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Last Updated 31.03.2020 | 8:11 PM IST
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Book Review: Dear Mister Bollywood – This book on casting couch is hollow


On its launch, 'Dear Mister Bollywood' took the conventional route. First come up with a sensational headline, then reveal portions of the book that touch upon sex, sleaze & controversy and later come up with statements around 'but-then-the-book-is-much-more-than-that'. Of course when there are terms like Bollywood and Shahrukh Khan involved, there are all the more chances for additional eyeballs. In that context, 'Dear Mister Bollywood', an autobiographical tale of a young woman from Israel who tried to break into Bollywood, does score a win. However does the book move anywhere beyond the sensational headline and some liberal dose of sex and sorrow? Not really.


On its launch, 'Dear Mister Bollywood' took the conventional route. First come up with a sensational headline, then reveal portions of the book that touch upon sex, sleaze & controversy and later come up with statements around 'but-then-the-book-is-much-more-than-that'. Of course when there are terms like Bollywood and Shahrukh Khan involved, there are all the more chances for additional eyeballs. In that context, 'Dear Mister Bollywood', an autobiographical tale of a young woman from Israel who tried to break into Bollywood, does score a win. However does the book move anywhere beyond the sensational headline and some liberal dose of sex and sorrow? Not really.

In fact leaving aside the fact that it is an entirely one sided affair which may or may not be true, it also comes across as a fictionalised account of woman who churns out a script which could be straight out of a B-grade Bollywood pot-boiler. Not just that as what makes the entire 'drama' all the more questionable is the manner in which number of real life happenings around the world being conveniently integrated into the author's life. Well, if one thought that Mausam was the zenith of all notable tragedies coinciding with the coming together or separation of Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor then read this tale of Rina Golan. Apparently she went through everything, right from 9/11 to 26/11 with drugs, sex, strip clubs and mafia thrown in for good measure.


In fact sensationalism pretty much runs strong right through this 100 odd page book even if one is willing to leave aside the fact that it hasn't quite gone through a proof read and if so, there hasn't really been a good job done at that. There are misspelled names with errors in core grammar as well as punctuations, something which is quite glaring at places. Still, one doesn't account for that much since the focus of the entire read here is to check out what does Rina have to talk about.


So yes, coming to the real content here then well, as is a known fact by now, she has gone on an accusation spree by bringing under her net men like Subhash Ghai, Dr. Ali Irani, Anees Bazmee and Anup Jalota. Other than the common factor that she seems to have found all men over 50 years of age coming in her way, one doesn't really form an opinion around the validity behind her claims. For that matter no one can actually and if at all someone has to be really concerned, it has to be these men and their families.


Moreover if someone wants to turn around the pages greedily and indeed check out what happened behind closed doors (and in cases right there on the sets in presence of a 200 member crew) then well, 'Dear Mister Bollywood' has a lot to offer to an anxious reader. Of course most of it is unprintable here but then the fact remains that around 30-40 pages in the book are reserved for these scandals that are actually explained in graphic details.


What does catch your attention though is the fact in quite a few instances, Rina herself admits to allowing these men (and many more) to take a few extra steps even though she was 'mentally' not willing to allow that to happen. While she does explain that it was her quest for rising the ladder to Bollywood that made her keep her relationship intact with them till she could afford to do that, one does wonder what stopped her from walking out sooner than later. Moreover if she indeed felt that what was happening was indeed wrong, why to fret around it on print? That's one of the reasons why the entire expose comes with its own questions.


However leaving aside these pointers, what really amuses one no less is the entire Shahrukh Khan story that is embedded at various junctures at regular intervals. Apparently the actor promised her $20000 to support her education once she narrated to him her background and how she wanted to stand on her own feet. What comes across though is the tale of a woman who was pretty much branded as a stalker and thrown out of the sets of Khan's films when she ended up reminding him of his promise not once, twice but thrice. Surprisingly all of this is admitted to Rina's own words that makes one wonder how she actually managed to convince herself that she was right in reaching out to Khan time and again even though there were clear indications that he wasn't interested (even though he never said it in as many words).


This isn't all as Rina goes on to describe her various liaisons with men ranging from strugglers to mafia to stray unit members, all borne out of convenience. While she admits that she disliked reaching out to them for help (and money) time and again, she also puts it down on records that to survive in the big bad city of Mumbai, she didn't have any other choice either.

Nevertheless, as a reader you are neither required to be a member of the moral brigade nor turn into a judge who would decide right v/s wrong. All you do is flip through the pages under two hours flat and either get impressed or feel totally unmoved by the story. In case of 'Dear Mister Bollywood', it's the latter due to the sheer fact that the content presented here turns out to be hollow; so much so that you actually start wondering about the very intent behind the book and the story being told.


Price: Rs. 95/=


Rating: * *

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