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“Eho Hamara Jeevna” A Punjabi Serial That Paved The Way For Many!

By: Gurwinder | January 10, 2022

There was a time when Punjabi cinema lacked compelling content. At that time Punjabi TV Serials came to the rescue. They chose earthy and literary stories from the rich world of Punjabi Literature as their topics. But it all began with one serial which kind of paved a way for many other TV Serials.

The serial in question is “Eho Hamara Jeevna”, a Punjabi TV Serial that was adapted from Dalip Kaur Tiwana’s novel with the same name. Also Read: Evergreen Romantic Flicks You Can Watch Anytime!

“Eho Hamara Jeevna” was a 13-14 episodic series featuring Amar Noorie in the lead role and without doubt, it was one of the best of its kind.

In an exclusive interview with Gurbir Singh Grewal, the director behind the serial team Ghaintpunjab discovered special scoops about the serial and its shoots.

To begin, Grewal shared, “Ramesh Bora and Kesar Singh were two students of Dalip Kaur Tiwana. They had taken her permission to make a serial on her novel ‘Eho Hamara Jeevna’. They reached out to me. It was in 1986 when the serial was planned.”

At that time, most programs being telecast at Jalandhar Doordarshan were of their own productions. ‘Eho Hamara Jeevna’ was one of the first independent production for the channel. The crew first shot for some pilot episodes. In the beginning, Delhi Doordarshan gave approval for the show; however, later on, the project was taken over by Jalandhar Doordarshan. Also Read: Punjabi Singer Jass Bajwa Has Acted In Two Films?

Talking about the casting, especially Amar Noorie, Grewal told us, “We had taken actors from the Patiala theatre department.

About Amar Noorie, I had seen her performing live with Singer Didar Sandhu. During the break, she was her usual self and was not extra conscious about anyone being around. We approached her and she readily agreed.”
‘Eho Hamara Jeevna’ was one of the first Punjabi TV Serials which had multiple episodes. Before this most of Jalandhar Doordarshan’s series were comedy shows with one or two, and max three episodes.

Additionally, most of these series and shows were being shot in the studio only. ‘Eho Hamara Jeevna’ had many (around 13-14) episodes and was the first Punjabi series that was shot outdoors. The serial was shot in Patiala near a village while some scenes were shot in Delhi. Also Read: Classic Talk: A 1983 Release, Roop Shaukeenan Da

However, unlike Delhi Doordarshan Programs, Jalandhar Doordarshan never had commercial sponsors(Commercial Ads). So when asked about how the serial made money, Grewal revealed, “Jalandhar Doordarshan Programs used to be channel sponsored, in our case, it was the first independent production. While the pilot episodes were produced by us the latter was done on a commission basis. For a better explanation, the channel would give a certain amount to the makers to make the show and would keep the show as their own property. ”

Coming to the original literature, the novel was written by the legendary writer Dalip Kaur Tiwana. During the production, Grewal told us that, “She had full faith in us and never interfered. Her student Ramesh Bora had written the script and screenplay. You will be surprised to know that Ramesh Bora is a Rajasthani and learned basic Punjabi while he was studying at Punjabi University. ” Also Read: Rup Magon Expresses Happiness Over The Collaboration With Karl Wolf After 20 Years

Moreover, Grewal opened up about trying to get his hands on the episodes of the serial so as to re-telecast it in today’s time, but it was fruitless. He said, “A few years back I met some people in the Doordarshan Circle. I had asked them to find a copy of ‘Eho Hamara Jeevna’. I even reached out to Jalandhar Doordarshan Authorities, but all in vain… Over the years formats have changed from low band to high, veta cam to digicam. Even if the copy is found, we won’t be able to play it as it won’t function on the new sets. We would require the same old machinery”

But all is not lost, luckily, someone had uploaded all the episodes on youtube and since then it has gotten adulation all over again. To Grewal it felt great when he came across his production online!

Now if we talk about the response to this production considering it was a step ahead of its time, “I still get messages for it.  Back then it was even given the Punjabi Academy Award. ‘Eho Hamara Jeevna’ was also shown in Canada on another Punjabi Channel. So a large part of people in the Punjabi Diaspora at that time had seen it”, shares Grewal. Also Read: Remember ‘Dil Apna Punjabi’ Actress Gauri Singh? Here’s What She Is Doing These Days!

Amar Noorie’s Son Alaap Sikander too had something to add about the serial, he said, “It was one of finest work from that era. Bhano’s portrayal may be the toughest one to execute, from an eighteen-year-old teen who barely knows how the world runs to playing a newly-married girl and then, at last, playing the helpless and poor lady, destroyed by cruelty of the world. I am not saying this as her son. But mom’s act was so transparent and method that whenever we toured in USA or Canada, I have seen older women coming up to her and asking her if she is fine. An old lady even asked her, ‘Putt main dekheya teri sehat theek nahi… hun tu theek hai?

They would cry and hug mom. Uttermost respect here goes to Mr. Gurbir Singh Grewal for making the series and also the biggest credit goes to Dalip Kaur Tiwana ji for writing such a moving tale. There was a form of poster that used to be the intro of the show, in which a shadow of the woman and cow cross each other. No one understood it, until the end when Bhano gets further traded for exchange of cattle.”

Planned in 1986, ‘Eho Hamara Jeevna’ was finally telecasted on Jalandhar Doordarshan in 1988-89. It had Amar Noorie, Mohan Baggan, Pran Sabharwal, Prabhsharan Kaur, Sunita Sabharwal, Gurcharan Baggan, Rajinder Tangad, Surinder Baath, Tarsem Paul, Ranjeet Kaur Dhariwal, Jaswant Jeet, Ravi Bhushan, Manjt Dhiman, Madhubala, Pritam Dhindsa, Sandeep Sood, Zahida Parveen, Shaminder Gill, etc in leading roles. 

It has been more than three decades, but Jalandhar Doordarshan could never surpass the barrier set by ‘Eho Hamara Jeevna’. Such was the impact of Amar Noorie's performance as Bhano that Ravi Chopra approached her for one of his Hindi Serial. But due to singing and acting commitments back home she politely refused the offer. 
Even today if someone plans to remake it, they would fail to re-create the classic considering how some Punjabi serials (inspired by Hindi Serials) are being made with over-the-top background music and back-to-back close up shots killing the authenticity. Also Read: Jassi Sidhu Did Not Sing The Original ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’ Song?

In an era where TV serials go on and on for many episodes taking the story from one point to a completely different direction, ‘Eho Hamara Jeevna’ can be the perfect show as a web series consisting of a few episodes.

At the time this article is written, the serial is still there on youtube. If you are one of those who keep looking for something good to watch online, do yourself a favor and watch ‘Eho Hamara Jeevna’. You will surely appreciate the recommendation!

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