Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Review Dilip Kumar (The Substance and the Shadow, An Autobiography) ~ by : Niilesh A Raje

Dilip Sahab is a compulsive reader and reads on all subjects including medicine. He once addressed a medical conference and all of them from the medical fraternity listened spellbound to his speech which was replete with information about the latest developments in the field. Nobody could tell that Dilip Kumar was an actor and that medicine was not his concentration.

Read More at . . .

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Book Review ( Chanderi Soneri: Kalakaar Mulakhati Palikadech ) ~ by : Niilesh A Raje

Author Lalita Tamhane  
Publisher Maitreya Prakashan
Pages 160
Price         Rs 200/-
ISBN 978-93-80549-72-9

Author Lalita Tamhane was studying in school then when her Uncle’s friend a palmist looked at her hand and predicted that as you grow up in age you (Lalita) would be an author of several books. Little did Lalita knew that those startling predictions would one day really come true? Today, it’s matter of pride that Lalita Tamhane is an eminent journalist who has come up with her sixth book titled “Chanderi Soneri” as published by Maitreya Prakashan.

“Chanderi Soneri” Kalakaar Mulakhati Palikadech as the title goes the author has covered around 18 notable personalities ranging from Meena Kumari to Madhuri Dixit. A celebrity is not something that is restricted just to tinseltown it could be anyone for that reason from arts or corporate world. With her interactions with the personalities the author has tried to get the pulse of each one of them from closer angle and she has been instrumental to amplify her experiences with these celebrities by putting words to paper.

The personality covered in this book includes Kamal Amrohi, Saira Banu, Waheeda Rehman, Nutan, Tanuja, Smita Patil, Deepti Naval, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Manik Verma, Kishori Amonkar, Anuradha Paudwal and Gautam Rajadhyaksha. Her interactions or experience with the celebrities the author has captured it very well in the form of interesting anecdotes.

One interesting anecdote covered here is that of Amitabh Bachchan while he got himself hurt in the midst of an action shoot taking place in a shopping center at Juhu while the author Lalita had come down to meet him over an interview. Amitabh’s nose got hurt, swollen and was bleeding profusely. When the time was scheduled Amitabh called the author Lalita Tamhane inside his vanity van to give the interview. In spite of being hurt he could have always cancelled the interview and kept it for some other day but Amitabh did not. Reason, he knew Lalita had a deadline to meet for the interview for the publication and Mr. Bachchan wanted to ensure that she does not skip on her deadlines just because he got hurt during the action shoot sequence. That’s the benchmark of professional commitment Mr. Bachchan keeps.

What intrigued me is the fact that apart from Bollywood the author has also covered notable personalities like Balasaheb Thackeray, India’s leading fashion photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha or singer Kishori Amonkar who were not actor or actress then why did they get the space in this book. My conversation with the author Lalita revealed that one must understand the sub line of the book “Chanderi Soneri” Kalakaar Mulakhati Palikadech. So when we talk of Kalakaar or an artist the individual can be anyone related to arts not necessary the person needs to be an actor from Bollywood. A reply that was very apt I must admit going with the title of the book.

Here’s wishing Lalita Tamhane All The Best for her future endeavour. I am positive readers would find reading the book covering these notable personalities indeed enlightening.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Book Review Dilip Kumar ( The Substance and the Shadow, An Autobiography ) : by Niilesh A Raje

Author    Dilip Kumar 
Publisher Hay House India
Pages      450
Price  Rs 699/-
ISBN 9789381398869

It was midsummer and the weather was hot and humid in Mumbai and the incident dates back to the year 2004. Dilip Sahab was helping Saira Banu rearrange the books on the bookshelf in her bedroom when he happened to pick up a book written by an author who claimed to have known Dilip Kumar better than no one else did. “This is supposed to be my biography and it is full of distortions and misinformation” said Dilip Sahab to Saira. Pat came the reply from Saira “Why don’t you write the story of your life yourself?” This was something Saira always kept insisting Dilip Sahab to write down his own autobiography.

