Learn about Bollywood, the Diptakirti Chaudhuri way!

Indian writer Diptakirti Chaudhuri is not an ordinary writer for he has penned a handful of books that tackle the unknown facts about Bollywood and that’s what makes him different. From writing about the rise and split of Salim-Javed to bringing forth facts that not even the actors in discussion remember, he makes others understand that there is more to Bollywood than meets the eye. Let’s go through three of his books that have attained cult status among those who eat and drink Bollywood.

Written by Salim-Javed – The Story of Hindi Cinema’s Greatest Screenwriters

They are the writers who gave Bollywood 80 per cent of the dialogues that we know today; from Sholay to Shaan, Seeta Aur Geeta to Deewar, Trishul to Mr. India, Salim-Javed was the reason why Bollywood got its Angry Young Man aka Amitabh among other things. Diptakirti Chaudhuri’s book talks about how they came together and how they drifted apart in a space of a decade and for those who are into such trivia, this is a treasure trove!

The story of Salim-Javed is as interesting as one of the scripts; one of them came from a non-filmi background and the other was from a literary one and together they changed the dynamics of Bollywood with their combined efforts. What brought them together was failed careers (Salim Khan was a failed actor, and Javed Akhtar was a ‘total loss’ at anything he did), no money and the loss of their mothers at an early age. They met at the shooting of Sarhadi Lootera in 1966 where Salim was the second lead and Javed was a clapper boy and no one knew that together they would go onto make history. Hence they started churning scripts where mother was the central figure and the story revolved around her, such as Mere Paas Maa Hai in Deewar and the revenge saga Trishul.

What makes this book stand out is the fact that it discusses the careers of both Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar collectively as well as individually. Salim Khan was the dashing actor who did a few films but since he was well-read and creative, he tried to write but failed until he met Javed Akhtar whose father Jan Nisar Akhtar was a famous poet. What added value to their script was Javed’s inclination towards Pakistani novelist Ibn-e-Safi and since Salim was the man with the ideas most of the time, they clicked.

They were the first set of screenwriters who were credited in the posters of their films; if their lines were changed, they would ask the director to drop their name from the credits and believed that it was their script that was the real reason for the film’s success. So, what made them drift apart if they were so perfect? This book talks about that too and blames both of them for the split because while Javed Akhtar wanted to try his hand at penning lyrics, Salim Khan wasn’t keen on doing anything else. Instead of reaching a compromise, this book tells us that they chose to part ways, denting Bollywood big time.

So, if you didn’t know that it was Rajesh Khanna who brought them together or that they wrote Mr. India with Amitabh Bachchan in mind or that Deewar’s script was completed in 15 days, this book is for you! You will get to know about their careers before, during and after their collaboration and despite doing well – Salim’s son Salman Khan is Bollywood’s most-known actor while Javed is still active as a lyricist – they couldn’t reach the same level as they did together as Salim-Javed.

10 Bioscope – A Frivolous History of Bollywood in Ten Chapters

India’s film industry is one of the oldest film industries in the world and like Hollywood, it has a rich history that now spans over generations. While people know the common facts such as the first film, the first talkie, the first color film, the film that made Amitabh Bachchan a superstar, there are many facts that remain hidden from the filmgoers. Diptakirti Chaudhuri’s 10 Bioscope – A Frivolous History of Bollywood in Ten Chapters is one such book that will help you understand the history of films in India with its unique lists that touch on all elements including most successful films, off-screen film jodis, most-hated villains and foreigners who made India their home, among other things. If you don’t believe that the story of Amar Akbar Anthony was inspired by a newspaper clipping; that Manoj Bajpayee was the one who introduced Anurag Kashyap to Ram Gopal Varma and Satya was born; that Indira Gandhi’s regime banned many films released during the Emergency, read this book to know all there is to know about Bollywood.

Bolly Book - The Big Book of Hindi Movie Trivia

Diptakirti Chaudhuri’s other contribution to Bollywood films is a huge book of Hindi Movie Trivia where you get to know things that you hadn’t known before. It starts with the shocking revelation that ‘Hum jahan kharay ho jatay hain line waheen se shuru hojati hai’ wasn’t an Amitabh Bachchan dialogue and that Nawazuddin Siddiqui shared a scene with Sunil Dutt in Munnabhai MBBS. And if you are ready for more, just imagine that in Johnny Mera Naam, the brothers were named Mohan and Sohan, so who was Johnny; he also talks about the creative credits in some of the Bollywood films but none tops the two instances where Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan share the screen. Surprised? This book is full of such anecdotes and not only praises Bollywood filmmakers but criticises them on occasions, staying neutral and on the path of ‘For The Love of Bollywood’. •