Sachin Bhowmick – The celebrated screenwriter of Bollywood who wrote Aradhana, An Evening in Paris, Golmaal & Koi Mil Gaya

Sachin Bhowmick (1930 – 2011) was a prolific and one of the most successful storytellers of Hindi cinema. Best known for his association with directors – Shakti Samanta, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Rakesh Roshan, belonging to different generations, as a screenwriter he owns some of the blockbuster hits to his credit. His best works in association with Shakti Samanta include – Aradhana and An Evening in Paris. Golmaal is his celebrated work with Hrishikesh Mukherjee, while Karz is his memorable work with Subhash Ghai. In the new generation cinema, he has associated with Rakesh Roshan multiple times, and has co-scripted his films, Koi Mil Gaya and Krish, both starring Hrithik Roshan, and Karan Arjun & Koyla starring Shah Rukh Khan. He scripted a total of 94 films. 

Sachin Bhowmick was born and brought up in Kolkata, Bengal. Initially he wrote for the Bengali magazine Ultorath before he turned a full-fledged screenwriter in Hindi cinema with late 1950s. He came to Mumbai as a replacement to writer Premendra Mitra for a Hindi film. Family drama Lajwanti released in 1958 marked his debut in Bollywood as a screenwriter, and the movie was commercially successful. However as a screenwriter he established through 1960 movie, Anuradha, which became the first Hindi movie to win National film awards for best film. There was no turning back after that and he went on to become one of the most successful screenwriters of 1960s and 1970s.

It can be said that he revolutionized romantic roles on Bollywood screen, and also helped in establishing the careers of Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor etc, and during his peak years he worked with the most successful directors of the era. He made image makeovers of many artists of Bollywood through his script writing. 1968 movie Brahmachari won him Filmfare award for best story, and he was nominated in the same category for the next two years for the movies, Aradhana and Pehchan.

In 1973 he directed Raja Rani, retaining the lead pair of ‘Aradhana’, with its supporting artists – Farida Jalal and Sujit Kumar in cameo roles. Actress Mumtaz also made a rare special appearance in the film representing herself. The film about a petty thief Rajesh Khanna and a courtesan Sharmila Tagore was a box office hit. However he continued with writing scripts till his end years. His career spanned for more than 5 decades.

A scene from Raja Rani – the only movie directed by the screenwriter

Sachin Bhowmick – Some interesting and less-known facts

Sachin Bhowmick during his younger days

1. Noted Bollywood actress Kalpana of ‘Professor’ fame was his first wife. After divorce, he remarried in 1971 and has one son in this wed lock.

2. After separating from his first wife, he was so embarrassed that he kept himself away from limelight and close friends including Shakti Samanta. Later he married a Bengali woman.

3. A ‘Master of romance’ he played a magnificent role in giving romantic image to Rajesh Khanna, Rishi Kapoor and Jeetendra, and also Shammi Kapoor to some extent. He has also scripted some of the career best films of leading female actresses – Asha Parekh and Sharmila Tagore.

4. It seems he was obsessed of telling stories of young widows and their struggles in women centric films. Aradhana and his single directorial venture, Raja Rani, both starring Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore are the best instances.

5. It was Sachin who convinced Sharmila Tagore’s mother to allow her to join Hindi films. Till then she worked in Bengali cinema. He also convinced Shakti Samanta to cast her in female lead for Aradhana, while she was having a sex-symbol image in Bollywood. Initially Shakti was keen to give that role to newcomer Hema Malini. The movie gave Sharmila the single Filmfare award for lead role. Sachin wrote the script of two of Tagore’s films – An Evening in Paris and Aradhana, and also scripted and directed the film Raja Rani with Tagore playing female lead.

6. In the late 1950s he used to be a travel writer and wrote about beautiful destinations like Europe.

7. He was a close friend to Sharmila Tagore’s mother.

8. He was fondly called ‘Sachinda’ and ‘Dada’ in the film industry.

9. He used to speak Hindi with a Bengali accent. It was so difficult to follow that crew members would ask him to switch to English.

10. At many instances, especially in the 1960s, he has worked with the same director who repeats the same lead actors for next film, and in many those cases, they were less-known directors of the industry with a very few, but hit films to his credit. He scripted Bhappi Sonie’s musical hits – Janwar and Brahmachari both starring Shammi Kapoor & Rajshree, Pramod Chakravorty’s musical hits – Ziddi and Love in Tokyo, both starring Joy Mukherjee and Asha Parekh, Raghunath Jhalani’s musical hits – Aaya Sawan Jhoom Ke & Aaye Dil Bahar Ke both starring Dharmendra and Asha Parekh etc.

11. He wanted his biography to be released when he was alive. But this dream didn’t come true.

12. His National award winning film – Anuradha was first published in Desh – a Bengali magazine. The story was inspired from Madame Bovary, a novel by Gustave Flaubert.

