His fixation for period drama is backed with reason. These are stories of ordinary people who challenged frontiers and defined the course of history, says Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi,best known for the role of Chanakya he played in the memorable television series. He has now wrapped up a 52-episode weekly series Upanishad Ganga that goes on air on Doordarshan from Sunday,March 11 and was in Lucknow on Thursday for its promotion.
The vedas are a fountainhead of knowledge from which the entire world has benefited. Upanishads are a corollary and bear the essence of this knowledge,so it is important to introduce it to the new generation and enlighten them through an entertaining format, says Dwivedi about the series,which uses characters of epic stories to spread the light.
The first episode shows the conflict between Mughal emperor Aurangzeb,a staunch Islamist and Dara Shikoh,whose translation of the Upanishads into Persian went far across the continents and was lapped up by the likes of Max Mueller in Europe. In subsequent episodes,we share the ancient wisdom through stories such as of Nachiketa,who challenged the angel of death Yama to tell him the truth that lies beyond the trappings of the material world, says Dwivedi,who earlier directed a film on the horrors of Partition,Pinjar and has completed recently,Mohalla Assi featuring Sunny Deol,a story of decadence that seeped into the local ethics with the advent of the dollar. The series is shot in the style of classical Sanskrit drama and I play the anchor,narrating and reflecting on the nuances of each story. For that I had to don 33 different get-ups, says actor Abhimanyu Singh,best known for his villainous role in Gulaal. The Sanskrit Hons graduate from
St Stephens has done a number of K serials too.
I have written innumerable episodes of dozens of saas-bahu serials,none that I am proud enough to name, is the candid confession of Fareed,the writer of the series and Singhs fellow native from Patna. But here I have written stuff I am proud of. Upanishad is not a journey but the destination of truth, he continues on a wiser note.