry...now on to DVD #3.
Today, we watched the birth of Balram and then the Shri Krishna Janmashtami sequences, and both were done very beautifully done. Baby Balram was just adorable and I loved the background song, "Jai Sankarshan, Jai Balram" that Naradji sang. Though it was short, the tune was so lilting and sounded like one of those Aarti songs we all are familiar with. And the part which cracked me up was when the midwife told Yashoda and Nandraiji that Rohini gave birth to a boy, and an excited Nand hurries into the chamber as if the baby is his own, but Yashoda quickly stops him by keeping protocol in mind. The way Nandji blushes (or perhaps I imagined that) with embarrassment was just soooo cute. Sorry, just had to get that out before hurrying on to the next scene.
Anyhow, I really enjoyed the Shri Krishna Janmashtami sequence after that. When Lord Vishnu arrives in Vasudev and Devaki's chamber and explains to them their previous births, and then gives them the choice of moksha or becoming his parents, hearing Devaki Mata's reply to him that she only wants to enjoy the sweetness of motherhood without all the gyaani associated with unattachment was so beautiful. Yogmaya casting a spell over Vasudev, the guards falling asleep, the shackles coming undone, and then Vasudev crossing Yamuna with baby Krishna was also very well done. Only thing I was put off with in this episode was the actress who played Yamuna Devi. I felt she kind of overdid it with the expressions, and the background song was also way too long and repetitive with Yamuna's attempt to touch Krishna's feet and then Krishna pulling them out of her reach. They showed that for at least 10 full minutes before Krishna let her touch her feet, and it made my family lose their attention span sometime inbetween and begin to wonder whether Vasudev would ever reach Gokul by the end of the episode. I think I remember Lola mentioning a short time back that the song they showed in the DVD was a new one and that the original, shorter version was replaced during the editing . If that is so, dunno why they did it. The song was not that great either.
Anyhow, enough with that. Vasudev did eventually reach Gokul and switch Krishna for Yogmaya. That too was shown well, and the following sequence when he returns to the Bandi Grah, guards hear baby's cries, baby's gender as a girl is established, and Kans's fury were all well done. Yogmaya's escape from Kans's clutches soon after, her mocking words that Kans's killer has already been born and is safely away from him, and Kans turning into Godzilla were all also shown well to the point.
Back at Gokul, Nand, Yashoda, and Rohini's reaction to Baby Krishna was adorable. I esp love how Yashoda wakes up and finds out she already gave birth. I remember my sis commenting that she wished it were that easy for all women, that they fall asleep before labor and wake up to find a baby next to them. Anyhow, the cute susequent scene where baby Balram cries to welcome Krishna, and the way in which baby Krishna places his feet on Baldau's head as the latter bows down in obeisance....that entire scene was just SO cute that I could see it over and over. And how in the world did the Sagars manage to make the babies go along with the scene and act that way? It must not have been easy.
Anyhow, that's about where we ended more or less, so till next time...
Sunday, December 12th @ 8:36 PM
Today, we began with the episode where Kans orders his men to kill all the recently born babies in Mathura and the surrouding area, and the bloodshed of innocent children which soon follows was terrible to watch and made me hate the character of Kans more than ever. When the men of Gokul refuse the order of Kans's men to enter their village and kick them out, I really liked how RS chose fitting actors for those men. They may have been 5 min characters, but whoever the actors were, their dialogue was powerful and well portrayed by them. In either serials or movies, it really puts me off whenever watching actors who seem bored of their roles or not really into them, even if they are small roles, but these actors did really well in showing the outrage of Gokul's men. Often times, we applaud the actors who play the main roles, and accidentally forget the others who work equally hard, so that is why I wanted to put in a word (or a paragraph in my case) for these actors who played Gokul's loyal residents.
Anyhow, the following scene where Chanoor (or Banasur) advises Kans to be friendly with the Gokul people in case they rebel against him, and then the chiefs of Gokul advising Nandraiji to pay Kans a visit, were well done and quick to the point too. I liked the scene soon after where Nandraiji does pay Kans a visit, tells him about the time and birth of his son, and Kans immediately comes to the conclusion that the baby must be Vasudev and Devaki's eighth son. For the first time in the show, we see that Kans actually had brains. Leaving that aside, the short but sweet scene with Nandraiji, Akrur, Vasudev, and Devaki in their chamber was also enjoyable. I esp love how Nandraiji tells Devaki Mata that Rohini told him to tell her that she is bringing up Balram as the latter's son and not her own. Devaki's emotional reply that Balram is rightfully Rohini's son, and her heartfelt request that her name never be uttered near him incase it causes him trouble from Kans, was very tear worthy.
After that, we watched the scene where Kans orders Pootna to be brought to his presence, because he has a job for her which is supposed to be done before Nandraiji returns to Gokul. The whole Putna sequence was well filmed and incredibly accurate. When Ramanand Sagar's interesting commentary after Putna Vadh was shown, my dad looked up that chapter in our Bhagavatham copy and found that RSji followed the story extremely accurately, from the very moment where Nandraiji leaves Gokul to visit Kans, Pootna's plan to poison her breasts and kill baby Krishna that way, her entrance into Gokul and Yashoda's house, convincing Yashoda to let her suckle Kanha, and the way Krishna leads her far away from the village before killing her so that her large body does not fall on anyone and crush them to smithereens, was all shown scene for scene from the Bhagavatham. And later on when Krishna in Golok tells Radharani the story of Pootna's past life, where she was Rajkumari Ratnamala, the daughter of King Bali whom Vaman Avatar pressed into Paatal Lok, my dad said that story too was followed accurately from the Bhagavatham. All in all, this episode was an interesting watch.