The perseverance kept by both Dilip Sahab and Saira Ji spread over a decade witnessed the thespian Dilip Kumar’s autobiography titled ‘The Substance and the Shadow’ that chronicles his life since birth. The title says as one walks in life their shadow grows larger than the actual image. Similarly, Yousuf Khan the substance became bigger as Dilip Kumar as his shadow.

The book has been published by Hay House India. The narration for putting Dilip Sahab’s erudite words on paper has been done meticulously by Udayatara Nayar who is known for her long association of almost half a century with Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu. While Udayatara was new in the world of Cinema Journalism she had written a long analytical article on Dilip Sahab in one of the issues of Screen. Dilip Sahab then spoke to the former editor of Screen S.S.Pillai: “Groom her, make her work hard and she will go places. She has the potential to become a biographer someday.” Little did she knew that destiny would make this happen for her in real life too and that she would be chosen for Dilip Sahab’s book.

Compulsive Reader

Reading the book I was impressed on learning that Dilip Sahab apart from being a prolific actor has also been a compulsive reader. Be it novels, plays or biographies his love of classic literature has been most prominent. As the book says, “When he reads, he is like a child engrossed in his favourite game unwilling to put it away until time and again Saira Ji pleads him to rest.” He is always engrossed be it writing a script or scene that waits to be picturized the next day morning. He has the habit to underline the sentences with pencil that aroused curiosity in him and jotted down notes in green ink in the margins in his elegant handwriting.

As Dr. R.C.Sharma reminiscences in this book Dilip Sahab reads voraciously on all subjects including medicine. He once also addressed a medical conference and all of them from the medical fraternity listened spellbound to his speech which was replete with information about the latest developments in the field. Nobody could tell that Dilip Kumar was an actor and that medicine was not his concentration.

Power of Dressing

Dilip Sahab’s communication is just not verbal it is also reflected in his power of dressing. He believes in the practice of discipline his clothes are lined up and kept colour wise: “White is white and off-white is off-white” something he is absolutely clear off. Dilip Sahab’s adores his beautiful collection of shoes, suits and ties too. Down the years Saira Ji admits to have learnt from him Dilip Sahab the finest way of maintaining these items. She has also mastered the art of going through various steps to achieve a good polish for the exquisite Dilip Kumar footwear wrapped in covers to keep off from moisture.

Commitment to Craft

Dilip Kumar son of a Pathan fruit merchant had a robust earthy upbringing from parents who always used to tell him that he should be faithful to his occupation whatever the chosen craft may be and sincerely earn his wages. His hard work and commitment to the craft was never lacking. Strong sense of integrity, commitment and compassion came naturally for this nonagenarian from the Pathan genes.

The newly released autobiography Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow by Hay House India gives the readers wealth of comprehensive information experienced by Dilip Sahab who began as a diffident novice in Hindi cinema in the early 1940s and later went on to attain the pinnacle of stardom within a short time with his spellbinding performances. A career spanning over six decades that was based on his innovative capability, determination and sheer hard work. To sum it up Dilip Kumar: Thespian, Connoisseur of Arts, Voracious Reader and Highly Gifted Multilingual Orator.  I am positive readers would find reading this book enlightening.

Niilesh A Raje, EzineArticles Basic PLUS Author

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Niilesh A Raje with Sandeep Kulkarni ( Dombivli Return Dombivli Fast )

Super Saturday : In a freewheeling chat this morning with my dear friend and actor Sandeep Kulkarni regards his new upcoming Hindi Movie titled "Dombivli Return". The movie is not a sequel to his 2005 Marathi movie "Dombivli Fast". The Hindi Movie is a thriller which speaks about a common man from Dombivli whose lead role has been played by Sandeep. To read more . . .

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Star Studded Evening

Vibrant star studded evening at Grand Hyatt yesterday at the launch of thespian Dilip Kumar's autobiography authored by Uday Tara Nayar . . . an evening that was . . .