Fauji (Old Doordarshan TV Serial) | ShahRukh Khans 1st TV Show
Fauji is a classic piece of TV series which was considered one of the creative television shows ever telecasted on Indian television. This show was aired on the only TV channel that was available at that period of 80 – 90s, i.e. DD National. That was the period of heroes and heroines dancing around of trees and our TV rooms were available with only the family drama, classical music shows, mythological TV serials, etc. So Fauji, breaking all stereotypes was not only a milestone in superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s career, but also is a winner in the Indian television history and its evolution. Fauji literally gave birth to our very own heart throb and super star – SRK. It might not be his first TV assignment, but it was a phenomenal one and grabbed everyone’s notice from day one of its telecast.
Storyline of Fauji
Fauji was aired in the year 1989 on DD national. That era was actually not prepared or expecting a TV series like Fauji with its independent lineup and realistic set up. Fauji was a story of the Indian Army commandoes. Their inner story, right from their days in military training in the defence academy was shown in the TV show. Shah Rukh Khan played the role of Lt. Abhimanyu Rai which was the leading role of the TV show. This TV show as about friendship, struggle in a training centre, ego, real emotions, patriotism, etc. And the evolving Indian TV audience just loved the way it was. The other main role in Fauji was of Major Vikram Rai. He was the brother of Lt. Abhimanyu Rai. Fauji showed the nation some never seen action stunts like parachute jumps, close combats, arms and ammunition display, etc. The Indian TV audience had their first chance to peep into the real lives of Indian Army and their way of living. They enjoyed the brotherhood of Lt. Abhimanyu Rai and Major Vikram Rai. There were scenes of lavish parties of army. Fauji also had some very loud and funny moments and kept the TV audience glued to their TV sets.
Story Casting of Shah Rukh Khan as the lead
When the TV show Fauji was being planned, Lt. Abhimanyu Rai was always considered for the second in lead. Major Vikram Rai was supposed to be the lead character of the show. That was how the story was being written. According to the Director and the producer of the TV show, Col. R. K. Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan was picked up after a strict regime of audition, which included physical and stamina tests. However, Shah Rukh’s role was supposed to be not the lead but he stole the show in the first episode only. With his screen presence and never ending charm, he was made for the camera. As per the Director, he did not choose Shah Rukh Khan as the lead, the camera did the job.
Some important data about TV serial Fauji
Name of TV show
Action and Drama
Col. R. K. Kapoor, Sangeeta Iyer and Amina Shervani
Director / Producer
Col. R. K. Kapoor
Shah Rukh Khan
Character played by lead
Lt. Abhimanyu Rai
TV channel telecasted
Total no. of episodes
Year of telecast
New Film Addicts Pvt. Ltd.
Story inspiration of Fauji
Fauji was one of the finest works of Col. R. K. Sharma. He was in the Indian army and was one of the decorated Indian army officers. His hobby was to write and direct stories and dramas. He along with his friends started this venture named Fauji and wanted to provide an inside glimpse of the Indian Army and its life style to the Indian TV audience. The story of Fauji was totally based on real life incidents. Even the lead character i.e. the character of Lt. Abhimanyu Rai was also inspired from Lt. Col. Sanjoy Bannerjee. He was a renouned commando officer of the elite troop Bombay Sappers of the Indian Army.
Fauji Cast and their characters in the TV serial
Shah Rukh Khan
Lt. Abhimanyu Rai
Major Vikram Rai
Capt. Madhu Rathod
Lt. Devender Singh
N/Sub. Yaseen Khan
Fauji in today’s context
In today’s context, Fauji might have been a house full of errors. But at that era when Indian TV audience only had one TV channel in their television sets and television sets were not usual in every home, Fauji was a great effort to bring something new to them. Fauji was not the first time, Shah Rukh Khan showed his acting skill, he started his acting career in another TV soap but went unnoticed. During Fauji days only, he was offered his first Bollywood break. The Director of Fauji even tried to make Fauji 2 but it never happened.