The dream merchants inhabit a complex world of contradictions and my debut book Salaam Bollywoodpublished by Spantech & Lancer in 1999 in London was about the pain and the passion of show business. Before the release of the book, I worried endlessly if I had crossed the boundary line of faith, revealed too much because I knew so much more.
Shaban Azmi was a parliamentarian at that time and living in Delhi, she mentioned in the passing that she was suffering a sleep disorder and could not sleep at night. Will you read my manuscript of the book and check if I have been unfair to anyone? I requested because I needed feedback from an insider. She agreed and sent me a thumbs up.
It is not easy being always objective because deception comes in disguise here and truth very often remains a mystery forever.
Salaam Bollywood was released in London in the early winter of 1999 and a few months later in Mumbai at T Series’ newly launched Music Café in Bandra. Anil Kapoor released the book and Mahesh Bhatt read a passage, a new horizon was awaiting and the excitement was infectious.
It is more than 40 years of consistent writing now but the dialogue between the journalist and the individual continues and my constant endeavor is to not let down either.
So today, when someone asks me the question, ‘How does it feel to be a film journalist’ I look at the person asking. I wonder if it is worth reacting…Strongly…? I’m not sure.