A woman with the potential to make it big. It is not that she cannot: she simply will not.
The closest anyone has come to being an adopted daughter.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bollybook is here!

Once I was through with Bollybook I told had an online conversation with Diptakirti (being quoted verbatim here):

Abhishek: It has been ages since I read a non-fiction book and hated when it finished. I would not have minded if it was double the size.
Diptakirti: You said the same for Kitnay Aadmi Thay.
Abhishek: The "hated when it finished" bit or the "double the size" bit?
Diptakirti: “And — if only the book had been longer…I cannot remember the last time when non-fiction was this entertaining.”

Source: Penguin India
Bollybook is larger than KAT. In fact, now that I think (and look; I can see it as I write the review) it seems gargantuan. It seems almost funny that it had seemed too small when I read it for the first time.

Er, yes — for the first time. I have not read it ever since, but it is the ideal book where you keep want to go back to, and you pick it up without realising. After all, there is only so much you can remember after one read — the common factor between Satyen Kappu in Deewaar and Mahesh Thakur in Hum Saath Saath Hain, for example.

But enough of beating around the bush: Bollybook is a Bollywood lover’s delight. No, wait a minute, it is a delight for anyone, but it is a dream-come-true for Bollywood lovers across the internet.

Can you really make a list of Uttar Pradesh cities where the events of the movies have taken place, off your brain? You know about Amitabh Bachchan and Vijay, but can you tell what surname the many Vijays portrayed by the great man had? Or a list of could-have-been iconic shelved movies, or characters that were mentioned throughout the movie but never existed?

[Note: If you can, you are possibly Diptakirti, and need not read the book, unless you are working on the next edition.]

The obvious question is: where does Bollybook score over KAT? In other words, if someone has read KAT, why should he read Bollybook (though the cover is too cool to resist).

The answer is simple: Bollybook is way, way more comprehensive than its predecessor. It is the kind of book that will make you, after having read it, feel you are superior to the rest of the world (which you are, being a Bollywood buff).

What is more, Diptakirti (it seems odd to refer to him as Chaudhuri, despite the norms) has covered more ground with Bollybook. One of my complaints regarding KAT was the fact that it did not cover the early days of Bollywood. Bollybook has changed that: the superior research and hard work show.

I was also pleasantly surprised when I found that the book was updated till I thought was possible (is it still updating itself as I write this?). I got vivid images of the author sitting in the press and updating copy after copy on his own... but let us not come to that.

This is also a fun read (the same cannot be said about most anthologies and “list books”). Diptakirti has inserted random trivia, bonus entries, honourable mentions, jokes, footnotes, quizzes (some may turn out to be quite challenging), and has done everything with the subtle touch of humour he is blessed with.

All in all, a must-read, if you are a Bollywood lover; if you are not one (huh?), this is a statutory warning that Bollybook may turn you into one (which will be one of the best things to happen to you).

Buy Bollybook. Read it. Nod and smile while reading. Cover the answers during quizzes. Get that feeling of “come on, he won’t miss out on this move, right?” while reading every chapter. Bring the book out to show off during quizzes.

Oh, and do keep it somewhere safe. It may turn out to be that much talked-about anthology whose first edition you had somehow acquired. 


  1. Will definitely pick it up. Ovshake, am amazed how you do it. Writing a review to titillate the interest in the readers without making it a spoiler!

    1. The credit should go to the Bollywood historian mentioned.

    2. Credit for the review should go to the reviewer :-)

    3. Ah, some books cannot be re reviewed poorly.

  2. Bhalo likhechho... amae Amazon je 5ta boi te dhnoka diyechhe tar modhye etao chhilo!!