Book Review #Five of 2021: Lessons life taught me unknowingly

An Autobiography of Anupam Kher.

The first time I watched Anupam Kher on screen was in the Movie Karma – the Multi starrer and I would repeatedly as a kid enact the scene “iss thapad ki goonj suni tumne”. For people of my generation characters like Anupam Kher, Kader khan and Amrish puri were the quintessential villains and after a period Anupam Kher and Kader khan switched sides to comical roles.

Similarly, between me and Anupam Kher is that both our big breaks came as portraying bald men, I am also rapidly balding and I am also very vocal with my opinion.

Anupam Kher in Saransh at age of 28 portraying an old man. Myself in a play ” The Jury”” .

Around 2018, when I decided to quit corporate life, I was seriously contemplating taking up theatre very actively and for training contemplating joining the acting school of Anupam kher “Actor Prepares” which is known to be training ground of many Bollywood stars. It was then that I bumped into Anupam Kher at the Jet airways lounge in Delhi.  While, I am generally cognizant of not disturbing celebrities, I saw this chance encounter as a sign and I seated next to him and sought his advice on joining acting.  He went on for the next 15 mins or so explaining me why I should immediately join and should never consider age as a factor. He also convinced me that I should also join the dancing session and when I said I have 2 left feet, he said that’s even more reason and told me I would be pleasantly surprised.  Had it not been for COVID-19, I would have by now joined Actor prepares training.  The only doubt in my mind is that its more training for movies whereas I am keen on theatre.

I had already watched the autobiographical play of Anupam kher tilted “Kuch bhi ho sakta hai” and will recommend it to everybody so I was aware of what to expect from the book. The book is frank tell-all by the actor and his struggles and his relationship with Bollywood. It’s a decent read for all aspiring actor and those interested in Bollywood.

What I liked and did not like:

I really like the session were the author talks about how he went into debt due to poor business decisions (At the same time Amitabh Bachchan floated ABCL and had similar fate). Also, despite what we see has a hugely successful actor, he too slipped into depression and sought professional help. What I did not like in the book was some incidents where he felt not being fairly treated by others and the section immediately talks about how the person faired poorly after that. In this case, about a director having continuous flops after he parted ways with Anupam kher.  Also, Anupam kher portrays Salman khan as a person who was always trying to give new comers a chance. My current understanding is that Salman Khan family is very vindictive and Arijit Singh has to face his wrath. 

Some interesting Quotes / lines:

Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster; And treat those two imposters the same.

Dialogue from movie Daddy:  Sach ko sach banana ke liye, do logon ki zaroorat hoti hain. Ek jo sach bol sake, doosra jo sach sun sake.

My life is not bound, not limited, not defined. My life is free, infinite and immeasurable.

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