Khullam Khulla, Rishi Kapoor Uncensored- offers an insight into the actor’s life, but is equally an ode to Raj Kapoor the dad and the filmmaker!
Much before you read the book Khullam Khulla, Harper Collins, India- a tome on and by-yesteryear’s as much as today’s popular –actor, Rishi Kapoor, you would have been privy to many spoilers, courtesy the hyper marketing on print, digital media and the television.
As Uncensored as Possible!
It really is a catch 22 situation- too much and under marketing and positioning a product. So, that the book is a no-holds-barred account of a ‘flushed with money’ ‘overnight sensation’ once Bobby hit the 70 M.M. screen, or his escapades while dating Ms. Wife Kapoor now, to his shenanigans of trying to woo his estranged girlfriend in his hey days- all this spilling the beans is already old news if you have watched the interviews, read the snippets and followed him on Social media. Not to say that it takes away anything from the book, but definitely to imply that then, there is not much left to discover! The done to death phrase used to describe the book by critics- ‘All out’, ‘Brutally honest’ makes me wonder if these people haven't following the actor on Twitter! The book talks about all that his Twitter bio reads and of course more, but it’s a good place to start from- ‘Son of a famous Father- Father of a famous Son!’
Rishi Kapoor- An Open Book?
The book is a breeze to read (Do wish that the photographs hadn't been so hapharzdly inserted though..) and is most certainly all of the above, from the trauma he went through during his ‘low’ days, to the reason behind estrangements he had had with his Bollywood pals. However, it is much more than the sensationalizing of the book as merely an ‘honest’ outburst! The book is sometimes emotional and at others candid, defensive at some points and fiercely all-out at others! It is also a touching upon on his mother's stoic acceptance of the ‘other women’ in his dad’s life and also of the putting down of her foot – and moving into a hotel at some point in time later. It is a chronicling of Rishi Kapoor as a dad to a son and the daughter and a boyfriend-turned husband. It is a recounting of the good ol’ days of cinema, music, directors and the whole repertoire of film making and philosophy! He reminisces about the simplicity of the golden age of Hindi Cinema when there was no complex marketing, promotional tours, no auto tuning, just melody and harmony and of movie sittings through the night- A time when directors were involved deeply in the music of the cinema. He reminisces about some of his hits and misses at the box office also of the time he worked with super star co-stars and delivered some of his most memorable aces at the box office!
Read at Leisure!
The language is tentative at some points and easy-peasy at others. Of course, its not a classic, nor is the intention to be one, it is certainly heart felt and candid. It is as much a book about his life as is of the life peeks of Raj Kapoor- his mercurial, creative genius of a father! There are forewords and epilogue by Ranbir and Neetu which is each one’s take on the persona of the man in question. In my review of Shashi Kapoor -The Householder and The Star, Aseem Chhabra’s Rupa Book Publishing,it is mentioned that Shashi Kapoor says, ‘If I write a book it will be truthful, that might hurt people and if the book is not truthful then what’s the point’!
The difference in when one writes a biography of a famous personality from a third person’s view- it is always a tricky situation as you get more meat as in the bibliography, the filmography and quotes and input from those in the know… However, that personal touch is missing – it can make for an insightful read on the performances and the filmography and perhaps a cursory look at the the persona behind the personality.
What Rishi Kapoor has been able to achieve is to 'do something that his father couldn’t' and neither the brothers… and that's to Live, Write and record his life in his own words—in every sense of the word!
Khullam Khulla- Rishi Kapoor Uncensored
Rishi Kappir, Meena Iyer
Harper Collins India