I first came to know how very sensitive Prem Sagar was when I had said something in a lighter vein and he was angry with me , but luckily for me his anger did not last long and we were friends again and our friendship has not changed a bit during the last four decades. Ali Peter John
Photography was his life and he gave the best of his life to photography
His sensitivity had perhaps led him to opt for cinematography and he turned out to be one of the most gifted men in his field . He was not only recognised as an outstanding cinematographer working exclusively for his father’s films but was also an artistic photographer who had the heart, soul and eye to capture life in all its many splendoure and with all the realities of life. Photography was his life and he gave the best of his life to photography and the results were his winning awards for his splendid work from the most prestigious institutions of photography in the world.
He was sought in a delicate situation when he had to shoot for films and was also seriously interested in using his multiple cameras which included the latest brands of cameras , and other equipment and accessories . I have seen and appreciated many of his photographs shot on different locations in India and abroad and I remember the room above his cabin at the Natraj Studio which was like a Prem Sagar Museum of best cameras and the best pictures shot by Prem Sagar on those cameras.
Prem has shot many portraits, but I consider his portraits of Hema Malini as his best work.
He had become quite a name with the actresses of the seventies and among the other actresses he “shot” with all his love and dedication were Parveen Babi, Bindiya Goswami , Ranjeeta and even some of the newcomers and character actresses of which his black and white pictures of Aruna Irani were the best. He was so good at his art of photography that Arvind Kumar , the noted editor of the Hindi film magazine started a column with him guiding those who were seriously interested in photography .
The son of Dr Ramanand Sagar had to be interested in making films of his own and that is what happened with Prem . He directed a big film called ” Hum Tere Aashiq Hai” which when it was started had Faredoon Irani , the cinematographer of “Mughal E Azam” , Sahir Ludhianvi as the lyricist and Kamleshwar as the writer. It was one more version of George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” . The film had Jeetendra and Prem’s favourite actress Hema Malini in the romantic lead . Prem also made a landmark television serials “Vikram Betal” which had started a trend.
He wanted to be a full – fledged writer
Prem was always interested in writing and found his opportunity to give vent to his talent to write when he was handling the publicity of “Ramayan” and the other serials made by his father . He wanted to be a full – fledged writer and now several years later , he has written two books , about his father , the first is a biography written in English in collaboration with his son Shiv Sagar and the other is a book in Hindi which is also his tribute to his father and his epic serial , “Ramayan”
Writing , painting (yes, Prem is also a painter in his own class) and any other kind of creativity doesn’t respect any kind of barriers, including age. And Prem is only so many years young and has and can go a long long way to pursue his love for Kala ( art ) with the passion he is blessed by both God and his father , one of the best ambassadors and apostles of God.
So, carry on my friend Prem and remember for someone like you the sky is only the beginning