Move over Ram Gopal Varma, Gabbar Singh will soon speak in Rajasthani, Garhwali and even Bengali. Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay was released more than 30 years ago, but films inspired by the blockbuster have been multiplying faster than rabbits.
Last year, the Dehradun-based Anuj Joshi made Garhwali Sholay. This year, he made Kumauni Sholay and Himachali Sholay. The success of Garhwali Sholay, made on a budget of just Rs 5 lakh, shocked everyone. Joshi says, “I connected the story of Sholay to the social and political scenario in Uttaranchal and people loved it.”
In Garhwali Sholay, Gabbar Singh is depicted as a coward. Gunshots make him nervous. Yet he is deeply involved with the local drug mafia and corrupt politicians. Joshi, who has directed more than 150 episodes of Kasauti Zindagi Ke, produced by Balaji Telefilms, asserts, “I didn’t want to demean the greatness of the original. I just wanted to deal with important issues like migration and the growing influence of the local mafia.”
The trend of remaking Sholay in regional languages started in Maharashtra a few years ago when film buff Sheikh Nisar made Malegaon Ke Sholay on a budget of just Rs 50,000. All the actors in the remake were wannabe Bollywood stars. This film, released in local video theatres, became hugely popular in Malegaon.
Currently, another Sholay is being shot in Rajasthan — Rajasthani Sholay which is being directed by Ravat Dev in the video format. In this version, Gabbar Singh moves around in a big SUV and not on horseback.
Uttar Pradesh is another booming CD-DVD market for micro-budget films in local languages. Among these, desi editions of Sholay are the biggest hits. Currently, three different desi versions of Sholay are available in the local markets in the state.
It is learnt from the CD-DVD industry that two more versions of Sholay — Bengali Sholay and Haryanvi Sholay — are in the pipeline. So get ready to hear Gabbar say: Tor ki hobe re Kaaliya?
Kitne Sholay the?
Do Sholay (1977), Aag Ke Sholay, Gabbar (1986), Duplicate Sholay (2002), Shaadi Basanti Ki, Honeymoon Gabbar Ka (2001), Dhanno Dhabewali (2004) ¦ Ram Gopal Varma Ke Sholay (2007), Bhojpuri Sholay (2007) to be produced by Ekta Kapoor.