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Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow – An Autobiography is the long awaited life story of the legendary veteran Indian actor. This autobiography is a genuine, earnest and fascinating narrative - straight from the actor’s heart and mind - that discloses for the first time several unknown aspects of the life and times of Dilip Kumar - one of the greatest Bollywood actors of all time, and also stands out as an icon of a secular India.
Summary of the Book
Dilip Kumar was born as Yousuf Khan. He started as a shy rookie in Hindi cinema in the early 1940s and there was no looking back. He went on to reach the zenith of stardom within a short period of time. He delivered mesmerizing performances in one hit movie after another, in a row! His almost six-decade-long career as an actor was based only on his original ability, unwavering willpower, sheer hard work and die-hard optimistic attitude. In this book, Dilip Kumar tells us his journey right from his birth, his days as an aspiring actor, his ascent to the pinnacle of success and the rest, to the present day. He frankly narrates his relationships with different variety of people. His interactions were not only restricted to his family, friends and the film world but also with businessmen and politicians. Dilip Kumar sets the record straight about how he got married to Saira Banu, one of the then Bollywood beauties. He feels that a lot of what was written about him so far is mostly misinterpreted, and so he narrates, in graphic detail, about his romantic relationship and marriage, which pretty much reads like a fairy tale! He fondly remembers the event that changed his life forever - his meeting with Devika Rani, the boss of the famous Bombay Talkies, and being offered an acting job. His first film was Jwar Bhata (1944). He explains how he had to learn the whole kit and caboodle from scratch and how he had to cultivate his own individual dramatics and panache that would set him apart from his contemporaries. He soon scaled great heights with movies like Jugnu, Shaheed, Mela andaz, Deedar, Daag and Devdas. In most of his movies he played the tragedian with such a matchless intensity that his mind was undesirably affected. He had to consult a British psychiatrist, who counselled him to shift to play comedy. The consequence was his remarkable performances in the hilarious, laugh riots like Azaad and Kohinoor, apart from an amusing depiction as a resolute Tong-driver in Naya Daur. He then took a five-year break and later began his second innings with Kranti in 1981, post which he acted in successions of hits such as Vidhaata, Karma, Saudagar, Mashaal, Shakti, and Qila.
About Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar is one of the best Hindi cinema actors of all times, a legend of his lifetime. He is not a superlative actor alone, but is an avid reader of Urdu, Persian and English literature, a connoisseur of the arts, an extremely skilled multilingual speaker, an outstanding mimic and a superb dancer! He has bagged the Filmfare Best Actor Award eight times, which is an unbroken record. He is also honoured with the most prestigious awards like the Padma Bhushan, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and Pakistan’s highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz. He is also constantly into philanthropic contributions and social causes in his own modest way.
And Then One Day is the poignant and inspiring memoir of the acclaimed Indian actor, Naseeruddin Shah.
Summary of the Book
Naseeruddin Shah’s memoir depicts his extraordinary journey from a feudal village near Meerut, to Catholic schools in Nainital and Ajmer, and finally to stage and film fame in Mumbai. Along the way, he narrates his passages through Aligarh University, the National School of Drama and the Film and Television Institute of India, where his life actually started to change. And Then One Day is a compelling tale, written with uncommon honesty and elegance, infused with tongue-in-cheek humour. There are also emotional portraits of family members, darkly amusing accounts of his school days and the vibrant roles of directors and actors he has worked with, including Shyam Benegal, Girish Karnad, Ebrahim Alkazi, Om Puri and Shabana Azmi. The book grippingly describes his struggle to earn a living through acting, his experiments with the craft, his love affairs, his early marriage, his triumphs and let-downs with incredible honesty and impartial self-assessment. It is packed with delightful tales as well as moving and often tender revelations, making it a riveting read throughout.
About Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah has been an actor-director-teacher in theatre, having played the lead in more than two hundred feature films and over sixty professional theatre productions, both in India and abroad. He is also passionate about playing and watching tennis, cricket and movies. Shah has been honoured with numerous awards, although he seldom talks about them. He currently lives in Mumbai.
Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna is the biography of the veteran Indian movie star, compiled by Gautam Chintamani. The book has a foreword written by actress, Sharmila Tagore.
Summary of the Book
Born as Jatin Khanna to middle-class parents, the actor was adopted by rich relatives who brought him up like a prince. By the time he won the All India Talent Contest organized by United Producers and Filmfare, he was already known for being that struggler who drove an imported sports car! With seventeen blockbuster hits in sequence, and mass worship seldom seen ever before or since, the world was at Khanna’s feet. And then in a matter of months, it all changed. Mirroring the meteoric rise, Khanna’s cinema career hit a downward spiral just three years after the movie, Aradhana, and never really recovered. Recounting the films and the times of Rajesh Khanna, Dark Star looks at the phenomenon of an actor who completely redefined the phrase ‘film star’. Even after decades since his last monstrous hit, Khanna continues to be a benchmark by which every aspiring Bollywood star is measured.
About Gautam Chintamani
Gautam Chintamani is an Indian writer. He is an avid cinephile, accustomed to writing on the world cinema, Bollywood and absolutely everything in between.
