Cinematographers who have seen ‘Sholay’, one of the most successful films in the history of Hindi cinema, will surely remember the character of this film Ahmed. In the film directed by Ramesh Sippy, Ahmed’s role is played by actor Sachin Pilgaonkar, but how many people will know that Sachin has played a more important role in this film, not just Ahmed’s character. And that is the role of a film director. This has been revealed by Sachin himself during a reality show.
Sachin arrived as a guest on TV reality show ‘India’s Best Dancer’ along with his wife Supriya Pilgaonkar. In this show, he first enjoyed the performances of its contestants. He then shared an anecdote related to his film ‘Sholay’. Sachin told that when ‘Sholay’ was being made, he was 17 years old but when the film started making, he was 16 years old. Before the shooting of this film, he had learned film editing from the well-known film director Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
While narrating the anecdote during the shooting, Sachin says, ‘During the shooting, I used to sit behind Ramesh Sippy sir’s chair. I used to see how he takes every shot and edits it. Seeing all this, I saw Ramesh sir and asked me if I would like to edit? So I told them that I had trained it with Hrishikesh sir and also worked with him. At that time Ramesh Sir needed two people for his film who could handle his work in his absence.
Continuing his talk, Sachin says, ‘At that time Ramesh sir asked me if I would like to be one of the two people whom he can trust during the action sequence? I was happy to hear them and I told them how can I handle such a big responsibility? I am only 17 years old. Hearing this, he said that age does not matter nor does he trust it. He said that I have been in this industry since I was four and a half years old. According to this, he looked at me like a professional actor, not 27 years old but 27 years old.
Apart from Sachin, Ramesh chose Amjad Khan as the second man in the film. Amjad received many awards for directing, editing etc. during his studies. Sachin says that he used to call him Manju Bhai. Sachin said, ‘There is a scene in the film where Dharamji and Amit ji along with Sanjeev Kumar are going in the train with handcuffs in their hands. This part was shot by Ramesh Sir. The rest of the action sequence was completed by me and Amjad. I thought that it would look very impressive if you saw the thick wooden logs rolling on the railway tracks. Ramesh ji liked this and also patted me on the back. He is a very nice person indeed.
Sachin Pilgaonkar is an artist who has found love in Hindi and Marathi cinema equally. Early in his career he was more active in Hindi cinema but now he is seen more in Marathi films. She is known for her prolific films like Geet Gaata Chala, Balika Vadhu, Ankhi Ke Jharokhon Se and Nadia Ke Paar in Hindi. Nowadays his daughter Shriya Pilgaonkar is also very active in cinema.