Birthday special: Why Sholay isn’t the only classic from Ramesh Sippy's stable

Let's take a look at another classic work by the filmmaker on his 70th birthday today (23 January). 

Keyur Seta

Filmmaker Ramesh Sippy has his name inscribed in the history of Indian cinema through his magnum opus, Sholay (1975). Even four decades later, the film continues to awe Hindi film lovers for its storytelling, characterisations, dialogues and performances. 

The Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjiv Kapoor, Amjad Khan and Hema Malini starrer is also admired by a generation of film lovers born much after its initial release. The film once held the record of the longest running Indian film when it ran for five years at Mumbai’s Minerva talkies. 

However, it would technically be wrong to state that Sholay is the only classic delivered by Sippy. On his 70th birthday today (23 January), dug the archives to find another gem that came from Sippy's stable.

The filmmaker is also responsible for giving Indian television one of its all-time classics in the form of Buniyaad (1986). Made roughly a decade after Sholay, it was a TV series that revolved around the Partition of India in 1947 and its consequences. 

The emotional connect triggered by some mature storytelling and realistic performances instantly got the audience hooked on to Buniyaad. Sippy, along with co-director Jyoti Sarup, also succeeded in creating the atmosphere and pain of the Partition. Not surprisingly, the serial was re-run in the early 2000s. 

Incidentally, just two years later, Govind Nihalani came up with his own TV series based on the partition called, Tamas. This one too is considered a classic Indian TV series. However, the similarities between Buniyaad and Tamas end here. The main plot of both isn’t similar. 

Buniyaad is also responsible for giving quite a few artists to Indian TV, as well as films. It marked the debut of veteran actor Alok Nath. He played freedom fighter Haveliram and went on to become a famous Hindi film actor in the coming years. 

Kanwaljeet Singh, another known name in Indian TV and films, also made his debut with this series. This isn’t all, though. Buniyaad also marked the debut of actresses Krutika Desai and Kiran Juneja. 

Sippy went on to marry Juneja years after casting her in Buniyaad. As it was Juneja’s first outing, it seems they met for the first time during the making of the serial. 

Watch Buniyaad: