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Monday, February 23, 2015

HiFi in Bollywood - Rishi Vohra (Book Review)

Now I have to say that this is 'hatke' (slightly different) book than the types that I usually read. The protagonist Rayhan is a guy who is besotted with Bollywood and dreams to making it big . His father on the other hand is a guy who thinks that a respectable career in finance and a future in America is what his son should be looking at. In purely filmy style, Rayhan lands up in Mumbai without the knowledge of his father. And needless to say the incidents that follow have a very filmy flavor to them. Right upto the climax. Yes, this book is an ode to the Hindi Film Industry and the millions of dreams that it has inspired.

Along with our hero who is a guy with a Finance degree, we have a small time goon who aspires to be the first Catholic villain and a dark skinned girl who wants to become a heroine. It speaks volumes about the lure of celluloid which spares no segment of society.

Throughout the book, the Hindi film industry is refered as 'HiFi' instead of Bollywood which is a welcome relief given the Tollywood, Sandalwood, Ollywood type crappy names that it has spawned. The author has covered a lot of aspects of the film industry like having the importance of having the right contacts, the egos of the big stars that always need assuaging, the fact that actresses have a limited shelf life and the general insecurities that folks from the industry possess. Darker aspects like the casting couch and drug abuse also get a mention. It also gives a detailed insight into the work environment on the sets and the amount of hard work that is put in by everyone who work behind the scenes.

This book is a lighthearted read that should be picked by all Bollywood fans. Or even those who want a quick insight into the ways of this industry.

[And no I would not compare Rishi Vohra to Chetan Bhagat as I never think of comparing the latter to Paulo Coelho and Khaled Hosseini. It is just like people do not compare a Rohit Shetty movie with a Sanjay Leela Bhansali one. Take a chill pill and enjoy the diversity.]

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