Mani Ratnam is considered one of the most respected directors and producers in the Indian film fraternity. Conversations with Mani Ratnam is a perfect book for movie buffs and avid fans of Ratnam.
Summary of the Book
From groundbreaking movies like Roja to Kadal, each movie of Mani Ratnam has set a new benchmark for other filmmakers. Conversations with Mani Ratnam authored by Baradwaj Rangan, gives you a peek into the man’s life and his thoughts. For the first time ever Mani Ratnam gets candid in this book and opens up for his fans. Complete with posters, script pages and numerous stills, this book gives you a glance into what goes into making masterpieces.
About Baradwaj Rangan
Baradwaj Rangan is an Indian author, film critic and editor. He worked with The New Indian Express formerly and currently works for The Hindu as a Deputy editor and film critic. Rangan has authored the book Conversations with Mani Ratnam.
Flipkart Official Review
She was his favourite heroine, or one can say she still is. He wrote her biography a few months after she passed away. She represented what no one else could on screen according to him and rightly so. She charmed him and he never met her. Maybe that is the beauty of interactions you do not have – you have them and those are the ones that last forever. It did for Vinod Mehta, when he started writing his book on the legendary Meena Kumari in 1972.
The book has been reprinted by Harper Collins and it is a boon to all lovers of biographies and but of course for fans of the actress. Meena Kumari’s life was always seen upon as one of tragedy. From her unsuccessful marriage to the various lovers who used her, she was always the centre of attention for the longest time. “Meena Kumari” talks of the actress as the author’s “heroine”. He speaks fondly of her. He speaks of her with great sadness. He speaks of her life, her childhood, her voluminous body of work and the way she lived and died. At the same time, he tries to get away from the “tragedy queen” bracket cut out for her.
The writing is vivid and paints pictures in the reader’s head. It is empathic and yet controlling, without becoming too sentimental. Vinod Mehta writes with a connection which is also quite neutral. He has documented every single aspect and has also to a large extent not judged people in her life, which would have been quite difficult to do. Read the biography to know more about one of the reigning stars of the Indian Film Industry and you will not be disappointed
Vinod Mehta's eye-opening biography covers the story of Meena Kumari, one of Bollywood's most prominent heroines.
Summary of the Book
Mahjabeen Bano was born to a poor Muslim family, one that almost abandoned her in an orphanage. Despite her wishes, her father dragged her into a life of film, where she entered as a 7 year old. She quickly gained fame as Meena Kumari, and acted in several mythological movies. She moved on to a role as a heroine, and won the first Filmfare Award for her performance in Baiju Bawra. Her life, writes Vinod Mehta, was full of as much drama as her movies. Her love-lit marriage with Kamal Amrohi ended in disaster, and by the time it was rekindled, she had already descended into alcoholism. At the time of her death in 1972, of of liver cirrhosis, she was left penniless. This is her story.
About Vinod Mehta
Vinod Mehta is the editor-in-chief of Outlook India. Some of his other works are: Bombay: A Private View, The Sanjay Story, Mr Editor, how close are you to the PM? and Lucknow Boy: A Memoir.
He graduated from Lucknow University and launched a series of popular publications including the Sunday Observer, The Independent and The Pioneer.
The story of a poet behind many beloved Hindi songs, this is the biography of Sahir Ludhianvi: The People's Poet.
Summary of the Book
Known for some of the finest lyrics in Bollywood of yesteryears, he put words in the mouths of singing greats such as Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle. Sahir Ludhianvi was born as Abdul Hayee in Ludhiana, Punjab. Knwon throughout his childhood for his ghazals and nazms, he was expelled from college for merely sitting with a young girl on a lawn. Raised in bleak poverty, Sahir settled in Lahore and wrote an Urdu book named Talkhiyaan. His fate took him to Bombay in 1949 soon after the Partition of India and Pakistan, bringing him home where his neighbours were the legendary Gulzer and Krishan Chander. This book chronicles how he began his career as a lyricist with Azadi Ki Raah Par (1949). But it was Naujawaan (1951) that secured him a place in Bollywood, one that would make his name, and his story, legend.
About Akshay Manwani
Akshay Manwani is a freelance writer based on Mumbai. He has written extensively for Business Standard, Man’s World and NBA.com.
He currently lives in Mumbai with his wife and daughter. Mr. Manwani enjoys reading and writing about sports.
The Apu Trilogy: Satyajit Ray And The Making Of An Epic takes an in-depth look into the making of Pather Panchali, Aparajito, and Apur Sansar. A page turner, this book is an enjoyable and informative read.
Summary Of The Book
The Apu Trilogy: Satyajit Ray And The Making Of An Epic, published in 2011, traces Satyajit Ray’s journey while making the three movies that comprise the trilogy. Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956) and Apur Sansar (1959) revolve around a young bengali boy named Apu. This collection of films is said to be one of the greatest achievements of Indian cinema.
The Apu Trilogy: Satyajit Ray And The Making Of An Epic looks into Ray’s formative years, and how he decided to adapt the novels of Pather Panchali and Aparajito onto the big screen. Making the Apu Trilogy was an epic in terms of production. Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) was Ray’s directorial debut. With an inexperienced crew, and amateur artists, and a very small budget, he made a movie that would influence people all across the world. Pather Panchali is set in rural Bengali, and shows the life of Apu who belongs to a high caste family that is poverty stricken.
