Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Must-Read for the Movie Buff - The Legends of Bollywood by Raaj Grover

I am not a movie buff but reading books in and around Bollywood has created a bug in my mind, which will always attract to more books of the said genre. This is my third book after "Khwabon Ka Safar" and "In a Cult of Their Own". The first book was about the production houses & studios which started movies in India. The second book was about some extraordinary movies which may not work well in cinemas but able to generate fan followings for generations to come. So now it is the turn of actual people who made this worked, which are actors and directors. The Legends of Bollywood - Tales of madness, mischief & mayhem by Raaj Grover.

Book Blurb
Before the overly dramatic movies with technologically enhanced backgrounds, simpler times existed. A compulsively readable collection of memoirs and stories of Bollywood’s who’s who, The Legends of Bollywood includes enthralling stories of the stars of the yesteryear.

From Amitabh Bachchan’s first screen test to Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi’s baptism into Johnny Walker, and from Dharmendra’s journey from a tractor driver to a legendary actor to Dimple Kapadia’s iconic comeback into the industry, this book includes everything that’s good, bad, and fabulous in Bollywood. With never-before-seen pictures, it is a sensational book that narrates the tales behind celebrated births and lamented deaths, secret romances and controversial moments, booming films and unforeseen flops.
Penned by a man who was a constant witness to these moments, these stories have been pulled from the archives of his myriad memories.
Raaj Grover was the production-in-charge of the prestigious Ajanta Arts in Mumbai, which was owned by Sunil Dutt. Grover was an integral part of the Dutt family. During his days in the film industry, he also dabbled in filmmaking. A poet at heart, he is known for his witty take on life and his joie de vivre. He currently lives in the USA.
"The Legend of Bollywood" has covered some of the most renowned personalities of the Indian Cinema. 24 stories/personalities in just 240 pages may seem an injustice to these legends, But the author has focused on limited areas. The author has a direct-indirect official or personal connection with most of these celebrities. So he has shared some personal incidents with us which we rarely come to know from main-stream media. I have finished the book in less than 5 sittings and not a single moment of boredness.

Stories I personally liked (or I can say characters whose incidents I personally liked are)
  • Dharmendra - Specially incidents about the guest visit to his house.
  • Dilipkumar - His struggle as fruit wallah
  • Kapoors - Story of Chintu (Rishi Kapoor) taking money from Rajendranath
Frankly speaking, you will find many such instances which can give you laugh or wow moments. The good part is most of the chapters finished in 10-20 pages limits, which make no boring part of the star story. Just like Raj Kumar Hirani movies only entertainment nothing else. 

Talking about ratings
  1. Content - 4/5
  2. Cover - 4.5/5
  3. Overall - 4.5/5
The book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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