24 July 2013 | harrysanawar
Surabhi - the great show on Doordarshan
Surabhi was a popular Indian cultural magazine show hosted by Renuka Shahane and Siddharth Kak, which ran from 1993 to 2001. It was telecast on Doordarshan, the Indian state-run television channel. Surabhi was produced by Kak's Mumbai based production house Cinema Vision India and had Indian culture as its central theme. The show holds the distinction of being India's longest-running cultural series and features in the Limca Book of Records for receiving the largest measured audience response ever in the history of Indian television. The title music of Surabhi was composed by acclaimed Indian composer and classical violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam. Indian cooperative dairy giant Amul sponsored it for a long time, and the show was titled Amul Surabhi. The show had a rating of 51 percent in its initial run in 1993. One of the reasons of its popularity was the weekly quiz open for viewer participation. At that time mobile phones and Internet were not prevalent in India and viewers would post their responses using the 15 paise postcard of India post. According to the Limca Book of Records the show once received the highest ever documented response in the history of Indian television - over 1.4 million letters in a single week. The Indian postal department was forced to issue a different category of postcards called "Competition Postcards" priced at 2 Rupees each for participating in such contests. Surabhi was dubbed in Indian regional languages like Tamil and got a great response from Indian states where Hindi is not an official language. During the 1990s, Surabhi had become a benchmark show and is known as "one of the best television shows ever made that reflected the length and breath of the Indian culture".Subsequently, Kak established the Surabhi Foundation with the assistance of Ford Foundation and started a project on preserving cultural artifacts.