Aparajito (The Unvanquished), winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, shows the struggles between Apu’s ambitions and his mother’s love. The last movie of the trilogy is Apur Sansar (The World of Apu). Here the protagonist tries his hand at becoming a writer. One section of the book has an epilogue where Ray talks about the Apu Trilogy.
The Apu Trilogy: Satyajit Ray And The Making Of An Epic is one of the first full study of this collection of films. It also focuses on Ray’s experiences while working with Ravi Shankar, who gave the music to the trilogy. Established as a classic of world cinema, these movies played a significant role in Satyajit Ray being awarded the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1992. Andrew Robinson also shows how the Apu Trilogy went from Calcutta to Cannes, from the east to the west, and became critically acclaimed. Beautifully written, and well-researched, this book focuses on the cultural and literary backgrounds of the films. The Apu Trilogy: Satyajit Ray And The Making Of An Epic will be hard to put down for any movie buff.
About Andrew Robinson
Andrew Robinson, born in 1957, is a British author.
He has authored about twenty books, some of which are Satyajit Ray: A Vision of Cinema, Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Great Undeciphered Scripts, The Art of Rabindranath Tagore, and Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye. He has also written many articles for various newspapers and science journals.
Robinson was a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge. He is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, and has also won many research grants from institutions like the John Templeton Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, and the British Academy. From 1994 to 2006, he was the Literary Editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement. He first visited India in 1975, and since then has been devoted to it. He lives in London, and is now a full-time writer.
Official Flipkart Review
What goes into making a film? What goes on behind the scenes? What is the state of mind of an actor as he or she prepares for a difficult role? Bhawana Somaaya gets behind the scenes and has candid conversations with actors and directors on cinema and more in her new book, “Talking Cinema”.
“Talking Cinema” as the title suggests is all about cinema – from behind the camera, in front of the camera and how it is so not easy to act or for that matter direct a film. The book is divided into four sections and no section is boring. There is a balance to each of them and they converge to enhance the reading experience and more so to know the other side of cinema. The book is almost a love letter to cinema and rightly so, given the length and breadth of Bollywood. A must read for all film lovers.
Talking Cinema: Conversations With Actors & Directors takes readers deep into the world of film-making. Through conversations with renowned film personalities, this book informs readers about the research, preparation, skills, and hard work that goes into making films.
Summary Of The Book
Talking Cinema: Conversations With Actors & Directors, published in 2013, takes a look into the reel lives of film personalities. This book tries to answer questions about how actors prepare themselves for specific roles, and what is their intellectual and emotional state of mind. The author has documented conversations with some of the film industry’s most famous stars. It provides an insider’s view and insight, and makes readers understand that movies are beyond designer clothes, makeup and glycerine teardrops.
Talking Cinema: Conversations With Actors & Directors is divided into four sections. An Actor Prepares focuses on how a performer readies himself or herself for a role. Character Speak is the second section, and takes a look at the research that has gone into developing some of the most critically acclaimed characters that have appeared on Indian movie screens. The next portion of this book shifts its focus away from the performers, and deals with filmmakers. Directors Cut takes a peek into the mind of such personalities. The Specialists is the final section of Talking Cinema: Conversations With Actors & Directors. The author tries to analyze why a director or actor associate themselves with a particular genre of films or characters. Further, readers have the opportunity to figure out how similar or dissimilar these roles or themes really are.
Talking Cinema: Conversations With Actors & Directors introduces readers to the efforts and skills that are required in order to make a movie.
About Bhawana Somaaya
Bhawana Somaaya is an Indian film critic, columnist, journalist, designer, and writer. She has written Cinema: Images & Issues, Salaam Bollywood, Hema Malini: Authorized Biography, and many other books revolving around cinema. She has done a trilogy on Amitabh Bachchan, which includes The Legend, Bachchanalia, and Amitabh Lexicon.
Somaaya started her career as the Chief Reporter of Cinema Journal, and then became a Special Correspondent for Super. She later joined Movie, and became its Joint Editor. In 2012, the author was made the Editor Chief of Screen Magazine of The Indian Express. She has also been a member of the Central Board of Film Certificate’s Advisory Panel. She has written articles for The Hindu, Sandesh, The Observer, The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express North American Edition, and many other newspapers and magazines. Somaaya has also designed outfits for Shabana Azmi in movies like Kamyaab, Masoom, and Bhavna. The author is currently Radio Channel 92.7 BIG FM’s Film Expert and also does reviews of films for BBC Online.
A life-changing guide for personal and professional greatness! The Mastery Manual is packed with real-world ideas and practices that will get you to world-class quickly. The book comprises 36 life-changing modules, each of which will help you take your business and your life to the next level. Reflect on how you are working and living and commit to making course-corrections to get better. Think about what needs to happen during your day in order for you to feel you have lived fully and greatly. Robin Sharma reveals pithy yet profound thoughts that will revolutionize your way of living and make you master of your world.