#WhenAtHome: Book adaptations on OTT platforms that are binge-watch worthy

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” -George R.R. Martin For all the nerdy bookworms out there like me, today’s a special day as we celebrate World Book Day, that too coinciding with the death anniversary of master dramatist, William Shakespeare and Oscar winning director and writer Satyajit Ray. Completely resonating with Martin’s quote, I have found true solace in the world between two covers, with black words on white pages taking me on wondrous rides. Books have truly been a best friend without complaints and demands. But with digitisation taking over, reading books has taken a backseat but still going strong. We all have stories to tell! You can even share your stories anonymously being a Johndoe! When it comes to good stories, book adaptations never really go out of vogue and though personally I find certain books better than its adaptations, there are series and movie adaptations that deserve appreciation. Popular actress Anushka Sharma too announced her digital debut inspired by a crime-thriller book written by Sudip Sharma. Streaming services are leaving no stone unturned to create interesting shows out of best-selling books. So, this World Book Day, we list out a few of our favourite series adaptations :  Afsos On the theoretical level, this is a potentially interesting premise for a series. A morose man with a death wish who wants to end his life, but can’t. So he hires professionals to do the needful. Afsos is based on the Bengali book Golper Goru Chaande  (which translates to ‘The cow of fiction goes to the Moon’).  Starring Gulshan Devaiah, Afsos is written by popular stand-up comic Anirban Dasgupta along with Dibya Chatterjee.  Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video. Sacred Games Sacred Games almost started the whirlwind of Indian originals with a major global streaming platform coming in the country. With season two launching in 2019, Sacred Games has taken the Indian audience by storm.  Starring noted actors from Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi, Radhika Apte and more, Sacred Games is adapted from the book by Vikram Chandra by the same name. The series brings out a story of the dark side of Mumbai and evokes strong emotions of friendship and betrayal. It received an official Emmy nomination and was watched beyond India. Where to Watch: Netflix. Game of Thrones (GOT) Who can miss GOT in this list? One of the most loved and acclaimed serieses of all times, Game of Thrones has left behind a legacy of powerful storytelling and strong, myriad characters. Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Khaleesi, and more have become household names.  Based on George R.R. Martin’s series of books “A song of Ice and Fire”, the first season was closely adapted from the first novel of the series; A Game of Thrones. Once the show took off, there had been substantial changes in the storyline, with Martin contributing one script per season. Where to Watch: Disney+Hotstar Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Starring John Karasinski, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is an adaptation from the fictional Ryanverse written by Tom Clancy. There have been various adaptations of Jack Ryan that have turned into films, but this is the first time the character is featured in a gripping series.  Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is an American political thriller spy web series centering around the titular CIA analyst as he is wrenched from the security of his desk job into the field after discovering a string of dubious bank transfers, which are being carried out by a rising Islamic extremist named Suleiman. Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video. Selection Day Adapted from Aravind Adiga’s eponymous novel of the same name, Selection Day was a well-adapted series with convincing performances. It received critical acclaim and follows the life of two brothers Radha and Manju who are raised by their cricket obsessed father and meet their rival Javed. Produced by Anil Kapoor and Anand Tucker, it stars Mohammad Samad, Yash Dholye, Karanvir Malhotra, Rajesh Tailang, Mahesh Manjrekar, Ratna Pathak Shah, Shiv Pandit, Parul Gulati and Akshay Oberoi. Where to Watch: Netflix. The Final Call Arjun Rampal starrer thriller web series, The Final Call was an adaptation of Priya Kumar’s 2015 novel- I will go with You: The Flight of a lifetime. Directed by Vijay Lalwani, it centres around the passengers of a flight from Mumbai to Sydney whose lives are endangered after the captain decides to commit suicide on board. Apart from Rampal, the other cast members include Neeraj Kabi, Sakshi Tanwar, Harshad Arora‚ Anupriya Goenka, Javed Jaffrey, Paula McGlynn, Anshuman Malhotra and Vipin Sharma. Where to Watch: ZEE5. 13 Reasons Why It is an American teen drama webseries, based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It was  originally developed for Netflix by Brian Yorkey. The series revolves around seventeen-year-old high school student Clay Jensen and his deceased friend Hannah Baker, who commits suicide after having to face a culture of gossip, bullying and sexual assault at her high school and a lack of support from her friends, her family and her school. A box of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah in the weeks preceding her suicide detail why she chose to end her life. A very popular series, it has also impressed critics. Where to Watch: Netflix. I love Dick Chris Kraus’ I Love Dick is considered as an important novel in feminism. It tells a tale of a married couple and their obsession with a professor named Dick. The story is told in Rashomon style and portrays the unraveling of a marriage from two very contradictory points of view.  It was created by Jill Soloway and Sarah Gubbins.The pilot premiered on 19 August 2016, and the first season was released on 12 May 2017. On 17 2018, the series was canceled after one season. Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video. Parchhayee Based on noted author Ruskin Bond’s book on horror stories called Ghost Stories, Parchhayee features a dozen of spooky stories by Bond. It’s well made in most episodes and will make the audience stick to the edge of your seat. There’s very less children’s programming on the streaming platforms and ZEE5 has done a good job by bringing such content to the younger audience. The story is a typical fantasy tinged story based in the real world and would be interesting to parents as well as children. Where to Watch: ZEE5. American Gods An American fantasy drama based on Neil Gaiman’s book American Gods, has been  adapted into a television series and centers around the war between the Old Gods and the New.  Gaiman is known for his absurd story lines and science fiction literature. In the series, the story revolves around the old mythological Gods from around the world who are threatened by the fear of irrelevance as their believers are now induced by the offerings from the New Gods. Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video.
Games