Art & Entertainment

Immerse Yourself In India’s Heartland With These Rooted Web Shows

‘Rewa Express’, ‘Panchayat’, ‘Mannphodganj Ki Binny’, ‘Gullak’, and ‘Laakhon Mein Ek’ bring alive the quirks of small towns.

A Still From Panchayat
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Small town India is where life moves at its own pace, where children run barefoot on dusty streets, laughter echoes through the air, and where youngsters face enormous challenges while trying to live on their own terms.

We bring you a few web series that showcases the joy and strife of living in these towns perfectly:

‘Rewa Express’

Streaming exclusively on the iTap platform since June 30, this evocative web series perfectly captures the essence of life unfolding at a leisurely pace in small towns. The story takes us to Rewa where the Rewa Express Call Center is looking for new recruits. The story gains momentum when these job vacancies attract three aspiring candidates- Roshni Khanna, Raunak, and Rajeev. Will their aspirations collide with reality and crash or will they realise their dreams? Watch the series as it explores new challenges, trajectories of personal growth, and surprising twists each time a phone rings. The nuanced and richly detailed show stars Ankita Bahuguna, Abhishek Soti, Amit Ghosh, Abhishek Mahendru, and Shashi Tiwari.

‘Panchayat’

Two acclaimed seasons of his Chandan Kumar directorial are reminiscent of the gentle Doordarshan shows that once upon a time brought the entire family together. The story follows the trials and triumphs of Abhishek, an engineering graduate who reluctantly takes up a job as a secretary at a Panchayat office in a fictitious village in Uttar Pradesh. Though he wants to head towards greener pastures after cracking his CAT exam, soon the lives of the villagers compel him to pay attention. This slice-of-life series features Jitendra Kumar, Raghubir Yadav, Neena Gupta, Sanvikaa, Chandan Roy, Durgesh Kumar, Ashok Pathak, Faisal Malik and Sunita Rajwar. Stream it now on Amazon Prime Video.

‘Mannphodganj Ki Binny’

show is a celebration of middle-class aspirations and its protagonist is Binny Bajpai, a spunky and rebellious 21-year-old from Mannford Ganj in Prayagraj. As her traditional parents search for an ideal partner for her, Binny dreams of leaving her small suffocating world behind with the help of Rahul Pandey, a politician’s son with a questionable moral compass. As Binny hurtles heedlessly towards heartbreak, Raja, her self-effacing suitor waits in the wings for her to notice him. Directed by Vikas Chandra, the show features Pranati Rai Prakash, Anurag Sinha, Abhinav Anand, Samar Vermani and Fahman Khan and can be streamed on MX Player.

‘Gullak’

heartwarming family drama created by Shreyansh Pandey for The Viral Fever (TVF) has been renewed for a third season and is available on SonyLIV. The story revolves around Santosh and Shanti Mishra who live in a quaint, small town along with their sons Anand "Annu" Mishra and Aman Mishra. Their everyday struggles, joys and conflicts remind one of Manohar Shyam Joshi’s iconic Doordarshan show ‘Hum Log’ which opened the floodgates for family-centric soap operas in India in the early eighties. This relatable middle-class world is made even more endearing by actors like Jameel Khan, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Vaibhav Raj Gupta, Harsh Mayar and Sunita Rajwar.

‘Laakhon Mein Ek’

Season one of this web show features Aakash, a recent high school graduate and social media enthusiast who is forced by his father to join Genius Infinity, an IIT coaching institute far away from his home. The story then follows how he deals with a forbidding, unfamiliar environment where he feels like an outsider. Directed by Abhishek Sengupta, the show stars Ritvik Sahore, Alam Khan, Jay Thakkar and Shiv Kumar Subramaniam. The protagonist of the second season is the idealistic Dr Shreya who is posted in Sitlapur village and is in charge of a cataract camp. As she struggles to help the ill-informed villagers, she also has to deal with uncooperative staff and political interference. The show stars Shweta Tripathi, Sandeep Mehta, Rupesh Tillu and Suyash Joshi. Stream both seasons on Amazon Prime Video.

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