The Sooryavansham Fatigue is Real

Even as you read this, it’s likely that Sony Max is either telecasting the Big B-starrer Sooryavansham again or preparing to do so (unless it only just got done with its gazillionth rerun of the film, of course). But no one understands why. The movie – starring Amitabh Bachchan in a double role, as father and son – released in 1999 to a lukewarm box-office response and tepid reviews at best. Yet, for years, the channel has continued to air it ad infinitum, imprinting every dialogue in generations’ brains.

This long-running partnership and joke – which has survived Sony Max’s attempt to rebrand itself as the home of the IPL, the near-death of cable television, audience’s ridicule/pleas and all the Bhanu Pratap’s zeher-wali kheer memes – is no longer funny to a particularly ‘Sooryavansham-peedit’ viewer. In a letter to the channel, the sender begged, ‘Me and family now know Heera Thakur and his family like we know our own kin. We can recite all the dialogues by heart. Who will bear responsibility if such repeated screenings affect my mental peace and sanity?’ ‘How many more times will you air this film?’ the viewer wrote, hoping to receive an answer under the Right to Information Act. Here’s hoping we finally solve this mystery and are all freed from the shackles of Sooryanvasham one day.


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