In Bollywood, Naseeruddin Shah is pretty much the gold standard of acting. A formidable name that commands instant respect within the Indian film industry, Shah’s histrionic ability remains unparalleled. So, when a man of his stature gets down to penning his memoirs, it’s guaranteed to receive attention from one and all! And it has.
Titled “And Then One Day”, Naseeruddin Shah’s memoir walks us through 4 decades of his life – from his childhood to the start of his career in Bollywood and ends with his marriage to Ratna Pathak Shah and the return of his daughter Heeba (from his first marriage to Purveen) to India.
Shah began writing his memoirs in 2002. But unsure of its quality and doubtful about generating enough interest in his life’s story, the book kept getting postponed. And, although it took 12 years before it finally reached the masses, all we can say is that it’s been worth the wait.
In an age, when a lot of memoirs and biographies are ‘outsourced’ to ghostwriters, And Then One Day is something of a rarity. Shah has written it himself – a fact that is evident in both the voice of the book and the views expressed in, which are intensely personal.
Maintaining his signature wry style, Shah is rude and explicit. Regardless of whether he’s talking about Bollywood’s hypocrisy, his failed marriage to a woman who was much older than himself, his various love affairs or his dependence of marijuana, Shah remains brutally honest. We might not always agree or even like what he says, but that barely deters us from turning the pages all the way till the end.
Will there be a sequel to his memoirs? Shah remains non-committal on this. While he does not promise his fans the second part to his memoirs, he doesn’t dismiss the idea with an outright “No” either. We wait with baited breath and hope that he does decide to pick up the pen again.