T. Saravanan takes a peek into dubbed Hindi serials that have penetrated Tamil households.

Dubbed Hindi mega serials are not new to the Tamil viewers as Junoon, Swabhiman, Shanthi, Mahabharath and Ramayan on Doordarshan are still remembered. In fact, the impact of these serials is such that Junoon even created a new Tamil dialect and people followed it.

This year in particular has seen a spurt in number of such serials occupying prime time in Tamil satellite channels. . Almost every channel is now airing dubbed serials to grab the TRPs (Television Rating Points) and it also makes their job easy. They just have to secure thedubbing rights.

Ramkumar of Ullam Kollai Poguthada is as popular as Gopi of Nadhaswaram among the television watchers here. Ullam Kollai Poguthada is a dubbed version of the much popular Bade Achhe Lagte Hain that has won many awards.

Often homemakers are blamed for getting addicted to such serials. But now, men also seem to be attracted to them. . “If the story is strong and screenplay is crisp, I don’t mind watching them,” says, Justin Jebaraj, Government employee.

“The quality of dubbing has also improved leaps and bounds,” points out says V. Rajapandi, building contractor. “In terms of technical aspect also, they score over our local soaps. I regularly watch these serials. Ramkumar and Priya are my favourite actors,” he says.

Ullam Kollai Poguthada is not one off case, as there are other serials such as Uravugal Thodarkathai (Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai), Sindhu Bhairavi (Uttaran), Deivam Thantha En Thangai (Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai), En Kanavan En Thozhan (Diya Aur Baati Hum) and Madhubala (Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon).

“I prefer them as they don’t bank too much on sentiments. Moreover, they don’t drag the story whereas most of the native soaps rely on the emotional quotient of the audience,” says A.K. Kanjana, a tailor.

The main story in most of the serials revolves around family intrigues. Interesting plot structure is their USP. Gone are the days when serials were shot in a room with fixed props. As small screen is viewed as a stepping stone to the film industry, many young directors and actors are prepared to test the waters. These television serials are in no way inferior to films.

What impresses K. Vasanthi, an entrepreneur, is the exotic locale where some of the episodes are shot. “I make myself available to watch couple of serials regularly,” she says.

Television serial viewers can be broadly classified into aged men, women and retirees. Potential target audience for these serials are housewives as they do not miss even a single episode while office-goers view them only when they are at leisure. There are also other set of people who trash serials but enjoy watching them discreetly.

“I like the dubbed serials as most of them insist on our strong value system. They reinforce the faith in joint family system and respect for elders,” says P. Manickam, retired veterinarian.

Moreover, the impressive jewellery sets worn by the characters and their attires have also generated a lot of interest among women. “I watch these serials just to see the Kundan work jewels and designer wares. In fact, it feeds me with an idea to look for such materials when I go for shopping,” says S. Ratnamala, homemaker.

In an entertainment starved town, these serials provide enough substance for people at home to munch on.