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10 Lesser Known autobiographies of eminent Hindi film personalities - (Articles On Cinema by Bobby Sing)

28 Mar, 2018 | 10 Most popular Articles AT BTC / NOSTALGIA, BOOK REVIEWS, VINTAGE MAGAZINES & MORE / Articles on Cinema

Before revealing the pleasant surprise, would like to say a few words about the confusing world of biographies, having more than one type in circulation.
The first and most authentic kind of biography is an autobiography (including memoirs or detailed conversations) with or without an associate author mentioned in the credits.
The second is when a different author pens it but as narrated or with the official consent of the artist.
Third are biographies written by the close family members or friends (post the icon's demise) sharing the first-hand experiences of his or her life (again considered authentic due to the close relation).
Fourth include the unofficial biographies written by film historians, writers or even fans as per the information collected from various authentic sources both within the life span of the artist or posthumously. And it’s quite possible that the artist doesn’t appreciate the effort made for his own reasons as seen in the recently released book on the life of Sanjay Dutt.
Besides at times we also get to see more than one biographies of an artist available in the market released at a gap of few years as in the case of Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and more creating a confusing situation for the readers putting them in a serious dilemma.
Anyway, here is the information about 10 lesser known (auto)-biographies of eminent Hindi film personalities that should not be missed, particularly by the young entrants in the field.
1. Meri Filmi Aatmkatha - Balraj Sahni
Initially published in Punjabi and Hindi (in the 70s by Hind Pocket Books), this enlightening autobiography is now out of print but available in English Translation as PDF file on the net. A simply not to be missed book, if you wish to know some blunt truths about the tough life of an actor and the film industry.

An intimate biography (as mentioned on the cover) by Bunny Reuben, this was published in the late 80s by National Film Development Corporation Limited as a thick ‘coffee table’ kind of book with loads of valuable information. But sadly its now out of print awaiting its re-release.
3. Khwaja Ahmed Abbas – I Am Not An Island
An experiment in autobiography (as stated in the title) is an exceptional book by the writer-thinker-director, a close associate of Raj Kapoor and the man who introduced Amitabh Bachchan in his film SAAT HINDUSTANI. It has been published by Imprint One, Gurgaon and has a forward by Bachchan too.
4. Bonding… A Memoir - Vyjayantimala
Written by the famous trained Indian dancer-actress Vyjayantimala Bali along with Jyoti Sabharwal, the book has her interesting memoirs published by Stellar Publishers Pvt. Ltd in 2007. And it was recently available only in e-book/Kindle format online.
5. Camera Meri Teesari Aankh - Radhu Karmakar
An autobiography of one of most famous cinematographers of Hindi cinema and a close associate of Raj Kapoor (who also directed RK’s JIS DESH MEIN GANGA BEHTI HAI apart from filming his many gems), this is a translated work in Hindi (by Vinod Das) published from Rajkamal Prakashan, Delhi and is a very useful read for the aspiring filmmakers.
6. Meri Aatam Katha – Dara Singh
Originally published in 1988 (by Lokgeet Parkashan), this is an autobiography in Punjabi that ends with the chapter on Dara Singh’s most famous role as Lord Hanuman. However, recentlyWestland also came out with a book titled DEEDARA aka DARA SINGH on the life of the national-icon written by Seema Sonik Alimchand.
7. Meri Aatmkatha – Kishore Sahu
Though all about the early years of Hindi Cinema, this autobiography’s first edition (in Hindi) actually came in 2017 published by Rajkamal Prakashan, Delhi. And it is an engrossing read penned by one of the famous actor-writer-director and producer from the golden era of Hindi Cinema.
8. Main Ek Harfanmaula - A. K. Hangal
A translated autobiography in Hindi (by Yugank Dheer) of one of the most famous supporting actor (popularly known as character artist) of Hindi Cinema, the book has been published by Vani Prakashan, Delhi. And its about the life of A. K. Hangal, who is still often recalled with the reference of an epic scene of the classic SHOLAY.
9. Paanchven Ved Ka Gaayak – Lekh Tandon Ki Zindagi Ka Safarnama
Penned by Krishan Kumar Mishar in Hindi, this is one of the most enlightening book on the life instances of the famous writer-director Lekh Tandon, who played a major role in the initial career of the now superstar, Shah Rukh Khan. As a thick detailed, informative book, it has been published by Cintila Communications, Mumbai.
10. The Act of Life - Amrish Puri
Penned by Mogambo himself along Jyoti Sabharwal, this is a fabulous autobiography giving you many insights about life on and off the screen as witnessed by the one and only Amrish Puri. Published by Stellar Publishers in English, the book’s Hindi translation (by Neeru) has been published by Vani Prakashn, Delhi with the title JEEVAN KA RANGMANCH by Amrish Puri.
I am sure many friends would love to go through their personal picks from the list of the books shared above. But believe me, there are a lot more lesser known biographies by or on the key personalities of Hindi Cinema too, which I would surely try to write about in the near future.


(Note: The article was first published on UC-News Mobile App in March 2018)

Tags : 10 Lesser Known autobiographies of eminent Hindi film personalities, Articles On Cinema by Bobby Sing, Rare Autobiographies of Indian Actors and Filmmakers
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