Calling the series ‘Kabhi Door Kabhi Paas’, Sen said each episode was an independent short film that was approximately 22 minutes in length. The original magnetic tapes were in the “custody” of Kolkata Doordarshan. According to him, “someone decided to reuse those tapes to record some other programme” soon after the initial telecast. “Since we were not living in Calcutta then, my father sent me a low resolution VHS copy of some of these short films,” he wrote on Facebook while posting the link. According to Kunal, the USP of this series was that most of the films dealt with “man-woman relationship, a subject he rarely focused on”. ‘After a Decade’ was the pilot episode, which was about the meeting of an estranged couple after 10 years. Others in the series include ‘Aajnabi’, ‘Shawl’, ‘Saalgira’, ‘Aajkal’, ‘Aina’, ‘Ravivar’, ‘Jit’, ‘Swayamvar’, ‘Kabhi Door Kabhi Paas’ and ‘Aparajit’.
Assistant director (programmes) of Kolkata Doordarshan Kendra Arunava Roy, said, “This is the first time I am hearing about this. We will try and see if the tapes are still available. The problem lies with the technology, which is not currently available with us for conversion of the magnetic tapes to the new format.”
About infringing copyright laws, Kunal wrote, “If someone can convince me that I am then I promise to take it down.” Director Anjan Dutt, who was in charge of coordination of this series, told TOI: “I think, he is free to do it. This is the only way that posterity can watch them. Advertising agencies were keen on getting into television in the ’80s. This series was commissioned by Hindustan Thompson Associates (HTA) and funded by Bata. We got it done by Mrinal Sen. That was his first digital work. A lot of my training in cinema comes from my experience of working here,” Dutt added.
Dutt, too, had a VHS tape that degenerated with time. He fondly remembers this series for its engaging stories with equally interesting cast, including Surekha Sikri, Anita Kanwar, Pankaj Kapur, Dhritiman Chaterji, Neena Gupta, Manohar Singh and Deepti Naval among others. “My role was to get a lot of these National School of Drama actors, who were not that popular in Mumbai at that point in time. We went to Mumbai to edit it. It is very irresponsible if Doordarshan has lost such archival material,” he said.