As in the Christian world it is before Christ or after, in the Indian film history it is before Sholay or after, says filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, and interestingly the film is etched in the memory the generation that came before Sholay and the one that followed. There is no escaping Ramesh Sippy's magical action-thriller that was to change the face of Hindi cinema with its release exactly 40 years ago.The popularity of the film is well captured by a blogger who blogs with the name Kamakaze: "I grew up with Sholay playing on the tape-recorder of the village paan-shop years before I actually saw the film. Sholay is an unprecedented movie in Indian film history in the sense that its complete soundtrack, not just songs, was playing in the remotest corners of the country. All of us in my school knew the dialogues by heart. It had a magic, films of later years were not able to recreate."
Some of the memorable dialogues were spoken by Gabbar Singh who made his entry an hour after the film started and these are quotable quotes even today: 'Tera kya hoga Kaaliya!', 'Arre O Sambha, kitne aadmi the?' or 'Bahut yaarana lagta hai! "These dialogues are still repeated by youngsters," says Navdeep Brar, a fresh MBA passout from Panjab University, adding "this film is a link between the past generation and the present. Both relate to it well."
The funniest was when a junior engineer climbed atop a water tank in Sirsa last year to get his wife back from her maternal home. The Sholay act went on for hours till the police arrested him for attempting suicide. "Come along with us. We'll get your Basanti back," a policeman told him after the arrest.