13. Sachin met his popular star Shammi Kapoor a couple of months before his death, on the occasion of the special screening of their film, An Evening in Paris.

14. In Shammi Kapoor’s opinion, the story teller had a wonderful talent to give a wonderful screenplay joining bit parts together.

15. He has directed a single film throughout his film journey and stick on to weaving beautiful stories, mostly belonging to commercial genre.

16. In the 1960s and 1970s while he singly handed the film story and scripted the whole movie in most cases. He continued the same till mid-1990s, after which he mostly co-scripted films with the directors and other screenwriters.

17. Salman Khan starrer Yuvraj released in 2008 was his last film as a screenwriter.

18. He owned a special talent in cleverly adapting Hollywood and other language films, and to make it his own, at a time when fresh ideas were only a few.

19. He simply borrowed ideas and art from others, and excelled from others in scripting them fresh. He could easily create multiple alternatives for a single scene, and could change it as director demands.  

20. He was a voracious reader, and owned excellent memory. 

21. He was a frequent visitor at international film shows. He also had relationship with many international filmmakers and writers. In fact many such writers used to send him their drafts asking his suggestions. 

22. He wrote several women-centric scripts in the 1960s, when demand was for hero-centric ones. Aradhana, An Evening in Paris, Ziddi etc are among those. In the 1960s he wrote romantic films, while he shifted to action in the 1970s.

23. Though he remained a celebrated screenwriter of 1970s, only a few showed up at his cremation at Shivaji Park crematorium. In fact only a few people from the industry knew about his demise in 2011.

20 of the best film films scripted by Sachin Bhowmick

A screenshot from ‘Aradhana’ – One of the best works of Sachin Bhowmick as a screenwriter

1. Anuradha (1960) – Director:  Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Lead actors: Balraj Sahni & Leela Naidu

2. Aradhana (1969) – Director: Shakti Samanta, Lead actors: Rajesh Khanna & Sharmila Tagore

3. An Evening in Paris (1967) – Director: Shakti Samanta, Lead actors: Shammi Kapoor & Sharmila Tagore

4. Golmaal (1979) – Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Lead actors: Amol Palekar, Bindiya Goswami & Utpal Dutt

5. Ziddi (1964) – Director: Pramod Chakravorty, Lead actors: Joy Mukherjee, Asha Parekh

6. Love in Tokyo (1966) – Director: Pramod Chakravorty, Lead actors: Joy Mukherjee & Asha Parekh

7. Brahmachari (1968) – Director: Bhappi Sonie, Lead actors: Shammi Kapoor & Rajshree

8. Janwar (1965) – Director: Bhappi Sonie, Lead actors: Shammi Kapoor & Rajshree

9. Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke (1969) – Director: Raghunath Jhalani, Lead actors: Dharmendra & Asha Parekh

10. Aaye Din Bahar Ke (1966) – Director: Raghunath Jhalani, Lead actors: Dharmendra & Asha Parekh

11. Ayee Milan Ki Bela (1964) – Director: Mohan Kumar, Lead actors: Rajendra Kumar, Saira Bhanu & Dharmendra

12. Caravan (1971) – Director – Nasir Hussain, Lead actors: Jeetendra & Asha Parekh

13. Karz (1980) – Director: Subhash Ghai, Lead actors: Rishi Kapoor & Tina Munim

14. Karma (1986) – Director: Subhash Ghai, Lead actors: Dilip Kumar & Nutan

15. Mein Khiladi Tu Anari (1994) – Director: Sameer Malkan, Lead actors: Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan & Shilpa Shetty

16. Karan Arjun (1995) – Director: Rakesh Roshan, Lead actors: Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan & Kajol

17. Koyla (1997) – Director: Rakesh Roshan, Lead actors: Shah Rukh Khan & Madhuri Dixit

18. Koi Mil Gaya (2004) – Director: Rakesh Roshan, Lead actors: Hrithik Roshan & Preity Zinta

19. Krish (2006) – Director: Rakesh Roshan, Lead actors: Hrithik Roshan & Priyanka Chopra

20. Dushman (1998) – Director: Tanuja Chandra, Lead actors: Kajol & Sanjay Dutt

21. Soldier (1998) – Director: Abbas Mustan, Lead actors: Bobby Deol & Preity Zinta

22. Taal (1999) – Director: Subhash Ghai, Lead actors: Anil Kapoor, Akshay Khanna & Aishwarya Rai

rafi hits

A screenshot from Brahmachari

A few more hit films of Sachin Bhowmick include – Chhaya (1961), Ek Shrimaan Ek Shrimati (1969), Pehchaan (1970), Aan Milo Sajna (1970), Be-Imaan (1972), Dost (1974), Khel Khel Mein (1975), Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977), Trishna (1978), Do Aur Do Paanch (1980), Bemisal (1982), Zamaane Ko Dikhana Hai (1981), Nastik (1983), Saaheb (1985), Yeh Dillagi (1994) etc.

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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