Bollywood Hungama
Last Updated 20.08.2018 | 12:30 PM IST
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Book Review: The Dialogue of Awaara

While in the last 3-4 years, quite a few books based on Bollywood, it’s stars and the trends have hit the stands, not many authors have gone ahead and revived a film from the past, let alone dissecting and bisecting it via an authentic research. Yes, celebrities from the past, especially those with an enigmatic personality (Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt. Lata Mangeshkar, Pran, Sunil Dutt, Noor Jehan and many more) have been given a revisit but the world of literature has remained unexplored.

However, one can see a change in trend today. Slowly but steadily the vast literature available from the world of Bollywood movies is being made available to those die hard followers who want to lay their hands on the piece of history. While Sholay and Mughal-E-Azam are two of the most favourite films that have been revived time and again either on screen or in a book, it’s a welcome change to see a writer return to the world of Awaara.

Widely recognised as one of the finest works ever of K.A. Abbas (who has written the story, screenplay and dialogues of the film) and V.P. Sathe (who had co-written the story of the film), Awaara is one of the most studied pieces from Indian cinema and it is just right that the film continues to find an audience till date. This is why the effort of Suhail Akhtar (who transcribes the original dialogue in Urdu and Roman) and Vijay Jani (who does the same in Hindi) needs to be lauded. They ensure that the job is done right while also maintaining the entire readability aspect that would make turning over the pages an exciting affair.

For the sheer concept of bringing back the dialogue of Awaara in a print format, author Nasreen Munni Kabir deserves a thank you note since she gives this Raj Kapoor film the kind of respect that it deserves. Even though the film was made six decades back, it remains to be one of the most sought after affairs for the students of cinema. No wonder, it makes complete sense to have the dialogues from the film brought to the forefront for the current generation of audiences via this book.

Very recently there was an ecstatic moment for film lovers when the screenplay of Lage Raho Munnabhai was released and now with ‘The Dialogue of Awara’ gracing the stands, it’s a good enough reason for double the joy. Reason? Just like the classic appeal of the film, the book too maintains an out and put classy touch to it which makes it worth a treasure to preserve and a good enough artefact to gift.

A 300 odd page book which boasts of a brilliant layout, both from the design as well as content placement perspective, ‘The Dialogue of Awaara’ is the kind of study which makes for a very good read, especially if you are one of those select few people who have not seen the film yet. The best part about the book is that it doesn’t restrict itself to a language. Since it’s a Hindi film, it is but natural that the dialogues appear in Hindi. However, for the benefit of a wide segment of readers at which the book is targeted, the dialogues appear in Roman as well as Hindi script. This is not all as the dialogues are also transcribed in Urdu and Roman, hence making it a four-in-one package.

So here is the deal – If you want to read and visualise the scene in an ‘as-is’ manner, there is a Hindi version for you. If you find reading a Hindi script in English more interesting, there is an alternate available. And then if English and Urdu come naturally to you then there is also some good transcription done in both the languages which makes it a complete affair. This is where the design comes in handy because all the four options are made available on the two pages open in front of you, hence saving you from the effort of traversing between different sections of the book.

Also impressive is the way hundreds of screen shots from the film are brought to life all over again in the book. Since the book moves reel by reel and then scene by scene, placement of screen shots at the top of the page gives an extra edge to the narrative. This is not all as towards the end of the book, Nasreen goes on to take the reader through every reel of the film (in total 19) and shares various anecdotes and facts about the happenings both in front of and behind the camera.

At a couple of places in the book, it is acknowledged that Randhir Kapoor had a big helping hand in making this concept come alive and take a shape that would result in a book. No wonder, he goes on to make his own contribution with a Foreword which details how Awaara took shape into a modern classic. What is even more interesting is Nasreen’s own take on ‘The Road to Awaara’ which is clearly a well researched piece of work. She also credits the various sources from where she collected the information and in the process also ends up quoting them verbatim, as applicable.

Of course a book like this doesn’t have a widespread market except for the students of cinema. Majority of film lovers would rather wish to pick the DVD of the film and cherish the movie watching experience rather than turning over the pages of a voluminous book. However, for those who love their history to be preserved in a print format and be available easy reference on the coffee table, ‘The Dialogue of Awaara’ is a good, entertaining and an educating read.

Price: Rs. 1250/=

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