Five reasons we still A pestered father, 5 notorious daughters and a talking portrait of a dead woman. Rings a bell?
Who doesn’t remember the Mathurs who made us fall off our chairs laughing, way back in the 1990s in one of the most popular sitcoms — Hum Paanch (pa-pa-pa paanch)!
Let us look back at some of our favourite things about this family classic.
Veteran actors Ashok Saraf and Shoma Anand played the beleaguered parents, Anand and Bina Mathur, in this simple family tale. Poor Mr. Mathur is outnumbered in a household overflowing with six women
With different (read eccentric) personalities. Meenakshi is a feminist, fighting for women’s rights. Radhika is a nerd, and has a hearing disability. Sweety is obsessed with her looks, fashion and Shah Rukh Khan. Her prime ambition is to be a successful model. Kajal is a tomboy — she is the local ‘dada’ and prefers to be called ‘Kajal bhai’. Chhoti loves gossip and is always up-to-date on what’s happening in their neighbourhood. Together, they drive their father crazy
This was a time when the comedy on television was innocent of any innuendo. The writing was crisp and clean, and Ashok Saraf, known for his comic timing, delivered them perfectly. Raakhee Vijan (Sweety) and Bhairavi Raichura (Kajal bhai) were also very good delivering their witty one-liners
One of the best things about Hum Paanch was Anand Mathur’s conversations with his dead wife. They were often laugh-out-loud lines. The first Mrs. Mathur — in a portrait frame — was played with panache by the late Priya Tendulkar. She is always looking out for her daughters, and is often giving Mr. Mathur advice about their upbringing. She also criticises him freely, much to his dismay
Instead of showing us an ‘ideal’ Indian household, this serial showcased a nice, chaotic middle-class household. There were no heavy silks or loud makeup or bejewelled characters. Hum Paanch’s primarily female cast were ordinary people whom we could all relate to. The daughters worked, had opinions, squabbled with each other like all siblings do. They were loud and opinionated, and it wasn’t considered a negative trait