It was a first for much lauded director Ramesh Sippy, who already had films like Sholay and Shaan in his repertoire.
He was looking to create India's first soap opera for television, and he turned to writer Manohar Shyam Joshi, who passed away this morning, to bring it to life.
Joshi had already penned the hugely successful Hum Log.
The veteran director expresses his grief about Manohar Shyam Joshi's demise:
With Manohar Shyam Joshi passing away, we have lost one of our finest writers and the literary father of Indian television.
He introduced the concept of the soap opera on Doordarshan in the eighties with serials like Hum Log and Buniyaad.
He was extremely learned person and prolific writer.
He was very good in writing about relationships -- whether it was between a husband and a wife or a brother and a sister. He had great sense of humour and incorporated this in his serials.
He was a tremendous writer and he had mastered the art of writing for serials. He could keep the audience captivated episode after episode.
He made a trip to America to learn more about family dramas. His inspiration was a Mexican serial. That's how Hum Log was born. He applied what he had learnt from the Mexican serial to the Indian context and Indian values.
Personally, he was warm, friendly and affectionate person. He was also a little high-strung. He would get touchy about small things. He would even throw tantrums at times. But then, writers are a bit like that as they have tremendous pressure on them
He did some brilliant work and I was very happy with his output. He was a great soul and great writer.