10 Nalan Mendis Teledramas That ’90s Kids Loved.

When it comes to family teledramas, we '90s kids know no one better than the award-winning director, Nalan Mendis. He has been making a significant difference in the arena of tele-arts since the '80s, with some simple, beautiful and more importantly, realistic storylines that anyone can relate to, which is probably why these creations have taken deep roots inside our memory. 
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It's a time that most of us have plenty of time to drown in nostalgia. So jump on the bandwagon with us as we refresh our memories of ten Nalan Mendis teledramas we loved growing up. 

Passe Gena Manamaali

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One of the oldest creations of Nalan Mendis, Passe Gena Manamali featured a number of veteran actors like H.A. Perera, Geetha Kanthi Jayakody, Sriyani Amarasena and Jayalath Manoratne. 8-year-old Damitha Abeyratne made her acting debut through this teledrama, and we also got to see the kiddie version of Ama Wijesekara here. Both of them have come a long way in the industry since then.

Doo Daruwo

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Occasional conflicts among the siblings aren't something uncommon in any family. They might have grown up together sharing the same plate of rice, but after getting married and having their own families, such issues tend to appear out of nowhere. It's because we're human, but no matter how deep that feud is, it's only a matter of time until they reunite. It could be because of a family member who is in some sort of danger/ trouble, or because of a common threat that can only be fought off as a family. 

Doo Daruwo captured this perfectly, through many different characters like Dulsi Aachchi, Sudu Seeya, Deepthi, Priyanwada, Nandani, Punsiri and Sudharma. In fact, Doo Daruwo is one of the longest-running teledramas in Sri Lankan tele-history, which aired for five whole years; from  1990-1995. According to reports, it managed to draw about 8 million viewers at its peak.

Ape Aththo

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Telecasted in 1993, Ape Aththo allowed us to see the talents of a whole bunch of young actresses and actors on the small screen again, like Chandani Seneviratne, Sriyantha Mendis and Yashodha Wimaladharma, along with the veterans like H.A Perera. The conflict between traditional values and modern-day ambitions was the baseline of this story.


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This revived our memory of Doo Daruwo mainly because we got to see Irangani Serasinghe and Henry Jayasena in the same family again. In addition to that, this teledrama was made vibrant by many experienced actors and actresses like Manel Jayasena, Janak Premalal, Wijeratne Warakagoda, Deepani Silva and Avanthi Aponso, as well as the young talents like Yashodha Wimaladharma.


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Remember Leelasena who runs like hell to the kitchen as Siripinahami yells "Leelaseno" from the top of her voice? We met these characters through Senehewanthayo in 1997, which was also known as the most popular teledrama of the year. Leelasena's character is so well remembered even to this day due to its wonderful performance by Saman Hemaratne, while Deepani Silva played Siripinahami. Actors like Mahela Jayantha, Hemasiri Liyanage, Channa Perera and Manel Jayasena also had characters in this one.

Hiru Kumari

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Hiruni is a young, beautiful and talented girl, who is, unfortunately, suffering from cancer. She is in love with her piano teacher, but her family doesn't entertain this relationship, and thus she ended up marrying a guy called Clifford. Even though he shows off himself as a richie rich, Clifford is, in fact, a bankrupted businessman who agrees to marry Hiruni solely because of the money her family has.

This story came to us in 1997, through Hiru Kumari. Yashodha Wimaladharma's performance as a cancer patient was well-received back then, while the other cast members included Kamal Addararachchi, Chandani Seneviratne, Priyankara Ratnayake, Manel Jayasena and Malini Weeramuni.


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No bond in the world is equal to the love between a child and a mother. And this story, Bonikko, was able to encapsulate that love in the most heart touching way. In fact, it's based on the chithra kathaawa (picture-based story) called "Thuththirimal" by Janaka Ratnayake.

This story revolves around Sujatha, a 25-year-old girl who is suffering from a mental breakdown due to separation from the child she had out of wedlock, and a five-year-old girl who lost her mother due to her parents' divorce. Yashoda Wimaladharma's wonderful acting soon made Sujatha's character so popular.

It was further enhanced by the rest of the cast, including Sriyantha Mendis, H.A. Perera, Gamini Hettiarachchi and Manel Jayasena.

Sathpura Wasiyo

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The most popular teledrama in the year of 2000 was Sathpura Wasiyo, which told us the love story of Ahinsa and Pathum.

Ever since she can remember, Ahinsa was living in an orphanage. But later on, she gets to live with a wealthy family, a kind gentleman and a lady who has been living alone in a gigantic house, as their three children are all grown up and live separately due to studies and jobs. Pathum is one of their sons, who falls in love with Ahinsa, and that's when all the problems began.

The characters of these two love birds were portrayed by Yashodha Wimaladharma and Channa Perera, while the rest of the cast included Irangani Serasinghe, Wilson Gunaratne, Srinath Maddumage, Deepani Silva, Prasannajith Abeysooriya, Priya Ranasinghe and Hasanika Karaliyadda. 

Sooriya Daruwo

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Loku Akka, who suffers from the loss of her one true love, Podi Akka who lives the perfect family life, Loku Ayya who gives into nothing but work, and the youngest in the family, the playful Poddee; four lifestyles in a single family, but it took only a minute to turn their world upside down when Podi Akka's husband was found dead. 

As usual, we enjoyed the performance of Yashoda Wimaladharma here as well. Sunita Wimalaweera, Roshan Pilapitiya, Wijeratne Warakagoda, Srinath Maddumage and Chathurika Peiris contributed their talents to this teledrama alongside her.

Tharu Kumari

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Three main families, many different relationships, moments, encounters and problems. But in the end, everything turns out for the best. It's a story that can give you hope, amid the darkest of times that any family might go through. Janaka Kumbukage, Yashodha Wimaladharma, Jagath Chamila, Sujani Menaka, Manel Weeramuni, Priya Ranasinghe, Deepani Silva and Lal Kularatne are some of the many actors/actresses who took part in telling this story to us.

These are only ten of the many teledramas directed by Nalan Mendis that we immensely loved growing up. Even today, his talents and creativity haven't diminished, and his recent teledramas like Senehasa Kaviyak (2006), Senehasata Adarei (2009), Prarthana Mal (2010), Waasana Wewa (2010), Isuru Sangramaya (2011), Doowaru (2012), Angana (2013) and Muhunu Potha (2014) are enough proof of that.

What's your favourite Nalan Mendis teledrama? Do let us know in the comments.

Cover image source: nalanmendis.com
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