‘And Then One Day’ – autobiography of Naseeruddin Shah
International award winning actor and director, Naseeruddin Shah is considered a legend in Indian cinema by many. He is an inspiration to many upcoming actors who are probably going to be flocking to get their hands on his memoir, ‘And Then One Day’.
The actor started writing it back in 2002 but delayed publishing it until now as he wasn’t sure anybody would be interested in reading about his life. However, it seems that the actor underestimated himself as it has received much praise by the film industry. It tells the tale of four glorious decades of the actor’s life, right from childhood to the beginning of his career in Bollywood. Towards the end, the book recounts his marriage to Ratna Pathak Shah and talks about his daughter from his previous marriage. In a recent interview Shah said that he suspects that the book might ruffle a few feathers in the film industry but he wasn’t too concerned about it. All he wanted to do was tell the story of his life and bare it all out for people to read. The book would never have been completed if it wasn’t for the motivation Shah received from his friend Ramchandra Guha. He constantly encouraged Shah to complete the book and get it published.
In the book Shah bares his soul, writing about the problems in his relationship between him and his father. He also pens down his relationship with the 34 year old Purveen, a Pakistani who was studying medicine at The Aligarh Muslim University. He gives her credit for encouraging and supporting his dreams to become an actor. Their relationship came to an end pretty quickly but ten months into it, Purveen bore his first child Heeba. Shah then goes on to be brutally honest about his relationship with his daughter where he talks of how he resented her birth and looked upon it as a burden. He strayed away from Purveen and his daughter and did not see his child for the next 12 years.
Shah also approaches a controversial topic about occasionally smoking pot. He writes about it without any hesitation and also goes on to give it credit for providing him with clarity of thought through the years but he doesn’t advise it to anyone. He writes about his disappointment for not getting the role of Mohandas Gandhi in Richard Attenborough’s film ‘Gandhi’ which he was ready for and was convinced he could pull off. The actor’s soft side comes through at the end of his autobiography where he writes about his true love, Ratna Pathak who he says he fell in love with at first sight.
Shah dedicates the book to young actors, especially his sons Vivaan and Imaad. Although he doubt’s they would read it. You can currently catch the actor onscreen, playing the role of Ferdie, a love sick postman in a Goan village who is searching for his childhood sweetheart in Finding Fanny.