Sunday, September 11, 2016

"In school I always excelled and got highest marks in English Literature" admits the legendary film, stage actor and director Mr. Naseeruddin Shah in freewheeling chat with writer Niilesh A Raje

It was indeed a delight for all the book lovers in Mumbai who had come down to be part of the vibrant book launch event held during the Ganpati week end which marked the Marathi book release titled “Ani Mug Ek Divas”. This Marathi book about the legendary film, stage actor and director Mr. Naseeruddin Shah has been successfully translated by the eminent director, screenwriter and prolific author Padma Bhushan Awardee Ms. Sai Paranjpye. The book has been published by Popular Prakashan. The English version “And Then One Day” (A Memoir) penned down by Naseeruddin Shah was released earlier in 2014.

It was all started one day when the author Sai Paranjype received the phone call from this legendary actor Naseeruddin Shah asking, “Sai I need to meet you. Let me know what time suits you the best”. Sai was bit curious to know why Naseer wants to meet her. Without asking anything Sai gave him the time and on the said date and time Naseeruddin Shah came to meet her.

The journey to pen down the English version of this book was never a planned activity and it started in the year 2002 when Mr. Naseeruddin Shah had been to Prague the largest city in Czech Republic for six month long shoot of a big budget Hollywood Film namely, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”. Apart from the shooting and with nothing else to do in city like Prague where it gets dark too early Mr. Shah penned down the English version of his autobiography mostly during shootings, post shootings or while waiting for his next shot. It took him almost 12 years before the English version of the book was released in 2014. In 2016 we now have the Marathi version of his book well translated by the prolific writer Ms. Sai Paranjpye.

During the course of this book translation Sai realized that Naseeruddin had fascination for English words depicting his good hold on the language and words which were mostly unheard or those that were not used in regular conversations. Sai used to make note of all such words where she had difficulty in translating them. And, instead of calling Naseeruddin daily she used to make note of these words as observations. Once her work was completed they both met again that’s when she cleared all her observations to get the meaning of the words and sentences right.

No doubt while in school Naseeruddin always excelled and got the highest marks and won awards in English literature whereas getting good grades in Maths or Physics used to be a distant dream for him. He remembers getting either 0 or 5 marks in these subjects. His father aspired him to become a Doctor.  As the book states while in school Naseeruddin had good observational skills. He used to listen to his teachers intonations, the way they dressed or the way they wiped the blackboard. These things used to appeal him more rather than what subject was the teacher trying to teach to the class and conveying.

Readers must be wondering now having written his autobiography what’s the next book title Naseeruddin would like to work upon. Would it be a sequel to this first one? No. On the contrary what Naseeruddin would like to do is to pen portrait of how he has seen and experienced his association with the Film Industry from close angle in the 40 years of his glorious journey. A topic which he feels might be interesting to him but must be disappointing to many others.

Book Title          आणि मग एक दिवस
Publisher           Popular Prakashan
Author             Naseeruddin Shah
Translated By             Sai Paranjpye
ISBN                           978-81-7185-086-0

Price                           Rs 650 / -

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