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Thrilling times of 'Marma Desam' [Flashback]

Back in late 1990s K.Balachander Kavithalaya group's Minbimbangal Productions and Director Nag...

marma desam
Back in late 1990s K.Balachander Kavithalaya group's Minbimbangal Productions and Director Naga (Nagarajan) brought Indra Soundar Rajan's mystery-fictional stories to the small screens through 'Marma Desam'.

It was the time of very few private channels in Tamil Nadu with big names of Sun TV and Raj TV. It was the period of GEC (Golden Eagle Communication) transforming to Vijay Mallya's Vijay TV (later acquired by Star group and became Star Vijay) and post shutdown of JJ TV (J. Jayalaitha owned Pvt channel).

Marma Desam said to be Director Naga's best in TV Serials who picked Indra Soundar Rajan's (Nandi Ragasiyam?) story for the first series. Ragasiyam is based around a temple in Chitharpatti, it is the first of the highly successful Marmadesam series.
Ragasiyam
Cover of Marma Desam - Ragasiyam
Started telecasting on Sun TV at 8:30PM following evening News every Wednesdays, being a different genre in TV serials, it attracted many viewers and popular in very short time with high TRPs. It was filled with full of suspense, thrill and mystery. This story is about the mysteriously healing Navabhashanam Lingams of Lord Shiva. It deals with the mystery of a temple, where there is a special shiva linga idol made of nine rare elements, also some questioning presence of siddhas in the temple.
Vidathu Karuppu
Naga's Vidaathu Karuppu is the second and most successful of the Marmadesam series. The story examines the psychological underpinnings of the concept of split personalities even while exploring in detail the rural cult of Karuppu Sami prevalent in the southern part of Tamil Nadu. Starring Chetan, Devadarshini, Master Lokesh, Mohan V. Ram, Poovilangu Mohan, Ponvannan, Muthusubramanian and Sivakavitha, the series was a huge commercial success and triggered imitations and supernatural thrillers by other television directors.
Chetan Vidathu Karuppu
Chetan as Rajendran (Vidathu Karuppu)
The story has a good amount of twists and turns, writer Indira Soundar Rajan proves he is an expert in south indian village deities. The season contains 82 episodes, Each episode follow stories in two different timelines. The action from the first minutes of every episode is based in 1977 and the rest of the episode in based in 1997 reffering at the events that happened in the first minutes. Considering the timeline of the series (1997 - 2001), this is an unique attempt in Tamil series.

Due to difference of opinion between K Balachander and Sun TV group, Minbimbagal switched all it's prime serials including Marmadesam to Raj TV. Marmadesam featured "Sorna Regai" in it's third series on Raj TV which has 21 episodes. The novel by the name Sornaregai was written by Indira Soundarajan was released in 1999 and after the success as a novel, the story was shot as serial, as part of Marmadesam directed by CJ Bhaskar and it proved that it was all time hit.
Sorna Regai
Sorna Regai which means golden lines is about the study of horoscope, palmistry, face-reading and crystal gazing etc. that have always been an enigma. The opinion on them has been divided - while some believe in this study, the others do not. The serial 'Sorna Regai' is about futuristic predictions of Bhaskar Das, a research scholar in palmistry. He predicts a long life of ninety years to a convict about to be hanged in two days. Anwar, an honest and upright police officer, does not believe in Bhaskar Das's prediction. Lingam, the younger brother of Bhaskar Das, runs his life based on his predictions. His wife, Kamalam, is pregnant. There are some others like jailor Perumal, Chettiar and his daughter Manga who believe in his predictions. The episodes leave the viewers oscillating between belief and disbelief.
Ethuvum Nadakum
Swarna regai was popular while it telecasted, but compared to the previous “Marmadesam” serials “Ragasiyam” and “Vidāthu Karuppu”, this one was an underdog.

Other seasons on Marmadesam include Iyanthira Paravai and Edhuvum Nadakkum, directed by CJ Bhaskar received only average TRP rating. Iyanthira Paravai explores the practice of Varmakalai, shown in 36 Episodes.
marma desam iyanthira paravai
A Scene from Marma Desam - Iyanthira Paravai
The final season of Marmadesam, Edhuvum Nadakkum evolves around the myth of Kalpavriksham that according to a tribe, it is a tree hidden in the forest who has the power to grant any wish. A lot of people are starting to look for this amazing tree but most of them are killed during the searches. A student and a filmmaker also come in this forest to find the tree and quickly realize that there is something more in the death of the searchers. The serial of Marma Desam ended up in biggest failure and they stopped without being informed to audience. The Reason for eduvum nadakkum failure is Poor marketing and Raj TV's poor viewership.

Success of Marmadesam is Indra Soundarajan, Director Naga and Sun TV combo, which is still unmatchable in Tamil TV Serials.

Post your comments and corrections in the story if any.

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  1. Excellent article, i come to know some of the interesting facts here like Vijay mallya's vijay tv. Of course, it was Golden eagle communication channel was there once, changes to vijay tv with reverse triangle in horse. Later 'V' displayed like a tick marked logo. And coming to serials, well Sun tv - Minbimbangal partnership is a very successful one. Raj tv is a consistent poor channel for long time. serials in between ads and poor marketing to a big blow for viewers.

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