In March this year, Ekta Kapoor had tweeted about how 24 years back, her production house launched a show from an office created in a garage. The show that helped Ekta build an empire was Hum Paanch. It was the first offering from Balaji Telefilms and aired on Zee TV.
One of the most popular sitcoms in the 90s, Hum Paanch was a favourite among all age groups. Airing in the afternoon slot, it made for the perfect viewing option for families during lunchtime. Becoming a success overnight, the show wrapped up in 1999 after a four-year run. It returned with a second season in 2005 and was on air for another year.
Big Magic also attempted a reboot of the cult comedy show with Hum Paanch Phir Se in 2017. While expectations were fairly low, the series surprisingly connected with the masses.
Apart from various comic moments, the title song of Hum Paanch was also quite popular. It had the father (played by Anand Mathur) describing each of his daughters’ distinct personalities in a hilarious way. And how can we forget the tune, "Hum Paanch pam pam Paanch…"
As nostalgia hits you hard, read on to know what the actors from the show are up to these days.
Ashok Saraf as Anand Mathur
The man caught between two wives – one too nagging and the other dead, Anand projected the helplessness of the only man among the many ladies in his house. While his daughters gave him a hard time, his dead wife communicated with him through a portrait, making life more miserable for him.
A popular Marathi actor, Ashok Saraf has been part of popular Bollywood films like Karan Arjun, Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya and Yes Boss among others. With more than 200 films to his credit in many languages, he was last seen in Rohit Shetty’s Singham.
Shoma Anand as Bina Mathur
Hailing from Balia, Bina was the second wife of Anand Mathur. She married him only to avenge his daughters’ insult. But after coming home, she fell in love with all the girls and became a loving step-mother. Bina supported all the atrocities of her five daughters and even saved them from their father’s wrath.
Shoma started her career opposite Rishi Kapoor in Barood. She went on to act in many TV serials and films and has played positive and negative lead roles. Shoma’s recent performances include films like Kyaa Kool Hai Hum and Kal Ho Naa Ho and TV show Yaro Ka Tashan.
Priya Tendulkar as Anand’s first wife
Priya Tendulkar, who played the dead wife of Ashok Mathur, had the most challenging role as she was confined to a photo frame throughout the show. She could only communicate with her husband. Although just a spirt, she made all efforts to make life hell for him. But she also helped Anand make peace with his family in difficult situations and always gave him the best advice.
Known for the Priya Tendulkar Talk Show and playing the titular role in Rajani, the actor was known for her fiery attitude. Also a social activist, Priya passed away in 2002 after battling cancer.
Vandana Pathak as Meenakshi
The eldest sister Meenakshi was a feminist and always striving to make the world a better place for women. Through the course of the show, Meenakshi organised and participated in many ‘mahila morcha’ against men and even got her sisters involved.
Vandana started her career with Hum Paanch and then went on to play the iconic Jayshree in Khichdi. An acclaimed name in Gujarati film and theatre, Vandana was recently seen in shows like Saath Nibhana Saathiya, Yeh Teri Galiyaan and Manmohini.
Ameeta Nangia and Vidya Balan as Radhika
The second sister among the five, Radhika was intelligent, slightly geeky but quite clumsy. She used a hearing aid which most of the time led her into trouble. Radhika also had a habit of bumping into people and walls because of low vision.
While Ameeta Nangia starred as Radhika in the initial episodes, she was replaced by Vidya Balan. This was Vidya’s first acting stint and she was appreciated for the role. Ameeta was last seen in Kaal Bhairav Rahasya. Vidya, as we all know, went on to make a mark in Bollywood. Her last film was Tumhari Sulu and she will be next seen in Mission Mangal alongside Akshay Kumar.
Rakhi Vijan as Sweety
The perfect example of beauty without brains, Sweety’s only purpose in life was to become the next Miss World and get married to Shah Rukh Khan. Her peculiar way of opening the house door while singing songs became quite a rage. There were many in the real world who copied Sweety’s action, and indulged in a little song-dance routine every time the bell rang at their homes.
The curly-haired Rakhi went on to be a part of popular shows like Heena, Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi, Madhubala and Shakti. A contestant of Bigg Boss 2, Rakhi is also remembered for her performance in Golmaal Returns.
Bhairavi Raichura as Kajal
Anand and Bina’s daughter Kajal was popularly known as Kajal bhai for her tomboyish personality. She used to hang out with goons and get into fist fights quite often. She was also the brother the girls never had and loved bullying her father.
Hum Paanch as one of Bhairavi’s first acting projects. She is also remembered for her performance in shows like Sasural Genda Phool, Laut Aao Trisha and Balika Vadhu. Bhairavi started her own production house 24 Frames along with friend Nandita Mehra. The duo has bankrolled shows like Chhal, Satrangi Sasural, Kya Hoga Amla Ka and more recently the web series Baarish.
Priyanka Mehra as Choti
Not even in her teens, Choti was the smartest among the sisters. A complete gossip-monger, she was hailed as an incarnation of Meena Kumari in her native town. They had even built a temple as a tribute to her.
Not much is known about Priyanka Mehra. Reports suggest post her acting stint, she went on to work with a magazine and then moved to production.
Aruna Sangal as Pooja
The nosy neighbour, Pooja was usually seen hanging out at the Mathurs. Her hilarious response "Aunty mat kaho na" on being addressed as aunty became quite a rage.
Aruna Sangal has been part of many television shows. The most recent ones being Mohi and Ayushman Bhavya. Her son Alekh Sangal is also a television actor.