He is the man behind cinematic classics like Sholay, Shakti and Seeta Aur Geeta, and even set a benchmark for the small screen with family drama Buniyaad. Now, Ramesh Sippy has set out to pen his experiences in a book and is hoping it will hold the people’s interest. “I am writing a book on my experiences, a book on all the films that I have done. It will be out hopefully by the end of this year,” Sippy told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
How is it turning out to be?
“Predictions, predictions, predictions,” he responded elusively. Be it Karan Johar’s much talked-about biography “An Unsuitable Boy”, Yasser Usman’s “Rekha: The Untold Story” or actor Rishi Kapoor’s autobiography “Khullam Khulla”, celebrities are telling their Bollywood stories in an uncensored style. Sippy says he is trying his best to come out with a book which satiates people’s quest to get their hands on the film industry’s inside truth. “I will try to do my best. I hope people find it interesting. I think I have the capacity to come out with something that people want to read about… With the kind of details people want to know. So, if I can write it in an interesting manner, I am sure people will like it too,” the 70-year-old said.
If one goes back in time to trace his journey in the world of entertainment, he started quite young. The son of late legendary filmmaker-producer G.P. Sippy, he even came in front of the camera as a child artiste for Bewaqoof in 1960. As a director, he is known for films like Andaz, Shakti, Saagar, Zameen, Bhrashtachar and Zamaana Deewana, but the star attraction of his filmography is Sholay.
As a producer, Sippy has backed projects like Brahmachari, Bluffmaster!, Taxi No. 9 2 11, Chandni Chowk to China and Sonali Cable. His last directorial was the 1995 release Zamaana Deewana, and his comeback film as a director was Shimla Mirchi, which is yet to release. “The film is complete and is with Viacom18. We will take a call on when it will be released. At this point of time, I don’t have perfect information about when it is going to release,” Sippy said.
He will also impart cinematic knowledge through his Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema and Entertainment. The veteran filmmaker has introduced a graduation programme at Mumbai University in association with Garware Institute. He says it is a step towards taking his legacy forward. “I have learnt a lot from this industry and I want to share the learning with everyone else,” he said, adding: “It is going to be tough.”
“I like challenges. I like doing things that aren’t easy to do,” he said. The filmmaker is happy that youngsters are enthused about making a career in showbiz, and they get support from their parents too. Looking back at his journey, Sippy said: “When I started my career, there weren’t such things (film institutes). There was a time when parents probably would have told their children, ‘No, this is not a line to go for’. But today, this attitude has changed both in the youngsters and in the parents.”
The filmmaker, whose son Rohan is also into filmmaking, has a word of caution for all the youngsters wanting to make it big in Bollywood. “Not everybody can succeed, not everybody will reach the top, but they can all try and they all will certainly be doing some work in the industry.”