1998 Sunday morning, 11:59 PM IST…

There is excitement in my heart as it beats to the rhythm of the seconds, counting down to the exact moment when it’ll strike noon…
A couple of BS ads about Nutrine’s coconut candy and a detergent that urges me to first use and believe later… I bite my lower lip and wobble in my chair in anticipation.

And then it arrives, after hours of waiting, it is finally here…
A bare chested man adorned in gold with outstretched arms beckoning the mythological production title beneath it, followed by a secular melee of the titles that screamed NATIONAL PRIDE (addressing solely to the north, but I didn’t mind).

Cue the electronic digital chime, and that familiar call…

SHAKTIMAAAAAAAAAAAAN….
<wooosh> SHAKTIMAAAAAN….
<wooosh> SHAKTIMAAAAAAAAAAAAN…
SHAKTI-SHAKTI-SHAKTIMAAN- SHAKTI-SHAKTI-SHAKTIMAAN- SHAKTI-SHAKTI-SHAKTIMAAN-
*re-edm chime*

Seriously though, if anybody reading this is a DJ(Here’s looking at you Vipin…) please consider making a track in tribute of this iconic theme song… please, I urge you.

It’s an understatement to say that we as a generation were defined by TV shows…
And perhaps the most understated of them all was this modestly budgeted superhero. Something, that everyone; capitalist and socialist alike, grew fond of…

The Indian scene was disconnected from what went on in the rest of the world.
So until the advent of the computer, and the internet shortly after, the general public was oblivious to it. 
International content managed to trickle its way in through ill-gained VHSs and the kind negligence of foreign cousins.
In this state of wanton depravity, our hungry minds gorged on this Sunday afternoon presentation and took to it as gospel. Every episode an intrinsic dig into society, the sense of right and wrong provided for us in a neat well wrapped package of loveliness, carefully compiled by the kind producers of the show.

We didn’t really mind the bad acting, the script , the props, or even what was passed off as special effects…
It was literally all we had to look forward to, and it was good.

I for one proudly say that this bare-edged micro production, taught me the fundamentals of good and evil, on how the general populace is and how we are supposed to be…

That middle-aged man in red spandex showed me how “I” could make a difference in an indifferent world, by however small a means possible.

In the wake of the millennium though, cable television took center stage, and this monolith of a generation dissolved gently into the background, never to be seen or heard of again…

So in a way, this little appreciated show, gave the children of my generation, something that I regret to say we’ve forgotten…
Humanity.

Long before frankly idiotic cartoons with horrendous grammar that promote an unhealthy appetite for laddoos, this show showed that there are things more valuable than just TRP ratings and product promotion.

And at this juncture of thought, whenever I do something not so nice, I am always hounded by this feeling of impending guilt, and a reminder of the words 
“Sorry Shaktimaan.”