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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Unlikely Hero Om Puri: Book Review

 I picked up Unlikely Hero: Om Puri, by journalist-turned-author Nandita C Puri, who is also Om Puri's wife in real life, not because I like Om Puri's work as an actor (which I do), but because I had read so much hype and gossip around it that I really wanted to get my share too...I know, all the wrong reasons to get a book (but sometimes, picking up a book coz it was too hyped or portrayed in juicy sections has actually been a good experience.) Not this time though!

The book was a royal disappointment - a waste of money, a waste of time and a waste of my expectations! I am hugely hugely disappointed.

Well, if you're not aware of all the gossip this book generated right before its release time, let me give you a little insight into the same, so that you understand why I was so wrongly excited to pick this one up.

 From some time before its release, Indian newspapers were carrying stories of how there was trouble in Om Puri's marriage because his wife had come out with this 'explosive' and 'bare all' book on the actor, so much so that Om Puri had, supposedly, decided to divorce his wife, leave her and go back to his first wife.
There were interviews after interviews and stories after stories from both Om Puri and Nandita's side, stating how Om Puri was shocked that whatever he told his wife in his private space was now made into a book to be read by the entire country and world! For her side, Nandita maintained that she wanted to show Om Puri to the world as he truly was, to make sure that everyone got to know this amazing person who she lived with day and night. She said that despite the fact that she comes out with a lot of shocking never-before divulged details about Om Puri's life, these are all done in a sensible and aesthetic way.

Okay, so much so for the PR team and the author's work (I hope Om Puri was truly not a part of creating all this nonsense and cheap publicity stunts around the book) that me, and many like me, were tempted to go for this one - just what these guys planned.

Details about the book:
Title: Unlikely Hero Om Puri
Author: Nandita C Puri
No. of Pages: 206
Publisher: Lotus Roli
Type: Paperback

Genre: Biography
Price: INR 395 (I picked it up at a 40% discount!)

And what did I think of the book?????

 The book has nothing of the 'dirty' details that supposedly caused so much fight in Om Puri and Nandita's marriage. There are no 'dirty' things that Om Puri did, except only one instance, that too can't be termed dirty as Om Puri was barely 13/14 years old and was kind-of exploited by a maid who was about 50!!! Reading it was repulsive and dirty and disgusting, and this was just about a page in the entire 206 pages of the book! 

 The book is a bore, I am sorry to say! I skipped and skipped through the pages, as I just couldn't sit through so many repetitive sections. I am really kind of surprised at this book! I mean, really? Is THIS what the hype was all about?? I really wish I got a chance to sit with Nandita C Puri and ask her why exactly did she think she had to come out with this waste of a book! Not many get the chance that she got, living with such a talented actor and knowing so much about him and his work, and there's hardly any insight into the man's work. Imagine how interesting it would have been to know behind-the-scene kind of stuff, like what Om Puri does when he lands up at the sets, how he decides on a script before agreeing to a movie, how does he prepare for working on a movie that has been based on a book, how does he memorise his lines, what makes him nervous, when was he star-struck or spell-bound enough to mess up his lines....things like this would have made this book a collector's item....but sadly, it goes away without as much as even a whisper....

How many hearts for this one? ONE - Not to my taste and a total waste


- Debolina Raja Gupta