So that's where we left off today. Hopefully we'll get another episode in soon.
@ Vedo - no need to worry hun (if you're not averse to low quality vids, that is )... the whole series is available to watch on dailymotion and most of it (the uploader is still in progress) is also on youtube, so you too can join her on the journey and tell us your thoughts along the way... here's the first part, the rest are on the same channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/vikaran2hot#p/u/86/r7WuWMWXjuQ
@ Janu - GREAT start hun Really enjoying your entries, even though it's technically my 2nd time reading them after our convos from the dailymotion epis you pulled out all sorts of new observations... you smart cookie, you Lets take Friday's entry point by point:
a) lolz agree about the poor little Shukdev actor, but my theory is he was more uncomfortable with that tiny little rag he had to wear and not the cameras... must've been freezing Glad you enjoyed the speech he gave on the importance of the Krishna Katha and yes, it was straight out of the Bhaagvat... as was this gem of a deleted scene between Ved Vyas and Narad in which the latter inspires the former to write the Bhaagvat: (about a minute and a half in) [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxg03tnVIlI[/YOUTUBE]
b) about the sudden change in Kans's character, I guess it's a case of editing giving things a whole new meaning - whereas this version is cut in such a way that his "conversion" from sweet doting bro to sibling from hell happens in a split second, the original version (as you prob remember) gave us quite a few character-building scenes that tell us that something is indeed going on in his head and explains what exactly it is: mostly ambition to establish a dictatorial empire, and also to some extent daddy issues because he thinks Ugrasen doesn't recognize his potential. Here are the scenes that give us these insights, as well as others on the personalities of Vasudevji, Ugrasen, and Akrur:
About 4 and a half minutes into this: [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAEeUXV6-Pw[/YOUTUBE]
And most obviously, in the beginning of this: [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71iIJnme7ko[/YOUTUBE]
c) in other missing scenes - all of Kans's plan of vengeance i.e. his wedding is missing from the set, that in itself is a chock full of interesting scenes and dialogues on politics and karma yog (these couple vids don't have subtitles, I may change that over winter break but until then I prob still have those typed up translations I did when you watched it before): almost 7 minutes in... [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztc9U_jCUEs[/YOUTUBE]
d) after all that insight on Kans, originally, was the murder of Kirtimaan. I of course agree about the intense emotional impact of the scene, without even showing it happen on camera the way it's handled outdoes much gorier movie moments in its gut-wrenchingness because of that tug-of-war scene in which Paullomi perfectly portrays pain and desperation and Sunil, even in his silence, is amazing at expressing shock and helplessness (especially towards the end). And of course the lyrics of Vidhna Tere multiplies the impact, even the orchestration of the song is so spot-on. And the baby they picked is sooooo tiny and weak looking that even that builds the impact. Definitely one of the most poignant scenes ever televised
e) in other missing scenes, the short ones that follow Ugrasen's imprisonment (also perfect IMO in both actors' intensity and the way the fight is choreographed with all the Magadh soldiers encircling Mathura's and stabbing them - a huge improvement over the passive portrayal in other movies/serials which make Ugrasen look like a real wimp) are also touched up - some are extra, like the Akrur one where he discusses sending Mitrasen, and some are gone like when Nand Baba's brother holds a meeting to tell the villagers what's up in Mathura and crown Nand chief before leaving. But most importantly, the scene before the other 5 babies are killed - in which VasuDevaki discuss faith and patience and RadheShyam praise them from above - has been shortened One of the most meaningful mytho dialogues of all, here are its translations: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=1311014&TPN=119 Another treasure that got lost because they cut straight from Vasuji breaking down at the end of Tu Dheeraj to when Sheshji requests to be born first is RSji's post-episode commentary that came in between. It's really beautiful, he starts talking while Vasudevji is still onscreen crying and says that "when devotees feel that broken and helpless and call out to Him in that deep despair, that's when He himself comes to them!" He proceeds to explain how the quota of sin has to be fulfilled before a divine incarnation takes place, and how all the epis he had showed up until this point - even though they were before Krishna's birth - were absolutely necessary because those characters and the qualities they exemplify are like the pure streams that come together to form the river (i.e. Krishna). It's beautiful and soooooo inspiring... 5 minutes into this: [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIWWHO3OCrQ[/YOUTUBE]
f) hmmm... nothing else seems to be missing. The Garg-Shandilya convo is one of my favs too, because of that info you pointed out on Rohini being an incarnation of Naag Mata Kadru which most of us probably didn't know beforehand. Lots of pretty metaphors in that scene too, about what the universe looks like in preparation for Krishna Avtaar... also straight out of the Bhaagvat. And yayyyy to you noticing the super cute Garbh Stuti baby... shooooo adorable
Alrighty that seems to be a good enough diary entry on your diary entry... more like a whole chapter Enjoy, and can't wait for more from you Edited by lola610 - 2010-12-15T11:13:27Z