Birthday Greetings to renowned Hindi film producer and director Ramesh Sippy, who turned 72 years today.

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Birthday Greetings to renowned Hindi film producer and director Ramesh Sippy, who turned 72 years today.

Ramesh Sippy is best known as the man behind Sholay (1975), which is possibly the most iconic Hindi film in history. Born to a film family, Ramesh’s initiation in the medium started at an early age and he even made an appearance before the camera in Shahenshah (1953) as Achala Sachdev’s son.

After working as an assistant director for seven years on his father’s productions, he made his debut with Andaz (1971), the love story of a couple, played by Shammi Kapoor and Hema Malini, who’ve both lost their respective spouses and have a child each. It was the beginning of his association with Salim-Javed, who also wrote his next, the enormously successful Seeta Aur Geeta (1972) in which Hema Malini essayed the role of twin sisters separated at birth — one a brash maverick who grows up on the seamier side of life and the other a docile victim of her cruel aunt’s abuse. Ramesh’s father, veteran producer G.P. Sippy left no stone unturned in supporting his son’s 70mm vision to shoot one of the most loved films in Hindi cinema. The film in question, Sholay (1975) went on a record-breaking spree. The writers Salim-Javed transported the concept of fugitive mercenaries from the Western genre to the ravines of central India (although the film was actually shot in Karnataka) with a fantastic roster of characters and cast and an ambitious scale of production. But more than its box-office returns, the film is significant for the mass frenzy it generated with its dialogue, including lines such as “Kitne aadmi the” or “Jo dar gaya, samjho mar gaya”. Even minor characters like Sambha and Kaalia became famous.

After Sholay (1975), Sippy couldn’t deliver the same level of excitement with Shaan (1980), although his next, Shakti (1982), the much-anticipated coming together of Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan, was a dramatic powerhouse about the ideological clashes between a father-son duo.

Saagar (1985) which revived Dimple Kapadia’s career after her separation from Rajesh Khanna, didn’t fare well at the box-office despite superb performances from Kamal Haasan and Rishi Kapoor, and one of R D Burman’s best scores in the latter half of his career.

It was however, with the television series Buniyaad (1986), a family saga against the backdrop of India’s Partition and its aftermath that Sippy’s magic returned. His later films like Bhrashtachar (1989), Akelya (1991) and Zamana Deewana (1995) flopped and he decided to make way for son Rohan Sippy to take over the directorial reins for their home productions. He has produced several films for Rohan including Kuchh Na Kaho (2003), Bluffmaster (2005), Dum Maaro Dum (2011) and Nautanki Saala (2013). In recent times, he has been the producer for the film Sonali Cable (2014).

Apart from Rohan, he also has a daughter named Sheena. He is currently married to Kiran Juneja, who is his second wife. He was the recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri in 2013.

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Celebrating Cinema

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