Ramayan was an epic serial that changed the course of Indian television. The first episode aired on 25 January 1987. Within a few weeks it became a sensation and during the serial’s air time no weddings or political rallies were hosted.
The man behind the series, Ramanand Sagar was already a successful filmmaker in Bombay. His vision for a long-running TV serial is what changed everything. Ramanand Sagar began his career as a writer for Raj Kapoor in the film Barsat (1949). He also wrote, produced and directed several successful films like Ghunghat, Zindagi, Arzoo, Ankhen, Geet and Lalkar.
To commemorate this artiste, his son Prem Sagar has penned a memoir of the filmmaker’s like. Titled An Epic Life: Ramanand Sagar, From Barsaat to Ramayan, the book explores the life of the man from his birth in Kashmir in 1917 to his career in film and television.
Himself an acclaimed cinematographer and creator, Prem Sagar began his career in his father’s film Lalkar (1970) soon after graduating from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune where he also won the gold medal for the best academic student of the year and a silver medal for the best photographed student film.
He was a cinematographer or technical adviser in several popular and memorable films of his home production company Sagar Arts, including Charas, Bhagawat. He then turned director with Hum Tere Ashiq Hain.
In the eighties, Prem Sagar produced and directed Indian television’s first fantasy serial, Vikram aur Betaal. He was closely associated with many series in the fantasy and mythological genre.