Netflix is streaming Powder right now, a must-watch cult show, which prompted me to talk about this engrossing series. It was during 2010 that Yash Raj Films — that eponymous name in the world of movie entertainment in India, decided to experiment with producing Hindi television shows with YRF Television and partnered with Sony Entertainment Television. They brought some soaps such as Mahi Way, Seven, Lift Kara De, Rishta.com, to name a few spanning different genres, but personally, none of them appealed to my sensibilities. Though for whatever reason, they should be thanked for making a brilliant TV show during the time, which I believe perhaps to be the best in crime drama in the history of Indian television which is Powder, and so fabulously directed by Atul Sabharwal.
It’s a story exploring the life of an honest officer Usman Ali Malik (played by Manish Chaudhury) heading the Mumbai branch of the Narcotics Control Bureau who is in relentless pursuit of a drug smuggler called Naved Ansari, magnificently portrayed by Pankaj Tripathi and his henchmen. The plot is engaging and original on several fronts; notwithstanding the awesome performances by its supporting cast including Geetika Tyagi, Rahul Bagga, et al, the scrupulous focus on the inner workings of various drug enforcement agencies in India suggests that the crew may have undertaken tremendous research in writing the story, the authentic cinematography, sound, and the action sequences (directed by the veteran action director Sham Kaushal) on the streets of Bombay makes this series deserving of our attention more often than once. No doubt, there was an enormous potential to improve & advance the storyline, which also makes me wonder if an intelligent and truthful narrative such as Powder didn’t deserve a fresh reboot or inspired similar plots on the small screen then what hope do we have for our talented Hindi TV writers?
Nostalgia strikes watching ‘Powder’. What a series! It signifies everything that’s right and wrong with Indian TV programming.
— Bhooshan Pandya (@Bhooshan) September 24, 2014
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