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  Entertainment   Bollywood  16 Dec 2018  Tulsi Ramsay, Master of horror films Passes Away

Tulsi Ramsay, Master of horror films Passes Away

THE ASIAN AGE. | SUBHASH K JHA
Published : Dec 16, 2018, 12:05 am IST
Updated : Dec 16, 2018, 12:05 am IST

The Ramsays quickly went back to doing what they were best at.

Tulsi Ramsay
 Tulsi Ramsay

The horror movie mogul, together with his six brothers,  constituted  a palladium  of horror  and supernatural thrills which were quite the rage for some time.

Known to make successful B-grade horror films, Tusli Ramsay was  a guiding force in the horror genre, generating huge  amounts  of revenue from films that were made on a shoestring budget. One of the Ramsay brothers’ most successful films, Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche, was made at a budget  of 3.5 lakh rupees in 1971 and made profits of close to 40 lakh rupees.

The Ramsays went on to make more than 30 horror films. Tulsi Ramsay directed most of them including Andhera, Purani Haveli, Aur Kaun and many others. Actor Anil Dhawan, who featured in several of these, including Aakhri Cheekh, Darwaza and Andhera, recalls Tulsi as an affable, hardworking man of integrity.

Says Anil, “I was sorry to hear of Tulsiji’s death.  He was a very goodhearted  person. Full of life and  the driving force  among the Ramsay brothers. He kept all the siblings together.”

Anil enjoyed working in the Ramsay horror films. “They knew exactly what they wanted and how to get it from their actors. No time was wasted on the sets. All homework was done before hand. Tulsiji was a very sweet talker and accorded respect to  everyone.”

Sadly, he and his siblings never became A-listers in the movie making business and their movies were sometimes viewed as down market. Says Anil, “What they did given their meagre budgets no one else could do. Their films made money no matter what the budget. It is a shame we talk of ‘A’ films and  ‘B’ ‘C’  films when the  third class compartments  in  the  Indian railways are gone. As far as I’m concerned, there are  only the ‘H’ films and  ‘F’ films.  Hit or flop. And the Ramsays  made hit films.”

Bappi Lahiri, who composed  music  for many of the Ramsay fear flicks, remembers Tulsi Ramsay as the  patriarch of  the  family. “After the death of the patriarch F. U. Ramsay, Tulsi kept the brothers together.  He was a wonderful human being. I composed music for several of their films, all hits.”

Dismissing the Ramsays’ reputation as sleaze makers, Bappi says, “When I  composed music for their film Aur Kaun, I  got Saraswati Mata, Lata Mangeshkar, to sing the title song. Would she be  part  of  anything of disrepute? Kishore Kumar also sang in Aur Kaun. Then I composed songs for the Ramsays’ Saamri, Saboot, Guest House and Dak Bangla. I also did the music for their ambitious Hindi-Kannada bi-lingual, Inspector Dhanush. The death of Tusli Ramsay signals the end of an era. Horror cinema will never be  the same again.”

In  2012, Ashim Ahluwalia made a  critically acclaimed  film, Miss Lovely, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui  on the  horror-impact of  the Ramsay brothers. Ironically, while Miss Lovely was regarded as a classy critique on a genre  of  cinema, the Ramsays were  constantly scoffed at for peddling horror and sleaze. When they did try to make a classy horror film, Ghungroo Ki Awaaz, in 1981 starring Rekha and Vijay Anand, it tanked at the box office.

The Ramsays quickly went back to doing what they were best at.

Reacting to being portrayed as sleaze peddlers in the film Miss Lovely, Tulsi Ramsay’s brother, Shyam, had said to me , “The fact is Ramsay is a brand name. We are a reputed family with decades of cinema to our credit. The whole film industry knows it. If someone still chose to portray us as sleaze hawkers it is not our problem.”

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