7th October 2020

5 Bollywood Biographies That Didn’t Lie

With  Saif Ali Khan all set to do a tell-all memoir(not an autobiography) it’s time to  look  at 5  Bollywood  biographies that  told  the  truth.

1.     Rishi Kapoor Khullam  Khulla: Lively  chirpy ebullient and seemingly  forthright this  was  Rishi Kapoor as he  was. Candid  about his  father Raj Kapoor’s affairs, one didn’t  see Rishi saying anything about his  own  indiscretions before or after his very successful marriage  to  Neetu Singh. We believe  you.  Nonetheless a biography/memoir , co-written  by journalist Meena Iyer that  did some plainspeak , albeit selectively. And  I wish the title was  a little  classier than  a hit song from  Rishi’s film.

2.     Asha Parekh  The Hit Girl: Thankfully this  biography  was  not named Kati Patang  or Sayanora  Sayonara after  Ms Parekh’s chartbusters.  Written by the  illustrious  film critic  Khalid Mohamed The  Hit Girl took us through   all  of   the  super-successful actresss’  secrets  including that eminently forbidden  lifelong  relationship with filmmaker NasirHussain.  We like.

Also Read:  Sushant’s Death Probe Gets Murkier

3.     Shatrughan Sinha Anything But Khamosh :  Brutally frank, and not  willing to gloss over his  scandalous  and longevous  relationship with   Reena  Roy,  nor did  this   biography   ignore Shotgun’s  conflicted relationship with his  brother(the Dhoni bio-pic  eliminated Dhoni’s brother because they didn’t get along)  Anything But Khamosh is  a  lively  interesting read just like  the  subject himself. Author Bharati  S Pradhan  did  no fawning here. She told  the teekha Sinha’s tale  as  it is. Peppery and  irreverent.

4.     Dilip Kumar  Shadow  & Substance:  Author  Udayatara Nair  being a  very close  friend  of Dilip Kumar  and Saira Banu,one  thought this  would be  an exercise  in  hagiography. But surprise!  Shadow  & Substance is a well-researched  deeply-felt  probing and objective  look  at the  life of India’s most accomplished actor.It  also discussed  the  Thespian’s  romances  and didn’t  shy away from his brief second marriage. Proper in  format  but  not willing to sacrifice the improper  interludes  this was  a rare  comprehensive Bollywood  biography.  

Also Read:  Will Covid Kill The Theatre Business?

5.     Naseeruddin Shah And Then One Day: A Memoir:  Telling like it is.Naseeruddin  Shah’s  memoir  is  just like his  performances: you can see  right  into the  soul of  the  protagonist. He uses  words as   tools to probe  into his  past and  doesn’t blink when he encounters  uncomfortable  home-truths. This  is by far  the most honest Bollywoodmemoir I’ve read. Not that Naseer would  enjoy his book  being branded as  ‘Bollywood’.

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