Remembering B.R.Ishara, Hindi film industry’s famous writer-director of ‘bold’ movies in the1970s, on his 8th death anniversary today.

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Remembering B.R.Ishara, Hindi film industry’s famous writer-director of ‘bold’ movies in the1970s, on his 8th death anniversary today.

B R Ishara showed 40 years ago what filmmakers are doing today. He was ahead of his time. Ishara questioned middle-class hypocrisy and annoyed both moralists and the Censor Board in the 1970s.

Born as Roshan Lal Sharma in Himachal Pradesh’s Una district, he ran away from home as a teenager to Bombay and started doing odd jobs in film studios. His new name, Babu Ram Ishara, emerged during his early years of struggle. He assisted Basu Bhattacharya in Teesri Kasam (1966), wrote the dialogues of Dulal Guha’s hinterland hit Dharti Kahe Pukar Ke (1969) but became a much-discussed and debated figure after writing and directing Chetna, the ‘adult’ story of a young man falling in love and marrying a sex worker.

The writer-director with a distinct beard seldom worked with stars but created a bunch of them, giving breaks to a long list of newcomers: Anil Dhawan (Chetna), Parveen Babi (Charitra), Reena Roy (Zaroorat), Raj Kiran (Kaagaz Ki Nao) and several others. In Ek Nazar, he also directed Amitabh Bachchan before the actor found big success. Cricket lovers would also recall Test all-rounder Salim Durrani working for him in Charitra.

He got married in 1984 to the Bollywood actress Rehana Sultan. Ishara died from tuberculosis on 24 July 2012 in Mumbai at the age of 77.

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Celebrating Cinema

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