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Behind the Scenes: The Many Faces of Bollywood Stardom



Behind the Scenes: The Many Faces of Bollywood Stardom

These latest ‘filmi’ biographies and memoirs for your bookshelf come highly recommended

Bollywood is the most common unifier in our country, and gossip columns in newspapers and websites are easily the most commonly read sections in nearly every household. However, a true connoisseur of cinema knows that scandals are merely a fraction of the reality of being a movie star. And who can tell their story better than these veterans themselves. For the more voracious readers who seek stories from behind-the-scenes, we pick five recent Bollywood memoirs that capture the many shades of stardom.

Mrs Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna

Her columns have been a laughter riot for years now. So, when a compilation of all her writings was announced, it was bound to be eagerly awaited. Most will confirm that she lives up to the expectations quite solidly. Simple rants about autowalas to high society party decorum, her two cents about everyday life and its myriad pressures is the perfect book to curl up on the couch with.

Get it here.

Shashi Kapoor : The Householder, The Star by Aseem Chhabra

The Prince Charming of Bollywood, he was perhaps the only Kapoor to have succeeded across art house as well as commercial cinema. By the 70s, he was actively involved in the resurrection of Prithvi Theatre, and if you are lucky enough, you can actually spot him on a busy weekday at Prithvi. The book by journalist Aseem Chhabra explores his offbeat journey into the lesser-travelled paths of cinema and theatre in the country.

Get it here.

Rekha: The Untold story by Yasser Usman

More often than not, there’s no smoke without fire. And this book only comes to remind us the kind of journalism and news reportage that took place over the decades in Bollywood. While the actress refused to talk to the author for the book, maintaining her status of a ‘recluse’, Usman wholeheartedly depended on stories in the public domain to put together this book about one of the most talked about actress of all time. Interestingly, contrary to what one would assume, the book is not exactly a melting pot of gossip.

Get it here.

Shammi Kapoor: The Game Changer by Rauf Ahmed

In the initial years of his career, Shammi Kapoor was tagged as just another clone of his brother, Raj Kapoor. However, he changed it all with his charm, innocence, and his choicest moves and movies. The book, by veteran journalist Rauf Ahmed, explores the highs and lows of his personal and professional life, while adding layers to it with a selection of interviews of some of the important people in his life. This one is for keeps.

Get it here.

Anything But Khamosh: The Shatrughan Sinha Biography by Bharathi S Pradhan

Shatrughan Sinha’s life is a remarkable success story. From starting with nothing to achieving everything in cinema as well as politics, without any nepotism, Sinha’s story leaves a lasting impact on the readers. The book can easily be divided into two parts – his acting career where he rose to the superstardom despite his unconventional looks, and his political career: the famous and the not so famous bits of it, wrapped in utmost honesty.

Get it here.

Look forward to:

Looks like it’s a season of biographies in Bollywood. Rishi Kapoor’s autobiography is slated for release later this month, so is Karan Johar’s unabashed memoir. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s tell-tale is also in the horizon. We suggest you start a savings fund for the upcoming releases.



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Arundhati Chatterjee is a part-time writer, full-time dreamer. Hoards fountain pens, listens to The Beatles, eats multiple meals and yawns too often. Follow her @TheBongBox

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