While the Indian Subcontinent has been populated for over 500,000 years, precious little of the people during those times is known. A somewhat concrete view of who we are mostly starts around the Bronze Age about 6,000 yeas ago. The times of the Indus Valley civilization.
The early people were pretty inquisitive about who they were and where the world came from. Most of mythology revolves around that apart from the usual tale of good and evil. Guess it is obvious when you look at it but it never really registerd that "dashavatar" resembled evolution in some sense.
- Lion and Man
- Kalki (To be continued...)
At this point the narrative mostly leaves the what it sees as pre-history to focus on the Indus Valley Civilization and more specifically on Harappa. It also makes a key move move away from bland documentary to live dramatized stories with identifiable characters. This was the one stroke of genius that I think makes "Bharat Ek Khoj" eternally relevant as a cultural document and not just a historical one. We also get Om Puri as the narrator. It is easy to understand why Roshan Seth as Nehru isn't the narrator. He is more like an editorial commentator whereas Om Puri is more like a reporter.
The story itself highlights the heavily trade oriented nature of ancient India something that has clearly cast a long shadow. Also shown is a reluctance to travel beyond the known lands.
Aryan invasion has been shown in a rather unflattering light. Here these guys are - enjoying their daily showing of Gilgamesh - right from Sumeria - and the Aryans rudely interrupt it. They are essentially looters descending on this great, fertile land from the north-west.
They slowly start to take over the lands and start co-opting the culture.