A doodled tribute to Sholay – an experience of a film with timeless characters

#‎Sholay‬ completes 40 years since its release on 15 August 1975. I have watched the film at least 5 times since then. Every time I watch it, I observe something new. The characters are right out of a comic book and the dialogues are unforgettable. Here is my tribute in ‪#‎hand‬-lettering, indulging in a childhood obsession of copying movie fonts, ‪#‎calligraphy‬ and‪#‎doodling‬ in general. This is ‪#‎Surma‬ Bhopali in technicolor.

“Hamara naam Surma Bhopali aise he nahin hain.”


I was probably 10 years old when I watched this for the first time. The film was an experience. There was no love story in the center of the film. The romantic angle was peripheral. This is ‪#‎Mausi‬.

“Sagi mausi hoon, koi sauteli maa nahin.”


The supporting cast were like the oars of a large ship. The story would sail steady in a certain direction because of the characters that did their part. This is Imaam saab.

“Itna sannata kyon hai bhai?”


‪#‎Sholay‬ tribute should have started with Thakur- the protagonist, instigator, narrator and key player of the film.

“Mujhe Gabbar chahiye, zinda.”

sholay doodles THAKUR

‪#‎Sholay‬ tribute doesn’t go anywhere without featuring the most loved characters – Gabbar Singh and Veeru. Passionate, spontaneous, emotional, determined and headstrong. That’s both of them.

“Basanti, in kutto ke saaamne mat naachna.”

sholay doodles veeru

“Bahut jaan hain in haato mein.”

sholay doodles gabbar

‪#‎Sholay‬ tribute goes into day 3 with Basanti- ever cheerful, child-like and too busy caught up in her own little paradise. Have you ever referred to an old faithful car as Dhanno? Where do you think that came from?

“Basanti jo bol gai, so bol gai.”


This tribute goes to Jai and the bro-love he brought to pulp cinema’s earlier days. Quite, brooding, buddy, backup and jodidaar, Jai was part of the action, emotion and drama. Viewers cried when he died. His best scene being the chat he has with Mausi, dissing his own friend so he wouldn’t lose him to marriage. Slowly we realize why this multi-layered movie was such a hit.

“Bas mausi, khaandaan ka pata chalte hi hum aapko bataa denge.”

40 years of Sholay
Characters of Sholay film

Made up like Hitler, Asrani’s role of a lifetime brought comic relief to the blockbuster of the 20th century, and a ‪#‎Sholay‬ tribute would be pointless without Jailer saab.

“Hum angrezo ke zamaane ke jailer hain.”

sholay doodles jailer

One of the most unforgettable songs, ‘Yeh Dosti’ starts off by setting the premise of the friendship on the sidecar motorcycle. Other props of the film like the water tank, Thakur’s nailed shoes and Basanti just don’t belong anywhere like they do in ‪#‎Sholay‬.

sholay doodles yeh dosti

This movie is still watchable. This is our very own Pulp Fiction,