"Making Tamas was an act of faith. Everything that I felt intensely came into it. When Partition happened, I was a little kid but my first memory of fear, panic and blood comes from that period. My family migrated from Karachi and we settled down in Rajasthan. I was very emotional while making this film," Nihalani said.
The 71-year-old director's 1987 adaptation, which had a stellar starcast in Amrish Puri, Deepa Sahi, Dina Pathak, Bhisham Sahni, A K Hangal, Saeed Jaffrey, Surekha Sikri, Om Puri and Pankaj Kapur, is making its comeback on the small screen with History TV18 airing an eight-part series, starting from this Independence Day.
Sahni's 1974 Hindi novel is one of the best literary pieces to come out on the great exodus of 1947. Nihalani said he was first drawn to the title which means darkness.
"I still remember the day I chanced upon 'Tamas'. At that time I was in Delhi, working as a second unit director on Richard Attenborough's 'Gandhi'. While in a book store, I saw this book and liked the title. While leafing through it, I found that the book was on Partition, a subject I wanted to explore ever since I became a director," recalls Nihalani.
Looking back, he says he was immensely lucky to have found such fine actors to star in the film.
"I was just lucky. All these actors were available at that time and they were also the actors who had known Partition. They were all young men at that time Amrish Puriji, Hangal saab, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapoor. We had Deepa Sahi, Surekha Sikri and Barry John was there too," Nihalani said.


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