Around 15 years back when there was not much popularity of cable television and its programmes, channels like Old Doordarshan and Doordarshan captured that place and won many hearts because of the vast serial collection it had. Doordarshan production had quite a few other channels running along like DD and DD Bharti.
The production witnessed popularity in terms of the serials it aired during that time. One of those very popular serials of 1989 to 1990s was known by the name of Mr.Yogi. Mr.Yogi was followed by all the serial lovers because of the unique story outline it had combined with amazing humour and strong actors sharing a perfect chemistry with each other and complimenting the story in the most efficient manner. The lead actor Mohan Gokhale found his identity on television through this fabulous role in this serial where he plays an NRI from India settled in U.S.A.
The serial main cast comprised of the main lead Mohan Gokhale as Yogesh Ishwarlal Patel or simply Mr.Yogi, Pallavi Joshi as the bride, Om Puri as Sutradhar or narrator of the series and Chandrakant Thakkar as Ishwarlal Patel, father of Mr.Yogi in the serial. Therefore the name of characters in the serial was Mr.Yogi, Om Puri, Ishwarlal Patel and Mr.Yogi’s bride. The serial’s name was Mr.Yogi because the story is about him and his marriage with an Indian girl who fits his life. The series was directed by Ketan Mehta. He was given the Indian Telly Best Direction award for the series. Om Puri’s voice as the narrator or sutradhar of the serial, added extra charm to each episode and drove everyone’s attention towards it. He was also critically acclaimed for his part in the serial.
The story revolves around an M.B.A student from America Yogesh Patel or Mr.Yogi who is an Indian settled in America but is trying to find a perfect bride for him from India who would live up to all his requirements and fits to be his bride. During the series, he meets 12 girls of different Rashis or Stars namely Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. In this series of 13 weeks, every week marks his meeting with a new girl of the respective star signs. It is shown that Yogi is a true Indian who is just settled in America and follows the stars and its effects theory while making the decision for his marriage. The narration by Om Puri added extra humour and fun to each episode. Mr.Yogi tries to fit the best match for him but all sort of funny things happen during the choice with each of these girls and the serial brings out great humour during the course of this selection.
The movie “What’s your rashee” (2009) starring Priyanka Chopra and Harman Baweja is based on this serial where Priyanka Chopra played all 12 signs. The idea of this serial was extracted from a novel “Kimball Ravenswood” written by Madhu Rye.
Kimball Ravenswood had a similar story line. The director of famous Bollywood movie “What’s your rashee?” also read this novel before finalising his decision on the film. The film did not get much appreciation because the serial already captured hearts and left an irreplaceable mark on everyone.
Among the name of characters, the most eyes catching of those 12 girls were Medha, played by Channa Ruparel. Each of those 12 girls was showcased one by one each week. The most loved episode was the one involving Channa Ruparel who played Medha and brought the viewer’s lungs out by the amazing acting of the actress and her on screen chemistry with Mr.Yogi in that episode. Om Puri narrates the episode with so much humour and sarcasm that it was worth watching. After passing 12 weeks of search, the end of series marks the final settlement of Mr.Yogi in the 13th week after all the confusion ended and so did his search when he finds his match with Pallavi Joshi who played the bride in the serial. The end of series also tries to end the belief of rashis paying attention to the fact that it is the person who matters and not his/her sun sign or star sign. The serial won many television awards during that time because of the unique idea and mixture of humour and sense in the serial. Nothing proved to be more relaxing than watching Mr.Yogi and each episode of the serial is still watched on the internet by many people.
Today, with the advent of innumerable cable channels, audiences have a wide range of TV shows to choose from. But still shows like Mr. Yogi can never be replaced in terms of the strong plot and screenplay, which made it one of the hit TV serials of Old Doordarshan or popularly called DD.